I awakened this morning, a bit confused as usual, and wondering if the pounding on the door downstairs was part of a dream or if some fool was actually beating on my door at … 8:39 a.m.? It took less than five seconds before my question was answered … it was really some fool who didn’t know I had slept only a scant two hours at that point. Mental checklist:
- Am I decent? Sweatpants, sweatshirt, socks … oops, only one sock, but still good enough.
- Glasses? Check.
- Who could it be? UPS? Nah, our regular UPS driver is John, who used to have a crush on my daughter … he’s a cool guy and knows better than to bang on my door. The mail carrier? Nah, that’s my friend Lisa and she knows better than to bang on my door. That leaves FedEx, who never send the same driver twice, so I haven’t come to know them.
You’re probably wondering why I don’t take the 5 steps to my bedroom window and look out, solving the mystery once and for all, right? But that is not how my mind works. I am an analyst, and thus I have to analyze everything first, then look out the window to verify the conclusion I drew as a result of my analysis. Only thing was, they banged on the door again before I got to the window and damn near stopped my heart, so instead of peeking through the blinds to see the FedEx truck in front of the house, I ran to the bedroom door, flung it open and called out at the top of my lungs, “I’m coming, you moron!!!”
And then I trotted down the 15 stairs (I know there are 15 because I count them every single time I ascend or descend them. Been doing it for more than 20 years now. What? No, I’m not OCD … I just need to make sure nobody snuck an extra in on me!) and peeped through the peekie hole in the center of the door. Only, all I saw was the evergreen branches from our Christmas wreath. Sigh.
Unlocking the door and opening it, fully expecting a smiling FedEx driver on the other side holding anywhere from one to thirteen packages (remember I did all my Christmas shopping online last week), you might imagine my surprise … nay, utter shock … to see a local yokel (our affectionate name for the country sheriffs and deputies) accompanied by two men in dark suits and dark glasses.
Heart stops … begins re-boot process during which time all I can do is stare and say … huhhhhhhh?
I’ve been telling a few friends for a while now that this was inevitable, but … thing is … I was joking!!! I never really believed that me, a nobody, would come under scrutiny of … gulp … the Men In Black! As I had been trotting down the 15 stairs just seconds earlier, it had briefly occurred to me to run into the kitchen right quick and grab my solid wooden 18-inch long rolling pin, but so convinced was I that it was only the FedEx driver … oh, how I wished I had listened to that little voice!
The bells in my head were subsiding, my hearing, what little is left of it, began to return, and ‘coherent’ thought began to return. I could see that the shorter of the two men in black was saying something … either that, or convulsing, for his lips were moving.
“Ma’am … is your name Jill Dennison?”
“Um … could you repeat the question? I just got up, you see … heh heh … late night.” (Oh how f***ing brilliant!!!)
“What is your name, ma’am?”
“Um … Grannie”
And at this point, the deputy standing slightly in front of and to the right of the men in black, rested his hand on his gun and said …
“What is your name? Are you Jill Dennison?”
“Yes, and you are … ?”
“I’ll ask the questions here. Do you live here alone?”
By this time, I was getting my bearings and had decided I wasn’t taking any guff from the local yokel, for I knew him from another encounter many years ago. So, I turned to the first man in black and … he had disappeared! The second, the taller of the two, was standing next to his empty spot. Grinning.
“May I see some I.D.?”
He seemed taken a bit aback, and just then I noticed his partner coming around the back of their car carrying … a cage! No way were they putting me in that! Heck no! It was only about 18-inches by 24-inches at most … I am 5-foot 6-inches and weigh 140. They ain’t squishing me into that!!!
“Ms. Dennison … is this your cat?”
And inside was Princess Nala who, it turned out, had escaped when Chris left for work earlier that morning, was found by a neighbor who called the Humane Society.
“I just have one last question”, I said, once the confusion was all straightened out and we all had a slightly strained chuckle over it. “Why are you wearing dark glasses?”
“The glare of the sun, ma’am.”
What you have just read is fiction, just a figment that came to me earlier this evening, hopefully humour, although it wouldn’t surprise me some day to awaken to find ‘Men in Black’ on my front stoop, given my well-documented aversion to Trump. Frankly, I think I’m not quite important enough to set off any alarm bells, but you never know. And for the record, Princess Nala is safe and sound, lying atop her pizza boxes in the kitchen! And please forgive my brief detour from my norm … I promise to get serious after a few hours’ sleep. Assuming, that is, that I don’t awaken to a pounding on the door!