The topic for this Spin Cycle is FEAR.
I can be a VERY PARANOID PERSON. Sometimes I lay in bed for hours imagining every little noise is someone breaking into our house. When I'm home alone I run over scenerios of rapists and murderers getting in and how I will escape. In fact, one of the reasons I insisted on getting Tyke the night before we moved to Salt Lake City was partially for security reasons. And also he's ADORABLE and SNUGGLY!
I wasn't always this way. I mean, I've always been a little freaky but that's the product of watching too many 48 Hours Mysteries. It really turned into a debilitating fear a couple of months after we moved into our apartment.
It was a holiday for me and I had slept in. Zach was already at work. I was in the bathroom flat ironing my hair when I heard the neighbors dogs on the other side of the duplex go NUTSO. I didn't think much of it because they pretty much rock the casbah whenever someone passes the house.
Suddenly, I heard a sound like a rabid squirrel protecting his nuts. I swung around and realized that the sound was coming from my sweet boxer puppy dog. And he was pissed. And he was facing the back door. I knew someone was there. It wasn't a question. My instincts told me as well as the ferocious growl coming from my dog who simply adores people. Someone evil was behind my side door. And I was terrified.
I started down the hall when "Who's there??" escaped my lips. It didn't sound like me. It sounded like a terrified 9-year-old version of myself. And the sound of the terror in my own voice sent me deeper into a panic. As I rounded the corner and peeked out the window, I beheld a horrible sight. It was indeed an unknown male, standing at my door. In a ski mask. Holding a shot gun. GULP.
I started screaming. I don't know how long I stood there screaming. After a while I dashed down the hall to my phone but it wasn't in my bedroom! I ran back to the living room and dared a glance out the window. The creep was not there but it didn't mean he was gone. I was barely breathing and tripping over my feet. I finally spotted my phone and clumsily dialed 9-1-1.
The operator answered: 9-1-1
Me: Help! There's a man outside my house with a gun!
I couldn't breathe. I was hyperventilating. The operator begged me to calm down and give them my address. A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. Who was this masked assailant? What did he want? Was it the creepy guy that lives on the corner? What would have happened if my beautiful, heroic dog had not alerted me to his presence?
And finally I heard the words I'd been wanting to hear: "Okay, they have him." Then I really started crying. I had barely escaped a horrible death, but I was going to be alright.
After what seemed like an eternity there was a knock at the door. My 9-1-1 operator assured me it was the police. My hand was shaking violently as I opened the door. The look on the female officer's face was one of pitty.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, I think so," I managed. "Where is he?"
"Well, we found him walking down the street about a block away. And the thing is... well... it was just the meter reader for the power company. And the 'gun' you saw was probably just his reading instrument."
Shock. I couldn't believe it. Five minutes earlier I was in mortal danger. And now? Now I was just a silly little girl with a silly overreaction.
But it didn't make me feel any less scared. Maybe he police had made a mistake and the meter reader just happened to match the description of my killer. I was still on high alert. In fact, that night was the first in a number of sleepless nights. I would lie awake and shake violently every time I heard a noise. Every bump or creak was the real villain coming to finish me off. It was getting to a ridiculous point and I was pretty much having panic attacks every night. I finally just told myself that if someone was about to break in that Tyke would alert us. Also, my neighbor gave me a club to keep under my bed. They use these clubs in Africa to kill lions so that was reassuring.
So I do know what it's like to be gripped by fear. Even if it is just the scary meter reader from the black lagoon!!
with love, aloicious