Thursday, January 28, 2010

It’s Not That I Am a Fraidy-Cat

Well, maybe I am. A little bit.

For the next few weeks, Todd will be on what I call the Great American Nerd Tour 2010. He will visit something like 10 cities in the next 3 weeks or so, and then he’ll go to Vegas for a conference sometime in February. (I can’t remember when, and I really should pay better attention.) While he's traveling he has lots and lots of meetings schedules where he'll talk about technological things that contain lots of initals and lots of acronyms. 

On Sunday night we came home from Kalahari. I unpacked the suitcase, and on Monday morning he re-packed it and headed back to the airport. He hopped a plane to San Diego. When he was done evading IT groupies as they threw undergarments at him (held together by duct tape), he flew to San Francisco. Then on Wednesday hopped a red-eye back to Providence and stumbled into work on Thursday morning.

I’d been alone in the house since Monday. I enjoy being alone, and used to live alone before I moved in with Todd at the ripe old age of 24. I look forward to having the place to myself for a few days, so long as the lights stay on. But now that I am so used to living with my big strong man, the bliss of being alone for a few days is slightly tainted with trepidation.

I mean, any psycho could be hiding out in the woods that surround my house at any given moment. And surely that psycho will have a freshly sharpened axe. And that psycho will know enough to bring steak bones for the dogs. Hell, my dogs would settle for a tennis ball as payment and grant anyone access to the house. The psycho isn’t psycho enough to kill my dogs, just me.

On Wednesday morning before I left for work (on time, thank you very much) I put the dogs out the front door. I walked out with them. Of course, they caught the scent of something and walked around the back. I followed them through the gigantic puddles that formed back there from the snow melt and recent rain. They finished their business and led me up the deck stairs, where I saw wet foot prints leading up the stairs to the back door. I hadn’t walked on the deck at all that morning.

Let me say this again. There were wet foot prints leading to my door. And they weren’t mine. My heart pounded in my chest. Was it the psycho with the tennis balls and the freshly sharpened axe? I frantically scanned the tree line around the house for evidence of the psycho. Then looked back at the foot prints. The tread didn’t match my “dog chasin’ shoes.” (Yes, I have a pair of shoes devoted to this purpose. I can slip them on quickly when they bolt, and always leave them by the back door. Next to them are my Crocs, that I wear when we walk to the hot tub from the door.)

I opened the back door, which I hadn’t locked the night before when I went to bed. I thought my hands were shaking, but it was actually the dogs nosing at them demanding treats for coming straight home after pooing. I stepped onto the deck again and looked at the foot prints. I bent down and traced them with my fingers.

They weren’t wet. They were frozen. Wet shoes had made these tracks at one point and the surface of the deck was so cold that the pattern froze. I examined the tread pattern and compared it to my dog chasing shoes and confirmed they didn’t match. I went back to the boot tray, just inside the door, to look for a more logical explanation. My paint splattered Crocs sat in the tray.

The night before I’d worn my Crocs instead of the dog chasin’ shoes. I had unlocked the back door and let the dogs out. They took off down the trail behind the house, and in the dark I splashed through an ice-cold puddle near the chicken coop as I chased them. I cursed my choice of footwear as the water penetrated the holes and drenched my socks. Once I lured the dogs back to the deck, the Crocs sloshed and squeaked as I walked.

I picked up one of the Crocs and held it near the frozen foot print. A perfect match.

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Blogger Taoist Biker said...

You officially had me freaked the hell out for a minute!

January 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Well, I was officially freaked out for more than a minute. I had to share the love.

January 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger The Creeper said...

Holy crap! That had the hair on the back of my neck standing up. I would have freaked and I'm not a fraidy cat.

And I've got to add, the other night Bill and I went to trivia with my co-workers. We left his son and a friend home with the dog and the cat. We were only gone a couple hours. On the way home, Bill seemed to be driving exceptionally fast. I looked at the speedometer and he was doing 55 in a 30. I mentioned it and he slowed down and then said he had some weird, random feeling that someone was lurking about our house and there were no adults at the house. While he rationalized the dog was there, his foot didn't get the message and just kept pressing down on the gas.

So freaky!

January 31, 2010 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

There's just something about that feeling, BW. Nothing you can say or do will talk you out of it, either. It's exactly the feeling I have when Todd's away.

Funny, I felt safer in our old house. And we had all kindsa riff raff around there.

January 31, 2010 at 11:50 AM  

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