Friday, March 5, 2010

Home Alone, I Think

I'm having a hard time focusing tonight. I always do when I am home alone. Well, home knowing my husband won't be sleeping next to me. I worry. A lot. I think about all of the horrible things that could happen. A fire could start. Someone could break into my house. They could come after me. Or worse, they could go after my children. My husband could be seriously injured or even killed while driving, walking back to his hotel, or just crossing the street.

I don't think about them during the day. There is the pitter-patter of chunky feet slapping against the wood floor. There are dogs begging to be let out only to turn around and beg to come back in. There is the sound of the playing card ticking as the spokes push against it. There are a million things that deserve and require my attention. There are distractions. Constant distractions.

It's not the same at night. It's quiet. Occasionally I can hear the dogs nails clicking against the floor. But otherwise, its quiet. And I hear all of the possible threats that could be there. I hear the refrigerator cooling system kick in. I think it could be the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. Sometimes, my husband forgets to turn off the air compressor in the garage. When it kicks in, I am certain someone unfriendly has entered what is suppose to be my safe place. If the phone rings, I jump out of my skin. It's usually just him calling to see how my day went and to wish me a good night. I check to make sure the stove is off, no candles are burning, and every other ignitable source is turned off.

I start to think about how to get the kids and I out of the house safely. Do we go through the kitchen? Would it be better to lock the kids bedroom door and escape through my son's window? Or, should we sneak downstairs and go out the guest room? I think about how to keep them quiet so no one will know we are attempting to escape. I wonder what I am going to do about keeping us all safe from the elements. It is winter in Wisconsin after all. Will there be time to put warm things on? Will they be available? Do we suffer some frostbite? I think about where we should go for help. Which neighbor will answer the door quickly and shelter us? How do I hide the evidence of walking through the snow?

One of my dogs growled in her sleep. I stopped typing to listen closely for an intruder. There is nothing more. Some whimpering from the next scene of the dream. I feel anxious. I don't dare to type much more.... just in case the sound of the keys being pushed down and released rapidly draws somebody's attention. I need to think about this newest scenario.


  1. Some day when my bed room is cleaner I will show you what I do when I am home alone.

    And when Bill got home late last night he asked me why I left Griffin's door open....

    Well written, I like how you ended it.

  2. Yup, the whole thing definitely fits the paranoid prompt :)

    Really liked the way you put everything in context, giving the irrational fears a rational basis.