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[personal profile] titusnowl
my first apartment was really small, at least by the standards of living space observed in texas - there was a bedroom, a bathroom, a galley kitchen and a "main room" that had enough space for a dining table and a sofa and a television set. the way it was laid out, the wall my bed was pushed up against was half an interior wall shared with the living room, and half an exterior wall on the other side of which was the walkway where you'd stand while unlocking the door.

since it was my first time living alone and i have anxiety issues, i was always really careful to lock every single lock when i came home, and i always checked them before i went to bed: there was the lock that was controlled by the door key, and a second deadbolt that could only be accessed from inside, and a chain. the two deadbolts' locky-turny-things would end up perpendicular to each other once they were fastened, which made it easy for me to tell whether it was locked properly at a glance, but i'd always have to check and test it manually anyway, because of those anxiety issues.

one night i was in bed and i woke up because i'd heard a noise. i rolled over and tried to just fall back to sleep. hearing noises wasn't unusual - the apartment was in a pretty big city, and i grew up in a very rural area. the normal city sounds of traffic and such weren't normal to my ears yet, so i'd get woken up easily. no big deal.

then i heard someone messing with my door.

there was the slide and click of a deadbolt turning, and then the jingling thump-thump-thump of someone trying to open a door that was still locked.

i happened to own a metal baseball bat, and i got it out of the bedroom closet as slowly and quietly as i could, and then i chickened out - i couldn't bring myself to leave my bedroom. the living room window had a view of the walkway outside the apartment, and did not have curtains - i never did get around to buying any for that apartment; very bachelor-living. while going out there would let me look out to see if there was, in fact, somebody outside my apartment (probably just somebody who had the wrong apartment - maybe they were coming home drunk and were trying to unlock the wrong door, i told myself) it would also let anyone out there see in, because the venetian blinds didn't close all the way. i felt safer just waiting inside the bedroom, listening until whoever it was went away.

there was no more noise after that, and eventually i managed to fall asleep, still holding onto my baseball bat.

the next morning i woke up and went into the living room, where i found that, indeed, one of my deadbolts had been unlocked.

the one you could only access from inside the apartment.

(what i figure happened is i was only HALF-asleep for the first part, when i heard the noises, and the whole thing was influenced by anxiety - part of me remembered that i hadn't locked the second deadbolt, and so i freaked out in a dream state.)


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titus n. owl

February 2015

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