“OPEN THE DOOR! POLICE!!”
It was a little after 1:00AM. I had just settled in for the night. I was in my living room at my computer, face washed and bangs pinned back on my forehead, face cream set and lights off. I was sitting in my bathrobe, ready to check some e-mails, when I was startled by a loud banging on my door. I heard a muffled voice shouting at me from the corridor. “OPEN THE DOOR! POLICE!!” I froze. What could the police possibly want from me at this hour??? I had just been out to the garbage and lingered near the stoop longer than usual… But, is that really grounds for a probation violation?! Could it be such a grave offense that it went over the head of my probation officer and was sent directly to the police with an order to take me in with no delay, by force of arms??! It seemed that these people were out for blood tonight.
I stood up and tip-toed to my door. The voice hollered again, “POLICE!! OPEN THIS DOOR!!” I looked into the peephole. It was blocked. The person on the other side was blocking his image. I called back, “Remove your finger and show me your badge.” A tense moment passed in what seemed like forever. I felt my breathing change. I grimaced and my imagination ran wild with different versions of horrible that might be on the other side of the door…
I stayed at the peephole. The finger moved, and I saw my friends Kim and Daniel holding up a bottle of wine and some food. “It’s us!!” They erupted into friendly laughter. I opened the door and saw their smiling faces fall after taking in my appearance. Kim looked uncomfortable. “Oh. Um. Were you asleep? We just, uh, figured you’d be awake. We knew you’d be home… Are you okay??” I hugged them with relief. Despite the initial alarm of their prank, it was good to see friends, no matter the hour. (And yes, okay—I AM usually awake at this hour. And I am home.)
We turned the lights on and got busy in the kitchen, Pandora in the background, pots and glasses out, conversation on. My single apartment came to life. I genuinely enjoy being alone, but when good friends are here, especially as a pleasant surprise, it can be a welcome deviation from my norm.
My recollection of the evening, after a certain point, is blurred. I was, after all, tuckered out from working. I remember having a good time through the night, then—nothing. I awoke the next morning on top of my covers. I groggily came into consciousness. The evidence around me suggested that I’d passed out before my guests had left. Always the perfect hostess. The crux of evidence to support my theory was the fact that when I woke up I realized that I was plugged into an outlet. I moved my foot and felt a pull on it, then saw that my ankle bracelet was hooked up to a long charging cord that led to the nearest wall. I suspected this to be the handiwork of Kim. My friends take great amusement in my obligation to plug my ankle bracelet into a wall to charge its battery twice a day. Kim told me later that day that she “didn’t want it to power down in the middle of the night,” so she took the precaution of plugging me in before leaving. Now, that’s a friend.
121 days to go.