After class last night, I had a missed text message from the Southerner that read: Call me before messing with that shotgun in the bedroom.
Oh, I’ll call you alright, I thought. Call me before messing with that shotgun in the bedroom. Who gets these kinds of texts??
The Southerner is out of town for a few days so he left me a shotgun. Isn’t that romantic? Don’t worry, it’s on safety. In fact, the gesture was romantic in its own way. I’ve had a life long fear of sleeping alone in houses and the Southerner was trying to make me feel safe. It sounds kind of weird when I write it out like that. What’s your phobia? Spiders. What’s yours? Oh, you know, sleeping alone in houses.
When I was single, I purposefully chose my apartment in Atlanta because of its second story placement, limited peeping-tom visibility and seriously heavy steel-framed front door. I have never been able to live my life without thinking this way. It’s called, “Being Hispanic.” Bigger spaces are harder to control. I’m fine during the day, but the minute I get in bed I start to hear every little noise and my entire body goes on high alert. The other night I shoved the Southerner awake, “WHAT WAS THAT?” The ice-maker, go back to bed. “Oh, okay. I’m just not used to having one. It’s distracting.” Not to mention an imminent threat to my personal safety.
My greatest fear is that someone will break into the house where I’m sleeping alone and I will become so paralyzed with terror that I will a) piss myself, b) piss myself and pass out. It’s the not knowing how I would react that really bothers me. If I knew that I was a bad-ass in pressure situations, like say Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I would rest easy. But what if I was more like Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs? A panicky, heavy-breather without night-vision goggles. In normal circumstances she would have been totally fucked.
Maybe now you’re beginning to understand why I was left with a shotgun. (Just in case you really are starting to feel nervous about me, I have actually taken shotgun lessons, including a safety course. And that was all pre-Southerner. Imagine that; we were destined for one another.) Would this be a bad time to confess that I also slept with two knives last night? One under each pillow.
Needless to say, I also turned the ice-maker off.