Wednesday, October 29, 2008

At first I was afraid, I was petrified

The night before last, I had a very vivid, very terrifying dream in which I wandered into a bad area of town and was raped; I woke from the dream well before my alarm, in a cold sweat, with no desire to go back to sleep, and spent the rest of the day with that lingering creeped-out feeling that can come from nightmares.  Pleasant, I know. 

With that feeling hanging over me, I stopped by Walgreens on my way home to pick up some groceries, and, as I was locking up my bike, was approached by a man standing outside.  "Hi, miss, can you help me with something?" he asked.  "Wanna hang out?"

I'm approached outside of Walgreens every time I go, but this is not what I expected. He was serious: "Just for a few minutes, please? I'm really lonely. We could, I don't know, go back to my place and watch TV or something."

Normally I love to help when I can, but common sense plus dream feelings overrode basic pity--is this guy really so desperately lonely that he's hanging around outside Walgreens looking to make friends? That's heartbreaking!--and I made some (true) excuses about having last-minute reading to do, dodged his request for my phone number, and headed home to the safety of my apartment. 

The supposed safety, that is: about an hour later, around 11.30, sitting around doing my last-minute reading, I heard a key in the locked door.  It took me a few seconds to register the noises: wait a second, I live alone, who has a key?  A man walked into the apartment, took a look around, saw me at my desk, staring at him open-mouthed, and said, in genuine apology, "Oops, sorry! Wrong apartment!" He then turned and left, with no explanation of who he was or why he had a key.  

I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something, though I have no idea what:  never sleep again, perhaps?  Fear men? Call the landlady and get my locks changed NOW?  I don't know about those first two--I slept just fine last night and had a lovely chat with a male classmate this morning, so clearly I will survive--but let me tell you, I'm changing my stupid locks.  

12 comments:

Zillah said...

change your locks. don't even wait for the landlady to do it. you can also resort to the absolutely necessary south bend backup: pieces of wood to keep windows closed (per my landlady's instructions).

i also sleep with a hammer or knife under my pillow when i'm home alone. i don't really see myself bludgeoning someone to death, or stabbing them, but a potentially deadly weapon can be very reassuring.

ReaRiahRoa said...

yes, please change your locks. I think we will all sleep better.

Technically as a tenant, you should first ask your landlady to change them but if she doesn't offer to do it today, offer for her ... I'll help you if needed. Have changed too many locks in my house - even still have my extra old door-knobs.

Also, an emergency preparedness seminar I went to, suggested sleeping with a crowbar under the bed. Not only could you bludgeon the intruder (like with the hammer or knife), but you could pry open the door in case of an earthquake.

The universe does seem to be warning you but you'll be fine - I was worried you were going to say that the Walgreens guy opened your door ... I definitely don't want your dream to become a reality.

claire said...

I would be more afraid of your mother's reaction to this post. The one time this happened to me (strange men having a key to my apartment and breaking in when I was sleeping and alone) I waited a full year to share with mine. Luckily it turned out to be funny story and much funnier once I was not living in said apartment.

Also- get a dog. Or come sleep here.

Popok said...

Yikes.

Pinto said...

oh my freaky. er..."happy halloween"?

my name is amy said...

ew, ack!! scary!! nightmare? walgreens guy? and (unintentional) intruder? wtf??

ditto on the locks. what if everyone in your building has the same locks? and you know i'm just down the road. you can always stay with me or i can come over any time.

Th. said...

.

Now!

Diane said...

Thinking I could never live without you by my side. I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key . . ..

You know what your mother thinks about this

But I'm pleased you quoted my favorite dance song

emily said...

whaa! scary. hey, i've been meaning to come visit you; heck, just give me your address and i'll try out my key on your door.

just kidding. i'd get those locks changed, too, if i were you.
(great, now i'm paranoid about mine. an extra dose of cautiousness can be healthy, but i guess it's a fine line.)
anyway, i hope that's the last of your nightmares!

ambrosia ananas said...

Scary! Ditto all re locks, dogs, crowbars.

Lizzie said...

Wow. Um, what can i say that hasn't been said? I'm freaked out, both for your sake and by the sheer idea of it. Locks, crowbar, mace...go!

And the dream sounds horrible. I have the occasional freaky dream, but never anything that traumatizing and nightmarish. I hope last night's pattern holds, and you keep sleeping well.

Annie said...

you better change the locks before i get there or i'll never sleep. in fact, i might not sleep just thinking of you with unchanged locks. your life is going to give me a heart attack, missy.