Thursday, September 24, 2009
Date: September 23rd, 2009
Place: The House, Somerville, MA
Knock on the door. Startled, I awaken.
My brain is swimming in dreams, even though I don't think REM sleep starts for another few hours. Logic is muddled. Why is anyone at my door?
This time it's on the glass. More like a scratch. If this is a horror movie, the glass shatters in a moment.
Who is out there?
I don't know I say frustrated. How am I supposed to know who is outside.
I have found my glasses. Slide the curtain to the side, careful not to make much movement. Zombies and robbers are trained to look for curtain movement.
There's a body on the porch. On the stairs. Hunched over. Rocking back and forth.
I need to get to the door. I need to find out who is out there. Is it Liam? Pete?
We don't own a baseball bat. But we should. For times like opening the door to fend off zombies at 2:24 am on a Sunday morning.
I open our door and walk into the hallway. I turn on the porch light. I brace my feet at a 45 degree angle and slide the lock. It pops.
I pull open the door. Slowly.
It turns around. Blood shot eyes. Mumbling.
Hulkj hjkeu u ahjakhtu jaklj oiu , hjaiouortyh.
Poor guy I think.
I don't know what you are saying, Ese.
Did I really just say Ese? It's late. Or early. I don't know. My synapses are misfiring and I might have just made a racial slur. I'm not sure I'm allowed to say that.
Especially to a lost, drunk, tired, scared-looking hispanic man on my steps who either thinks he's at the right place or someplace where someone can help him.
The nuance of Spanglish alludes me.
Well, I'm going to leave this light on. So, in case, you know I say aloud to him, careful to leave off in case you die on my porch.
It's out of my jurisdiction now, kind of. I just rent. If someone is going to be legally responsible for a man passing out, it isn't me. I think morally, though, I signed some kind of contract when I acknowledged him.
At any rate, my eyes are closing as the door is.
Six hours later. The sun is up.
Don't be dead. Don't be dead. Don't be dead.
I open the door. No man. Good. But there's something. Two somethings.
An opened, fully undrank Heinken on the top step. An unopened, banged up can of Heienken on the bottom step. In between them, no man.
That was months ago. The beer has been in my fridge since then.
And was cracked open Wednesday night when we played Mexican train dominos with our friends the Velazquezs.