Who has two thumbs and would be the first dumb bitch to die if this was a horror movie?
Although I’m very careful to lock all of the locks on all of the doors before I go to bed at night, I still experience occasional moments of butthole-clenching fear when I hear an unexpected noise. Furnace kicking on? No problem, that’s 3 hollow knocks and a whooshing sound. Basement dehumidifer? A wheezy rattle that only lasts a few minutes. The dishwasher is a sloshy rumble, the cats eating is, well, cats eating, and until I couldn’t take it anymore and begged ADT to tell me how to make it quiet, the haunted smoke detector/security system was intermittent beeps that could wake a coma patient. These noises I can handle. They’re just the signs that the house is here and has our stuff in it. It’s the unexpected noises that freak me out, like when one of the cats develops super strength and starts shoving around plastic storage containers in the basement or stomping up the stairs like a T-Rex that I get worried.
I used to dream about intruders all the time. When I lived on the east coast, especially, and not just because I had a ghetto apartment where the neighborhood kids learned to pick the janky building locks with sticks. In the dreams, I’d wake up in my own bed to see someone coming through the door. I could hear them before that, opening the front door and coming down the hall and wait with inexorable terror for them to turn the doorknob. Which they did, and when I saw their outline in the doorway I was paralyzed. I couldn’t get up or scream until, of course, I woke up, which I did by screaming myself awake. The dreams continued through to my last apartment, where they weren’t as frequent but would occasionally jolt me awake. I hardly have them at all anymore; now, I know that any living room noise is likely to be Graham getting home from work, and I sleep fairly soundly.
But last night, I heard a sound in the basement. Thinking back, it must have been one of the cats getting Hulky with something down there. I froze, now completely awake, and stared at my closed bedroom door. Waited for the sound again. It happened. Now, like I said, in my dreams I’m paralyzed when this happened. But last night, I got up. I opened the door. I stood at the top of the basement stairs for a second before I decided that some lights would be nice, so I reached out for the kitchen, bathroom, and living room lights (our house is not a large house), and while doing that, I checked the cats’ regular sleeping spot on the end of the couch. The Cat stared back at me. I’m smart enough to know that if there was an actual intruder, both cats would flee. Under the couch or in the basement rafters are the safe spots, so if someone does break in, it’s unlikely that I would spot either cat immediately. So seeing The Cat on the couch relieved me a little, but those noises in the basement were awfully loud, especially for Izzy, who has issues with touching things that are not the floor or Graham’s shoes.
After I turned on the lights and saw The Cat, I decided that I should probably get a knife or something. And not my santoku knife, either, because you can’t really thrust with one of those. Certainly not Graham’s chef knife, as Wusthofs are expensive and heavy. I grabbed my old chef’s knife, not sharp enough for efficient cooking but probably good enough to use as a weapon. Gripping it tightly, I went back to the top of the stairs and glared down into the dark basement.
Then I did the stupidest thing possible. Leaning forward a little, I called the dumber cat’s name.
Then, not aware of my own stupidity, I said it again. And louder.
Izzy galloped up the stairs, his presence assuring me that there was no intruder and therefore the knife in my hand was useless, but with this relief came the realization that had the moment taken place in a horror movie, I would surely be dead. Instead of turning on the lights and grabbing a knife, I should have gotten the fuck out of the house. Instead of calling for Izzy, I should have gotten the fuck out of the house. Basically, I should have GOTTEN THE FUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE. I mean, I’m kind of proud of myself for not being paralyzed with fear, instead grabbing a weapon and deciding to end a motherfucker who tried to disrupt this house filled with us and our stuff, but ultimately, I’m all of those dumb bitches who get slaughtered in the first 20 minutes of the movie. Seriously. I wasn’t even wearing a bra.