Last night I’m at home upstairs working on Secret Christmas Present Activities for LB who is with her family celebrating Picture Perfect Welsh Christmas in the wilds of the neighboring rural county Flu—.
I’ve just gotten the IC (which now stands for Insane Clown, as she’s no longer an insolent child most of the time) in bed and am enjoying the peace and quiet of my house when I hear a frantic pounding on my front door followed by furious doorbell ringing. My adrenaline starts rushing and I’m in the midst of fight or flight limbo. That sort of aggressive doorbell ringing communicates emergency/disaster/invasion and my lioness protective nature kicks in. So as to prevent a door breakdown, I run downstairs to the door and looked through the peephole and see my large male neighbor from across the street. something about his demeanor, the frenetic pounding, keeps me from opening the door to him. Also, earlier this year I overheard his sister reaming him in the middle of the night outside their house about a crystal meth habit. That’s probably affecting my fear level, I’m guessing. Without opening the door, I say loudly, Who is it? He says, it’s C—-. I need to talk to you. I say, Can you tell me what about? He says, please can you open the door. I say, No, I’m sorry I’m in the middle of something. He says, Okay. And I think he leaves. I run upstairs, not knowing what to do, but scared. Then I hear more pounding and doorbell ringing. I grab the phone and duck into the IC’s bedroom and lock her door. I call my biggest, butchest, most nearby, closest friend (other than LB who is out of town) and she comes over immediately. The IC at this point is completely confused. She thinks she’s supposed to be in bed asleep. And here I am turning off her fan, calling my friend in front of her and locking her bedroom door. I read her a story as calmly as I possibly can, worried that I’m exposing my Extremely Butch and Strong friend to a potential drug-addled crazy person. I read quickly and no doubt distractedly. Finally, I decide to grab the IC and head downstairs to wait for my friend. A couple of minutes later she arrives and I feel saved. The IC is confused but absolutely tickled to randomly have one of her favorite people show up after bedtime and read her a story.
After the IC goes down for bedtime #2, I pour myself a glass of wine, my superbad butch friend has Maker’s Mark, and we talk for hours. It’s wonderful–not only does she bring my stress level down, but we have a long meaningful philosophical conversation about various things, among them: what the hell took Jodie Foster so long to come out and how should one handle Disney films (mostly fairy tales) when one has a daughter and one is a feminist. We are in agreement that overprotectiveness is not a good solution. She leaves around midnight, then I watch all the documentary info on the making of Mary Poppins to take my mind off worrying and then eventually go to bed at 2 a.m. in all my clothes with my contact lenses on and 2 phones by my bed, paralyzed by fear until I’m paralyzed by sleep.
I’m not as courageous as a person named Kingpin should be. Or, rather, I think I should be tougher emotionally than I am. Less girly, “please save me someone”! I was so immediately filled with adrenaline and panic, so sure was I that an invasion was imminent. The good news is that I was prepared to do anything to protect my child, though, and it was somewhat reassuring to know that I still had a little bit of a practical mind in the face of much fear.
I miss LB and feel even more grateful that she lives with me.