As most of you know, there is little that thrills me more than having the house to myself. Not only because it means I can prance about pantless and have crackers for dinner, but . . . no, that's mainly it. Regardless, I was excited when my roommates, Deye, Grmi and their 2 year old son Emmi, took off for a week and left me in charge of their house.
The first thing I noticed, once they'd left, is that things weren't that different. Oh sure, I spent more time upstairs in pyjamas, ordered in more often and went through all their drawers. But the only two major deviations from my normal routine were that:
a) There was no 3 hour nightly Toddler Feeding, Bathing and Bedding ritual; and
b) I was absolutely, heart-poundingly certain that someone would break in and kill me in the night.
I have lived here for nearly a month and the sounds of the house settling in between blasts of the furnace have become as familiar to me as my own tuneless humming on the streetcar when I'm trying to discourage people from sitting next to me. As for the neighbourhood, it's not Beverly Hills, but I have yet to sniff out the local crack house. There's a lock on the front door and it's not like the Hope Diamond is just sitting out on the coffee table. I know that statistically it's unlikely that HOLY CHRIST, FUCK STATISTICS, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??
I knew going in that this might happen. For days leading up to Deye and Grmi's departure, I made sure not to watch crime drama (because we all know no good can come from that) and I also made sure not to eat or drink anything that might keep me awake. It didn't help that whenever I mentioned this irrational fear of midnight marauders to anyone, they came back with a story about how their friend/cousin/work colleague was robbed while they were sleeping. Yeah. Thanks, you guys. You know who you are.
I also made the mistake of borrowing the seventh season of Buffy from my friend Cafa. I don't fear the vampyre, so Buffy generally doesn't freak me out like CSI does ('cause Buffy is a fantasy but CSI - SO REAL). And I must say that the first six episodes Season 7 are generally pretty quirky and hilarious. As for the rest, let me give you a tip - don't watch "Conversations With Dead People" when you're home alone in the night. Not even three episodes of Northern Exposure and a stuffed giraffe can help you settle down after that. But hearing scratching noises and regularly having your system flood with adrenaline, then staying awake until the sun comes up and finally falling asleep while cradling Emma Thompson's Sense & Sensibility Diaries and mumbling "I greatly esteem you, Emma" - yeah, that works.
Also, fortuitously, my writer's block dissolved partway through the week and I was catapulted into the most depressing, co-dependent lesbian part of the play. So when I wasn't vibrating like a tuning fork at every night time auditory experience, I was writing wank, missing my girlfriend and sniffling pathetically. Am I turning you on? Not even Swiss Chalet could console me, although I did keep the rock-hard roll that came with my meal by my bed, in case I needed to wing it at some great evil (or at the rocking chair in the corner - it was looking shifty).
It was a long week, people, and this creampuff was TIRED. So you can imagine my joy when I came home last night and saw my roommates had returned and left the porch light on for me. I started yawning immediately and I slept like a baby.
I don't know why I feel safer with Deye, Grmi and Emmi in the house. Maybe because when they're here, I sometimes come home to scenes like this:
That's Giraffe (or "Dirty Giraffe", as Katr and I call her, as she's constantly spread-eagled and likes to proposition the other animals). It seems that one night after his bath, young Emmi dressed Giraffe up in his best hockey pyjamas. I asked Deye why Giraffe got the good pyjamas and she said "Well, I think that Emmi is aware that Giraffe is a guest. And guests get the good pyjamas." The best part was when I took the pyjamas off and found this:
I don't think I'll ever look at Dirty Giraffe in the same way again.