Actually, since it is the desert I don’t have a lawn. It was more like the porch, still last night we had an incident. Maybe it is because it was dark and things are scarier, maybe it is because I watch too many scary movies, or maybe it is because my imagination is still very active, whatever the reason when I saw a man standing in my front yard late last night I almost peed my pants.
It was the end of the night after a long day and we were shutting down the house for the evening. I went to the front window to close the curtains when I saw him. You know how sometimes you’ll make awkward eye contact with someone and you don’t know if they were staring at you first or they just happened to look up at you when they felt you looking at them? Well, I had one of those moments, brief as it was. I was so taken aback I actually felt like for a moment perhaps I was intruding on his privacy. Then I realized, no, no this is not right.
“Babe…Baby…BABE! There is a man in our yard. Just standing there looking at me!”
I do feel bad about that part because there is nothing to say he was looking at me first. And truth be told he may have been walking past the house and the timing was just bad.
Too late though, these thoughts would not help this man now. One of the many great things to know about my husband is his preparedness and need to protect. The moment he saw his lady in danger he jumped into action. My knight in shiny gym shorts.
He crept to the front door, low and silent like a big cat hunting prey. In one swift moment, the gun was out, safety off and held in a careful way but ready at a moment’s notice. He cracked the front door open and peered out, his eyes searching through the darkness.
“I think I see them down by the mailboxes,” he called to me as I hide bravely around the corner with my head peeking out.
There were two of them this is news.
“You know, in hindsight, maybe they were just walking by.” As a person who has always had issues with guns I imagined this scene getting out of hand quickly.
I walked to the front of the house to try and diffuse the situation. I found my husband ducking low behind one of our shrubs, all seriousness on his face.
“Hey, let’s just go to bed. And maybe put the gun away?”
Let me also say that my husband is extremely smart and safe when it comes to guns but that doesn’t mean I want to see them. Ever.
He nodded, stood up and scanned the area before coming back inside. We spent the next five minutes triple checking to make sure all the windows and doors were locked. Anyone with a swamp cooler knows there are potential security breeches throughout the house; cracked windows. Even with bars in them to prevent them from being opened further there is a feeling of vulnerability.
Finally, I went and sat in bed and tried not to think about it. After a while my husband came back into the room.
“Where’d ya go?” I asked realizing he had been gone for a while.
“I was doing a few sweeps of the perimeter, just to be safe.” (If he had sunglasses on he would have taken them off here and peered out into the horizon. Guess who else watches too many movies?)
“Ah. And are we good?”
“Yeah we’re fine. I caught him on our porch though.”
My heart sunk. The yard was one thing, our porch, OUR PORCH, that’s too intimate.
“Are you serious? What did you do?”
“Well first of all he is just a punk kid.”
“Oh,” I said feeling a little silly. I couldn’t even remember a thing about what he looked like. I was too busy squealing like a sissy to remember important details. “How old?”
“Maybe fifteen at the most.”
“Oh.” Now I felt like a real jackass. Still, “What the hell was he doing on the porch?”
“He was trying to steal cigarettes.”
Little back story - neither of us smoke, but we do occasionally entertain smokers, ergo the ashtray on the front porch.
“Ew, those cigarettes are old and have been smoked.”
“Yeah I know, it’s disgusting.”
“Why doesn’t he just steal them from his parents like we did?”
My hubby shrugged, “Who knows.”
“This is really weird. So what did you say?”
“I said, ‘sure you can have them, but I almost just shot you. I better not see you on my porch ever again.’” (At this point I imagine my husband pulled back his non-existent suit jacket to reveal the gun tucked in his waistband.)
He had a little too much fun scaring the crap out of this kid.
“So everything is okay?” The non-emergency police line was pulled up on my phone ready to go.
“It’s fine babe, just the Cigarette Stub Gang.”
It’s weird how violated you can feel just by having a stranger stand on your porch. I can’t even imagine the terror of being robbed (knock on wood). Maybe I am getting old but the whole situation made me freaked out, damn kids.
This morning I saw this guy on my porch too. Apparently it is the place to be.
Unfortunately he is going to grow up to be this.
Current Song: “Gun Has No Trigger” by Dirty Projectors