When I first moved from home, my first apartment was a garage apartment in my hometown. For those that don't know what that is, it's an apartment built over a garage.
Usually, a garage apartment was built completely over the garage. Stairs lead to the apartment, and some were fairly large, if the garage was built for more than two cars.
Mine was a little different. It was a single car garage. The kitchen and bathroom were two small rooms on the ground floor. There was an interior stair, besides the outside stair, which had been removed due to age and neglect. The door was still there, but the screen door was nailed shut to prevent unwanted exits.
Upstairs was a small "living room" attached to a just as small bedroom. A small porch was built at the front, which provided an awning over the entry downstairs. I'd sit for hours listening to my stereo, while I built a large drip candle. I couldn't afford a television, so I would mostly just stare, smoke cigarettes and drink a beer, or two.
For the first year I lived there, I didn't have air conditioning, which led to some miserable nights. The typical Summer night in my hometown usually meant humidity near 100 percent and temperatures in the upper 70's. To cope, I'd open all the windows and sit in front of a fan. I'd always close the "door to nowhere" at night, when I went to bed.I eventually placed a small window unit in the bedroom, but that's another story of how I acquired the air conditioner.
When I left to work offshore, I'd close all the windows, lock the doors and make one last check of the refigerator. I'd throw away the milk, which usually wouldn't last, but it was great for teaching friends not to drink straight from the bottle. I broke a friend of the practice after he took a large swig of curdled milk after I had repeatedly told him to stop. I guess I could have warned him, but I didn't. Don't ask me why.
After one week offshore, I returned home, made a trip to the grocery store and finally went to bed. I was exhausted and needed to rest. I went through my usual night procedures, which were to open the windows , close the door to the bedroom and go to bed.
Late that night, thunder woke me from my sleep. A strong thunderstorm was coming and I immediately started thinking of getting up and lowering the windows.
Before I could move, the door to nowhere started opening. It was that eerie slow squeal of hinges and I could see the light from the streetlamp appear under the door. A thousand thoughts went through my mind at that moment. Who was coming in? Who, or what? After all, it was 12 feet to that door. What could be coming in?
I crept from bed and grabbed my machette, which I kept next to my bed. I slowly eased to the door and listened. The storm had now arrived and I could hear rain hitting that side of the house. It was time to do something, although that something wasn't what I really wanted to do. Since there was no escape, I reached for the knob and carefully opened the door. I wanted to be very quiet and surprise whoever, or whatever was in the living room.
As I opened the door, machette in my hand, I carefully looked at the screen door. There was nobody there. I looked around the room; still nobody. I went to the front screened porch; still nobody. I was alone- maybe. I still had to search downstairs. Lightning flashes deepened the shadows. The momentary flashes made the entire episode surreal.
The trip down the stairs probably took five minutes. Every step was measured and checked, so I didn't make any noise. My ears listened for the tiniest of sounds, although the raging storm was making the task difficult. I finally made it to the kitchen; nobody there. Checked the bath; nobody there. I checked the front door; it was still locked.
I started turning on lights, just to verify I hadn't missed something in the shadows and started pulling the windows down to keep the rain out. Eventually I went and examined the door to nowhere. It was locked. Apparantly, when I had left for work, I had pulled the door closed, but it hadn't latched. It was the wind. The thunderstorm had arrived from the right direction, with the right strength - at the perfect time.
I didn't sleep well the rest of that night, even though the storm had brought a welcome cool breeze. I was still on edge and had to keep one eye open...just in case.
In Case You've Wondered
My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.
If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com
One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.
I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.