Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10: Alone and frightened

Write something funny or share something you found funny.

I was 17 years old and my parents had gone out of town…for something or other.  It wasn’t very often that I found myself alone but it was no big deal, or so I thought.  We lived (still do) in a very small town where we rarely locked our doors and never felt threatened.  My older brother lived across the street and down the hill so I wasn’t really “alone”.  I had this!  No worries.

It was somewhat liberating to realize I could do whatever I wanted; eat whenever/whatever, watch anything I wanted to watch on the tube, stay up all night or sleep throughout the next day.  Wait, that doesn’t sound much different than a normal day back then.  Hmmmm.  In reality, I was a little lonely and didn’t quite know what to do with myself.  My girlfriends weren’t available so I had no company.  Back in the olden days we had no internet, no vcrs or dvds and we lived without texting.  I know, it was brutal, but fear not, I did have books.

I went about my day and fixed myself some dinner.  (I bet it was pizza).  I ate dinner while watching something on tv (I had to endure commercials of all things!  Dang, but life was rough!)  My brother stopped by since he had borrowed our dad’s van and was returning it.  He popped in to harass me.  You’d think he’d be checking in on his baby sister, but noooo, I’m certain it was just an opportunity to tease me, which he did with aplomb.  (K2, if you’re reading this, there’s that word again!)

By now it was dark outside.  I finished watching my show and took my dishes into the kitchen.  While standing at the sink, I happened to look out the window and saw something that stopped my heart: there were eyes looking at me out of the back window of the van!  Someone was out there!  I immediately ducked and crawled to the living room.  OH MY GOD, what was I going to do?  Were the doors locked?  I hurried around the house, locking it up tighter than a teenager’s jeans (remember, this was the olden days.  We wore our jeans so tight that we had to lie on the bed to pull them up, unlike the sag you can observe today.)  I have to say, that I don’t think I have ever been so scared in my life!  I called the police.

“Police department, how can I help you?”

“There’s someone in my dad’s van!  I’m home alone and scared.  Would you send a patrol car over now?”

“There’s someone in the van?  How can you tell?”

“I can see their eyes glowing in the window!  He’s looking right at me!  Please hurry!!!!”

I gave her my address.

“We’ll have an officer there as soon as possible.  Just stay calm.”

20 minutes later, a police car pulled up into our yard.  That was the longest 20 minutes of my life.  I kept peeking out the window to ensure that the horrible/evil/determined-to-kill-me stranger was still in the van and not creeping up to get me.  He was still there; eyes glowing out at me from the window of the van.  My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding.  I watched as the officer slowly got out of his car.  Why didn’t he have his gun drawn?  He must be a rookie, oh lord he’s gonna be killed!  He ambled up to the van and shined his flashlight in the windows.  Then he turned and shuffled toward the house.  Is he crazy?  I unlocked the deadbolt, safety chain and doorknob lock and moved the chair/bookcase/footstool out from in front of the door to speak with him.  Wringing my hands and with a shaky voice I said, “Who is he?  What does he want?  Do something!!”

“Ma’am”, (he called me ma’am! Dang, I need to get a new hairdo or something) there’s a dog in the van.”

“Excuse me?”

“There’s a big white dog sitting in the back of the van.  He seems harmless enough.  You might want to let him out.”

With that, he ambled back to his patrol car and left.  I was speechless!  A dog?  Huh?  Wait a minute, my brother had used the van earlier and he has a big, white dog named Oz.  The light was beginning to dawn but I was still all amped up on adrenaline from fear so I slowly crept up on the van and peeked in.  Sure enough, there sat Oz looking forlorn.  I honestly sank to the ground with my hand on my heart.  The relief was fierce, but not as fierce as the anger that began to build toward my blankety-blank brother!  How dare he do this to me…and to Oz!  Poor pooch!  I opened the van door and grabbed Oz’s collar.  My anger and indignation soared with every step I took toward my brother’s house.

Bang, bang, bang!

“Hey Sis, what’s up?  Oz, how did you get out?”

“Oz has been sitting in the back of the van ever since you borrowed it.  I saw his glowing eyes looking out the window and I thought it was an intruder!  I was scared to death and called the police!” (I will spare you the other words that came out of my mouth about then.  They aren’t meant for polite company.)

My dear brother burst out laughing.  He laughed so hard, in fact, that I’m pretty sure I saw a few tears.  He was laughing at me when I had been petrified that I was about to be raped or murdered or worse!  (Wait, worse than rape and murder?  Well, I was upset.)

“Sister, did it ever occur to you that human eyes don’t glow?”

Stupid brother.

Moral: Never assume that the unknown is a bad thing waiting to take your life.  Diabetes can be like that.  We are told that we have this disease that, if left untreated, can take life and limb.  Don’t cower behind the locked door, fearing for your life.  Instead you should face your fears and educate yourself so you can get on with your life.  Diabetes shouldn’t be “the scary bad man in the van.”  It doesn’t have to be a threat to your life if you arm yourself with knowledge and are determined to live a good life, despite diabetes.  You can do this!

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