The Back Door Was Wide Open

I must have fallen asleep on the couch. A cool breeze across my legs woke me up. I sat up and wandered towards the back of the house. A utility bathroom was my destination. It is part of a regular route and ritual. Each night I head there to plug my cell phone into the charger and take care of last minute business.

Tonight was no different than any other night. I trudged through the house using my own sense of Radar. Eyes half closed I navigated around furniture and toys. As I got closer to the bathroom I noticed it was progressively getting colder. The change was striking. Initially I thought that it was due to the change in my having just woken up and then I realized that I didn’t just feel a breeze, I could hear it whistling through the house.

The back door was open.

The back door was open and I couldn’t remember having gone through that door. The back door was open and not only couldn’t I remember having used the door, I couldn’t remember anyone having used it.

The back door was open. It was dark and my family lay asleep in the house unaware that our security was compromised. In a heartbeat I went from being a moment away from returning to slumber to being fully awake. I paused for a moment and held my position. In the dark I listened for sounds that didn’t belong.

Soft and purposeful steps took me through the house to check on the children. I didn’t really think that anyone had come inside. I didn’t really think that the evil that lurks in the dark had penetrated the defenses and taken the opportunity to enter, but then again strange things happen.

The dark has been a source of discomfort for me since early childhood. At times the dark has terrified me. It comes from having a graphic imagination. As an exercise in control I have forced myself to walk through the woods without a flashlight just to prove that the hidden monsters I was sure lay out there really weren’t.

Adrenaline pumping I patrolled the interior of the home and looked for someone or something that didn’t belong. I didn’t know how the door had ended up wide open but the fear of what could be turned into anger. If I found that thing, if in the dark of the house I stumbled upon it I was prepared to eat it alive. Inside my home I am the king of the jungle.

It is not cliche or bravado. It is a primal urge, nature driving me to protect my own.

A short time after the discovery of the open door I confirmed that there was nothing to be alarmed about but the uneasy feeling stayed with me. I am wide awake. Here I sit at the computer decompressing.

In the morning I’ll be tired and walking around with a sheepish grin about the door. In the light of the day I am sure that I’ll think I got uptight about nothing, but right now the dark whispers to me and I am not so sure.

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  1. Jack's Shack October 21, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    That teddy bear must need a bath. 😉


    I think that I probably did it. I used it a few times. I must not have shut it completely.

  2. Bill October 19, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    So did you ever determine how the door became open?

  3. fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store October 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    I can see quite well in the dark, but have never been to comfortable in it. Confession time: there’s a teddy bear that’s been sleeping in my bed for almost 28 years now…

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