: knock knock :

Based on experience, I thought it would be an adventure to take a new job in a new city. The people I’d interviewed with seemed nice and they liked my portfolio. The city itself was a college town, home to 43,000 students, but that might be fun. I couldn’t find a downside, I looked. Just not in the right places.

Weeks after moving, there was a knock on my door. It was past ten on a Friday night in January and I didn’t know a soul in town. Curious, right? A voice shouted, “Hello-o-o-o, I’m Laurie, your neighbor.” I opened the door to a blonde woman, early 30s, wearing a black overcoat and inviting me out for a drink. I wasn’t at all interested, it was cold and snowy and dark. My most unfavorite adjectives.She persisted until I suggested we have a drink there, at my place. Her eyes lit up, she licked her lips, and commenced draining my only bottle of liquor. At the halfway mark, she turned mean and sloppy, alternately calling me names and blowing kisses. Toward the end, she embarked on a prolonged crying jag and used up all my tissues.

At four in the morning, my patience exhausted, I handed her her coat and purse and keys and gave her a push. She tottered to the end of the sidewalk, listed to the right, and toppled into a snowdrift. Once she was back on her feet, swaying and mumbling, I went to bed. She returned frequently in the ensuing days, knock knock, but I never again answered the door. I hid.

Turned out my guest was a known drunk, with a reputation for dropping by in a quest for company and liquor. Mostly liquor. The cops knew her, the property manager knew her, everyone in town knew her. Everyone except me, the newbie. I quickly learned what they already knew: she was to be avoided. Something I vowed to do full-time.

My other full-time occupation, my new job, was, hmm, disheartening. I’d never worked anywhere like that; a joyless, rule-bound, dour place. There was no hum of conversation or ringing phones, no bustle of activity or drive of ambition. I still call myself names for completely missing these very obvious drawbacks.

It’s been a year now since I moved away, to this little burg, and my door is quiet. No knocking, no uninvited surprises. And I’ve started giggling again. Those are good signs.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

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8 Responses to “: knock knock :”

  1. Janet NZ

    Wow! You are really brave.
    First, for moving to a new town – I have live in the same place my whole life, sometimes we think of moving, but craven cowardice kicks in, and we stay… so far…
    AND, you opened your door at night, to someone you don’t know! Don’t you know there are crazy people in the world??? (lol, but just a little)..
    I’m glad you’re giggling again – that IS a good sign… and you talk of the new job in the past tense – I hope that means you’ve moved on from there?? XXOO

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  2. Min

    Oh my goddess!!! How can you open your door in the middle of the night to someone unknown and then even let her in. Just thinking about what all could have happened creeps me out. Girl, you just can’t do that! This time she just took your drink and your tissues but it could have been other stuff. *shiver*

    Have a terrific day and be safe!

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    • publikworks

      I might not have opened the door if she hadn’t so cheerfully identified herself as a girl. She was completely harmless, but I may hesitate next time. That was one long, long night.

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  3. Até

    “My other full-time occupation, my new job…” I laughed so hard, I cried. My mum thinks I’m a lunatic now. I’m forwarding this to her.

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  4. Lenore Diane

    So sad. No doubt she knocked on the door of the newbie that replaced you. Yes? Probably.
    Nice to know you are still able to giggle. That’s a good thing.

    Like

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