Was having a very intense and bizarre dream last night when I was awakened by a loud popping/creaking noise. Sometimes if you close a storm door and lock the deadbolt without latching the handle all the way, the latch will snap sharply later of its own accord--that's the kind of sound I heard. I jumped up because I thought maybe someone was pushing on our front door or testing the handle, and I stopped momentarily at our bedroom door getting my shit together (where's the phone, should I just wait or go agressively downstairs, do I have something I can use to clobber someone should the need to clobber someone arise). As I was standing there listening, Cha woke up.
Cha (way too loudly): Geoff!
Me (whispering): I heard something downstairs.
Cha (again, very loud): Are you sleepwalking!?
Me (whispering): I said I heard something...
Cha (even louder): What are you doing!?
Me (whispering angrily): SHHHHHHHHH, for God's sake, shush up!
Cha (whispering now): What, did you hear something?
Me (Rolling eyes in the dark): Well, duh!
Normally she'll sleep through anything short of a nuclear attack. Once when we lived in an apartment the smoke detector short-circuited in the wee hours and was screaming at 100 decibels. Our roommate Shan and I worked diligently to try and shut the goddamn thing up somehow but couldn't, so I smashed it with a hammer. Cha never even heard it, and woke me up the next morning asking why the smoke detector was in pieces. But I guess my sudden spring out of the bed last night shook her despite the Tempurpedic cushioning.
I went to the top of the stairs and heard the noise again, a sharp noise but somehow stealthy, and it was indeed coming from the front door. I envisioned some dude with a backback trying to break in and steal my DVDs--there's really no way to steal much of importance or value and get it out via York Road, but I turned on the downstairs lights from the upstairs hall and pulled on a pair of shorts (why, in the case of fire or potential robbery do people pause to dress?) and proceeded to investigate.
I found nothing downstairs. I heard nothing. I turned on the lights, checked all the locks, and there was nothing and no one outside when I looked.
Then this morning I saw a cigarette butt on the front porch--a Kool. I occasionally will smoke but haven't in months, and I hate menthol, and every day I'm on the porch and I know what's out there--there was no cigarette butt there yesterday afternoon or evening when I came home. I've had a bike stolen out of the back yard, and our neighbors had a break-in five years ago and lost $2000 in CDs and some liquor, and perhaps someone was testing previously fertile ground anew. Being a light sleeper normally sucks, but there are advantages after all.
Hmmmm. I wish we could have a dog, but Cha's allergies won't permit it.