He huffed. He wanted in my house and small talk wasn’t working for him. He was still so close to me I could smell whatever nasty couch he was probably crashing on at night. “He said if anyone cared about protecting the environment it was you, and to definitely come over.”
“Not interested,” I said with a dry face. I stepped back to swing the door closed. “Have a good…”
His hand reached out and stopped the door from closing.
His hand… Reached out… And stopped… The door… From closing…
HIS HAND… REACHED OUT… Oh, you get the point.
“Get the f*** out of here. And get the f*** out of this neighborhood,” I told him, “I am calling the police.”
The last words I clearly heard him say before I slammed it shut were, “Hey, I was just…”
And I put my eye up to the peep hole.
He stood there for quite some time, motionless. Then he looked up at me again through the peephole. My heart raced. “You don’t have to be an asshole!” he shouted, as he reached into his shirt and grabbed his cigs. He pulled one out and lit it up. He didn’t leave the porch. “I just called the police,” I told him. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and dialed the number 911.
“F***ing prick,” he said through the door, and he turned around to leave. “What are they going to do? Arrest me for selling cleaning products?”
He stopped. I turned the deadbolt as quietly as I could. It clicked slightly, I don’t know if he heard it.
Then, halfway down my sidewalk from the place he stood with his cigarette in his mouth, he turned and kicked one of my little garden gnomes.
The cute little one playing the small cello. Or the big violin. I’ve never been sure, which.
It clanked against the concrete but didn’t break. I looked at my phone. Then back out the peephole. He disappeared around the corner.
Suddenly I felt urgency to protect my neighbors from the same creepy thing happening. Instead of dialing 911, I decided to go on a little spy mission to see where he was headed next. I quietly unlocked my door and tiptoed to the end of the walk where I could see his next move. I was just waiting for him to be standing there, ready to squirt his non-toxic chemicals in my face like mace. But he wasn’t there.
I didn’t see him anywhere. I walked to the end of the next sidewalk. No sign of him. I checked all the doorways I could see.
He was gone.
Or maybe Cliff had invited him in.
Or maybe he had just straightway busted down someone’s door, not wanting to be shut out once more.
That was three minutes before I started this post.
I told you.
Just writing this is keeping my heart pumping.
I’m still trying to decide if I should call the police or not. I’m not really sure what they could do at this point.
But hey. It couldn’t hurt. So I think I will.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing