Late Wednesday night, or rather, very early Thursday morning, I was awakened from much needed slumber by the crashing of glass downstairs. I ignored it and rolled over, always happy to reintroduce a cheek to a cool spot on the pillow. Seconds later, I was whacked in the arm by a 6’1” person who hissed sleepily, “What whazzat?”
However. I knew full-well what it was. A burglar had crashed through our patio door and was banging around in the kitchen looking for money, keys, laptops, crack. So I said, “I dunno” and went back to sleep. More rummaging around downstairs. More hissing from the Dude. “It sounded like breaking glass!” I replied calmly so as not to alert him, “Sounded more like plastic to me.” Because that’s better.
The large person I share a bed with harrumphed and went to the bathroom. I considered all possible scenarios, and then decided that it was probably the pony-sized hunting dog scavenging countertops for a bite of something – anything – to eat. When you are 110 pounds of sniffing machine, you must constantly be on the prowl for crumbs. Apparently. I heard lots of labradork clickity clicking steps on the hardwood below which only confirmed my suspicions.
While generally I am not above grabbing a 9-iron and investigating strange noises, this particular night I reasoned that it was the boy’s turn for the following reasons.
1. He was already up.
2. I had to get up at very early the next morning.
3. It was probably the dumb dog anyway.
4. I was extremely comfortable.
So when he exited the restroom I asked him in my very sleepiest voice ever if he’d please go see what it was his dog was up to. There was more harrumphing, but he hiked up his boxers and made the trek downstairs.
Four seconds after he left, I realized that was perhaps not a good idea for the following reasons.
1. What if it wasn’t the dog?
2. He’s not holding a bat or a phone or a golf club or anything
3. How can he fight off a bad guy without his glasses?
4. Geez, woman, have you ever SEEN a horror movie? NEVER split up! NEVER send one member of the party off to the jaws of the monster.
Obviously, then, there was someone evil in our house. I heard the dog walking because the dog was following him around begging, because really? Labradors are not exactly guard dogs. This is when I heard MORE breaking glass. More doggy toenail clicking. And then, a sound that honestly sent ice water through my warm, sleepy veins.
Followed by the back door opening and closing.
And more shoe steps.
And the husband didn’t come back. And then he didn’t come back some more.
So. This is how it all ends, huh? Me, trapped on the second story with the kids while our protector and provider lays dying on the kitchen floor. I bet he struggled. I bet he tried to kick their asses. But a chloroform soaked dishtowel and a broken beer bottle splitting your jugular will take down any man, no matter how strong or determined. I think he said he wanted to be cremated, not buried…I guess I should sprinkle his ashes in his favorite hunting places? Or maybe take them to Alaska. He always wanted to go there and we hadn’t done it. Oh the boys, how will they turn out without a father? I’m going to be a shitty single mom – I have no patience and I really enjoy the quiet created by video games. They'll probably grow their hair too long and date cheap women all because their father was violently murdered in their kitchen. And how will I ever sell this house? It'll be on the news, you know. And everyone will drive by slowly saying, "that's the house where..."
But I didn’t have time to grieve, I had to think of the children. There would be plenty of time for sorrow while I (stood in line at the bank with the life insurance check) saved their lives. I began formulating a plan to quietly get the children out of their bedroom windows and onto the garage roof. Then, I would shimmer down a gutter, break into a basement window, pry open the gunsafe, load a .12 gauge and come back up the kitchen steps and show these mo-fo’s who’s boss. Or I could call the police. Either one. Yeah, actually, I could call the police from the phone by the bed, that’d be good, too.
But you know what? No. Dammit, I wasn’t going to let some hoodlum all jacked up on herion or Ritalin or Miller Lite mess up MY kitchen. Broken glass AND blood? That’s bullshit, man. The cleaning lady won’t be here for two days. I decided to defend my man and my turf. This bastard was going down before he got a chance to find my secret stash of Mexican vanilla.
I donned my glasses and grabbed a miniature World Series commemorative bat from the kid's room. I was going to show that clown what “Rocktober” really meant. I tippy-toed downstairs only to find all the lights on and the Big Dude wearing boxers and Birkenstock clogs and wielding a broom. The kitchen floor shimmered with bits of broken glass. From a drinking glass. That had been on the counter until the pony-sized dog decided there was something behind it that he wanted. Namely, a bowl of bulldog nuggets that we have to keep on the counter overnight for the sole reason that if we don't, labradorks gobble it up.
I put down the bat, put on flip flops and spent the next hour with wet paper towels covering every inch of the kitchen floor.
It was three o’clock in the morning. Which, of course, meant that I had Crystal Gayle stuck in my head, because it is impossible to be awake at three o’clock in the morning and not think to yourself, “…and it looks like it’s gonna be another sleepless night…” and then I was wondering if Crystal Gayle was on her hands and knees on the kitchen floor cleaning up glass shards, would she pile her five feet of hair on the top of her head and would it be hard to balance up there, or would she just let it drag all over, effectively assisting in picking up the glass? And then I decided I should just STAY up because, now it was FOUR o’clock in the morning, and why not.