Face at the window

I clearly need to find new things to occupy my small brain, but this column of Charlie Brooker‘s has lain there, quietly nagging, since – well, since 12 May 2006, evidently. I always used to think I could never live on the ground floor because of my stupid fear of someone lurking outside. The house I grew up in was surrounded by quite tall hedges and I used to get the creeping willies every time I was the last one up and went into the kitchen with the blinds undrawn. What if there was someone there? ARGH! And the door was in the lee of the garage, so letting the cat in at night was done oh-so-very-quickly in case an axe murderer came rushing round the corner…

And then there was the night I managed to scare myself silly at university, when the rustling I’d heard during the day and assumed to be one of my housemates fiddling with an electric socket became, at night, an axe murderer (why are they always axe murderers? Why not a sawn-off shotgun murderer? Maybe because an axe murderer has to lurk in the shadows to creep up on you to get close enough to chop you down with the axe, whereas the shotgun murderer can do the deed from a fair distance away. You’d probably never even see the fucker) – anyway, the rustling became an axe murderer climbing around on the dormer roof. For two hours. Which is logical. It was almost a relief to finally see the mouse.

But now I live on the ground floor and there’s nothing. I can’t actually see into the garden from the back door cos it’s on a side return, so when I let the cat in there could be all manner of axe murderers skulking in the shadows and I wouldn’t know. But I don’t think about it. (Alright, I only think about it a little bit.) And then last night, lying in bed, I heard footsteps coming up the path (in retrospect, probably the neighbour’s path), the squeak of the gate (probably the neighbour’s gate), the thunk of the wheelie bin lid (probably the neighbour’s wheelie bin) and a rattle of the front door (definitely the neighbour’s front door). And I was back again in the realm of the axe murderer, wondering if it would be easier to get into the living room and barricade myself in there to call 999 from the landline, or to stay in the bedroom and try and get the bed across the door while I waited for my mobile to switch on fully.

You’ve got to have a plan. Otherwise the axe murderer will be straight in, chopping you into little pieces while your cat looks on.

Or, the taxi dropping off the neighbour will just drive away.

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2 responses to “Face at the window

  1. Amy March 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Just read the Charlie Brooker article, and I have to say the mirror thing is what gets me! I blame too many playground rumours and ghost stories.
    Interesting how you tend to be either an axe-murderer fearer or a something-spooky scaredy-cat.For me, axe-murderers not so much a problem. I put miscellaneous noises down to the cat. I’m much more worried when the cat suddenly starts watching something move around the room that I can’t see…

  2. Rachel March 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Ooo, the cat thing used to freak me out as well – when we had Felix. He used to stare at random patches of air all the time… notably at night, in the kitchen. Damn him. I think he fed off my fear. Elgar doesn’t really stare at anything, though he can be fascinated by a tile in the loo that’s at his nose height. When I’m on the loo.

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