Saturday, September 15, 2007


I don't like nights when the DNB is on call.

Of course, it's less because I enjoy his company and more that I don't like being alone at night. Yeah, I'm a big baby.

When I was younger, we lived in Panama. Our first year there, there wasn't enough housing on the military base, so we lived in downtown Panama City, on a dead-end street with nice neighbors. But the city wasn't very safe, and Americans were victimized often. We had an alarm system, and my biggest fear was being frightened awake by its shrill siren.

It seemed like it went off regularly. When it did, my dad would prowl the house, baseball bat in hand. Once he discovered that the wires around one of our windows had been cut. I couldn't sleep that night.

When we moved on base, I thought I would feel more safe. Until our next door neighbors had their home burglarized in the EARLY EVENING while they were upstairs. The fear came creeping back. I would lie awake at night, my body tense, each distant sound amplified.

The DNB is remarkably understanding of this particular neurosis, unlike the others which he exploits to annoy me. He has often willingly climbed out of bed to examine the bumps in the night that terrify me.

But when he's gone, I still lie rigid, listening. Anxious.

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