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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Homeless Man in My Attic - A True Story

Friday, May 17, 2013 By

So, last night, I went to wake Emerson as part of the new no-bed-wetting ritual. It was 2 a.m., and she was like a furious bunny, hopping around in anger. That was fun.

Between her and the now-excited cat, I was wide awake. So I started to go downstairs... only to notice that the attic light was on.

I haven't been up in the attic in weeks. In fact, I've only been up there once since we moved in.

Holy shit. Someone was living in our attic.

I'd heard some weird stomping footsteps a couple of times this last week. I figured it was the cat - except earlier yesterday evening, when I heard them again and both Emerson and the cat were snugggled up against me. Then I figured it was our new neighbors.

Just then, I realized what happened. One day in December, we came home and found the back door open. I called the police, who examined the house and gave us the all clear. But someone HAD gotten into the house. And when we showed up, they hid in the only place they knew: the attic.

Since we never go up there, it's been a good hiding place for that person. A lot of little things have gone missing around the house the last couple of months. A dollar. A steak knife. A container of leftovers I could never locate. Now, it all made sense.

I was too scared to go up there, and didn't know how to call the police and say, "I'm afraid, because my attic light is on. Can you come check it?"

So I sat on the top step ALL NIGHT, with my new battery-operated weed whacker, keeping watch. You know. In case of crabgrass. Whatever. It's the only thing even close to a weapon that I own.

When it was light, and Emerson complained of a sore throat, I made a production of leaving very loudly.

"Let's go, Emerson. The doctor's office will take AT LEAST TWO HOURS!!!!! THEN WE'LL BE HOME AGAIN, AAAAALL DAY!"

Emerson winced at me. "Why you yelleeend, mama?"

I figured, if he hasn't killed us yet, he's just camping out up there. I'll give him a chance to leave, then change the locks so he can't get in again.

And when we got back (she had strep, BTW), I made a big production of putting the Christmas decorations into the attic VERY LOUDLY. "WE ONLY USE THEM ONCE A YEAR, SO THEY'RE JUST TAKING UP CLOSET SPACE, EMERSON."

Of course, Emerson totally didn't give a crap.

Finally, I opened the attic steps. The light glared down at me. But no homeless-man-smell followed. Of course, he could have been using my shower all this time... but when I peeked up over the flooring, no homeless man.

The light was still on. I couldn't find a switch.

"Emerson....? Do you remember where the light switch is for the attic....?" I yelled down to her. She was the one who had so gleefully explored the tall storage space last time.

"Oh, yeah, mama, iss right der." She pounded up the stairs from the kitchen... and flipped the switch on the plate in the hallway by her door. The one for which I could never figure out the purpose. Ugh. Must have flipped it by mistake.

I still don't know where that missing stuff went. And last night, I came home and the electrical breaker box door was open. So now I think there's a homeless man living in MY CLOSET.

I'm going to need someone to come by the house and deliver my good sense. I seem to have left it somewhere.


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