I Was Home During a Psycho Intruder’s Break-In Attempt, and I Survived

I recently spent a week reading Augusten Burroughs’ classic memoir Dry, which, in a nutshell, is a humorous yet very dark account of his experience recovering from alcoholism in NYC.

(Side note: After using the phrase “in a nutshell” just now, I was reminded of that scene in Austin Powers where what’s-her-name-with-the-machine-gun-boobs was all, “That’s you in a nutshell, Austin, isn’t it?” and then he was like, “No. THIS is me in a nutshell: HELP! I’M IN A NUTSHELL. HOW IS THIS NUTSHELL SO LARGE?” and I legitimately laughed out loud, which was fun for two seconds but then became highly embarrassing because I’m currently writing this post from a crowded train.)

Also during the week in question, I dealt with a literary rejection (the aftermath of which led me to impulse-buy a two hundred dollar toothbrush, because that’s how I do), suffered from a debilitating cold, and had like, three existential crises in a period of ten minutes after watching The Life of Pi.

So by the time I went to bed on Friday night – after drinking probably about a third of a box of wine, which, yes, I just said “box” right now, because economy – I was in a pretty dark mental space. I was basically Dakota Fanning’s evil, Volturi, capable-of-inflicting-pain-with-only-her-thoughts character in The Twilight Saga. (This comparison works on multiple levels, by the way, because I had purchased and worn a sweater with an inexplicably large hood just like hers that week, too.)

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Or maybe I’m more so that creepy dude from The Da Vinci Code. Or maybe just a Franciscan Friar? No. I’m Dakota.

Anyway. So I’m in bed, right? And I fall asleep pretty easily, because wine. It’s one in the morning, let’s say. I’m dreaming about, I don’t know, Jafar from Aladdin naked in a cold prison cell (because dark), and getting closer and closer to REM status with each passing minute.

Well, about three hours into this cycle I was abruptly awoken by an insanely loud banging noise coming from my front door. It sounded like POUND-POUND-BOOM… POUND! BOOM! POUND-BOOM!  And then BOOM again. And so on.

At this point, I was all delirious and like, “Whaaa…t?” (When really I should have probably just stayed in character as Jafar and screamed “WHO DISTURBS MY SLUMBER?!” …That was Jafar, right? As the Cave of Wonders? Or am I getting Aladdin all wrong? Steven, can you help?)

I slowly got up and made my way toward the door, but stopped about ten feet shy of it, because that’s when the handle started violently shaking from the outside in conjunction with the aggressive banging, and I realized that there was a crazy person there trying to pull a Miley and come in like a wrecking ball.

At first I was all, OH MY GOD, IT’S A PSYCHO MURDERER COME TO MAIM ME IN MY SLEEP. But then I was like, Wait. Clearly this person wants to be heard. Maybe I know who it is. But then why isn’t he or she yelling, “Nic! Let me in!”?

I checked my phone to see if any friends (or, let’s be honest, ex-boyfriends) had texted me with something about how they were drunk and in crazy mode and stranded in my town, but there was nothing.

Upon deciding that it was indeed a stranger, I really wanted to go look through the peephole. But then the thought of possibly creating a shadow at the crack of the door, which would indicate to the intruder that I was home and standing right in front of them, was frightening. So I just stayed where I was, bewildered and scared and a little ready to run to the bathroom and hide in my shower while pitifully crouching with a bottle of shampoo in one hand and a toilet plunger (I lack a baseball bat) in the other.

But then the banging and handle-shaking came to a sudden halt, so I waited a few minutes and tip-toed my way to the door to surreptitiously get a view of the hallway. I did consider that Crazy Pants McGhee might still be there, diabolically waiting for me to creep up and put my face up to the peephole so that he or she could creep up and put his or her face up to the peephole, with like, his or her one eyeball (all eerie and fish bowl-like) giving me a cursing look while he or she let out an evil/threatening/maniacal laugh, but I decided to take my chances and hope that he or she in fact wasn’t the Joker from Batman.

(Side note: Can we talk about how incredibly sick I am of saying “he or she” right now? I really wanted to just say “they,” but I think that’s grammatically incorrect. Right? I suppose I could have just arbitrarily chosen a gender for the sake of flow and ran with it, but I feel like, in terms of offending people, that’s a screwed-either-way situation.)

When I finally looked through the peephole, I saw that the psycho intruder was still there. Except ON THE FLOOR, LIKE, SLEEPING. All I could really make out was the back of his or her red coat. And the fact that he or she was basically in the fetal position.

As bizarre as this was, though, it didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have.

In fact, it gave me enough comfort to be able to be like, Okay, I guess if my psycho intruder is going to bed, that means I should too, and so I did. And then I woke up six hours later, and he or she was gone altogether, leaving me incredibly relieved that the nightmare was over but also confused and somewhat dissatisfied with the lack of a resolution. It was akin to what I imagine sex with Newt Gingrich might be like.

When I started telling other people about this experience, I realized that my reaction was totally not as extreme as it should have been and I probably should have called the cops. But who thinks of these things in the heat of the moment? (Normal people?)

In retrospect, I think what happened was the result of one of the following possible scenarios:

  1. Someone who lives in my building was severely intoxicated and/or on some really good drugs and thought they were actually locked out of their own apartment.
  2. Someone who is involved in a highly illegal international drug ring was given my address as a fake from someone who owes them money, and so this was a drug lord’s suburban crony coming to collect. (Think Piper’s ex-lesbian lover from Orange Is The New Black, except more violent.) This would explain why she staked out my front door after failing to break in, but it would not explain why she vanished in the morning without notice.
  3. Remember that married guy I made out with a couple months ago? I suppose it could have been his wife dramatically seeking retribution.

Or maybe my dark energy from the preceding week’s events sent out a negative frequency signal to the universe and simply drew this entire experience right to me, and so the whole thing was just a big testament to the importance of staying positive and light.

You know what? I should probably burn that Dakota Fanning sweater.

 

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I Accidentally Made Out with a Closeted Married Man, and Now I’m a Hot Mess

First and foremost, I feel the need to assure you that the events I’m about to recount actually took place. Like, in real life. Which you’ll soon realize is insane because one) I have already written extensively on the subject of falling in love with hot suited strangers during my daily commute on the Metro-North train, two) I once even blogged about a fantasy sequence in which I made out with one of them but he ended up being married, and three) that is somehow EXACTLY what happened to me last Friday night, in real life. IR-fucking-L.

There’s a lot to discuss here, so let’s just start from the beginning.

It was the end of a long week, so naturally I went out for post-work Sangria in the city with one of my best girlfriends. One pitcher turned into two, and before I knew it I was a little tipsy on a late-night train back to Connecticut. The train was delightfully empty, so I got cozy in a four-seater all by myself and prepared for the fifty-minute ride home.

Then he showed up. Hot businessman guy. He was wearing a grey pinstripe suit, fancy watch, and (according to my tipsy-goggles, at least) was ruggedly handsome – kind of like Brandon Walsh from 90210. Except manlier. And thirty-something. And, again, in a suit.

I took about five seconds to observe and appreciate his hotness, texted my friend something like “OMG, this man on the train is my everything,” glanced his way again, and then went back to staring at my phone (lest he catch me looking at him and interpret my stalkerish gazes as reason to desert me and switch to another train car that wasn’t crawling with predatory gay bloggers).

As we pulled out of Grand Central, the conductor came on the intercom and was all, “Please make all seats available,” and then the hot businessman opened up a roadie Coors Light, took a swig, and responded (to everyone and no one), “Uh, the train is empty!”

In my mind: He totally just opened the floor for conversation!!! Should I respond? I should definitely respond. No. That’d be weird. Wait, but he was weird first to even make the empty train remark to begin with. OK I’m doing it! No. YES. NO. Yes.

Out loud: “I know, right? The train is so empty!”

To my surprise, he looked my way and smiled warmly as I mentally congratulated myself for being capable of putting words together quickly enough to respond to his declaration. (Even though, let’s be honest, all I did was say exactly what he said except with a “so” in front of it.)

From there, we engaged in a bout of small talk about our commutes (we live in the same town, turns out!) and jobs (we work in the same part of the city, turns out!) and interests (we both watch football, turns out!).

While all of this was going on, I started developing the hopeful feeling that this guy was maybe gay, maybe into me, and maybe meant to be my husband. I mean, why else would he be so friendly? But then I told myself, “No. Calm yourself down, Nic. This dude probably thinks he’s just having a man-to-man discussion about Eli Manning and meanwhile you’ve let your mind go to that ‘ohmiGod is he gay and in love with me?!’ place in not even five minutes. GET A GRIP.”

After a few moments, we reached a lull in conversation. And then some random ass creepy guy in a black trench coat showed up out of nowhere and took one of the seats directly in front of me in my four-seater, despite the fact that there was a whole train car of empty seats available to him! James (the hot businessman guy — fake name, FYI) and I immediately exchanged glances to acknowledge how bizarre this was.

The creepy guy must have realized that James and I were telepathically discussing his weirdness (or maybe he just had to pee), because he abruptly got up and went to the bathroom, leaving me alone to wait for him to return and maim me take his seat back.

But then.

Like a knight in SHINING fucking ARMOR, James got up, swooped over into my four-seater and asked, “Would you like me to sit here instead?”

And so of course I said, “Yes!” and officially moved on from the “ohmiGod is he gay and in love with me?!” place into the more confident “My life is a romantic comedy and James and I SHALL BE MARRIED AND THIS SHALL BE THE STORY WE TELL OUR ADOPTED CHILDREN’S CHILDREN!” place.

For the remainder of the ride home, James and I talked. About our educations, occupations, hometowns, hobbies, and dreams. At one point I told him how I was working toward becoming a full-time writer and he responded with, “That makes sense; you give off a crazy-creative vibe,” and I had to pinch myself to ensure that I wasn’t just train-hallucinating this whole situation.

When we got to our stop, we walked off the train together.

“Alright,” I said as we approached the escalator, “I guess I should get on my way. Got a bit of a walk home.”

Then James was like, “Do you want a ride?” and I was like, “Yes!” (Because an exclamation-pointed “Yes!” had clearly become my go-to answer to any and all of James’ questions that night.)

I know what you may be thinking: Nic just accepted a ride from a stranger? Is he fucking nuts?!

Yes, I did. And yes, I am. And this is why hot people are dangerous. Because had this dude been gross looking or even just average, there’s no way I’d have said anything other than, “No, thanks.”

Still, as we walked to his car, there was a small voice inside of me that was like, “Uh, Christian Bale in American Psycho, Nic. He was hot. He wore a suit. And he killed bitches!” But I was able to quiet it down by asking James flat-out, “You’re not a crazy American psycho, are you?”

He just laughed adorably and said, “No! Trust me, you’re in good hands. I never do this. At all. Is this weird? This is weird. But I feel comfortable with you.”

And so we hopped into the car and continued talking for the duration of the ride to my apartment while our hands almost touched on the center armrest and I realized that I still didn’t have any conclusive evidence of his gay or straightness. There was a part of me that truly wondered if James was just a really nice straight man doing me a favor… but then there was another part of me that wanted to believe we had been flirting all night long.

Either way, when we finally got to the front of my building, I didn’t want to say goodnight. I considered inviting him up to my apartment, but then I was like, “WHO ARE YOU?” (to myself, not him) and instead settled for exchanging cell phone numbers with the intention of hanging out on purpose sometime soon.

And then.

I thanked him for the ride and reached out to shake his hand goodbye.

AND THEN.

He leaned over and went in for a kiss!

And so before I knew it, I was living in a dream and we were making out. And y’all — it was good. This man clearly knew what he was doing. Which is why it was so jarring to me when he abruptly stopped mid-make-out, said, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” and freaked the fuck out.

“What?” I asked, acting as if everything about this whole situation wasn’t bizarre enough to begin with.

“I don’t do stuff like this,” he nervously responded. “I’m married.”

So then my heart kind of casually just stopped, no big deal, and I said, “Wait. You’re married?” [Dramatic pause.] “To a human?”

“A human, Nic?” he replied. “Yes. I’m married to a woman.”

Jaaames!!!” I whined. “WHY?”

And then I punched him. (Playfully and on the chest, but still.)

He proceeded to apologize for not telling me about his wife before kissing me, and then he got this really sad look on his face, and for a second my heart felt incredibly heavy for him. Because I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be trapped in a straight life and married to a woman and have to deal with inner demons and family pressures and tempting little hot pieces of ass like me just occupying four-seaters on trains on Friday nights.

But then I felt more bad for his wife, because I’m friends with quite a few women and I know for a fact that none of them want their husbands to be repressed gay men.

But then (and maybe I should be ashamed of this?) I felt mostly bad for me. Because seriously, WTF? I meet this perfect-in-every-way man — the old-fashioned, technology-free, just-like-in-the-movies way, even! — and we hit it off tremendously, and he’s the most passionate kisser in the history of the world, and then he’s somebody’s husband? How did I forget to check his left hand for a ring? How did he think it was okay to pursue me in the first place? Do any quality, available men even exist anymore? WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE?

After about thirty awkwardly silent seconds of sitting in James’ car post-wife-confession, I decided to just start making out with him again. This was desperate and not okay, I know. But again: his kiss. It was delicious. Delicious and forbidden and sexual and hot. And I knew that he was a very dangerous person to even think about getting involved with, but I wanted to pretend for just the shortest moment that he was good and genuine and mine.

And so we kept making out in his car for about ten more blissful seconds, but then — and I think this may have been my conscience resurrecting itself from the low-self-esteem-y grave I’d just dug for it — I started wondering what his wife’s name was and what she must be doing and what she might think he was doing and what her Pinterest might look like. And so I finally mustered up the strength to say, “Dude. This is fucked up. We can’t do this.”

“You’re right,” he replied, not fighting me at all. “I understand if you want to just lose my number. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” I sighed. “It’s fine.”

Then I got out of his car, walked up to my apartment, and aggressively slammed my bag against the floor in a fit of rage. I ran to my window to see if his car was still on my street, but he had already driven off. Regardless of all the reasons not to, I wanted to call him right then and there to ask him to come back so we could try and recapture whatever the hell it was we had both just discovered and lost, all within the past hour.

But then I walked into my bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and realized that I really, really needed to take his advice — and just lose his number.

2014 UPDATE: We ran into each other at Dunkin’ Donuts and it was weird.

 

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