Living alone is awesome on so many levels. Mostly it’s awesome because if I feel like leaving my vacuuming for four weeks I can, and if I feel like obsessively cleaning and arranging then I can. Also there is no judgement for being caught naked in the kitchen drinking milk right from the container.
However, Living alone – in the middle of rural nowhere – is kind of not so awesome in one respect: NIGHT TIME.
Here’s thie thing: I have a slight tendency to think that axe murdering serial killers are after me for no real reason at all. And by ‘slight tendency’ I mean I check behind the shower curtain every time I use the bathroom, just in case there’s one laying in wait.
So when it comes to bed time the cat and I make sure that my house is locked up, and then go to bed. I always leave a window open for the cat, in the conservatory, with a sliding door open but locked in place with a piece of wood. The gap is wide enough for a cat to get through or, for example, the beefy arm of a machete wielding maniac, but narrow enough that the torso of an escaped convict (who has climbed into my conservatory through the open window) would remain safely on the other side of the flimsy glass.
In case it’s not clear yet, I tend to think of home security like a video game, where hordes of maniacs, and violent killers are laying siege to my remote farm cottage.
Then I go to bed. The cat follows me, usually, which is good, because this is the point where I get REALLY paranoid. If the cat does not follow me, then he tends to make vaguely scary noises in the lounge. Like when he scrapes his food bowl across the kitchen. Or moves the curtains. Or howls like a mournful child-ghost (that noise, by the way, is why I have to leave a window open at night – because when he wants to go out at 2am he makes that noise, which pretty much is scary enough to catapult me up out of bed, into fetal position on the ceiling.)
The next bit of the paranoia, is where I lie in bed, and imagine all the ways a serial rapist could get into the house. It’s like counting sheep, but less fun.
Then the noises start. My house makes creaky noises that people always call the house settling. I don’t know why it needs to settle. It seems pretty settled already – I mean it’s been there 20 years. How much more settling could a house need? A lot, apparently.
Sometimes I’ll get up and re-check that I’ve locked the sliding doors. Then I’ll go back to bed and calculate how long it would take for police to respond to a call. I figure 20-30 minutes – 15 if I’m really lucky and there’s someone patrolling State Highway 58. Then I wonder if perhaps I should get back to regular Taekwon Do training. I don’t imagine I’d be very good at a 20 minute sparring round with a knife-carrying serial killer right now. I mean, I get puffed walking up the stairs to the 8th floor on the rare days where I’m wearing stair-appropriate shoes at work.
So yeah. Night time when living alone can be scary, and here’s the stupid thing: it didn’t used to be this bad. But then American Horror story started playing here in New Zealand. Before that I was mostly fine (barring the odd bad decision around watching horror movies) but now? Not so much.
So I think my main problem might not be the disfigured man with claws outside my bedroom window, it’s probably that I watch American Horror Story, even though I’m a total wimp when it comes to scary things on TV, and have a WAY overactive imagination. For example: I used to get nightmares after watching Ghost Whisperer sometimes… and if you haven’t seen that, it stars Jennifer Love-Hewett, and in it and she cries with emotion a lot, and holds ghosts hands as they blissfully go into the light. I put the bad in badass. Clearly.
Basically, I’m really REALLY glad that this week was the last episode of American Horror Story. Mostly because I might actually be able to get some sleep some time in the future. Just as soon as my house stops making all those creepy creaky sounds.