Late Monday night, early Tuesday morning, at 1:45 a.m., Miss Xena, Labrador Mix Warrior Princess of all Norwalk, jumped up from a sound sleep barking. Not just any bark, her "we have to go downstairs and check something dodgy out" bark, her "danger Will Robinson bark", her "let me at 'em" bark.
I got up and tried to calm her. At the same time, I heard this "dinging" sound. I wondered where it was coming from. Maybe that what woke Xena up. I opened the bedroom door to let her out onto the stairs landing and then I heard it - someone was ringing the doorbell, over and over and over.
I told Newlin and he got up and got dressed, and he and Xena went downstairs. As I crept down after them, I saw Newlin crack the door open, and then he said, "No. Go away. We can't help you" and Xena started barking again. I thought it was over. But the person started ringing the doorbell again. Newlin cracked the door open again and told the guy if he didn't stop, we were going to call the police, and the guy started to push the door open. He got his hand in as Newlin was closing the door again, so Newlin couldn't close it all the way.
That was when he told me to phone the police.
I called the police, and the whole time I'm giving 911 the information I'm thinking, "Does he have a gun? Can he shoot through the metal front door? Is it really metal?" But the man on the 911 phone told me they were sending someone right away, and to phone back if the man left before the police got there.
He didn't leave. He kept talking through the crack in the door, not shouting but in a seductive sort of voice, like the "candy gram" shark in the old Saturday Night Live routine, except it wasn't funny. It was creepy. "Let me in. This is my house. Let me in." I could smell the alcohol all the way into the house.
Thank God, the police came very promptly. They pulled the guy away from the door and Newlin closed it. They talked to the guy a lot. Then they asked us if we wanted to press charges. I didn't know what to do - what would the charges be, I wondered. Then I said, "I don't know - I just want to make sure he's not going to come back here." They assured me they were taking him away whether or not we pressed charges so we let it go at that.
Of course there was so much adrenalin running through our systems it was hard to get back to sleep. Then the terror hit me. The feeling of violation, of assault. I dozed on and off until the alarm went off at 5. Then I got up.
I had to. I had a conference for the next two days and I had to leave at 7:30. Sleep deprived. So I went. The conference was brilliant even as tired as I was, but finally it was time to go to bed. I was looking forward to a good night's sleep - the hotel is one I know for really great beds. I thought, "At least no one is going to come to the door and ring the doorbell over and over again..." and I was back at 1:45 in the morning feeling the same fear, the same terror, the same sense of being invaded.
I turned on the television, set it for "sleep" and did indeed fall asleep and slept well. Here it is, Thursday, and I still feel creeped out by the whole thing. It was the voice, you see, and that hand, those fingers, gripping the open edge of the door and not letting go, Newlin leaning into the door because the man was trying to push his way in. And you know why he was there? He wanted to see his girlfriend. The cops said her name was Wendy and he thought ours was her house.
The conference went from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 2:30 Wednesday and it was brilliant and exhausting. Then I stayed in Hartford because I had a diocesan council meeting Wednesday night which went from 5:30 to 9:00. I drove home and got there at 10:30 p.m.
Then I couldn't get to sleep. At best I slept four hours last night. And today I had a deanery clergy meeting with the bishop to go to. So I'm so tired I don't even want to eat. I'm just waiting for Newlin, and maybe for the sun to go down, so I can make it official. Thank God tomorrow is my day off!