This week I came to the sudden realization that my life was getting sad when I watched the Domino’s pizza tracker on my phone in real time. I was transfixed, like a dog watching a squirrel out the window. Pizza was the only thought in my mind, and until I could inhale it and satiate my hunger, I was laser focused.
After I inhaled a few slices, knowing I had to make the conscious effort to stop myself from eating the whole thing, I started getting ready for bed. Face washed, pajamas on, and I was mid brushing my teeth when I heard a blood curdling scream in the hallway.
I grabbed my phone, cursing and wondering when I moved into this murder apartment, and listened as the screaming kept getting closer to my door. It was moving its way down the hall. Could I really just watch while something terrible was happening?
I was glad that my pizza had already arrived. It would be super awkward if I had to walk into the hallway to go meet the delivery man. “Excuse me, I have to get a pizza, don’t mind me, but I’m starving and don’t really enjoy cooking,” I say apologetically as I passed the confrontation in the hallway. Or maybe I’d just tip the pizza delivery man extra to have him enter the building and deliver it straight to my door past the crime scene.
I actually was proud of myself because I had leftover pizza in case something crazy happened and I now had to stay in my abode for an extended amount of time. I don’t know what that would be though. Maybe some kind of criminal investigation that I would now be a part of as an eye witness.
I put my phone on the bookshelf in my entryway and grabbed the mace out of my bag and a knife from a drawer in the kitchen. Then the thought crossed my mind that I didn’t want to know if I actually had it in me to stab someone even in a worst case scenario, so I put the knife back and stuck with the mace and the phone that would make the call for this to become someone else’s problem.
I looked out the peephole as the sound traveled closer to me. I needed to determine what exactly was going on. If the screams were moving, it might not be as bad as I thought.
I wished I hadn’t changed into my pj’s so quickly, but figured it would be a good shock factor for the attacker, me with no makeup, barefoot and bra-less, running at him with my Arrested Development Bluth’s Banana stand shirt. He would be in such a state of shock that he would be frozen for that split second it would take me to mace him and call the cops.
I strained my peephole eye, looking for any signs of life, adrenaline coursing through my body so I knew I was not going to be able to sleep anytime soon.
I watched a woman walk calmly down the hall as if nothing was happening.
I wondered to myself if I was just dreaming as this was bizarre behavior given the situation. Maybe I ate that pizza too close to going to bed.
Then I watched as a toddler stopped in front of my door, slumped on the floor in despair, and screamed at the top of his lungs “MAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAAAA!”
It was just some kid having a meltdown.
Part of me was pissed that it was late and this woman had no control over her child.
Then I realized that would likely be me as a parent: keeping my kid out way past its bedtime and then not having the energy to fuck with it having a meltdown in the hall so just walking away.
I was happy I’d waited to call the cops and that I was just overreacting, as per usual.
I was even more relieved that I’d talked myself down from the knife. Imagining myself running into the hall armed with both a knife and mace and scaring the bejesus out of a mother and child was an outcome I would not have been particularly proud of. Also this would likely result in the cops being called on me.
But at least I’d be the most feared person on the floor, if not the building. And I’m always striving to be my best, so I suppose it wouldn’t be a complete loss.