Knock Knock Knocking on my Door

Sometimes a knock at the door is a good thing.  Someone has come to visit!  Or it is the groceries!  Or a neighbor bringing tomatoes!

Sometimes a knock at the door is a scary thing.  Yesterday was Halloween. I didn’t have any trick or treaters last night, but I got home late after my infusion, and haven’t had any kids stop by in years. I had just gotten home and was in my bedroom changing when I heard this very loud and sharp rapping on my front door. My heart stuttered, and I gasped out loud, because the sound was so intrusive, especially to someone who lives alone.  My cats scattered, and I quickly locked myself in my bedroom and got my gun out of my safe, and stayed there shaking for like a half hour, because I was afraid to come out! I was thinking that little kids can’t knock that loud, maybe it was an adult with them, I sure hope it was a neighbor trick or treating!  We don’t have many kids in the neighborhood, and a lot of summer houses too, so I don’t even buy candy anymore.  My bedroom looked out at the back of my house, not the front, so I couldn’t look and see if anyone was there.

I do have a legit reason for being scared, but I thought the reason was no longer one to worry about.  I think the attack in NY yesterday made it come to the forefront again for me.

Because that is what it is all about.  I cannot go into details, but let’s just say that lone wolf terrorists that have been radicalized here are something I need to worry about.  And it happens more frequently, it seems.  Around the world, not just here, in the USA.

It really got me to thinking.  I am scared, yes.  But dammit, I am angry.  Angry that people like that even exist.  Angry that people die, and will continue die.  Angry that I have to make lifestyle changes.  Angry that I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with my heart thumping so loud, straining to hear the tiniest sound.  Was that a knock I heard?  A footstep?  Why did the cats wake up?  What are they hearing?

I have a gun. I only got it because the FBI told me to. (Again, I can’t go into details).  However, it only gives me a false sense of security.  I keep it locked up in a safe.  Most likely if someone broke into my house and wanted to kill me I would never have a chance to even get it.  That’s fine with me.  I don’t know if I could pull the trigger and kill someone anyway.  It’s a huge thing to do.  But I digress.

Over the winter something similar happened.  One night, very late, I was awakened by rapping on my door, very loud, insistently.  Never stopped.  Just kept knocking.  It took me a minute to get my bearings and get up out of my bed because of my bad back.  I stumbled down the hallway, eyes slit, and peeked around the corner to look at the front door.  There were flashing lights and spotlights shining everywhere.  I could not see who was knocking because of it.  But I could tell they were using a flashlight, or bat to knock.  I called out, “Who is it?”  They responded with “Police, open up immediately!”  I replied, “Why are you here, what do you want?”  They said they needed to talk to me and to open the door or they would break it down.  I was so scared.  Was it really the police?  I thought about going back to the bedroom to get my gun, but figured they would just shoot me if they saw a gun.  So I went down the stairs and opened the door.  They shone their big flashlights in my face, blinding me.  They asked me whose car was in my driveway.  I was confused at first, because I always park in the garage.  Then I remembered, I had told my neighbor that his friend who was living with them could park there.  So I told them that.  They asked me the name of the owner of the car.  I did not know.  By this time, I was shaking from fear and the cold, and crying.  They got a call on their radio then, and literally turned around and walked away without another word.

Now I was angry. My fight or flight adrenaline had now changed to fight. How dare they scare the shit out of an innocent citizen with no explanation or “sorry to wake you in the middle of the night”.  I am a single woman, living alone.  I slammed the front door shut, locked up, and then went upstairs to look out my big bay window.  There were squad cars at the house kitty corner from me, and police walking around yards etc.

I knew the grand kid of that homeowner was always in trouble.  In fact, at the time, I thought he was in jail, as per usual.  He was always getting caught doing something wrong. So I figured he was in trouble, again.

The next morning when I went out to go to work, the kid was outside, talking to some policeman or detective.  I glared at them, and the kid hollered over, “Sorry for the disturbance last night, I woke up last night to find somebody trying to steal my guns, can you believe that?”  I said, unbelievable, and then said to the policeman, I was very scared and upset last night, and the officers that were pounding on my door were very rude.  I have reasons that the Lake County Sheriff’s office is well aware of for being scared.  Obviously that was overlooked last night.

The policeman then apologized.   I went to work.  When I got home, I didn’t see the kid anymore.  In fact, I haven’t seen him in awhile.  I’m sure he stole those guns or something like that.  I hope he doesn’t come back.  And let me just say that typically the police/sheriffs/detectives/agents that I have had dealings with are the BEST.  So grateful to ALL our first responders.

Luckily the rest of my neighborhood is wonderful.  The people that live around me always look out for me.  They are very good to me.

Just don’t go knock knock knocking at my door!

 

 

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September 11, 2001 Redux September 11, 2015

Wow. I remember it so clearly, like it happened yesterday.  Probably because it was during one of the worst times of my life.

My husband had up and left me for another woman without any warning right beforehand.  So every year I get to remember, revisit, redream.  It sucks.  But at least I will never forget.

On Sept. 11th I was at work, crying in my office, as I had done for the past few weeks.  My internet alerted a flashing news story, and I watched the pictures of the first plane’s aftermath online.  I had a real bad feeling.  So bad that I stopped crying.

When the second plane hit, I knew it for what it was.  Everybody crowded around in front of computers, watching the story unfold.  One of the girls brought in a small TV to watch it on.  I was starting to get scared, and wondering if I should talk to the bosses about sending people home.  It seemed like everyone in Chicago had gone home.  But the big boss came out of his office, and told us to shut off the TV and for everybody to get back to work.  What a patriot, huh?  Asshole.

I went home alone, to an empty house, scared.  I was so scared I didn’t want to watch it on TV anymore.  I went and sat in the back yard with the dogs, and rocked back and forth in my chair.  I saw my ex drive by down the road with his new girlfriend in the car, and I had the uncharitable thought that I wished it was him in the WTC instead of some other decent person.  Then the Catholic school girl guilt kicked in and I felt bad.  So instead I wished it was me.  That’s what the Catholic school did to me.  Ha.

Anyway, I got through it.  We all did.  We all bucked up and became stronger for it.  I got divorced a couple of weeks later, and got used to taking off my shoes in an airport.  It was a sad time for us all.

By the time the one year anniversary rolled around, I was no longer sad, but mad.  Mad about both things.  So I wrote a poem about it.  I published it on the one year anniversary, and have posted it in some form or fashion every year since.  It helps remind me of where I was in that heartbreaking moment.  Here it is again:

The anniversary of 9/11

Twin Towers
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Twas Sept. 11th, a beautiful day,
Tho I did not know it. I couldn’t find my way.
My mind was clouded, my heart was shattered.
My husband had left me ….. I felt battered.
My life was over, my heart was aching,
I could almost feel my spirit breaking.
I selfishly thought nothing was worse than this pain,
Little did I know what was to happen, again.
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Evil had come to visit us that day.
Evil was here, and here to stay.
Evil reared back and rose its ugly head,
Evil wouldn’t be happy unless we were dead.
Evil looked around, and Evil was jealous.
Evil licked his lips, Evil was zealous.
Evil wanted to bring the U.S. down,
Evil picked New York as his target town.
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Our planes would become weapons of destruction,
Evil thought nothing would become an obstruction.
But there was something that Evil didn’t know…
How Americans loved their country so.
We rallied around, we held our heads high.
Even as we mourned and our eyes did cry.
Our heroes were everywhere, even in the sky.
We shook our heads, and we asked WHY?
Two twin towers were standing tall.
Two twin towers were about to fall.
Something inside of me sparked that day,
And a guiding light was showing me the way.
My personal troubles were bad, that was true.
But nothing compared to the Red, White and Blue.
So I dried off my tears,
I shrugged off my fears.
I stood tall, I stood proud.
Courage took over, it shouted out loud.
Everyone knows that Evil lurks within,
But we will not falter and let Evil win.
We will guard our land, we will guard our skies,
Until once again, peace resides.
Two twin towers went crashing down.
Two twin towers collapsed into the ground.

What if

interview

What if Sony releases the movie The Interview, and theatres are bombed?

What if people are killed, maimed, injured?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Boston Marathon?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Colorado theatre?

What if we knew in advance that planes were going to take down the Twin Towers?

What if we knew ISIS was going to behead journalists?

What if we negotiated with terrorists?

What if the Rules of Engagement were changed and Lone Survivor could have been Multiple Survivors?

A lot of “what ifs”.  In the business world, what if scenarios are used all the time, to see the end result of changing certain parameters.  It gives management a tool to choose what path they want to go.

The United States has a very strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

“In a speech today (sic Nov 17, 2014) defending the U.S. war against the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that paying ransoms could endanger more Americans.

“And as for kidnapping, the United States has set a heart-rending but absolutely necessary example by refusing to pay ransom for captured Americans. Last year the U.N. Security Council and the G8 firmly endorsed an identical policy, and all of the evidence shows that where and if a country is paid a ransom, there are many more people who are taken hostage,” Kerry said.”

I was surprised today to hear that George Clooney has taken a hard stand against North Korea, and all that it foretells.  He attempted to have high level executive sign a petition to stand behind Sony and release the picture.  Not one person would sign it.  Clooney was upset by that, and stated “I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal,” Clooney said. “A huge deal. And people are still talking about dumb emails.  Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”  The actor added, “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f—king people.”

I have to say that personally, when I saw the trailers for The Interview, and watched Rogen and Franco on the talk shows, my first thought was “wow, that’s really going to piss off North Korea.”  But I never thought they would take it this far.

So.  What would YOU do, if you knew in advance a set of circumstances?  Would you change the policies of the country?  Would you just hide in your homes?  Would you try to effect change?

Or would you watch Homeland on Showtime and wonder if all this kind of shit happens EVERY STINKING DAY in this world.  And be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I would love to hear your opinions on this.  This is a big deal, in my book.