I had a very hard time falling asleep last night. I lay in bed, tense, waiting for the next strange noise. Normal creaking sounds became a man inching up the stairs. The muffled slam of car doors became gangsters surrounding our house. People working outside far away became someone trying to pry open and climb through our living room window. Even my cat was tense, her ears swiveling like antennae. I woke David up.
"I keep hearing noises, and I can't sleep," I told him.
"Point out the next noise."
So I did, and he explained it. I pointed out the next one. He explained it.
"This is why I can sleep, because I know what those noises are. You are just too close to the news." Soon he began to breathe deeply again, and I tried to relax.
It's true, I am too close to the news. The recent home invasion, rape, and murder of a woman in South Seattle, just one block away from my friend's house, has affected me deeply. He used to see these women smiling and laughing on evening walks. I almost cried when I read the court documents telling how this man picked a home at random, pried open the bathroom door, tortured two women. One fought back and died, the other escaped. I keep picturing their fear and desperation, and I put myself in their situation. How would I act if a man came into my bedroom with a knife? Would I fight back? Should I learn how to shoot a .22 and keep it in my bedstand?
I never used to have thoughts like this before I was in the news. I felt safe most of the time, and why shouldn't I - I live on Bainbridge Island next door to two cops. But as I lay there in bed, headlines dashed through my brain.
"Bainbridge Island rocked by random murders."
I can see the news reporters interviewing people, reading court documents, and its all too vivid. Maybe I need a vacation, or I need to take a deep breath, and remember, these random, frightening attacks are very rare. I just feel so sorry for that woman who died, and her partner who loved her. Maybe this story is all too real for me because I interviweed the murderer's mother, only a week or so prior. Monsters do exist.