Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fact or Fiction?

The doorbell rang at 5:30 this morning. At least three times, maybe four or five, while I was grabbing a bathrobe and debating whether to answer or not. Have to admit I was hoping Alberto might stick his head out the door. No such luck.

By the fourth or fifth ring I had decided to answer, with the phone in my bathrobe pocket to call 911 immediately if necessary. Guess who? Yup-yup, with a tale of two lovers, or a business transaction, unclear which.

"I saw a couple coming out of your back yard," he said excitedly. (He's almost always about that hyped-up. I assume it's crack.) "They were both black. I followed them." But he really had no further intelligence on them. Then he went on about how he was cold and he could really use a few bucks to get a spot in the house where the owner rents space by the night.

"If they're not burning down the house or trying to break in, wait until dawn to ring the bell," I suggested. But I paid him something, just to get him out of my hair. No, I didn't go back to sleep, but I kind of rested and didn't dwell too much on the whole thing until about 7, when I got up to take a shower.

I thought Alberto had left while I was showering, but he came downstairs while I was eating my oatmeal with pecans and blueberries. (It's only fair to have a special treat for breakfast after a rude awakening, right?) He hadn't heard anything, or maybe he had heard something but just assumed it was regular street noise. Yes, he's a heavy sleeper. I should have asked him about that before I let him move in. A heavy sleeper is useless as an additional night watch aide.

I even teased him about this. "I should have gotten a dog!" We both laughed at that.

Then I wasted some time speculating that Yup-yup had just made up the story to pick up a few bucks. If so, he certainly put some effort in it. I went out back on my way to the bus stop and found a used condom by the back stairs. More disturbingly, I also found a bunch of boards from the demolition going on next door, which made me nervous that someone might start a fire, on purpose or for additional warmth. So I did call the CAPS line and ask if they could send a squad car through the alley on late nights once in a while.

It's still entirely possible he made up the whole thing, or did his business himself back there and decided to tell me about in this fashion to pick up some cash. Great.

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