People!  This is insane.

Early last week, the Beloved found a note on the front door.  It said:

“Sylvia, CALL ME!”

and it was signed by some guy and he left a phone number. 

I asked the Beloved to call the number and tell him that there was no “Sylvia” staying at our house. 

She didn’t.  Not that it would have mattered, because…

Two nights ago, the doorbell rings.  It’s our neighbor, Henry, wanting to know if we had the name of a good plumber.  It was 8:00 p.m.  We gave him our contacts, and he left.

Ten minutes later, the doorbell rang again.  The Beloved thought it was Henry, SO SHE JUST OPENED THE DOOR.  AT NIGHT.  It WASN’T Henry.  It was a guy asking for “Sylvia”.   Cue the L&O ding-ding, here. 

The Beloved told him there was no “Sylvia” at our house.  He left.  Thank the good Lord he didn’t enter the house and do something bad to anyone. 

THEN, in true escalating form, the doorbell rang at 2:13 IN THE MORNING.  The dogs started barking like crazy.  Before I could figure out if I was awake or asleep, I heard the doorbell again, faintly, a sound just audible over the sound of my heart ramming against my rib cage.   

We got out of bed.  Let the dogs out of their kennels.  (They are good deterrents).  I grabbed my cell phone to call 9-1-1.  The Beloved grabbed…a knife.  We went to the front of the house.  I peeped out the front bay window to see a vehicle in the church parking lot across the street.  The car was facing the street and all the doors were open.  And the trunk.   Like where the assailants on tv shows keep chainsaws and ropes.

Peering a little further, I see a SECOND man weaving among the two houses next door.  I couldn’t tell if he had maybe dinged their doorbell, too.  He was clearly aggitated.  But then he abruptly came back towards our house, and then peered into the car two doors down the other direction. 

As I dialed 9-1-1, I asked the Beloved to see if she could tell if either of them was the guy from the other night.  ONE WAS!

It would have been nice to be able to call 9-1-1 and get a police car dispatched immediately.  But noooooooooooooo.  When the dispatcher answered, I started to say there were two suspicious, aggitated persons casing the area, when I was interrupted with…

“What county are you in?”

“Uh, Harris.  My address is ….”

“Hold please, for Harris county dispatch.”

WTF?

“Harris county dispatch.  What is your emergency?”

“Yes, there are two suspicious persons who just rang our doorbell and…”

“Are you looking for fire, ambulance, or police?”

“What?  Police!  There are two…”

“Hold please” as she gets the police dispatcher, of Harris county, just in case you were wondering.

“You’re calling for Harris county Police?”

“Yes, there are two men that…”

“And your name and phone number?  Your address?”  Digits provided as scary guys are moving among the outer parts of our home.

“Listen, these two guys…”

“Are they white, black, or hispanic?”

“What?  They aren’t black.  One is definitely white.  Can’t tell the other one.  It’s dark outside.  One rang the doorbell and he’s…”

“How tall are they?”

“I have no idea.  Listen, the guy is peering into a neighbor’s car now and the other one is waiting across…”

“What are they wearing?”

“Shit, uhhh, the one guy is in jeans and a dark-colored longsleeve sweater or sweatshirt.  The other one is in jeans and is wearing a dark leather jacket.  They’re looking for someone who they think is at our house and…”

“Any facial hair?”

“What?  I don’t know, it’s dark and I’m looking from the second floor of my house.  Listen, he’s running across the street now and they are getting in the car to leave.  It’s a white car with a sunroof and…”

“Make and model?”

“I don’t know, it’s dark.”

“Did you get the license number?”

“No, it’s dark, and I wasn’t going to open the door.”

“OK, we’ll dispatch the police to your home.”

“Well, thanks, the suspicious persons are gone now.”

Ten minutes later, two squad cars drive by.  Make two passes down the street.  No one stops at our house.  Then my cell phone rings.  It’s the police.  He couldn’t find our house.  A HOUSE WITH THE HOUSE NUMBER POSTED ABOVE THE GARAGE.  He asks me to tell him what happened.  We give him the whole story about Sylvia and these guys coming, now 3 times, determined that this Sylvia is staying at our house despite being told otherwise.  And now they’re coming at 2:30 a.m. Escalation is not a good sign.  Wish we hadn’t thrown away that note last week.  Can’t remember the name.  I almost took a picture of the foot/boot print on the front stoop, you know, with a ruler by it, like they do in L&O: Criminal Intent. 

He says, “Well, if you see them again, keep calling us.”

“Yes,” I say, “and hopefully, as they are trying to break in, I won’t have to repeat all the information I just spent giving your dispatcher while the guys got away.”

“Yeah, I know that’s frustrating” he says. 

So, today, on my way home from work, I’m stopping by the Police Department “Storefront” location close to the house and asking them to patrol our house tonight.  I’m also posting a note, assuming the Police say it’s not a bad idea, to the Sylvia-seeker, that she is not at our house, we don’t know anyone by that name, the Police were called after their 2:30 visit, and the Police are patrolling the area looking for them and their car. 

And then, when I go to bed, I’ll fervently pray “God, please protect us from evil and harm.”  Which is what I did this morning from 3 AM until 4 AM, at which time, in a combination of spiritual comfort and sheer exhaustion, I finally fell asleep. 

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