Wednesday evening I settled in my living room to eat some leftovers and watch something on Netflix. I heard a piercing knock outside my apartment. I stopped, look toward the bay windows, but let it go, resumed my meal. Maybe it was the wind causing an odd creak. A few minutes later I heard it again. Followed by another tap against the glass of the window. Being on the second story, this resembled the romanticized activity of throwing pebbles to gain the attention from an object of desire.
I stood up to look out the window, and sure enough their was a boy, late teens, serious face, looking up to window with seemingly dark intents. I shuddered at his intensity, as though he'd been out there for some time throwing objects up my way, ready to toss potentially a brick to make a hateful mess of shards.
Awakened in me was a long standing fear of people outside my window. From a childhood dread of aliens hovering outside my window to beam me up and make cuts to my skin tissues, to the chatter of a neighbor across the street one day in my early teens reporting a strange man had been lurking in the woods behind her house. She had called the police, who chased the man off. To more recently, several years prior I had a falling out with a friend whom I feared may belligerently show up to my previous apartment, on the first floor, and break through the window to come bludgeon me in my bed. Though I did have one pleasant memory of a stranger outside my window, when I had first moved to Maine at 10 years of age, I was in my room and heard some rustling outside my window. I had looked down, saw a kid named Chip I knew vaguely from school. I went to down to see what was up, he and some other friends were playing hide and go seek. I soon joined in the game and made some new friends.
So Wednesday night with the sight of this guy I thought about turning off the lights and hiding. He continued to stare up at me as I debated retreat. To nip it in the bud, to learn more on the mystery of the encounter, I opened the window and asked, "can I help you?"
He walked closer to the gate and spoke, but I couldn't hear him. I repeated. He spoke, again inaudible. I noticed the storm window was down, I slid that barrier up and repeated my inquiry.
"What apartment does Angel live in?" He asked.
"Um, I don't know an Angel that lives in this building, sorry."
"I'm looking for Angel!"
"I don't know an Angel around here, sorry."
He continued glaring up at me.
Then he turned and ran across the street. I closed up the window, resumed my dinner.
A few minutes later I heard the door to the foyer below open, and then some footsteps coming up the stairs. My girlfriend had left for a Zumba class not too long before, and it would be another hour before she returned home. Who the fuck then was coming up the stairs, toward my door?! It had to be this guy unsatisfied for not having tracked down Angel! I thought about whether the wood of the door could withstand unreasonable ferocity. I scanned the room for a beer bottle in case defense was necessary.
A key inserted and opened the door. My girlfriend entered, her Zumba class having been cancelled. I told her how relieved I was, told her about the guy throwing pebbles and wanting to find a dude named Angel.
"Weird, " she said. "When I parked my car there was somebody across the street staring up at our window." Timing wise, I placed this after he hustled off.
I went to the window, couldn't see him, but still fear there is an impulsive teenager out there who thinks somebody named Angel lives in my apartment and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants from said Angel.