Friday, 23 April 2010

The intruder in the night

This story has a few pre-existing premises necessary to understanding.

(1) Earlier in the week I set off into town for the Narrative Space Conference dinner, I was expecting to be home about midnight. My son was driving and I had a cab booked for the journey home, so I had not taken my car keys (with my door key on the ring). I had taken the door jey off and put it in my pocket separately. (2) Thinking I had forgotten to take my keys, Marea left the french windows unlocked (something we never do) so I could let myself in. (3) Just before Christmas, a friend of ours delivered a load of very large logs which I have not yet cut up (see pic).

(4) The field opposite our house has been sold and the undergrowth, including some small trees, is being cleared.

Anyway, after a pretty good evening and an enjoyable meal, I drew up in the cab and was surprised to see Marea still up, drinking a brandy. "You'll never believe what's happened to me" she said.

Her story was that she had gone to bed some time earlier and, at about 11pm, heard banging and shouting in the back garden. Getting up and putting on her dressing gown, she went downstairs to find a man in the dining room. Not a burglar, but an angry, swearing, shouting man, almost unintelligible in his anger. Marea couldn't understand what he was asying and became concerned that he would become as violent as his obscene language. Eventually, it came out that he was accusing us of stealing 'his wood' - presumably the wood he had cut while clearing the field opposite. Marea assured him that we wouldn't do such a thing and that, indeed, we had been given the logs.

Eventually, she got him out of the house and he went back down the garden to the car parking area where the logs were stored. After a few minutes, he came back and said "I owe you an apology. Those aren't my logs; the cut is different and they are bigger." Marea berated him and told him he couldn't just burst into someone's house, whatever his grievance might be, and that he must learn to control his violent temper. (Marea's a strong, confident woman - I dread to think what might have happened with a younger, less experienced women or girl).

Two things worry me about this occurrence: the first is that I suspect that had I been present, he might have been tempted to physical violence, though he would not attack a woman. The second is that he lives in our road somewhere. We don't know who he is.

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