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Man On The Run

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We had a really freaky visitor last night. Freaked out, strung out, whatever, the guy scared the bejeezus out of me and then split. Picture this: It’s an average weeknight. You have stayed up past midnight, vegging out on the TV. Soon you’re dozing on the couch and you click it off and shuffle towards bed. Just as you turn out the lights, the doorbell rings. Groggy, you aren’t really sure if you heard it or not. Then, ding-dong, you hear it again along with an urgent bang-bang-bang rapid pounding on the door. When you look out the front window before opening up (it’s nearly 1 a.m. after all) you see a sweaty, panicky guy with wide eyes begging you to “Please! Let me in!” What do you do? Well, if you’re me, your first thought is “hell no, buddy,” and you wish your intimidating 90-pound dog was with you at the moment, instead of visiting family since I can’t walk him right now (crutches, remember?). Thoughts of those e-mail forwards warning about tricks that people use to get into homes flashed through my head, and I hollered loudly and repeatedly for my husband to wake up and come to the door, all the while feeling both scared for myself and my household, and totally worried about the poor freaked-out guy outside on the porch. But sadly, I just wasn’t going to let the guy in. When hubby made it out to the door, he opened it and the guy practically rushed us – he literally stuck his leg in our door and tried his best to squeeze past my husband and push his way into the house. He said he had just been jumped by “five guys down the street” and was worried they were still after him. He also said his legs and hands were going numb from running. I was officially freaked out by this freaked-out stranger. We didn’t see anyone else, so hubby sort of shoved the guy outside and we said he could sit down on our porch furniture and we’d call 911. He wasn’t bleeding or bruised – he sure didn’t look like he’d been jumped by some marauding Wash Park gang – so we went back inside, got him a glass of water, and called the police. Apparently this guy had no interest in being helped by the cops. As soon as I called the 911 operator, I tried to hand the phone off to him outside to explain his situation. But he hung the phone up, and he split when he heard that I had given them our address already and a car was on the way. When the 911 dispatch called me back, I told the operator the guy had run off and gave them a description. Turns out, they had received several calls from neighbors on our street – this guy had been going door-to-door trying to claw his way into other houses. I’m just sure this man was strung out on speed, or having a bad acid trip, or something. I think he was honestly scared about something and needed help. And I’m also sure that I did the right thing by not letting him into my home. But I can’t help the nagging feeling that I screwed something up, and wasn’t able to get this guy the help he obviously needed. Like, maybe detox or the ER? Sure made it hard to go to sleep after that.

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