From a window

Bless them, The Wife and The Daughter had slept through this incident.


It’s 3 a.m., and I’ve been awake for about a half-hour. My general pattern is that I get up for about an hour, go to the office, read my emails, visit other blogs, maybe check Facebook, then go back to bed.

I hear a BAM! but can’t tell if it’s inside or outside, or really, from what direction. BAM! what the heck is that? BAM! I get up to investigate.

I ascertain that something, or someone, is banging on the window in the second-floor apartment directly across from our bathroom, a distance of about my height, six feet.

CRASH! The distinct sound of breaking glass. I throw on a pair of pants, and go outside, looking down the alley. CRASH! Someone is breaking the window from the inside.

I call 911. There is a non-emergency number, but at this hour, I worry that 1) there is a fire, and someone has to try to get out; 2) there’s domestic violence taking place; 3) there’s a crazy person who’s going to next break OUR window less than a couple of meters away; or 4) who knows what?

The police arrive quickly, but by this time the window breaking has stopped. I alert one officer to where the activity had been. They go in, but she, and her roommates, had gone outside. Some of the other tenants are also outside; at least one of them had been listening to music through his headphones, and was oblivious to the breakage, but heard the cops come in.

Sitting on my porch, I can’t catch much of the conversation, but I do clearly the young woman in question say to one of the policemen, “It’s illegal to break your own window?” Well, 1) it’s really not your window, it’s your landlord’s, and 2) you are, at minimum, disturbing the peace. Specifically, mine.

After ascertaining that no one is imperiled, the cops depart. No one was arrested, as far as I know. Now I’m so adrenalized that I can’t get back to sleep until about 6 a.m.

In the morning, when I can see better, I find large chunks of glass in the common alleyway. One piece, about the size of a standard magazine, was wedged vertically into the ground. This means that if a stray animal had wandered by, it could have been killed.

The implement of destruction was a plastic fan, one the face diameter of a dinner plate. The plastic frame was in the alley, but the motor was wedged between two layers of glass. The screen had been shredded as well. This was a very inefficient weapon to use to smash a window.

At 8 a.m., I called the absentee landlord and relayed the story. He seemed calm but based on arguments we’ve heard him have with his tenants in the past, the meeting with the offending tenant will be loud. He cleaned up the mess before I got home from work Monday night.

It wasn’t until I had hung up with him that I noticed that there are at least three cut marks on the aluminum siding of our house that had not been there before.

Bless them, The Wife and The Daughter had slept through this incident. The previous building owners, who lived there, sold the house to a guy who has subdivided it into student housing, featuring a rolling number of people I cannot keep track of.

Ever since, the Wife has had a dream to buy that house and rent it to model tenants. I have no desire to be a landlord myself, and, best I can tell, the building is not for sale anyway. Oh, and we can’t afford to buy and renovate it anyway.

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