[I've been going through the drafts I wrote but never posted, and found this specimen from 2010, when I was living in school housing with girls I didn't know. Reading this time-capsule account, the scene (or one of a host of others like it) resurrects itself in my mind. I am so glad I am not there any more. I am so glad I am here, in this apartment, in this marriage, in this new time and space, where I the only invasions come through the internet, or come very small, beady-eyed, through holes in the wall, and O. and I can catch them and send them away.]
I came home tonight to find a strange guy lying on the couch, playing with some device from the iPod family. He didn't look up at me when I came in, though I stared at the back of his head. I bristled inside, but held back the desire to bark or growl. I did lock the door though: keep out any other wanderers that might try to invade. And then I marked my territory by collecting my scattered dishes and washing them all, and starting a baking project.
The guy on the couch kept his eyes bound to his phone/toy/iPod, as though so secure in his position that he needn't observe anything in the environment, because there was no way that any of it could possibly have any bearing on him. Nothing would dislodge him, and nothing would threaten him. That couch had become his.
Well, the kitchen would remain mine. I measured and stirred, poured and sprinkled.
A few minutes later, someone knocked on the locked door, and the couch-occupier opened the door to another unknown male, this one an Asian in a red baseball cap. This guy, too, walked in, as though this were his apartment. My suitemates, meanwhile--the people who do actually live here--were nowhere to be seen. I couldn't stop myself from glaring at the two guys, but they didn't seem to notice anyone else was in the room. But the newercomer soon went to my suitemate Y.L.'s door, and disappeared inside.
I returned to mixing. Half an hour later, with midnight around the corner, the guy on the couch was just as well-settled in his new territory. Hostility rushed over me again--rage that my home had been invaded, terror of who this person might be, what he might do--and I spoke.
"Hey, excuse me," (and he finally looked up.) "What are you doing here?" Suddenly anticipating the answer, "playing with my iPod/etc.", I elaborated, "Why are you here? What are you doing?"
"Waiting," he said. "For that guy."
I know how the dogs feel.