Around 10 PM, I awoke suddenly! My wife had cried out my name from the bathroom! I couldn’t fathom what was wrong, but I heard the urgency in her voice. I leaped out of bed, tripped on my big toe (hurting it), and proceeded to fall flat on the floor. I got up as soon as I could knowing something was wrong. My wife said my name again urgently. I turned the corner into the bathroom where her voice was coming from. Beside the curtain, inside the shower, was a distressed face. “What’s wrong?!” I continued into the bathroom. Around the corner I had the shock of my life!
To my dismay, there was a naked woman hunched over; sitting on our toilet! Oh my God! I instantly realized from her red hair that it was our neighbor. She was just sitting on the toilet with her head down by her knees. I quickly assessed the situation. Was she on drugs or mentally ill or both? I knew by her body language that she wasn’t a physical threat to me or my wife. I changed from simply protecting my wife to assisting the well-being of our neighbor. “Hey you gotta go. You can’t be in here. My wife is taking a shower and this is our home.” Her response: “It’s OK I’m your neighbor.”
After the initial shock, I felt terrible for this sad soul. I said again, “No, no you can’t be in here, you gotta go.” I then proceeded to say “Its OK, lets get you back to your room” She got up and I kept my hand on her shoulder as I escorted her out of our apartment and into hers. I didn’t have my glasses on, but I saw a body tatoo’d all over.
We didn’t know what to do after we locked the door behind us! Oh man! I fell asleep unexpectedly and my wife had forgotten to lock the door too! Our neighbor simply let herself in nonchalantly while our dog barked at her; through the kitchen and living room. Whatever the cause, we knew something was terribly wrong. We proceeded to call the non-emergency line for a welfare call. The police had trouble keeping a straight face as we told them what had happened. The did remain professional throughout the entire experience.
The police did the welfare call and concluded that she was simply extremely drunk and without her glasses on. I found the hard to believe, but I accepted that this was the outcome. Our neighbor was forced to understand the consequences of her behavior. We also have a record of the event. “It’s OK, I’m your neighbor.”