First impressions

The wind kicked up lastnight at the end of a fair, warm day. I’d been enjoying the spring weather so much that I forgot it was supposed to take a blustery turn, so when I started hearing mysterious rattlings and scrapings outside, I got nervous. I’ve always been well attuned to nighttime noises. When I was a kid, in bed, my ears and eyes would open wide in reaction to any odd sound; I would strain to hear whatever followed, and relax again after a few silent minutes had passed. I do the same thing now, being forever paranoid about prowlers.

I was in my pajamas, getting ready for bed, when the wind started causing unfamiliar noises lastnight. I suspected that what I heard outside the living room window—which sounded like a low-pitched version of someone rubbing Windex across the glass—was friction between the window and the large shrub that branches out in front of it. Just to be sure, I twisted open the blinds so I could see outside. At that moment my neighbor stepped out from her apartment, which lies perpendicular to mine—standing on her front stoop, she was directly in my line of sight. When she glanced sideways, there I was: standing still at the window in my dimly lit living room, wearing pajamas and probably a serious facial expression, since I was intent on locating the source of those odd noises. I must have looked like I’d been standing there watchfully for some time. I hope that future neighborly behavior will convince her that I’m not a creep.

And yes, it was the shrub that was making that noise.

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