Things that are both creepy and embarrassing

As previously discussed, my computer/internet is not what one would call “top of the line.”  For this reason, when I know I will need to use a computer for personal use for a lengthy amount of time, I will often stay late at work and utilize the privileges of fast internet and large hard-drive space.

Tonight, I decided to abuse said privileges to register for my Grad School classes and listen to one more painful Cubs loss. As per usual, my meandering takes much longer than I’d expect and at one point I look outside and realize, to my shock, that it is in fact pitch dark.

With further use of my high intelligence (and inspection of a clock), I discover it is actually 9:30pm. My automatic “Oh, crap” mode snaps in, and I attempt to finish what I can before total patheticness sets in, when all the sudden, things get creepy.

See, now, at work,we often have people over inspecting the roof for various reasons: leaks, HVAC stuff, solar panels, etc. Therefore, I am well versed in what it sounds like when someone is walking on our roof.

And tonight, my brain abruptly registers this dull sound.

Thump.

Thump.

Ba-bum thump.

I pseudo-ignore it for a few minutes while I clean up, trying to imagine it’s thunder, the wind, my overactive brain, whatever.

Thump.

Ba-dum bum. Thump.

Shit.

That is SO not the wind.

Okay, so sometimes people break into our office building, steal some shit. Whatever. It’s petty shit, right? We’re not in the greatest area, but it’s not terrible… at least it’s better than it used to be when we had a prostitution ring semi-regularly use our parking lot for transactions. It’s probably some kids, who somehow scaled the wall to the roof. They’ll leave, right? They see there’s lights on, right? I’m not in any danger, right? RIGHT?

Thump.

Ba-dum.

Bum.

Thump.

Okay.  Shit. My brain is going into overdrive, so I might as well call 311, and see if they’ll do a welfare check on the building. Then again, maybe I’m overreacting.

Ba-dum-bum-bum thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Okay, fine, I’m not overreacting. I dial.  311 decides my call IS an emergency and puts me through to police dispatch. I explain my situation, and pretend I’m not as freaked out as my brain is, and ask ever-so-nicely if they’d just possibly send someone over to check out the roof of the building. They agree, and after I hang up I have to decide whether or not I’m leaving or staying put until the cops get here.  After all, it’s just a welfare check, and this IS Chicago – it could take hours for them to arrive.

Ba-dum.

Thump. Thump Thump.

Ba-thump. Thud.

Right. Okay.
Staying put. Check.

I call a couple of people from work to keep myself calm and inform them of the situation, and, much to my surprise, after only about 5 minutes, three Chicago Police Officers show up.

On bicycles.

I graciously unlock and open the front door and talk to one of them while the other two circle the building. I 30-second sum up the past petty crime, the walking sounds on the roof, the fact that I’m in the building by myself when normally no one is at work this late. Mr. Police officer looks at me, and very kindly says:

“Oh. That does sound creepy, but are you sure it wasn’t the fireworks?”

Um.

Oh.

Okay.

Shit.

It’s a Wednesday night. In Chicago. And there are fireworks at Navy Pier in the summer at 9:30pm. Every Wednesday.

That’s why the footsteps sounded so constant. And started so suddenly.

Shit.

Shit.

Mr. Police Men are very kind and not insulting at all as they offer to wait until I go inside, lock up, and get in one of the work trucks to drive home.

So. Um.  Thank you Police Sirs, for indulging my extraordinarily overactive brain for Things That Go Bump In The Dark.  Also, I think you’re pretty awesome for riding bikes while fighting crime.

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