No, I don’t mean headlights over my right shoulder, I mean headlights in my driveway at 3 a.m.
You know those nights you can’t sleep? This was one of them. I’d awakened at 2:00 and just couldn’t go back to sleep. An hour of tossing and turning and I finally got up to fix my sure-fire go-back-to-sleep snack of warm Ovaltine and buttered toast.
Of course, the fact that I was up and moving around the kitchen woke the cats who were begging for a snack, too. “Oh, all right,” I told them. “I guess it’s only fair. I’m eating, so I guess I should give you something, too.” I meted out the food onto the various dishes and when I stood up, I saw a car in my driveway. At three in the morning. With its headlights on.
I caught my breath as my mind flipped through who could possibly be driving up to my house in the middle of the night — and why. No good answer asserted itself and my next coherent thought was, “where is my gun and where is the ammo?”
Now I do know precisely where my gun is and although it might take a few precious seconds to retrieve it, I wasn’t at all sure where the clip was and if the box of ammo was handy. And if I was panicky, how quickly could I load it? Not fast enough, I was sure.
All this went through my mind in a very brief number of seconds and it did occur to me — as the car sat there idling — that I was standing in the lighted kitchen in front of the window. Not smart! I quickly stepped aside and hit the light switch, then in the darkness edged up to the window and pulled the curtain back.
The car was backing out of the driveway and turned down the street. I watched to see if I could recognize what kind of car it was. Nothing I could name. I waited a couple of minutes, but it was gone.
Suddenly there was a noise behind me and I nearly jumped out of my skin! The toast popped up out of the toaster and at the same time the microwave dinged telling me the milk was hot. Once my heart rate returned to normal and my knees stopped shaking, I figured that things were back to normal. I took a few deep breaths and watched as the cats went about the business of licking their dishes clean. A few moments later, with a hand that shook only slightly, I carried my food to the table and switched on the light.
The only thing to read was yesterday’s paper because, of course, this morning’s paper hadn’t been delivered yet … OH. Wait …
I opened the front door and there, right at the edge of the driveway outside the door was — ta-da — the morning paper! I’m still one of the handful of people in the country who gets an actual paper paper delivered. And evidently it is delivered at three in the morning.
I imagine the delivery guy drove away chuckling to himself. probably not a lot of people are up at 3 o’clock when he’s driving up to their house. He’s sort of like Santa Claus — you never actually see him, but he always delivers.
And perhaps not surprisingly, after the adrenaline rush and the warm Ovaltine, I stumbled back to bed and yeah, I slept like a baby.