Friday, October 30, 2009
"Just a second!" I shout while trying to peel myself from my chair.
"Give me just a second!" I command. This time I am in the process of holstering my .45 caliber Glock pistol. I'm not doing this out of fear, but out of habit. I don't go anywhere without my gun, especially to my door at night.
As I get to the door I take a quick look through the "peep" hole to see who is knocking at such a random hour in the middle of the week. It looks a lot like my neighbor, Rex, with his hat pulled low. Rex is a good guy, normal, easy to get along with, and someone I chat with on a regular basis in front of our doors.
"Hey, what's up Rex?" I ask, while opening the door.
"Hey man, I'm not Rex, but I was curious if you want to buy some magazines?" Says the stranger standing before me.
At 8:30 on a Wednesday night, this guy is not selling magazines, nor is he dressed for the occasion. Standing before me is a young white male, wearing ripped jeans, a t-shirt that appears to have been washed sometime in the last two weeks, a stained hat, and filthy shoes. When he smiles, I am quick to notice the burned out section between his top two teeth. As he does his best to avoid eye contact, moving his head side to side, I notice the sores on his face. And while he continually scratches at his neck, I notice the burns on his fingers.
I'm thinking this guy is a meth head, everything adds up.
"Like I said, man, you want some magazines or not?" He says in a jittery tone.
"I'm sorry. I'm just not interested. I appreciate you..."
"What the hell dude? You are just cutting me off before I even have a chance to tell you what I'm selling. What's your deal man? Just give me some cash and I'll get you some magazines." He's angry now.
Since first opening the door, and not being able to get it open fully before discovering this was not Rex, my foot has been positioned behind the edge of the door--leaving only the left side of my body exposed. As the conversation turns more irate, I unholster my weapon and maintain it on my right side.
"Look man," I say in a stern manner. "I'm really not interested. I appreciate you coming by, but I think it's time for you to leave."
As I begin to close my door, the meth head steps forward and puts his hand against the door.
"Maybe instead of me leaving you can shut the hell up and listen to what I have to say." He's more than irate at this point.
"I'm not going to ask you again," I say, while placing the muzzle of my Glock against the door at chest height. "You need to turn around and walk away, or I will be calling the Sheriff's department."
Just beyond the inch and a half of wood in my front door, and the muzzle of my pistol, beats a jittery heart of a meth addict. My finger rests just outside of the trigger guard, and my palm maintains a firm grip. My mind has already assessed the situation and gone through the motions of my next few actions. If this guy forces his way into my house, it will be the last house he ever enters.
"Just give me some money!" He says, while pushing against my door again.
With my left arm, I make contact with the center of the tweaker's chest. He stumbles backwards as I open my door fully, revealing the prize behind door number one. Standing in my entryway, I bring my right arm around and extend it to join my left. I am now in my shooting stance, finger on the trigger, and focusing on my target.
"Whoa! I'm sorry bro!" He says... arms raised.
"Look man, I'm leaving. Ok?"
"I told you to leave a few minutes ago and you wouldn't." I say.
"Face the column, lean against it and cross your legs." I order, in my boldest tone.
"Look man, I'm really sorry bro. I just need some cash. I'm sorry." The tweaker is really starting to tweak out, now.
As he turns to face the column, he runs. He's free before he takes his second step. Not knowing if he is alone, I am certainly not going to pursue some meth addict on foot. Besides, I'm not the police. I wanted him away from my door and now he's doing just that. I grab my cell and call my buddy with the police department. After I pass along the info and the description of the subject, he hangs up to call the sheriff's office dispatch.
I holster my weapon and knock on my neighbor's door. Rex doesn't answer, reminding me that he's out of town. I walk back inside my apartment, lock the door, and plant myself back down in my chair. In the silence of the moment: "What the hell just happened?" I say aloud.
My heart is beating like a tweaker when I hear a knock on the door, again. As I stand up, my hand tells me that my Glock is still holstered. I check the "peep" hole--sheriff's deputy. "Thank God," I think.
After telling the deputy about the events that just took place, another knock, and this time a radio call: "It's me, ___, open up."
The deputy's partner informs us that he just picked up a young white male, fitting the description that I provided. The tweaker was wandering around in a daze, while trying to find a way out of the gated complex. It wasn't even necessary for me to give a positive ID, since the guy apparently broke down and told the deputy everything while being cuffed.
After visiting with the two deputies, about a wide variety of subjects, they turn to leave.
"Guys, I really appreciate you helping me out tonight. Make sure you tell _____ that I said hello. Thanks again and stay safe." I say as I extend my hand to one of the deputies.
"No problem, Jordan. But..." He pauses.
"Well, look... next time just pull the trigger. It'll make it easier on all of us and you'll be in the right." And with that, they shut the door.
At that moment, while standing in my living room, I knew what he meant. Though he wasn't completely serious about me pulling the trigger over magazine sales, he also wasn't completely joking about me dispatching some tweaked out punk trying to force his way into my apartment. The day I applied for a permit to carry my weapon, I decided that I could pull the trigger if need be--in order to protect myself or those around me. After experiencing this tonight, I haven't changed my mind. As I clear my thoughts, I lock the deadbolt on the door, unholster my weapon, and sink back into my chair.
Though, this time, instead of a gun in my hand, I now have a nice stiff drink... and I already know I'm going to need a refill.