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Someone has been sleeping on my couch

September 16, 2005

I rolled into my house after being on the road for a month. Most of that time I was in the desert out of cell phone range at Burning Man. I just drove up from Oakland. I was tired, I was dirty and I wanted to relax and watch a few episodes of the Jon Stewart show waiting for me on the Tivo.

I walked into a darkened living room, I worked my way over to the light switch, but before I got too far I heard a voice call out. "Hi Wally."

This surprised me since I was supposed to be the only one home. I turned around and I saw a man I did not recognize waking up from sleeping on the couch. I was shocked to see someone sleeping there, but the fact that he seemed to know my name and was sleeping indicated to me he was not a potential robber or a hit man coming to do me harm. You see, most hit men and robbers do not sleep on the couch in the house of their intended victims. At least not the good ones. If it's a hit man, they tend to want to surprise you and be awake when they try to off you, since it makes it easier to shoot someone when they do not have crusty bits in their eyes from sleeping. If it's a robber, well, the whole idea is to get in and out with the valuables and without being noticed.

This guy had a computer set up on the coffee table, a comfy little pad set up on the couch, so whoever it was seemed to be perfectly happy on the couch, so I felt that perhaps he had a reason to be there. I know the first reaction from me should have been, "AAAA!!! (whips out gun) WHO ARE YOU?" That is what a nice normal person is supposed to do. My concern was that I did not want to be rude. As if asking some guy I could not quite place questions like, 'who are you and why are you here?' would somehow be rude. I mean really, what if I happen to be dealing with a hit man that happens to have the flu and is really sick? I really should get answers before I start heating up some chicken soup.

In my mind I figured that my roommate might have something knowledge of this man. After all, there was no broken windows to indicate forced entry. Asking her right then and there was a bit problematic since she was currently in New York City, it was late at night back there and I figured I would just call her in the morning. So I made some small talk with the stranger, never asking details like what is his name, why is he sleeping on the couch and does he have a contract out on me. Instead I excused myself and I went to bed with a strange man sleeping on the couch.

The next day I got up, wandered out to the living room to find ... nothing.

No computer, no extra pillows, no blankets, nothing to indicate anyone but the dog had been sleeping on the couch. All of the evidence of a sleeping man was missing.

So then I started to think maybe a dreamed all of this. I do that sometimes. I will dream wild scenarios complete with graphic details and long conversations.

So I decided to call my roommate in New York and find out the answer.

It turns out that her cousin was staying with us. He just moved into a new place on September 1st and found out his landlord was such a psycho that he left the apartment. He just walked out, left the keys, the paid balance of his rent and decided that sleeping on my couch was far preferable than dealing with his landlord.

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