Friday, June 22, 2007

Linda and The Late Night Intruder

Pat and I woke one night to the sound of voices. We could not hear clearly what was being said, nor did the voices seem to be coming from inside the apartment, but they were close. Looking at the clock on the night stand, I saw it was 1:30 a.m. We both had to work the next day.

Pulling on jeans and a shirt, I opened the bedroom door and walked into the livingroom to find Linda pacing back and forth, and just beyond her, the front door stood open. Cautiously approaching the door to see where the voices were coming from, I asked Linda what was going on. Before she had a chance to answer, I saw four Campbell police cars parked downstairs with two officers getting back into one of the cars.

"He was trying to break in," Linda said, "so I called 9-1-1." "Who was trying to break in?," I asked, "And why didn’t you wake us up?" "The guy who lives downstairs," she replied.

We had a fairly new neighbor living directly below us, but we had not met and knew nothing about him. As far as I recall, he didn’t seem to be home very often, and when he was, he kept to himself. This wasn’t making sense to me. But then, by that time, a lot of what Linda did didn’t make a lot of sense. Since the Christmas party, and after losing her job, she seemed even less in control. Much of her time was spent in her room, staying up late, "creating" her spit and ink pictures, or wandering around public parks and gardens during the day, communing with nature. She was smoking marijuana nearly continually.

From what Linda told me that night, she believed our downstairs neighbor was sawing through his ceiling and her floor in order to break into our apartment. She told me she had heard him before, late at night, but on that particular night, it was louder and lasted longer, and she was scared.

While I returned to the bedroom to tell Pat what was going on, Linda talked again with the police. They reported that they had knocked on the man’s door, and it was clear he had been sleeping. They questioned him but didn’t believe he had anything to do with the noise Linda heard, and he had not heard anything himself. The police concluded that the sound was likely caused by roof rats from the trees and vegetation surrounding the four-plex we lived in.

At the time, I thought this incident was pretty hilarious and extremely typical of Linda, but in hindsight, I think Linda was having some fairly serious mental problems. She became a bit more erratic as time passed. We would often hear her in her room, singing along with whatever she was listening to on her headphones or occasionally having arguments with herself. Sometimes we would hear objects striking the wall. Although Linda never frightened me, I learned later that Pat was truly hesitant to leave me alone with her.

A few months after this incident, Pat and I got married and Linda moved out. Between a new job, a new husband, and a soon-to-be new baby, I lost touch with her, but I recall someone told me they thought she had moved back to the L.A. area. Wherever she is, I hope Linda got help and is now living a happy life. She really was a good person to spend time with before things got to be too much for her.


Your sister in law said...

Where did you get a picture of the Campbell police car. I had forgotten all about Linda. She was a character, wasn't she.

sharon said...

Here's hoping that she's not moved near me.

Pieces From Me said...

Remember this old commercial..."This is your brain...this is your brain on drugs." I can see the frying pan hitting that egg while reading about Linda today. I to hope she got help and put her life together, but I can see her with salt and pepper hair roaming the parks of LA and spitting into her ink in between hits! Pat was right to be concerned

QuiltingFitzy said...

OK, so she's not to be reckoned with, lol, but a part of your "growing up" memories. Funny how once good friends chose different paths, isn't it?

You lived SO CLOSE to where I just moved from! I mean - blocks!