There is something that is freaking me out about my new room in the new house…when will all of this stop being new, by the way? I moved in almost a month ago. Any idea? Anyway, the new room in the new house is very nice and all but it’s causing me to lose sleep and I don’t know what to do about it and it’s sort of scary. It’s the rustling, you see.

My old bed in the new room in the new house is in a corner between two windows, one of which looks out at a cherry tree and then my housemate C’s car, and the other of which looks out at the fence that separates us…barely…from the neighbors’ yard. Ground level. I’m keeping one of the windows a little open because it’s been hot lately and because I am, apparently, a little delicate flower who needs to sleep in a carefully climate-controlled microclimate that can be neither too cold, nor, heaven forbid, too hot. All pretty straightforward so far, yes?

It happens every night. Sometimes at ten, last night at a quarter to two, but always after the sun goes down. It’s this…rustling. Every night. What it sounds like is that someone is walking under the cherry tree outside my window(slightly open, for climate control purposes) and scuffing his or her feet in the dry leaves. Right next to my head. At first I thought it was a raccoon or a possum until I remembered that there probably aren’t any raccoons in the Pacific Northwest and there definitely aren’t any possums. And maybe the first night I thought it was C coming in late. But it happens every night and it is terrifying because it’s right by my head and I wake up every time and roll away from the window to the side of the bed nearer the bedside table and facing away from that window because I would rather just be surprised when the Killer Leaf Rustler comes to slaughter me in my sleep.

That’s what’s keeping me from just popping up and sticking my face up to the window every time I hear it…it’s dark outside! What if the Rustler has his face right by the window and is looking at me! Like Boo Radley! What if the only thing keeping him (somehow I’m convinced it’s a him) from killing me in my sleep is the fact that I haven’t looked out the window and witnessed him a) eating raw cats, b) prancing around in an evening gown, high heels, and a feather boa, or c) both at the same time and so he figures his dastardly secrets are safe but if anyone were to ever witness him he’d be forced to kill? Especially since the gown-and-boa thing is really overdone? What if lying awake and shivering with my back to the window is the only thing keeping me alive?

Regardless, it happens every night and last night I wondered if it was one of the neighbors on the other side of the fence, which is, as I mentioned, very close to the side of the house where my bed is ensconced, and you know, maybe the neighbors just like to walk around out there, every night at different times. Maybe the Rustler isn’t directly outside my window after all. But you see what a quandary I’m in…I’ll never know for sure because I can’t bring myself to peek out the window during Rustling Time. Meanwhile I’m not getting enough sleep and am living in fear. Rustler, if you are reading this…and I dearly, sincerely, fervently hope you are not…please. Please let me sleep through the night. I am feeling a little under the weather lately and I have a sore throat and I am very itchy for no reason at all and I just really could use the rest. Please go rustle under someone else’s window, every single night, okay?

The light at the end of this tunnel is that Rob and Anna are coming to visit this weekend and maybe I’ll make them sleep in my room and when the Rustler rustles then they can stick their faces to the window and see what’s going on. Or do you think it would be rude to expose houseguests to sure and imminent death like that?

IMPORTANT INFORMATION, ADDED A COUPLE MINUTES AFTER I SENT THE NOTIFY: Okay, according to at least two alert and local-zoology-savvy locals, there are both raccoons and possums in Seattle. I had no idea. I’ve never seen one. However, it doesn’t make me feel much better to know that it’s now a marsupial plotting my death.

EDITED TO ADD: A giant marsupial.

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