2:30am and the cats leap off the bed simultaneously, waking me instantly, wondering when the first wave of the apocalyptic earthquake will start. It doesn’t come. Instead I hear banging and footsteps just outside my window.
Someone was on the roof of the building next to our apartment.
Long time readers will know that we’ve had troubles with the next door roof for some time:
…And we’ve been good this year. Not once did we have to chase any kind of exploratory idiot off the roof during the hot summer months.
Until last night, of course.
As I wake up, I flick on some lights to give the roof dwellers fore-knowledge that someone is around watching what they’re doing. I’m not stupid enough to run right out there and start confronting some titwad who might be dangerous. Our neighbourhood may border on some of the most expensive homes in Toronto, but just south, west and east of our house is some of downtown Toronto’s worst.
I put on my clothes and exit the back door to the fire escape. Why our landlord can’t install a one-way door or a down-ladder only system is beyond me. Oh that’s right, he’s cheap. He’s taken last summer’s water and electricity hike personally and blamed us for the near doubling of his bill. Especially when I take 2-3 showers a week at the gym.
Two buildings over, across the rooftops, I can see two guys unsteadily shuffling down a slanted roof, leading to our neighbour’s back patio. They jump one after the other, landing on what sounds like the hood of a car. After a moment they come around the fence of the patio next to our house and I hear “Oh man… there’s someone watching us!”
I can smell them before they come over. Drunk. Immediately my past doorman training kicks in. I stand, hands at my side, blank look on my face.
They side up to the fire escape where I’m standing. One leans over and looks at the roof structure that juts out directly from our back door. It covers a storage area for the store beneath us.
“Hhhh–heeeyyy-y,” the Greeting Guy says to me, unsure if I’m going to be mad or be, like, a dude and be real happy they’re up on our property at 2:30am doing stupid shit.
The Leaner Guy sizes up the storage roof next to us and says “Think we can make it?”
“You ever hear of Parkour?” Greeter Guy says to me.
Time stops for me right there. They’re considering jumping onto a roof that is less than 2/3″ thick plywood. They would have gone through it like a fist through a seasoned bottom at a sex club. For the briefest of moments, I consider encouraging them to jump (or keeping silent) and letting them fly the 15ft across the divide onto the flimsy roof which would have resulted in a broken bone somewhere on their bodies. That would teach them something. But then I’d be a villain and I’m sure a 911 call would have to be made as well as a call to the owner of the store to come get two broken drunk assholes out of his ruined storage locker.
“You. Better. Go.” I say slowly, calmly and clearly.
They get the hint. They leave.
I go back to sleep dreaming of the “what-ifs”