We often sleep with our windows open to save money, and the noises of the city can actually be a nice white noise machine. Loud noises have become a familiar and almost comforting way for me to fall asleep.
Except when those noises become shouts in the night.
Only last week I woke up to hear someone shouting. In my half-sleep daze, I could have sworn I heard the man’s voice coming from within the halls of the apartment. I also could have sworn he was shouting, “The Jonas Brothers are here!” Repetitively.
In my efforts to hear what was going on, I could tell the voice was moving. Soon it sounded as if the voice was coming from outside. Then banging noises filled the air, and more voices joined his in argument.
Suddenly I could hear sirens start up and heard more voices join the chorus. I laid back down as the voices quieted. The night was silent once more.
I thought that maybe this night interruption was a part of my dreams, mixed with the noises of the night. But a few days after this event, we got a letter directly delivered to our apartment. Slipped under the door.
In the letter, we learned that someone had hopped the fence to the apartment complex and broken into one of the tenant’s apartments. Somehow no one was injured, and the situation was resolved quickly.
Their response? They were hiring a new security guard and installing barb wire to the top of our current fences.
As I explained this story to a friend, he told me of his own experiences with an empty apartment that he kept hearing noises come from. He had lived in that room previously, so he still had an extra key.
When he opened the door one day after getting tired of hearing noises and not knowing what was going on, he saw a large group of people. They had started to secretly use the room as a drug den.
Though these people were removed from the room, more people came. The landlord put bars on the windows and changed the locks. Nothing really worked. Eventually, his landlord just gave him a discount on his rent.
It’s easy to say that I learned that the area might not be as safe as it seems. Though it’s almost as if the night attracts more dangerous situations, because people can hide in a blanket of darkness.
The good news is, the police station is only a block away, and no one got hurt. But what did I personally learn?
Firstly, I’m glad I live on the third floor. But that doesn’t mean I’m safe necessarily. It’s good to stay alert and recognize when sounds aren’t the usual noises of the night.
It’s also a good idea to get to know your neighbors on the floor. It’s not helpful to anyone to be suspicious of people who are where they’re supposed to be. But it is helpful to be able to recognize when strangers are walking around.
Lastly, I think it’s safe to say that it’s okay to not feel super safe. I live right next to Downtown, and there are a lot of people out at night. Even though I live in a nice area with schools and nice families, crazy things can happen.
Has anything crazy happened to you in your neighborhood? Do you have any tips for living in the city? Leave a comment below to share your story.