Last night before going to bed I finished reading China Miéville's The City & the City, which is a novel with a wonderful concept (actually it's a pretty great application of infrathin, whether Miéville was aware of it or not), albeit only a pretty-good execution--I wish he had chosen a different plot to explore this concept, really, but still: good book, overall.
Anyway, I finished it and then went to bed. I actually managed to fall into a pretty deep sleep, and was having some interesting dreams, inspired by the novel, when the sound of somebody outside trying to open my bedroom window woke me up at about a quarter to three in the morning. This is, to me, a fairly surreal thing to wake up to, and coming out of a dream as I was it was hard to figure out if it was real or not. Coming out of the specific dream I was having made it even more difficult, because, thinking I might still be somewhere in Miéville's Besźel and Ul Qoma I wasn't sure how to tell if I was allowed to hear the noise. After a moment or two, though, I managed to shake it and realize that, no, I was awake, and no, I wasn't in a fictional split city, and yes, there really were people outside my window trying to get it open.
I sat up. What with the angles and the lighting I don't think they could see me do it, but my bed is very creaky, and when I sat up it made a lot of noise. They must have heard it, because the noises I could hear immediately changed from fiddling with my window to running the fuck away. I heard them hop the fence, and by the time I was out of bed they were long gone.
I'm not going to pretend like this is some sort of big traumatic deal, because it definitely, definitely isn't. But I admit that I immediately reacted like it was. I turned into a quivering granny, scared of every sound, scared that the scary intruders would come back and do something scary. Far, far more shameful than this (I can deal, personally, with being a wuss) is that I thought, "If I call 911 now, maybe the cops can catch them." Catch them.
Anyone who's going to try to break into my house and steal something probably, frankly, needs it more than I do. Either that, or they're going to be thrill-seeking kids. Actually, that second in this case seems more likely to me, judging both by the size of the footprints I can see outside today and by the ineptness of the attempt--trying to break in in the middle of the night, when people are pretty much guaranteed to be home, and considering also that the Baronette and her car--the only car at this house--just got back from being away for almost a week, which means that for the first time in several days the house is displaying what most people consider a definite sign of occupancy.
So: either desperately poor, or young, dumb and bored, or both. And my immediate reaction was to send pigs with guns and electric torture devices after them so that they could be locked up. And I know what the cops are, and I know what the prison system is. There is no excuse.
In my own defense, I didn't consider it for very long before I decided that given a choice between people trying to break in in the middle of the night on the one hand, and fucking pigs on the other, I know who I more trust in my home. And hell, if I'm going to have potentially violent thugs trying to get into my house at quarter to three in the morning, the least I can do is not invite them.
But oh man. Nothing like an attempted break in to bring me face to face with my attachment to my property, and my own instinctive hypocrisy. Stuff to work on.