Tell me about the first time you heard the fridge knocking.
It started at home. Late at night, alone, I had turned to leave the kitchen and I’d hear it. Knock Knock knock. I ran out to the patio door to see if someone had come in through the back gate. I let the dog out. No-one was there. I chalked it up to fatigue. I’d been pulling extra shifts since getting my new apartment. I had only been living on my own for a year since leaving B.C and I couldn’t believe how expensive it had been for just a bachelor apartment. I mean, it is in a better part of town. I can’t be down around the south end right now. Too close to the whole mess ya know. Makes you wonder why I ended up in a kitchen job but, ya. It’s what I could get. With everything. So ya, I figured I was tired and let it alone. I checked and re-checked all the doors that night. Got a little squirrelly before heading to bed so left the living room light on which bothered the dog for a bit as it wasn’t really routine. She paced for about an hour which really tugged at my anxiety. But she settled and so did I. And I forgot about it.
But then it happened again. About a week later. I had a couple guys over from work. They knew about my situation and dropped by with a pizza. I’m fine to be around it now. It’s not an issue for me to be around it. I can have friends over for pizza and its not a big deal anymore. Not like before. We played card games. I got a bit tense when the cards came out but I kept it cool. No poker. They never even noticed. But I felt fine, really I did. We even did a little arm wrestling. Guy stuff. All really fine and super normal. I think I really just had a normal time. I had fun actually. See that’s where I think I went wrong there. I let my guard down. I wasn’t on alert. Near the end of the night I carried the empty pizza boxes and stuff into the kitchen and there it was again. Right out nowhere. The fridge knocked at me. Three times. Knock Knock Knock.
I immediately yelled for the guys to shut up. Which, looking back now seemed a bit rash but I needed silence in that exact moment. The guys got all antsy and got up to come to the kitchen but I yelled again Shut Up and to stay where they were. I crept over to the fridge and waited. I nearly pressed my ear to the door when one of the guys was right behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. I was so startled I just turned around and hit him. Bang. Right hook to the jaw. He came up right behind me when I told him to be quiet and stay still. I mean, he was told what to do. I guess looking back now it was a bit over the top. But who creeps up on someone like that, in their own home. It’s just not something you do to a guy. It was pretty awkward at work the next few days. His jaw was messed up so he couldn’t work. I talked one of the younger hostesses who knew him into giving me his address. I went over everyday for two weeks with soup from the good deli downtown as I knew he probably couldn’t eat anything too chewy. You know looking back, he never said thank you.
Every night I stood in my kitchen and listened to the fridge. I did that for eight days straight. Nothing. I finally pulled it out from the wall and checked all the wires. I called the Landlord to come and do a once over on it. I youtubed how to clean out the freezer part and made sure there weren’t any loose shelves in the main compartment. Looking back now all that work seemed so silly. Waste of time really.
I felt better after that. Work was so busy. Busy season as they say. The restaurant has two patios they open up in the summer so the work was there if I wanted it. And I totally did. I needed every penny I could make. I wasn’t going to slip back to where I was before. No. Also I wanted to make sure my pup was getting all her shots which adds up. She was a rescue so she needed a bit more care. Looking back, I feel like we rescued each other. I was still watching the fridge, but less and less every day. I finally even turned out the living room light when I went to bed which messed up the pup again. She got used to the light ya know.
I got invited to a staff party one night. It was a really big party. It was on a boat. I wasn’t sure how it would go being so closed in with everything. And I’m not so good on boats. Seasick. I can’t take anything for it now either ya know. Grin and bear as it my grandma used to say. Looking back I remember the night sky being really pretty, all pink and gold. I thought how I never see the sky like that. I did a lot of talking which surprised everyone. And me too I guess. Usually I’m just asking these people to stack those plates over there please. But not that night. I was talking about all kinds of things. I like talking about subjects I’ve read about in the paper or headlines I’ve seen on tv. I really know how to start conversations with people. It just gets a bit muddled when I have to finish them. But it wasn’t a problem as everyone was pretty into the party and didn’t notice me slipping in and out of conversations. Looking back now I think I should have been a bit less friendly. Because it got really loud and I was talking to this one server who was leaning over the railing smoking, and I couldn’t hear her very well. I smiled at her while she talked. She talked a lot with her hands which made me both nervous but also want to smile. But she kept saying something I just couldn’t hear. So I asked her to repeat it. A few times. She did. But I still couldn’t hear it. Then she reached her hand up near the side of my head and knocked on my skull three times saying knock knock knock anybody home. I mean, looking back now, she really shouldn’t have done that to someone she didn’t know. We hadn’t even spoken until that night. Who did she think she was hammering on my head that way. And how did she know to knock three times like the fridge did. Thats not a coincidence is it. No. Its not a coincidence, its a connection. Its a message. Anyway, the boat wasn’t even that far from the dock so swimming back wasn’t a big deal. Seems silly to call it a boat cruise when its only a few hundred meters from shore. Looking back, I think I should have trusted my instincts and just stayed on land.
Anyway, I think I got some water in my ears swimming back from the boat cruise party because I started having trouble hearing out of my left ear. It got all foggy and nothing I heard on that side was clear. Except for one thing. The knocking. It wasn’t just the fridge anymore. It was everything. My pillow. My toilet. The doors. The lamps. My clothing. My rubber gloves at work. The water in the dish pit came out as knocks not gushes. The servers talking to me spoke in knocks not words. All day. All night. Even my pup. She barked in knocking sounds. I did my best ya know, but it was only a matter of time. I mean the answer was right there all along. Looking back now I realize it was my fault for ignoring it for so long. Had I just listened in the first place we wouldn’t be here today. You would have done the same thing I’m sure, had you been in my position. I did my best ya know. And this time I was clear headed. No booze. No drugs. I knew exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it. It feels good to know I was able to make a decision like this with a clear head.
Are you saying that your actions were deliberate? That your plan was premeditated?
Well I don’t normally use words like premeditated or deliberate but I do like talking to you and I like how they sound, in my one ear anyway. Looking back I guess you could say that there was a plan. Can’t take all the credit though. It wasn’t quite ALL my plan.
Who’s plan would you say it was then?
Isn’t it obvious?
There are many aspects of your story that are not obvious to me. Can you please tell me, in your own words, who’s plan this was?
I will. But I actually have to get ready for my shift at the restaurant. Can we pick this up tomorrow?
I’ll have to remind you again, there is no restaurant shift tonight. Let’s circle back to-
Wait, where’s Shelia.
Your dog isn’t here with you. We talked about his yesterday. Can we foc-
A Nurse enters the room
Knock Knock Knock….Time fo-