City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Paul Beston
Unquiet Nights « Back to Story

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I really enjoyed that. I felt like I was there with you. And, I recalled, as you did, that one lingering fear that follows from childhood, the intruder.
Only, My fear is substantiated with a couple instances of such intrusion.
Nice writing!
Get a cat . Or two . Then when things go bump in the night : " It's just the cat(s)" . You'll sleep better .
Mr. Beston would do well, given Beacon's proximity to Newburgh, and its flourishing MS13 community, to insure that despite New York State's loathsome efforts to legally discourage such a God given right, he is in possession of more than a book, when those feet appear beneath the door. Sheldon Silver and his criminal coterie in the assembly demand that those Specific Demands be politely listened to while he and his wife attempt to exit their home in order not to endanger the safety of the intruder, who might well be a member of their constituency. I would personally suggest taking the legal risk of a rapid and preemptory application of four-o buckshot.
Our semi-detached, Victorian house in Toronto is 125 years old—old for Toronto. On our first night, 33 years ago, I awoke in the very early hours of that summer morning. There was someone on the stairs, “someone . . . material, with specific demands”: I was terrified. We survived the night. The footsteps on the stairs: just one of our “attached” neighbours leaving town for a fishing trip.

Now, we have an adopted cat, a beautiful, scaredy-cat tabby about 15 years old. After two years, he’ll actually sleep part of the night with my husband and me: we leave our door ajar. When he leaves the carpeted hallway and enters our room, on the hardwood floor, if I’m awake, I can hear his paw-steps. I marvel at my house’s very sturdy, but telling, bones.