The enemy within

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"Alan!" she pushed from the bottom of her lungs in a hurried whisper, immediately waking me from deep sleep. She rarely calls me by my name, unless there's trouble, and it's usually due to trouble that I've created.
"Alan!" she screams again in her loudest whispered tone. I give her the attention any man gives his wife at times like these…that cautioned, certain look that says something's wrong and I'm about to be told it's my fault.
"I was sitting in the living room reading and I heard the garage door open," she said.
Well, that gets me off the hook.
"Which one?" I asked, sitting up in bed, suddenly refocused on the fact that she said my name twice instead of the half-dozen or so names she uses depending on the occasion.
"Mine," she said, meaning the overhead door on the side of the garage where she pulls in.
"What time is it?" I ask.
I knew it was late, or early in the morning. I knew garage doors don't just open by themselves, and that it's especially disturbing when it happens in the middle of the night. And someone could've been coming up the stairs from the basement looking to go all Log Hill Lucifer on us.
But I guess I was having sensory overload, and all these random stimuli made me start at square one.
I stared at her. She at me. Yes, I could see, it didn't matter what time it was. I was going to have to get out of bed and go down there.
This better be good.
What could these intruders want? Maybe they came to steal all of the stuff my son left in the basement until he and Kelly find a permanent home? That wouldn't be so bad. I could just wait it out, I rationalize to myself.
"Are you going down there?” she said.
Naturally, this was presented as a question. But it was more akin to an order: "Get your rear in gear and solve this!"
In the span of two minutes, the problem had now become mine.
It's 2:30 a.m., the garage door has opened and I'm headed down to find out why. Do I get the gun? No, I don't need the gun and don't want to take the time to get it.
Why the heck do I have a gun, if not for moments like these?
I look out to the driveway and sure enough I can see the garage light cast out into the night.
I grab a big knife from the kitchen instead. And I take my dog Buster with me. He couldn't have been happier to have been called into service.
Down the stairs we go. I open the door and Buster runs through the garage and out to the driveway, stops and turns, and has that look like “Are we going for a walk?"
Not that look of “Hey, there's a dude crouched in the corner behind the truck!"
I'm not going to say I felt completely awkward, standing in the garage in the middle of the night in my long johns, holding a big knife. Buster, certainly, was not impressed, and had given up all hope of this being about him. He visited a few trees while I checked it out, around my truck and around the rental car Beecher picked up that day to drive while her vehicle was in the shop.
No bad guys.
I closed the garage door, made sure the house was locked up, got Buster a treat and went back to bed.
I was drifting off into Never-Never Land, having visions of tossing nefarious, mean dudes in a dark alley, when I heard the bedroom door open.
"Alan!" she whispered in a less frantic burst. "I think I know what happened."
This better be good.
Turns out, she surmised, that when she reached into her satchel to get something to read, she hit the garage door opener that she had taken from her vehicle when she dropped it off at the body shop.
It took me a while to get back to sleep. All my villains were gone, from the garage and from the dark alley of my heroic dream.
All that remained was my wife, awake in the living room, armed with a Kindle and a garage door opener.