One night I went to a party and got rather drunk. It snowed that night, which was an extreme rarity, and we all went out and threw snowballs and walked through the park, soaking our feet.
I made it home a little after 3:00 AM, ready to hit the bed so I could be up again and off to work by 10:00. But at the end of the hall, next to the door to my tiny, one-room apartment, lay a man under a newspaper, curled tightly against the wall.
My landlord had warned me that homeless people might try to sleep there, as it was at the end of a dark hall and had a nice little open space. He’d asked me to kick them out or call him to kick them out, but I wasn’t interested in doing that on a night when it was snowing. He looked like he was shivering a little and I debated for a moment giving him an old blanket from my closet.
But as I came closer, his orange sweatshirt looked rather familiar. “Jeremy?” I asked, peering over top to see if it was my old alcoholic roommate.
“Jeremy!” I said again. “Wake up. You wanna sleep on the couch?”
“Meh,” he replied, and curled up tighter against the wall.
“Hey Jeremy… what’re you doin’, man?”
“Fuck off,” he slurred.
I laughed. “You just wanna sleep out here all night?”
“Fuck off,” he repeated. “I know what you’re doing… trying to trick me… You’re not real.”
“Ha! No, I’m real—“
“Kalin!” he called. “You’re never coming home! Oh God I just wait and wait and wait and you never ever come home!”
“I’m home now,” I said.
“No!” he shouted. “You’re not real.” His voice turned into a low whine. “You’re never coming home!”
“Dude! Come on! I’m right here. I’m home. Get up you drunk-ass.”
“Alright, whatever Dude,” I said. “I’ll leave the door unlocked if you change your mind.”
I went inside, leaving the door hanging open, and dug into my closet to find an old blanket to throw on top of him, but as I returned I met him at the door. He stumbled through, holding himself up against the wall and finally fell onto my couch.
“Were you out partying?” he asked.
“Yeah, me too,” he said.
“Yeah, I can tell.”
He pulled out his pipe. “Wanna smoke some weed?”
So we sat for about an hour and smoked some pot and chatted, then we both went to sleep.
In the morning my alarm went off, but Jeremy didn’t stir from his place on the couch. I left for work and just left him there on the couch to sleep it off. When I came home that evening, Jeremy was gone and everything was as I’d left it.
A few days later Jeremy called me and started off slowly and carefully. “Um… I wanted to talk to you… and apologize to you… about something… so… I have a question… I woke up in your house the other day and I don’t know how I got there. I looked at all the windows and I couldn’t find anything broken… the door still worked and everything… but… did I break into your apartment the other night?”