Too close for comfort.
It’s 8.40pm, the end of a long productive work day, no TV tonight. An early bed, maybe a little quiet brainstorm before I call it a night. How do I slow my mind? Too much stuff floating around. Maybe I should try meditating. But how? I read somewhere that counting helps. I doze off. Moments later i’m slowly opening my eyes to my well lit room and see the figure of man in a blue over sized t-shirt and equally over sized washed out blue jeans. It took me two seconds to realise this was not part of the dream. It was too vivid, and the knife that was lifted shoulder high bore the same handle as the one in my kitchen. The face wasn’t pleasant nor familiar. The scamper and scream that came out from me even surprised me. I was pleading ‘Don’t kill me, don’t kill me, please don’t kill me’. The queen sized bed was now the only separation between me and the knife welding new roommate I’d just woken up to and I was in a corner.
“I not gonna kill you, shut up!”. That was reassuring. My pleads for life continued. I began seeing it clear as day; a knife to the chest, a slit throat - the pain. Is this really how it’s gonna end? Why me? I have nothing, done nothing. Yet i’ll be in the news tomorrow with multiple stab wounds. I now fully understand the phrase ‘shaking like a leaf’, my knees were weak, stomach turning. “Take anything you want boss, please doh kill me.”
“I not gonna kill you as long as you doh make noise, now weh the money.”
There was no money expect for some singles laying around in different corners of the apartment after visits to supermarkets or misc. trips.
“I have no money boss, please doh kill me.”
“Stop lying to me, weh you working?”
As long as the bed kept the distance between life and possible death I slowly got control on myself, my thoughts, my knees but not the fear.
“I work from home, i’m a designer, I does make websites and design stuff.” I also managed to utter another ‘please doh kill me’.
“Weh the jewelry, the gold chain.”
“Boss I doh wear jewelry, I have no jewelry.”
Somehow this stranger realised I was looking at him dead in his face.
“Turn round and face the wall, and doh watch me. How much money you have in yuh bank account?”
Slowly turning to the wall I answered $76.77. Dude probably couldn’t believe I was as broke as him. By now my cell phone was in his free hand and the headset around his neck.
“I feel you lying to me. Tha’s the only phone you have?”
“I’m not lying boss, I have no money.” I answered keeping him in view while slightly turned to the wall.
‘Weh you from?’
‘WEH YOU FROM?’
I honestly didn’t know what to say. ‘Grenada.’ That’s where i’m from. Grenada. Maybe he knew folks from there. Was really hoping it might make a difference.
“A man send me to kill you.”
Those words were as sharp as a physical blow to the chest. I was waiting for my heart to stop at some point, the pounding was too much. I also think he saw the shock on my face as I turned from the wall pleading for my life.
“I tell you watch the wall.” The knife hand was lifted.
‘Please, doh kill me’ was all I could manage to utter.
“You going UWI?”
“Marlon send me here to kill you, he saw you harassing he girl and he doh want that.”
“Boss you have the wrong person. I don’t know what you’re talking bout.”
This exchange went on couple more times with my trying to convince the stranger he had the wrong guy.
He is now going through my closet, making the distance between us no more than three steps apart with the bed no longer being a barrier. My barber style haircutter is placed on the bed. The search continues.
I’ve never been this close to my bedside table, then again, i’ve never been this close to the end. My end. I’m almost climbing the wooden structure in a vain effort to create more space between me, him and the knife.
“You renting here?”
“And you doh have money, you lying.”
“I ent lying.”
“I aint go kill yuh but I have to take yuh phone to bring back as proof. Yuh can’t call no police. Yuh can’t tell no police anything bout this.”
“I won’t tell anyone boss.” Whispers of ‘thank yous’ and nods.
“How you think I know to come in the back and your window would be open?”
It’s reassuring to know I didn’t leave me front door unlocked.
He’s now sitting at the edge of bed, the hold on the knife is a little looser. The face is darker than mine with even darker lips, a small mouth showing through a possible two weeks old scruff. The shoes looked well worn from what I can see exposed under the oversized pants leg.
“Wha you watching me so for, yuh trying to mark me face ah wah?”
I was half wall half him. “Ah not watching you.”
‘Watch the wall’ came out pretty stern this time around.
“The man paying me $6000 for the hit, so how much you paying me to cancel it?”
“I have no money.”
“Come come leh we go in the other room without the light I find you watching me like you trying to mark me.”
I’ve read the Trinidad newspapers enough to know what happens once you can identify a criminal to the authorities. The chances of being gagged and killed in whatever fashion goes up. Is this really how i’m going to die? I’m just supposed to walk into a dark room to my possible death?
I’m not shaking as much anymore.
He was up and moving towards the dark living room allowing the space between us to grow and giving me enough time to get a confirmed glance of the still opened back door.
Don’t think, just do. Don’t think, just do.
This was now me willing myself to make the great escape. Timing would be everything. Too soon and the bed will still be in my way and he’d be on me before I touch the back door drapes. Can I really jump the lattice barrier separating me from the neighboring apartment? Squeezing through the allotted space left there for possible maintenance men or in this case my uninvited roommate would be too much of a delay.
He now had one foot into the living room and gained a five or six feet distance between us with my slow pace following his lead. I’ve cleared the bed and all other possible obstacles; shoe rack and shoes, that can possible preventing my dash out to the dark back yard. Time to go.
Three long quick steps and i’m outside the back of my apartment. The almost five feet high lattice separation on my right took one pull and a heave to clear with no regard for my landing. I’m now screaming ‘helpppp’ at the top of my lungs. I’m back on my feet. This was still too close for comfort. Two steps forward and i’ve cleared my neighbor’s outdoor sink and washing machine heading to the second encounter with the lattice barrier separating the further neighboring apartment . The climb this time is a little more cautious but just as swift. I can feel the flesh of my inner left hand rip. Nothing too serious. The scream for help is more frantic as i pound on my neighbor’s back door.
The light is on inside but no response, no curtain movements.
A glance in the direction I fled from which now reveals a silhouette of my intruder squeezing his way through the open space between wall and lattice coming my direction. I need to keep moving.
I squeeze myself through the open space between lattice and wall that leads out into the open yard to the side of the building that is now occupied by two parked cars confirming that my upstairs neighbours are at home.
My yells for help never stopped. Now i’m running up the building’s side stairs with better hope of getting someone to let me in to safety. I’m clearing three threads on each step I take towards the top. I knock the first door I reach once in the corridor with the same urgency as I did my ground floor neighbor’s back door I previously visited. No response.
I wasted no time moving on towards apartment number two. The light now reveals a bleeding left ‘ring’ finger. The most blood i’ve shed in over a decade or more. There’s no pain though, just a cool flow of the red stuff staining both hands and the left side of my boxers.
I’m approaching the upcoming apartment and I can now see a familiar face peering through the window. Without hesitation the door is being unlocked and i’m ushered inside while i’m urging her to lock it back quickly. I’m now in a fully lit living room with someone I know and dripping blood all over the apartment’s clear floor.
“A man came into my place with a knife…”
Designing Instagram’s Logo
You may have noticed in last week’s update that the Instagram logo got a fresh look. Mackey Saturday (@saturday), a designer and typographer from Denver, Colorado, is the creative force behind Instagram’s logo.
An avid Instagrammer, Mackey committed himself to creating a logo that would resonate with the community: “My hope is that the new design maintains all the excitement and delight that Instagram has had from the beginning, but with an even more polished finish,” Mackey says.
Mackey spent countless hours collaborating with our team until the final design emerged. “I want people to know and see that every last detail is always being considered and that this is a place where they can confidently create and share new memories for years to come. I’m honored to have a part in helping further those moments and hope that this piece becomes synonymous with fond memories, joyful emotions, and thrilling aspirations for the community.”
Vignelli discusses his use of the grid as the basis for the layout of a book’s pages, using one of his classic book designs for the architect Richard Meier as an example.
Vignelli discusses his use of the grid as the basis for the layout of a book’s pages.