It happened again tonight: About 10 p.m. a car pulls up at my house. I'm sitting where I can't see it; I can only feel its vibrations through the floor; then the car door slams. I'm not expecting anyone. Nobody just "drops by" here on a friendly visit, not at 10 p.m.
This happened before, in November, on a Saturday at the same hour. Someone knocked at the screen door, then did it again, harder, rattling it, when I did not answer. I called out "Who is it?" and got no reply. I called out again; still no answer. To my horror, I was rooms away from my phone and saw that I'd left the door unlocked. Insulation blocked all but two of my windows so I couldn't see out or see the car. So I hid. The car left. After a while I triple-locked the door and found my phone and kept it near.
Then the car came back and whoever it was knocked again. I had no enemy unless you count a student whose creative writing described the use of firearms and car bombs, the first student in my 29 years of teaching who, that same week, aware of the penalties, grossly insulted his classmates, and when rebuked, replied very unpleasantly. This time I phoned 911. The deputy arrived 15 minutes later, but the car was gone. I hadn't seen it, or the visitor, so couldn't describe them.
Tonight, when I heard a car pull up unannounced and then a slam and a knock, I secured a certain item and accessories I now keep handy, and with a body hardened by fight training and judo crawls, lay low with my phone where I couldn't be seen, with the item trained on the door. I didn't ask who it was. I simply waited.