Last night was the third night in a row that I have been awakened at (or after) midnight by the sound of our building shaking. Since an action movie is being filmed in our neighborhood, I assumed that this was only part of the action, albeit a very LOUD part. (I didn't think those Hollywood explosions would actually shake buildings blocks away!) But there was definitely something different about the crashing sounds last night. For one thing, they had a sort of "footfall" pattern, as if someone were actually walking on the roof above our heads. (Our little cubicles are on the top floor. And there's a skylight.) Then there was the dull thud of something very heavy falling down, causing debris to clatter on the ceiling tiles in my room.
This was no movie.
I peeked out of my room and saw Sr. Helena tromping down the hall to call 911. Sr Margaret Michael (national vocation director, still here from the discernment retreat) peeked out of her cubicle, too. Satisfied that Chicago's Finest would take to the fire escape and save the day (or the night), we closed our doors and went back to... well, not sleep, that's for sure. (I tried, but... So I prayed for the truly unwelcome visitor, whom by this time I had named Louie in honor of today's saint.) At 3:00 the crashing started again, more vigorously than ever. No more peeking out of rooms. Before long, all five of us were in the hall, and Sr. Helena was again trying to explain to the 911 operator that someone, probably a homeless person, was really on our roof, and that we were really worried about the skylight situation, and no we were NOT going to go up on the fire escape to see for ourselves and describe the person. (By this point, the lights were on.) Eventually, a police officer did come, and Sr. Helena followed him up the fire escape. They didn't find Louie, but they did see that he had been in the elevator shaft area (unlocked!). The policeman locked the access door and gave a few after the fact sort of recommendations, and we were back to our cubicles for what remained of the "night." And I felt a twinge of pity for poor Louie who will probably make his way back to our roof, and find perhaps that some of his belongings have been locked away (until we can find a key to that room; that's why it wasn't locked). Needless to say, we all slept in today!