First, some of you may be confused as to why I’m posting a Christmas story in May. The truth is, this blog was supposed to “run” on Christmas 2015 but I scheduled it wrong. Sadly it was also when this story happened, so obviously I was going through some period in my life when I could not recognize dates, months or even years. Either way, I hope that the message comes through no matter what time of the year it is.
When I first moved to Brisbane in 2008, I lived on Harcourt Street. It was the street that literally divided New Farm from Fortitude Valley. For readers unfamiliar with Brisbane, New Farm is one of the most affluent inner-city suburbs, while Fortitude Valley boasts the city’s night scene, the majority of the city’s strip clubs and even some crack houses.
It has made leaps and bounds in the eight years I’ve lived here, with many of the strip clubs and crack houses being converted into all to do cocktail bars! Regardless, it was certainly a lively and interesting street to live on eight years ago and probably still is.
One night, I was fast asleep, only to be woken at a very late hour to a women screaming on repeat,
“Can someone help me. Please help me. I’m not a night crawler.”
I woke up immediately, very confused, and peered out my window without my glasses on. This last fact may seem irrelevant, but I was pretty blind those days. I could barely recognize my best friends without my glasses unless I was right up in their business.
Luckily, I’ve since had laser eye correction, so I’m now able to recognize night crawlers from very far distances. Actually, I’m not really sure what a night crawler is, but as my last name is Crawley, I feel I should take offence.
When I looked out the window, I saw the form of a single female. My reaction was to go outside without my glasses on and help her. This was opposite to the reaction of the 10 other people that lived in my apartment complex- which was to do nothing.
I’m still not sure to this day why I didn’t take the time to put on my glasses, but I guess I was so adamant about helping this person, that there were no time for spectacles.
I went down the two flights of stairs, thinking the whole time, “why didn’t I put on my effing glasses”. I then squinted my eyes to the fuzzy figure in the corner of my apartment garden. I probably looked just as scary to her as she did to me. After great lengths, I talked her into calmness; called her a cab and saw her off.
Between all of that, there was obviously a lot of exciting conversation about boyfriends and some other incoherent crap, some requests for money and requests to come inside, but eventually it all got sorted.
I still worry that she was not safe in that cab and maybe I should have called the police instead. I guess I will never know. I can only use the worry as a lesson learned for the next time a night crawler is outside my window. I mean not a night crawler – she obviously made that clear.
I also think back to what could have happened. When I recounted the story to co-workers the following Monday, many were concerned that I went down to help her. They all thought I should have just called the police and went back to bed or not got involved at all.
“What if she had a weapon?”
“What if she was just a ploy to get someone to come down so a guy could jump you?”
I guess every “what if” could have come true, but I would do it again if the situation presented itself.
If you have made it to this point in the story, you may be wondering what the hell this story has to do with Christmas (not withstanding the fact that it is not Christmas).
First, I thought of this memory completely out of the blue a few days ago. I took it as a sign to write about it. Although some points are comical, I decided it was really about helping someone. Thus, a story for Christmas. It is especially important to me, as I was helping another female get home safely, something that is still an issue in the 21st century.
I hope everyone is enjoying this Christmas Holiday with friends and family. If anyone wants to get me an early Christmas present, I would love for you to write to me about something you did over that helped someone else – no matter how small or big.
(BTW, the photo is the view from that apartment. True memories!)