A few nights ago there was a frantic knocking at my door. I ignored it for awhile but eventually I was distracted enough to pause my iview stream and answer it. A young American girl stood on my doorstep. Rather nervously, she told me that she was on her way to meet a friend for a house interview, but there was a woman standing on the corner screaming, so she felt reticent about crossing the road. I stepped out onto the porch.
"So there is." I observed.
There was an awkward moment of silence, before the young American girl said:
"I feel like I should call for help or something. Do you think she's alright?"
"No - I think she's alright." I said. "I'll re-evaluate if she stops screaming."
The young American girl and I stood and stared at one another for a few seconds, then she said:
"Do you mind if I stay on your porch until she goes?"
"Oh I'm so sorry!" I said, " Do you want to come in? Please, feel free to hang around here for a bit. It's much warmer inside."
She thanked me and stepped inside, to witness me scraping piles of unfurled newspapers from the sofa to make way for her. She sat on the very edge of the seat and began dialling madly on her mobile.
"So are you moving to the area because you're studying at LaTrobe?" I asked.
"Yes." she replied.
"Oh that's great, how exciting." I said. "And you're going for a room in a house right now?"
"Yes." she replied, still dialling. "I'm supposed to meet my friend, but she's not answering."
She looked up at me.
"Is this a safe area?" she asked.
"Absolutely." I replied, "Ok, so once in a while there's a crazy domestic like out there right now, but mostly it's just retirees and young families, and usually it's really quiet. I've spent the last 20 years living in the inner city, and I've got to say that I feel safer walking around here at night than I ever did back there."
I admit that I felt a little smug at this point, like a great ambassador of the 'Voir, spreading The Word.
There was a momentary pause, and then I realised I was wearing mini-uggs and tracky dacks, and she was sitting in between piles of my old newspapers. Faint screams were still audible in the distance.
I don't know if she got the house or not. I'll keep an eye out for her.