Heeding My Gut Instinct

on January 28, 2010 in Misc

GutFeelings

Funny how a stranger you never meet face to face can teach you a big lesson. Even one you nicknamed Drama Queen.

I live in a 1929 art deco building in a nice old leafy neighborhood in Denver. It’s full of professional people. My condo is on the first floor and straddles two garden level studios that, instead of being owned, are rented out. In one of those studios lived — up until two weeks ago — the Drama Queen. D.Q. for short.

D.Q. moved in during November and in no time started creating her dramas. She had boyfriends coming and going at all hours and knocking on her windows and pleading with her to let them in. The boyfriends smoked (against building rules) which stunk up my place. She didn’t seem to have a regular job and by December didn’t pay the rent. Then yet another boyfriend showed up to pay it in cash. The police also showed up a few times, apparently whenever she felt threatened by a boyfriend and needed a sympathetic ear.

And then came D.Q’s first claim of rape.

A few weeks after she’d moved in her elderly friend called the building’s manager and shouted about how someone had broken into D.Q’s studio and raped her. When the shocked manager asked D.Q. about this, she claimed it was true, but then kept changing her story. Yet this time she didn’t call the police and there no sign of damage from any break-in.

One frigid night in December I caught a glimpse of D.Q. leaving the building. She was bundled up in a long coat and getting into a muscle car driven by a guy with a tacky fashion sense from the 1980’s. I tried to ignore my gut when it suddenly screamed at me: THIS GUY IS A PIMP AND MY NEIGHBOR IS A PROSTITUTE!

Now bear in mind, on the few occasions when I’d seen D.Q. (always from a distance), she didn’t come close to fitting my image of a glammed-up call girl. Still, my gut kept saying PIMP AND PRO. But did I listen to it? Nope. Instead my inner Nice Girl (and what a wrong-headed drag she can be) decided not to think ill of my neighbor. I didn’t even change my mind when she came back less than two hours later nor when this became her routine on other late nights.

Fast forward. Two weeks ago at about 3:00 a.m. three police cars and an ambulance arrived outside my building. One of D.Q.’s boyfriends was brought out in handcuffs looking very confused and frightened. D.Q. herself was crying and needed to be helped into an ambulance. It seems she was claiming that her boyfriend had raped her and injured her back.

The manager filled me in on what happened the next day when I was at work. By noon D.Q.’s elderly friend had shown up to help her move out. Far from being traumatized like real rape victims I’ve known, D.Q. was a smiling, bouncing picture of health. Her injured back had healed, she was hugging her friend and his housekeeper and running across the street to cheerfully greet an old boyfriend.

And what was my reaction when the manager told me this?

“She wasn’t raped,” I blurted.

That’s what my gut instinct told me and for once I was letting it do the talking. She hadn’t been raped weeks earlier and I knew with sudden and absolute certainty that this latest rape claim was one big ugly lie that conveniently solved all of D.Q.’s problems. Now the building management couldn’t evict her as it had been planning to do. She didn’t have to pay her late rent. Her old friend was giving her a temporary place to live for free. The friend’s housekeeper was ordered to clean her studio for her and move her stuff out. D.Q. wouldn’t even have to worry about enduring the trial of her boyfriend because either she or the authorities dropped the charges against him.

Oh, and as for the prostitute angle…

I finally googled D.Q. and guess what document popped up: an old search warrant allowing the authorities to go into a home owned by a madam who was running a money laundering and fraud scheme. The warrant also listed the women who worked for her as call girls.

Guess whose name was on that list.

And the moral of my story is…

My logical mind had been wrong about my neighbor. My inner Nice Girl was sure as hell wrong. Only my gut instinct was right as rain.

From now on, I have to be more like Layla and respect that instinct. I must pay attention when my solar plexus starts doing a jitterbug. This time around, when I let my rational mind rule over my instinct, I personally suffered no consequences. Next time I might not be so lucky.

And now for an all-important postscript.

The flabby big gut in the photo above is not mine. I am happy to say that my own waist is on the small side and my abs and stomach are flat – as they should be thanks to my painfully frequent workouts. However, the hand in the photo is wearing an Irish Claddagh ring, and since I’m Irish-American I thought the illustration appropriate.

That is all.

3 Responses to “Heeding My Gut Instinct”

  1. ann says:

    I’d say you do a pretty good job of sorting out your gut instincts. Sometimes we deliberately set aside our gut feelings in order to face a fear….fear of failure, fear of physical pain, fear of mediocrity, fear of ridicule, fear of change. I admire the way you continue to challenge yourself with new experiences.

    Layla and her fellow super heroes obviously excel at “reading a situation” and use their super observational talents to get themselves out of trouble…well that and being able to use a homemade zipline or climb up a 10 foot stone wall

  2. Robert L. Read says:

    I think you are smack-on in going with your gut. It is interesting to me that fictional detectives do the same thing, but are able to articulate why they come to these conclusions.

    BTW, my inner nice-guy is a problem for me as well—I give everyone the benefit of the doubt for far too long. However, I don’t want to get rid of him, just put him on a leash.

  3. admin says:

    Hey Robert — I just finished reading a great Vanity Fair article profiling a sniper in the armed forces, and the stories he told were full of references to his gut feelings. They literally saved his and fellow soldiers’ lives and also those of some Afghan civilians.
    But hey, definitely hang on to your inner nice guy. We women appreciate that part of a man.