Five o'clock this morning, I hear the sound of heavy boots outside my bedroom window. It's dark, still, at 5 o'clock in the morning, and as my bedroom window is below ground level and hidden from public view behind some dying rhododendrons, I'm less than thrilled about the heavy boots and the feet that are likely in them. I hear the sound of a police radio and somebody somewhere says, "Roger that," -- surely the last sound someone's drug stash hears before it heads down the great u-tube toward oblivion. But then I hear Boots keying in the numbers to open the front door, so I figure he lives in the building, and I roll over and attempt to go back to sleep. Seconds later there's a bright flash, a *bang* big enough to shake the building, and there's heavy boots running and heavy fists pounding, and before I know it, I've got my cordless phone in one hand and a panicking cat wrapped around the other, and I'm high-tailing it for a room with fewer windows. I hear someone shouting, "Police, open up!" from mercifully far away (2nd floor, toward the back) and then I'm not sure what happened for the next few seconds as I was busily dialing 9-1-1 and extricating the cat from my neck. The operator assures me that yes, this is a police "activity" (I imagine them making Christmas tree ornaments out of pieces of felt and colored pipe cleaners: this is an "activity." Men in full body armor setting off percussive devices and pounding on doors is not an "activity," it's a raid.) and I should stay inside. Really? I want to ask. Inside? And here's me, all set to stroll out in my jim jams and ask some really pertinent questions.
I can hear cops posted all around my apartment. I live in the corner unit, and I have exits on either side of me, so the police are hovering close. I realize that my Midwestern training has kicked in, and I am wisely cowering in a doorframe. That's the strongest structure, you know: the doorframe. But like a double-wide in a tornado, no amount of doorframe burliness is going to help me now, so I go sit on the couch and try to figure out what's going on. I can't see anything, so I'm listening like nobody's business. I'm all ears. I'm ears from here to here. Even my skin is listening. Prurient curiosity, I know, but I'm pretty sure the guy they're taking away has kicked my stray-cat foodbowl a time or two, so there's no love lost between the crazy cat lady and the psychopath on the 2nd floor. Good riddance, say I, and take your cat-hatin' drug-dealin' attitude-havin' . . . self with you. I realize this makes no sense, but I'm operating on little sleep and waaaaaaaaay too much adrenaline.
Parenthetically, I'd just like to add that (I used to live in one of the crappiest neighborhoods in the city. There were methheads littering the streets, and I had my own personal crack addict living under the stairs. Not once, in the year that I lived there, was I aware of a raid. My current building is the safest one I've been in in years. Go figure.) End of parentheses.
In any event, justice has presumably been done, at least temporarily. My little building is properly a-buzz with post-raid excitement, and my cats are down off the ceiling fan. I can continue feeding my guest cats with gleeful abandon, knowing that their foodbowls are safe. That is, after all, what it's all about.