Tonight I went to a glittering publishing-industry party at which I met several writing legends and assorted writing field cool kids (post on that to follow). But guess what! That was not the most exciting thing to happen in my life tonight. The room-to-room search of my home for a fugitive by a drug-sniffing dog was. Here’s how that went down.
Party = amazing. Also, the drinks were kind of strong. I had only two but since I haven’t had much liquor since the gluten thing happened I got pretty… merry. Respectably so, I assure you. Then I left and went to the surreal experience which is the Port Authority (which, by the way… much better tipsy).
So I’m on the bus heading home,enjoying my buzz, thinking life doesn’t get much more unexpected than this, when I get a call from my neighbor from across the street. “Are you home?” she asks.
“Can you tell me where you are?”
“On a bus coming home from New York.”
“Okay, well, I don’t want you to get alarmed but the cops are doing a yard to yard search of our street and they’ve blocked off the bottom of the hill.”
Just to give you perspective, the last time my neighborhood was so aflutter it was due to the fact that they were paving the street perpendicular to mine.
My neighbor offered to drive down to pick me up from the bus stop (so I wouldn’t have to walk up my street in the dark at 10:00 pm with a fugitive on the loose). But when she tried to leave her house the cops told her to get back inside. I sat with another girlfriend down the hill and called the station to find out if I could go home. They agreed that friend #2 could drive me to the bottom of my hill to see what the cops on the scene had to say.
The officers at the bottom of my hill were very pleasant but didn’t want me walking up my block alone. (They also had it blocked off by a gaggle of emergency vehicles). I live near a little patch of woods that adjoins the neighboring town and they’d just had a fugitive jump the fence, escaping the next town’s cops, onto my block. (Helicopter en route to aid in the search by cop cars from my town, the next town and the county). When I told them I didn’t think my back door was locked, that seemed to set off some alarm bells and they wouldn’t let me come home on my own.
They didn’t seem too fazed about the fugitive, though. They said, “This guy’s the village idiot. We know this guy. We have his driver’s license. He gave it to us before he ran. If we don’t find him here we’ll just go hang out by his house.” So, not the brightest crayon in the box but still at large somewhere near my house.
I asked if one of them would walk me up but they didn’t want me coming up to my house before they checked it out. So I – gasp – gave permission for them to clear my house with a K-9 unit. Later my neighbor from across the street told me you could see lights going on and off through the house and flashlights going through every room. For a girl with a healthy suspicion of the cops it took a lot for me to trust them. But I guess they trump the shirtless druggie with the ponytail that they were thinking might be hiding out in my basement. Finally, house swept, they let me come home.
With an even cooler story than, “I went to a great cocktail party!” And guess who finally locked her back door.