Thursday, July 29, 2004


The take down took place right outside my bedroom window.  I had taken narcotics to sleep because my migraine was still hanging out so as I floated up to consciousness I wasn't sure who the hell was making all that noise at 3 o'clock in the g.d. morning.  I could hear a woman yelling and so I thought perhaps it was the tweaker upstairs.  Then I heard a couple guys yelling and thought maybe it was drunk guy who lives next door coming home with some friends.

But then I began to comprehend what was being yelled, and my inconsiderate neighbors don't yell things like, "Keep your hands where I can see them" or "Get down on your knees.  Lie down on the ground.  NOW!"  I slithered across my bed and peeked out my window where I saw a white Ford Focus pulled into the parking spot not 5 feet from my apartment.  And it most definitely didn't belong there.  I also saw at least six police officers, one of them a woman, with their guns drawn on a guy who wasn't quite under their control yet.  Something was definitely wrong - none of these people should be this close to where I sleep. 

I slithered back under the covers and in my opiate haze wondered if perhaps it wouldn't be better for me to crawl down the hall to the guest room where bullets, should they be fired, wouldn't accidentally blow through my wall, pierce my spine and leave me paralyzed, or dead.  Apparently I had missed the arrival of the white car and the three police cars and I had no idea how this episode of Cops came to be playing out in my own backyard.  But my bed was super comfy and I didn't want to miss anything.  You know besides relieving pain very effectively, the nice thing about opiates is that you don't get all het up about shit.  Because normally the adrenaline rush from this kind of activity right outside my window involving brandished weapons, would've launched me all the way to the front of the house.

Because I was feeling kind of floaty and this action seemed like it was happening in another dimension I decided to hang out and listen to it play out.  Like a radio show.  Or a book on tape.  So the cops got the guy on the ground, added handcuffs to his hot pants and cut off t-shirt ensemble, and put him into a squad car.  I never heard a peep out of him and in retrospect those cops were awfully considerate of the slumbering inhabitants in the surrounding apartment buildings.  There were no lights and sirens, at least none that I saw or heard, and once they got the guy into custody they stopped yelling. 

I laid there and listened to the conversation as they went through the car.  One of the cops said, "Damn, it smells like there's body parts in here."  Then the female cop said, "is that a dead baby?" And I was at the window again faster than Gladys Kravitz and this time I got a little of that adrenaline rush.  Thankfully there was no dead baby, just a bag of crack and a pipe and a box of rubber gloves.  The cops wondered why he had those.  So did I considering his "outfit" - yuck.  They briefly discussed the differences between crack and meth and the female cop wondered aloud about whether there isn't currently a resurgence of meth.  The other cops assured her it had never left.

Apparently a squad car had tried to pull the guy over on Highland and he fled south to Wilshire and in trying to elude them by turning into an alley, ended up in the alley that runs behind my building and dead ends at the school next door.  Bad choice.  There was nowhere for him to go except right into our driveway.  If it had been after work rush hour my building would've been featured in a helicopter shot on the local news at 11:00!  A high speed chase ended in my backyard!  So the guy told the cops that the car wasn't his - it was borrowed.  Yeah.  Borrowed from the car rental agency.  There was a rental agreement in the car with his name on it and apparently he'd had the car for over a month and hadn't returned it.

I wondered if this guy had come here on vacation or business and it all just went horribly wrong?  How did he come to find himself on crack and wearing hot pants in an alley behind my house?  Maybe he was forced to smoke crack by a psychotic carjacker like David on Six Feet Under - they say it's highly addictive.  Then I started wondering if David is going to end up addicted to crack and end up in rehab...  But seriously, how could this guy have possibly thought he'd get away with lying to the cops about the car when he had ID and it matched the documents in the car?  I mean was he high? - uh, probably.  As I slipped in and out of dreamless sleep I was vaguely aware of a tow truck arriving and one of the cops, I think the woman, got in and backed the car out of the driveway so it could be hooked up and hauled away.  Opiates are good like that.  You can wake up in drama, but still go back to sleep.  I woke up this morning at 7:30, late for me, and looked out the window wondering if it really happened.  There was no sign at all that anyone had ever been back there.

If I didn't know better I'd think that I just had a dream about an episode of "Cops" - up close and personal.


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