People, hear me: You do not want to hear a battering ram bust down your neighbors’ front door before 6:30 AM on a Thursday morning. You do not want to see a parade of unmarked cars (including a minivan and a Toyota Prius, I shit you not) blocking egress from the alley. I would super suck at espionage, because I am about as subtle as an elephant, so I was unable to gather a full status report from my oh-so-sneaky peeks from behind the window shades. Plus, I watch too much TV, and was a little bit afraid a sniper would get me if I were too conspicuous , so I kept moving. Smart, I know.
Thursday began full of promise–I was having a pretty good hair day, so it took only about 2 minutes to shellac my hair in place. With this unexpected abundance of time, I actually made my bed (!) and began to put away laundry in the boys’ room, and that’s when I noticed the line of cars on the street. A few minutes later, I heard an incredible rhythmic “thud. . . thud. . . thud. . .” accompanied by low voices shouting unintelligible, but menacing-sounding messages. I was soon to learn that the messages were accompanied by homeland security agents training laser-sighted assault rifles at the house.
I get that we live in the land of the free and home of the brave, where innocence is presumed until conviction. Activities my neighbors may be involved in are merely allegations at this time. But with the alphabet soup of letters representing various law enforcement agencies–the biggies–adorning the jackets and bullet-proof vests worn by the their agents, I’m not gonna lie–one’s imagination does go there. . . What is the least gross, despicable thing you want your neighbors to be raided for? Human trafficking? Credit card fraud? Terrorism? Holy crap. How about using the internet for child pornography? Meth distribution? Do you want even to think remotely that any of this is possible? All I want is to live in a neighborhood I feel safe allowing my children to walk to school or play outside in.
Honestly I couldn’t even pick the homeowners out of a lineup. This could say as much about my own neighborliness as theirs, so I don’t judge there. But I do judge when assault weapons are drawn two doors down. The agents removed computers and electronics and drove away with the car they had found in their garage. Ah, the intrigue. In the eyes of the law, my neighbors are not guilty, and I sincerely hope that is the real-life case as well. It could be a misunderstanding; maybe they were set up or maybe they look like who the Feds were actually seeking. I want nothing more than it to be an “oops, wrong house, wrong street, wrong city.”
I was totally freaked out on my way into work, so much so it made me cry thinking about the world’s status quo. Thinking about my kids’ safety and what I hold as our right (entitled?) as a family not to have the shit scared out of us. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable effing expectation. I was listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker driving in to work, and yeah I was a little late because you bet your ass I walked the kids to school yesterday. The Nutcracker’s incredible intricacy and beauty moved me to tears. It brought a needed release I didn’t even know was necessary. Then I looked over at the guy next to me who was BRINGIN’ IT, having the time of his life most def jamming NOT to Tchaikovsky’s hallucinogenic ballet, but car dancing to something, for sure! Dude, you’re me in a younger (male) body and minivan. Also your dreadlocks were awesome. You brought me out of my distrust. Thanks. All of humanity does not suck. Right?? Right.