Where am I? Are the police busting down our door?
And then… what day is it?
If the police are busting down our door, I want to know what day it is.
That was the cognitive scene today at exactly six in the morning. It was a bit surreal as a loud bang woke my husband and I, and that was followed by what sounded like a very bored person on a loud speaker who was telling the residents of a particular address to come out because the police said so and had a warrant.
Over and over the voice repeated the same two sentences which melted into:
“Come out.” “You’re not out yet. Come out.” “Come out.”
It was really calm. Almost soothing. No one was shouting or yelling. It was just the monotone voice telling the residents to come out but doing it in such a way I couldn’t help but think maybe the residents could never come out and the really bored-sounding police officer on speaker wouldn’t care. They’d just keep making their request.
I don’t know why I was worried the police were busting into our apartment, being white and everything, but, since we’re on the second floor, I also knew we had some time.
I always knew one day they’d come for me.
Yet, once my only child brain settled down I realized we didn’t live at the address mentioned by the person on speaker. I couldn’t quite remember our address but I got to the point where I could eliminate possible contenders: “That’s not our address.”
The officer or whomever made their request for whoever was in the house to come out over and over in such a deadpan monotone I at first thought it was a recording.
But my husband said once they messed up while repeating their short speech so it wasn’t a recording.
They said, “It’s the police. Come out with your hands up… (notable pause)… unarmed.”
Of all the words to forget to say, “unarmed” felt like one of the more important words.
And then the officer on speaker started a countdown and made it clear the voice was definitely not a recording and it also would not be going on forever.
So then I had to go to the bathroom.
My head was swimming. As an epileptic, I’m not great with being ripped from sleep. I need a nice calm transition or else my brain gets sparky. If the police ever did bust down my door and wake me I’d totally have a seizure and completely freak all of them out.
They couldn’t handcuff me while I was having a seizure, even if they tried, so they’d have to wait and I’d throw off their whole schedule that day.
In earlier times and in present time in some more rural counties, they’d likely shoot me because they thought I was possessed and it would be seen more as a mercy killing.
And this is why this epileptic lives in the present time and in an urban area.
In any case, once I was sure the police weren’t busting down our door, I realized I had to go to the bathroom right when the monotone voice started a countdown so I got out of bed and dropped to the floor and crawled out of our bedroom and then crawled through our living area and down the hall and into our bathroom where I stood and closed the door behind me.
Call it PTSD, but there was no way I was going to walk by a bunch of windows as an epileptic-on-call right when there was a potential police stand-off right outside which could break out into apocalyptic violence at any moment.
But what was weird is how I dropped to the ground and started a crawl in such a casual way when the monotone-voiced police on speaker did his countdown it seemed like we had all been sedated that morning.
None of us had had our coffee. We were just going through the motions.
Of course, I’ll suddenly drop to the floor and crawl to essential safety at any time I feel it necessary. It’s like I grew up at an earlier time, like back when there were ongoing air raids.
I’m programmed to automatically utilize gravity to my advantage.
Well, there were an awful lot of tornadoes happening when I was a kid. I’ll never forget waking up one morning to hear the entire town of Barneveld had been wiped out in the night.
A tornado just came out of the blackness and devastated the town.
Everyone had been asleep in their beds.
I was four-years-old at the time and that story really scared me.
Barneveld was just gone.
I suppose that caused me to expect terrifying things to come out of the night.
And then I got epilepsy and woke up experiencing grand mal seizures so I was pretty much right about everything.
So to be woken by a deafening, monotone police officer on speaker was just par for the course, in my book.
Just another morning, just another shocking revelation and I should probably hit the floor.
And, as the monotone police voice was nearing the end of his countdown, I heard a loud: “Aw, FUCK y’all!” on the count of one and this was said in a way I could really empathize with because, seriously, it was too early for all this.
On the count of one, I myself was naturally in the bathroom, inside the tub, doing my human best to prepare for imminent annihilation.
When that didn’t happen, I walked out of the bathroom, and I didn’t see an army of police outside on the street as I had expected.
Beyond the loud banging and the monotone speaker voice, it was an otherwise quiet, sunny, peaceful morning.
And then I saw that the commotion was happening in the front of our building.
I’m not going to lie. For all that commotion, it was a bit of a visual disappointment.
Sure, there was an insane armored military tank-thing just down the street but, as an American, that’s just how police show up.
My husband remembers when his Wisconsin hometown got their big armored vehicle which they later used to pick up shoplifters.
In any case, there was no gunfire this morning and nobody was publicly murdered or hurt and watching the state police or whomever shuffle in and out of the house was somewhat calming.
Since the lack of verbal interaction has most likely caused my brain to shrink and a rough stretch of time is coming up for me next week which is causing the rest of my brain to shut down, I needed a police raid to happen this morning or I’d have nothing to write about on this blog.
I’m turning into a corrupt journalist: “I hope something really terrible happens so I can get a good story!”
Regardless, I spent the morning peering out the window like a creeper, feeling a bit bad for my neighbors at the address, feeling a bit skeptical as the address the officers were addressing was not the house Google assigned to that address and wondered if they had the right house, feeling a bit bad for the other neighbors who had that much more trouble getting to work due to the SWAT team and the block being closed, and then I closed my emotions by feeling a bit bad for the state police officer whose job was to block people from driving down the block at the end closest to our building and just had to kind of stand in the middle of the road, looking more “what do I do with my hands” than “IF ANYONE APPROACHES I WILL BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF” and that was a nice change of pace from the police vs. protestors videos I’ve been seeing lately.
Again, it was too early for this.
Eventually, the giant armored mobile assault vehicle rolled out and it was followed by a big white non-intimidating lab vehicle which I recognized from the TV series Dexter and… all the nice shiny cars in our neighborhood slowly returned and… soon the bell-ringing ice cream guy and the small army of four-wheelers will come out and do circles around our block and today will be just another day in our quintessentially American neighborhood.
Any day which starts without tornadoes and gunshots is a good day.
Unless you’re deer hunting.
It’s not as if my family who hunt will ever read this but, if they did, I’m adding that deer hunting line for them.