I live on a very quiet, secluded street. It's an obscure little corner of the city, very near busy, major streets and retail areas, but surprisingly sleepy and residential. The parking is to die for; the neighbors are, nearly to a man (and I do mean man) responsible gay high-earners who maintain their homes meticulously. You would not know (other than the pretty views of the Financial District) that you were in a major city here.
Not long ago, we were awakened by a phone call at some ungodly early hour, which turned out to be a police detective who wanted to ask each of us separately if we'd "noticed anything unusual" on the previous Tuesday around 1:00 p.m. We weren't home, so of course we hadn't, and the detective was not forthcoming. My neighbor Brad swears he will get to the bottom of this and find out what transpired, but of course, my opinion was that no one bothers to do any investigative detective work unless someone died.
Then last weekend, I heard what I believe was a gunshot. I'm not exactly an alarmist there; the only other time I heard a gunshot in the night, it turns out that the lead singer of a band I loved, Buck Naked and the Barebottom Boys, was gunned down right in front of my apartment building by a morbidly obese pigeon feeder whom I'd exchanged weird eye contact with before. On this occasion, the newspaper did not reveal any details as to the shot, but when I discussed it with Brad, Brad shared that someone had broken into the house two houses up from him. "During the daytime", Brad intoned meaningfully.
I posited that the ideal cover in our neighborhood would be posing as a dogwalker, as professional dogwalkers haunt our streets every day. No one would think twice if someone leading a pack of dogs on leashes was fumbling at a particular door (unless I was around and it was the neighbor on my other side, whom I know to possess nothing more animated than a few houseplants). Brad was alarmed at this idea. "How do you even think of these things? There's something wrong that you would even think that up." I reassured Brad that I'd cut off any potential life of crime in the bud when I got fingerprinted as part of taking the California bar exam. Also, has he seen me with my pack of dogs yet? No, he has not.
And then this week, Brad phoned to tell us that he'd learned of another daytime break-in. Sigh. I think the onus is on me, as pretty much the sole unemployed adult in the neighborhood, to keep an eye on the block, but we drunken housewives do have lives (of a particular sort) and are not always around evil eyeing everyone who passes by.
Brad is too uptight. I got finger printed in NY when becoming a teacher's aide, and I think up all sorts of inappropriate things.
I think it just shows how creative we are.
Wow, I came to your blog via, I think, a TIME online link, and, I have been reading through everything for days now. What a small world - to hear about Buck Naked here - I've not thought of him in years. I was stationed at the Presidio as a medic in the Army from '88 to '91 and lived in the city for a year after I got out. I remember Phil/Buck as the doorman from the I-Beam and saw his band play many times while I was there. I used to hang out at the Nightbreak, Kennel Club, 6th Street Entry, Murios and the DNA lougne quite a lot back then catching various bands. I mourned the day that Buck was killed and when Chris from the Sea Hags od'd. I really miss the city - those are some of my fondest years/memories from then.
As well, I am a single father of a precociously creative and brilliant son and I love reading the blog, and about the antics and what you and your two daughters say and do together. Keep up the great work.
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