August 25th, 2008

Barking Awake

The last two nights Cricket barked me awake at unfortunate hours. Night before last, it was 2 in the morning. I growled at her and tried to fall asleep quickly enough to make it worthwhile before I had to get up to go to church. This time it was 3:30, but when I stumbled to the door to try to get her to be quiet, I heard voices outside.

Across the street where the new neighbors live, there was a taxi. I could see that there were two men in addition to the taxi driver. They were all talking, trying to figure something out, but what the problem was I couldn’t tell. No one looked angry, but everyone looked tired and aggravated. On the theory that Cricket wasn’t going to stay calm until these invaders of the street (which applies to everyone who doesn’t actually live in our house) left, I sat down on the couch in the front window in the dark to watch the show.

Then the cops came. An officer with his giant flashlight moved along the sidewalk. He talked to the men in the taxi for a while, but clearly they were not his focus. Another officer joined him, parking his car in the middle of the street near the taxi.

I scooped up the dog and opened the front door. I’ve suddenly become older than a lot of cops and teachers and other authority figures, which is giving my world a healthy shake. I asked the closest officer if something was wrong. He said they’d got a 911 call from a cell phone from an address that should be next door to our house, but seems not to exist. (Google puts it slightly to the right of center on our house.) The officer thought it might be the rear house next door. I confirmed there was one, but the mailbox says it has the same address as the front house, two numbers higher than the caller address. He asked if there had been a disturbance. I said that I was asleep until the dog barked.

The two officers kept looking around with their flashlights. I walked out to the back porch to see if anything was happening on that side of the house, but all was dark and quiet except for the bobbing of the cops’ lights.

Eventually, the cops drove away. I hope whoever called them is all right, that he or she called back with a good address and got the needed help. The men in the taxi figured out their problem as well and drove away.

But I am left awake, Cricket curled up asleep at my feet.