I spent all of yesterday and most of last night doing the final reviews of a 400 page and very tangled manuscript I’ve been editing for months, and I finally poured myself into bed after 1 am, feeling rather shattered though I had that nice sense of achievement because it is done, and was secure in the happy knowledge of just how GOOD it would feel to rest my weary bones.
And then the helicopter started up. Again. Every day this week. And the voice on the megaphone shouting – come out with your hands raised – and it went on for hours and I lay in bed hating everything and everyone.
And so I woke up this morning late, unrested, and mildly cranky. But it did remind me of a funny story.
It belongs to my friend Carlos, truck driver, and definitely used to think he was tough…when not driving a semi he drove this souped up car with hydraulics. I’m not terribly impressed by hydraulics myself, but was pretty excited to experience them while cruising, rock en español and rap blasting on the radio…
At any rate, there was a helicopter circling his apartment in the middle of the night, as they tend to do in South Central, and that didn’t wake him up, but the blinding light that shortly filled his entire room did. It was the helicopter. And he heard the megaphone screaming out come out with your hands up. And it didn’t stop. And so after some sleepy and very confused thought he decided that inexplicably they must have come for him. So he went out onto his balcony in just his boxers with his hands behind his head, unable to see anything at all because of the spotlight and his heart pounding and his mind racing to try and figure out what exactly he could have done or who he could have been confused with to have been in such a position at all.
And then he heard the megaphone – “We weren’t talking to YOU! Get back inside!”
They were after the guy in the next apartment, and they got him too, and for the life of me I can’t remember why, which is a sad ending to a good story, but so it goes.