So, as many of you know, my roommate Shannon is moving out at the end of this month. After two years of living with me, she has slowly gone crazy, and is checking herself into a mental ward ASAP. Or maybe she's getting an apartment with her boyfriend. You can choose your own ending.
Sadly, the end of the month is next week - right in the middle of my July 4th vacation. The whole moving-out thing has been kind of screwed up, she and her boyfriend knew they were moving in together at some point, and then three weeks ago the boyfriend's landlord decided to exponentially raise his rent starting July 1st. So the timetable was accelerated, as they say.
Now I'm in the middle of "Roommate Search '03". Well, not really in the middle. "At the beginning" is a more appropriate term, really. Also acceptable, "Just beginning" and the "In the nascent stages of".
Pretty much, I'm screwed.
But then a ray of hope. A young woman posted a note on the Boston University Alumni e-mail list for Los Angeles. One of those "moving out to LA, need a job and a home" dealies. She just graduated last year, and is making the move. And she needs a place to live.
I spoke with her on the phone last week and she seemed cool. Nervous about the 3000 mile trek from Massachusetts, but cool. We agreed to meet when she got in to LA - which is today. June 26th.
Anyway, last night I spent the night at Michele's apartment, and came home early this morning to get ready for work. I had to be at work ON TIME for this big presentation, or my boss was going to kill me. Seriously.
So of course as I turn onto my street at 8 am I see flashing police lights. Not behind me, in front of me. And that yellow tape. Lots of yellow tape. Across the road.
Now, I don't live in the best neighborhood, this is true. Hell, I don't make enough money to! Sure, in the past we've had our fair share of police actions on the block. But my building is nice - lots of families and kids and stuff. True, one of my friends at work calls my part of town "the Burbank Ghetto" - which is kind of a joke since all of Burbank is for the most part fine and clean and nice. Sure, my area is like, the bad-ish area of town, but it's not like South Central-style or anything. Yes, I live behind a shanty restaurant called "The Beef Bowl", but they DID get an "A" from the LA Dept of Health. And I've eaten at Burger Kings in LA that have a "C". And as far as I know the Kodak Photofinishing Plant around the corner doesn't pollute MY street. I don't drink the water, but I do bathe in it ...
Anyway, this plain-clothes cop stops my car and says, "The road's closed." Yeah, really? The yellow tape isn't for show? True, I guess this is LA and they could be taping an episode of "CSI: Burbank" in my 'hood, but it's not likely. I tell him I live there, in that building surrounded my the po-po (not exactly the words I used, true, but close). He asks if they already have my name and a statement.
No, I just am getting home. I have to get ready for work! See, my boss is going to kil-- it's urgent. Really.
"Park on the street and walk in."
So I park, and then walk down the sidewalk. I can't see much past the squad cars and the big Crime Scene Investigator van, but there's a group of people down the block a bit.
First, however, I stop at the yellow tape. That yellow tape. Now, in how many tv cop dramas or movies have I seen the cop/detective just breeze under the yellow tape? I felt like doing that, you know, just keep on walking - maybe flash my work ID to the beat cop guarding the sidewalk. But I figure I had better not - he looks like he's been there awhile, and isn't happy that he's wearing dark blue outside and it's going to be in the hundreds today.
So I stop at the tape. Do I go under it? Will he walk over and lift it up for me (I've seen that in cop dramas, too). What is the protocol? I mean, it says POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS every five feet. The plain clothes guy said "walk in", but what does that mean? Do I need a police escort, like the Pope or Britney?
Thus I pause there for a bit. Either the unhappy cop cop standing five feet away didn't see me, or was ignoring me on purpose - I don't know. After thirty seconds I just lift up the tape and go in.
Now, it'd be a great story if I saw something horrific and ghastly. But then you'd have already heard about it on the news or the internet or something. Nope. As far as I can tell, nobody's reported on this yet. This morning the Latimes.com had an article about two Burbank Police officers who shot and wounded a man during a traffic stop in September. Apparently they were cleared of charges or some such. But nothing about my street.
Anyway, I looked down the street and saw a couple of cops standing around a parked car just twenty feet from my apartment complex door - on the ground they were placing those little yellow cards with numbers on them, like you know, (say it with me) you see on the tv cop dramas.
But no chalk outline or tape outline or anything.
I got into my building with no hassle, and then it hit me.
What if they're not done their investigation by tonight, and at 7 or 8 pm this potential roommate comes over? "Yeah Jill, it's the building on the west side of the street it's kind of brownish - well - just look for the YARDS AND YARDS OF POLICE TAPE."
I quickly took a shower, and as I was making my lunch, I heard cops knocking on each apartment door. I hurried up and finished and got out of the building before they got to mine. I had nothing to tell them, really. Hey, if I wasn't to work on time - well, the Burbank Police would have another shooting to investigate. My own!!!
Last Updated on: June 26, 2003
© 2003-2004 Joshua Paul Edwards
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