Yesterday my wife Olga turned 30. We were not able to celebrate together because she was down in Irvine at a conference, getting hugged by Joe Palca (NPR), and sang to by an entire room during a panel discussion. Instead, Irene and Jeremy came down to Felton to visit. We celebrated on Olga's behalf by wine tasting in the mountains.
After Irene and Jeremy headed back to Oakland, I settled in for my first night alone in our new place. As I was was operating on roughly four hours of sleep over 56 hours, had been wine tasting all day, and had nothing else to do, I poured myself a nice glass of Jameson, put on some Brahms, flipped thru Basho's Narrow Road to the Interior, stripped to my wife-beater and boxers, and got all dozy.
But first I wanted to charge my phone so that when the wife did call, I could talk to her. As she had taken our wall charger with her, I had to improvise. I went out to Nash Lenin, our second car, turned the key so the electrics would start, and plugged my phone into the car charger.
All of these details are important, really.
I read: "My close friends, who had been gathered since the previous evening, sent me off in a boat. When we climbed out of the boat at a place called Senju, I was depressed by the thought of the three thousand miles that lay ahead and shed tears at a parting in this illusory world." and fell happily to sleep.
It was roughly 6:30.
At 8:30 I wake to find two deputies standing at the threshold of the now open door to my apartment.
So there I am, half awake, half-dressed like poor white men always seem to be when John Law pays them a visit, staring blearily at two armed men.
They ask me my name, ask where my wife is, ask if I've been drinking ('not that we care, we're just asking'), and then proceed to enlighten me as to the reason for their friendly call.
Apparently a neighbor had seen my car with the keys in it, the phone on the seat, and the radio softly going, and had decided that I had been abducted or worse and called the sheriff, rather than knocking on my door or even just minding his or her own business.
The deputies give me my keys back, tell me my phone is in my car, and that I should probably keep my doors locked.
"We almost came in with our guns out."
"Well, I appreciate your restraint."
They also called the last number in my phone, which was Irene. They didn't tell me they got a hold of her and freaked her out with their (im)probable abduction story.
My phone retrieved and John Law gone off to protect and serve elsewhere, I pour myself another glass of Jameson and dozily keep Basho company on his journey.
Then Jeremy calls to see if I have been abducted, because the sheriff called and told them I had been. They are relieved that I am in possession of my own person.
Then Olga calls to see if I have been abducted because Irene had called her to see if I had been. She was pretty sure I was unabducted.
Quite a bit of fuss. A drama involving at least one nervous neighbor, a dispatcher, two deputies, and three cities, (Oakland, Felton, Irvine) two friends and one wife, all around a phone charging in a car and a man napping in his apartment.