Tuesday, March 27, 2012
when opportunity kicks down your door, it may be carrying a gun
This is a true story.
In my younger days, after I graduated from college and devoted my life to unemployed drifting, I lived for a while in a small rental house on the beach. If you've read my book Stick, the house that I lived in was pretty much identical to the house Stark's Aunt Dahlia has in that novel: a two-bedroom little shack with a crooked fence in the sand.
It was cheap, and I had a roommate, a surfer kid named Brad, who happened to be gone with his girlfriend the night this particular true story in which I was nearly murdered took place.
In those days, I actually had a habit of being asleep at 3 a.m.
What a bum!
Those were also the days before cellphones (I know!). Well, there were cellphones then, but they were like the size of microwave ovens and only rich people who later developed brain tumors owned them. I think you actually could melt cheese with them, too.
Let me tell you, too, the little community I lived in was rather bohemian. We were surfers, musicians, kids, dope dealers, shit like that. Since then, this little community has been entirely torn down and replaced by three-story view homes that are only occupied on weekends by lawyers and doctors who work endless hours in Los Angeles to maintain their empty beach houses.
It was a much cooler place when it was shacks and poor people.
Nobody locked their doors, either. In fact, on my little street it was normal for a neighbor to just pop over, open the front door, and come for a visit. We didn't even have the degree of social uptightness that required knocking.
I know. We were fucking communists or something.
This is what happened: my front door got kicked in.
At 3 a.m.
While I was doing what a good beach-dwelling unemployed communist would naturally be doing: sleeping.
I remember hearing the door being kicked in. It sounded like this:
KABOOM!!! YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!!!
Because, when you hear a sound like that at 3 a.m. your immediate assumption is that you are, indeed, about to die.
And I thought, What asshole does not know that my door is always unlocked?
I also kept a baseball bat beside my bed, which, I thought, came in handy at that exact moment.
I grabbed my baseball bat.
It was dark.
I went out of my bedroom and into the living room, a brave communist.
I had nothing on but a pair of underwear. And a baseball bat in my hand.
Guess what I saw?
Four police officers with guns drawn, pointed at me.
They had an arrest warrant and lots of firepower.
I have to hand it to those four well-armed policemen. You would think that when confronted with a crazed communist wearing nothing but underwear and wielding a baseball bat, there would be an immediate hail of bullets.
They did not shoot me!
This is why I did not get shot: The first cop through the door was a friend of mine.
His name was Ron.
Ron, my friend, a cop, holding what looked like a 9mm Sig Sauer pointed directly at my forehead said to me, "Drew? What are you doing here?"
I said, "Um. Ron? What are you doing here?"
Here is a condensed version of how it was I would have certainly been murdered if any other police officer besides my friend Ron had come through my kicked-down door first:
The arrest warrant, properly executed and with MY address on it, was for a man named Danny B (I will leave out his last name so he doesn't come and kill me), who happened to be my next-door neighbor. Danny B ran an illegal gambling operation out of a local Irish pub. Danny B frequently hung out at my house and used my telephone (which had something called a cord attaching it to the wall and other lines all over the planet). Danny was a cool guy, even if he did almost get me killed because the phone at the Irish pub had been tapped (using a properly executed warrant) and traced back to my house, where the police assumed Danny B lived, but in fact found nobody home but a guy in his underwear who was definitely NOT Danny B, holding a baseball bat.
Sometimes I marvel that I ever made it out of my teens and eventually survived to breed.
Natural selection favors lucky communists.