When I saw that my block was surrounded by police cars, my first thought was for the dog.
"They always shoot the dog, you know," I thought to myself, thinking of our sweet, submissive Basset Hound and trying not to imagine her blood speckling the blue bathtub she likes to hang out in.
I'd first seen the blue lights as I drove down the hill into the little valley my house sits in.
"I wonder why there's a roadbloack right there," the CSO said, indicating the two police cars blocking the road not twenty feet past our house. We live on a corner, and I turned and drove slowly past our side yard, wishing our housemates hadn't been housesitting. I could have called them and asked them what was going on, if there were police searching the place for one of my brothers. Of course, my brothers know that I would turn either of them in if they ever came to my house to hide from the law. But the police don't know that.
I had intended to turn around in the cul-de-sac half a block down, but there was another cop car in it. There was some sort of police van at the end of the block. And a helicopter was in the sky.
We were both thinking it, but I think it was theCSO who said it,
"I wonder what Jason's done now."
We both, I think, assumed that Oliver's being tucked away in prison meant that any assault on our property by the SWAT team was Jason's doing.
I think I've mentioned this before, but having felons for brothers really sucks. A common post-law school route is to work in either the prosecutor's office or the public defender's office as both give one lots of trial experience quickly. I have trouble imagining myself in either, or maybe I could do both. When a SWAT team has thrown your mom to the ground in handcuffs, yet you know about some of the shit your brothers have gotten away with, it's hard to get up much enthusiasm for fighting for either side.
We drove past another police car and again my whole body clenched. They were the hunters, I was the prey. I was sure of it. It was gratifying that none of them followed me. They usually do. I'm a very careful driver, my friends say I "drive like Grandma." Actually, MY grandma drove like she was on fire, but then she quit driving before Jason and Oliver were much more than frequent visitors to juvie.
When you're a Smith, you drive carefully, because you've been followed by a cop watching for probable cause to stop and question you about your brothers' whereabouts. Which is not to say that when questioned, I don't tell the cops everything I know. I don't want my brothers out on the street any more than anyone else.
It's that police habit of following me that really scares me. And the house searches.
And, of course, the one person in the metro DC area whom I would feel totally comfortable calling at 11:30 at night and asking for a place to stay for a slightly irrational reason was at the beach.
I drove, taking little suburban streets, to my parents' house. No cop cars and my brother's dog was still very much alive. My folks' house smelled like cigarettes and something stale, much as usual. I started to feel better. TheChalicemom asked theCSO to fix her furnace. I drove us back using an even more convoluted route, theCSO saying comforting things the whole way.
He was right, I hadn't done anything wrong. But having the wrong brothers has always equated significant inconvenience and needless pain.
When we got back to the house, the cops were gone. The door hadn't been knocked in and there was no note from the sheriff.
I have no clue what the issue was. Maybe it will be in the paper, maybe I will never know. But Rebecca the Basset Hound is OK. And I'm lying in bed typing this as theCSO gently rubs my back. I'm hoping that the adrenalin will ebb away soon so I can sleep.
I turn to look at theCSO,
"You sure must have loved me to marry into this family."
"Yeah," he says, "You keep that in mind."