This Golden Bird Flies Free

Storm Clouds

When I was in Lawrence, Tanna and I lived in an apartment with two awesome balconies. I think we spent more time on the balconies than inside the place.

One night, a police car whipped into our parking lot and started shining his spotlight all over the place. One policeman jumped out and ran into the woods surrouding our complex.

"Huh," I said. "This seems interesting." And as another police car pulled in and another policeman ran into the woods, instead of heading inside to safety, I called everyone to the balcony.

I've always been a little bit that way. Unafraid? Carless?

While I worry about others, I was the kid who, even after hearing stories about the scary things that could happen in an alley, I was never afraid to take them as shortcuts.

I was never frightened to go out walking after dark. Driving through sketchy neighborhoods didn't worry me.

And now I'm in Wichita, which should all means be much scarier than Lawrence.

I've always felt pretty safe in my neighborhood. Riverside is pretty well patrolled by police and it's quiet. There's some old stately homes as well as cozy bungalows.

The only sirens I usually hear are from ambulances and the occasional fire truck.

And there is the occasional paddy wagon or ghettocopter (as Casey would say). Otherwise, it's quiet around here.

But the last few months, I've been feeling some off vibes.

One evening, I went for a walk and saw two police cars parked beside each other in the middle of the streets so the drivers could talk to each other.

I looked at them, but continued on, thinking they had just happened upon each other and stopped to chat.

Until, upon seeing me, they broke away from each other and the one drove past me veeeerrrrry slooooowly.

Then, a few weeks ago, I had stopped by the store to pick up a few things after work. As usual, a few things turned into a few hundred, so I had to go back down to my car to get the rest of my stuff.

As I walked to the street, I noticed a police car driving down the street, shining his spotlight into houses and all the dark shadows.

Always the stupidly unafraid, I went on to my car, wondering what rock-thrower they might be looking for.

As I was reaching for the stuff in my trunk, I heard a car approaching. I turned and saw a police car pulling into the alley behind me. "Ma'am," the policeman greeted as he scoped me out.

But, I never read or heard any news about murders or robberies in the area. So why worry?

Tonight, I was talking to Raw on the phone. I was telling her a story and glanced at the television to see my apartment!

" . . . as a woman is taken from her home . . ."

"They're showing my apartment on television and talking about a woman being abducted! I gotta go! I'll call you back!"

I called BJ and Doll to see if they had seen the same thing. Of course, they had quit watching the same channel I was by that time, so they had missed it.

I checked out the three local network channels' websites to find all three had the same top story.

Scary Night For Wichita Couple
Couple robbed; wife abducted
Robbers Break Into Home, Kidnap Woman

Yeah. That's like right next door. Maybe it's time to start being afraid!

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