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Monday, April 15

the case of the mysterious night visitor

I am defecting to the "other side" and helping to put on a show. I am the jury and the record keeper and the "let's focus" person. It is in 3 weeks and my mind tumbles about  at night, making lists in my head and checking off boxes and worrying if anyone at all will come.

So it was that Sunday morning I was wide awake, pondering. 5:30 am. Wondering if I should get up, start the day, or do what most of the rest of the city was doing...pull the covers up and snuggle back in. And that's when I saw it. A soft, yellow pulsing light outside our window.  I waited a bit but it continued and I worried about ambulances in front of friend's homes and I went to look. There, under my window, was a black SUV, facing the wrong way on our one way street.  Flashers on. Odd, I thought.

Then it pulled into a driveway and backed onto the street going the right way. And stopped right under my window. The driver was staring at our house and then looked up and stared right at me. Or so it felt. I started to feel uneasy. He pulled away, to the corner, and turned onto the main street. Our house is on a corner, so he had been at the back side of the house, now he was driving past the front of the house. Except he didn't drive past. He stopped. In the bike lane. Facing the wrong way. And stared at my house again.

I was going from window to window, trying to track what he was doing. Why was some guy casing our house at 5:30 am? I heard him exchange sharp words with someone and the passenger door opened and another guy darted out and ran toward the house. My heart was starting to beat a little faster. I couldn't see what the guy was doing. A few seconds later he ran to the car, jumped in and the car sped away.

What the heck?

Oh well. Probably nothing. I went to get a glass of orange juice, plopped in an ice cube, turned out the light and stood there. I couldn't go upstairs without figuring out what those guys had done at the front of our house. I slipped on some shoes and a jacket and quietly slipped out, walking cautiously to the front of the house. It was eerily quiet, just a soft, early Spring breeze. And then I saw it. On our front step where nobody goes. something reflecting the light and moving softly in the breeze. I stopped. tried to squint and see what it was without going too close. I mean, you never know.

I took a few more steps and saw that the object was a cylinder of some sort. I looked up and down the street. Empty and silent. I walked closer, bent down, picked up...

the New York Times.