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The Answer Is "Seclusion," The Question Is Orthogonal (Part 1)

In the colorless wee hours of the morning the JADE Van clandestinely pulls in near the edge of the lawn across the street from me. Seated by an ajar window upstairs I watch as, one by one, five shadowed figures spill out of the behemoth they came in. They cautiously and quietly glide in a row across the grasses up to a residence, one house away from where they parked, and settle at its door. The robust man at the lead (I think it’s Pringle) raps on the entrance with his fist. To supplement his striking he boisterously announces their presence and intentions to the surely slumbering occupants inside. I decamp from my spot at the glass to go have a better look.

Boom! I’m halfway down the steps when I hear the battering ram making contact with the fatal funnel the Task Force is about to go through. They’re already inside by the time I get outside. I sneak across the pavement, pause at the sidewalk leading up to the ingress and plot how much closer I can get without being snagged. From behind me there’s a tap on my shoulder. In super-slow motion I rigidly rotate around and see a suited man standing there. “Your car insurance is due” he says, thrusting an AIG envelope at me. Wha…?

My eyes pop wide open -- first in the dream, then in reality.

The last thing I remember before fading into my catnap is the inner echo of a sole word out of a twine of them tattled to me over an earlier phone call. Tonight. Tonight. Tonight. I guess once I was out cold it conflated with serious elements on my mind. Dreams are funny like that.

Tonight Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement is serving a search warrant and I intend to track the boys and observe.

I arrive in the vicinity of the Ix building and scope out the parking areas. Plenty of signs I’ve learned to look for indicate the tip-off I’d received was right-on. Woohoo! I love me some hot sources.

X amount of time elapses. I make good use of it counting the sparkles on my nail polish, belting out Pink Floyd songs a capella, and ruminating if Freon really will do the same thing as See-Through. Kidding. I kid. Moving right along…

It’s evening and the sky is gently exhaling leftover light from the set sun. Herb and Truck come out of their workplace and get in Truck’s car. I bet they’re gonna go scout the area they’re searching tonight. I trail after them to earn myself an edge for later.

We navigate the local roads, and pass by the Federal Courthouse. The signal up ahead turns red. I see Truck get into the left turn lane; I also see the passenger window is lowered, Herb’s arm resting in the open space. I pull up amid the painted lines next to them as I spin the volume down on Va├». Shoot. Kind of hard to listen in when they aren’t talking to each other. Herb pivots his face to me. The sides of his lips curve up pleasantly and I smile back at him.

They make their left. I’m committed to going straight, but I’ve improved with this cloak-and-dagger stuff; I swing a tight U-turn, take a speedy right and catch up to Herb and Truck faster than Travis Tomasie reloads a weapon. We continue for a ways with no additional turns. When they finally head down a side street -- one that definitely leads nowhere else but a neighborhood -- I vacate my stint and let them go conduct their last-minute surveillance alone. It’d be dumb of me to cavort after them and expect to be overlooked when they’re, presumptively, soon to be under the influence of vigilance. I got what I wanted anyway: the general location of their impending raid.

Now I have nothing to do except hurry up and wait.

(Part 2)