When I wrote that post about my neighbours two weeks ago, I received a comment from Zoée saying the post had a very Amélie feel to it.
I’d love to know which vibe this post gives off because what happened Sunday night was not whimsical in any way.
Yann and I left our building in our “Nobody’s going to see us anyway” clothes to take out the recycling and have a curbside toke. In-between the blue bins and the curb, some asshole shone his 1 million lumen flashlight in our faces, blinding us with confusion.
“I’m sorry. I’m police.”
Being deaf does have a few drawbacks: being kept in the dark is one of them. I have no idea what people around me are saying, and I don’t usually know what people are saying to me outside of a business establishment. What am I supposed to guess when someone randomly points their flashlight at me while I’m tossing empty cans in the recycling? “That doesn’t go in there!”?
I’m glad Yann volunteered this information immediately. It drives me nuts when I notice someone’s ears perk up, and they tell me nothing. Sure, the noise might’ve been nothing but don’t leave me speculating!
Anyway, I told Yann, “you should’ve responded, ‘It’s ok. I’m a mechanic.'” That would’ve been a fun way to speak to a cop.
This beacon of light was indeed a police offer, as were the six others with him, plus a K9 unit. The squad stood before the next-door apartment building–a dilapidated clone of our apartment–ready to enforce some laws. That wasn’t our first time seeing the Victoria Police Department take an interest in the building and its residents, but not at this scale.
Yann and I were squatting on the curb in a cloud of marijuana smoke when a scowling cop made eye contact as he hurried past us. Cannabis, of course, has been legal for two years in Canada. Still, the two of us had committed a serious fashion crime with our untied shoes, pajama bottoms, and cap combo. I had topped off my outfit with a raggedy hoodie covered in cat hair, and my hair was in shower dreads. But I smelled nice, like soap and weed.
At this point, the person of interest wasn’t yet visible. Yann could overhear the police trying to coax an Andrew–who barricaded himself into his suite–outside. In the process, the cops inadvertently summoned a gawker and his phone. Then, the cops went from pleading with one person to leave their unit to ordering another back inside.
“It’s okay if you film, but please get back inside your unit,” requested one officer.
Yann and I decided it was time for us to go back inside, where Yann could continue his eavesdropping from the safety of our third-floor suite window. Not being able to snoop in the dark afforded me the comfort of plopping onto the sofa and have Yann narrate the action to me from across the room.
Next, the guy who had been filming inside had gone outside. That would’ve required him to elbow his way past the squad and hurdle over a few dogs.
Here’s my rudimentary police sketch of the cameraman:
Trust me: it’s good enough a sketch for anybody to recognize the guy should they find themselves in Victoria.
After twenty or so minutes of filming from the outside, the cameraman either got cold or bored and lost motivation. It took another hour, probably two hours in all, for Andrew to finally surrender himself. His girlfriend, Holly, walked him down the walkway crying, and one of the cops was probably like, “Cuff him, boys.” But that’s just speculation because Yann couldn’t hear anything over Holly’s crying.
It was an anti-climactic ending, which is ideal when it comes to making an arrest, right?