Cops Kept Me Awake

Happy Birthday, Blog! It feels great to be two years old!

Last night I was in the kitchen about 11:15, giving Isis her late-night snack (and getting a little one for myself since my dinner had been rather meager.) The telephone rang and I went into a panic.

When you’ve had elderly relatives in frail health, a call at that hour usually means one thing. The adrenalin still flows years later. I know that Larry’s mother and uncles are generally healthy but they are all up in years. I could not imagine what had happened. I picked up the phone to hear, “This is an emergency message from the Middletown Police Department.” I immediately began to wonder if our doors are locked and if I should close all the first floor windows so that we might be safe but would suffocate.

I was so shocked with these reflections that I missed the next few very important words but managed eventually to understand that they were looking for a missing person. I thought they said forty, turned out to be fourteen-year-old, autistic male. They gave a description, which went right over my head. Then they gave a phone number to call if anyone saw him. I found a piece of paper, but locating something to write with was a bit more difficult since the first three pens I grabbed were all out of ink. By that time the number had floated out of my information over loaded head. Then it hit me that Middletown is 42 square miles and I had no idea exactly where this person was. Maybe they had said it was in my neighborhood but if they had, it was long gone from my memory. Also I can’t see more than three feet in front of me in the dark without contact lenses and so would have been useless to help in a search.

My heart still pounding, I went on to bed and tried to relax. I read. And read. And read some more. Still too wound up to fall asleep an hour later. The last time I looked at the clock it was 1:38 a.m.

I found out the next day that they found the child about a half-hour after the call, but they don’t do reverse 911 with happy news.

While I have total sympathy for the parents of the missing child, there was absolutely nothing that most of us could do at that hour of the night. And I wonder how many elderly people were even more frightened than I.

There is an opt-out, but I’m not sure I want to do that. If there’s another Kleen Energy blast or something of the sort, I’d really like to know.

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