Red and Blue Sky over the Hudson, 11/13/10 Posted by Doug Sadler November 18, 2010

I started the day with my son Emery waking me and pointing out the window to the bands of red and blue of the dawn sky over the Hudson – and he said "right there – where the evening sky meets the day sky is where you were born – I asked your mom" – then he got the paper, made me a tub and helped toast a bagel…not a bad start to my birthday.

 

New Siren, NYPD, 3/4/10 Posted by Doug Sadler August 18, 2010

The police here have a new siren. I hear it in the streets below. A deep, pulsating ‘whump, whump’. A techno-rumble pulsing from the pavement, coming from everywhere at once. We are here, we are everywhere, we own the situation. A 21st-century shocker, no doubt the product of endless research on the art of intimidation. Statistics, detailed reports on the importance of establishing control in those critical first moments of any encounter. Can’t be too careful these days. The world is gunning for us.

Where did it come from? Europe probably. Has the feel of something the Swiss or the Spanish might have come up with to overcome those zippy little economy sedans they careen around cobblestone streets with over there. Or maybe it was the Germans (never to be overlooked in these matters). Over here we’ve strapped them to the big Ford cruisers for maximum impact. A double-dose.

The order came in and some excited engineer in some Old-world capital bounds up the stairs to his young family, bursting with the news that the New York Police Department – yes that New York, from America no less – has ordered a bajillion units of Hans’s brainchild. Little Hans Jr. will be fine, we can buy a villa, the years in the Lab have finally paid off! His beautiful, bewildered bride tearing up, Oh Hans, oh Hans …

I hope it is so. That someone experienced comfort from that ominous pulse echoing on the streets below while I lay here, trying vainly for sleep, wondering when that primal rumble will usher in the void.

 

Police in Washington Square Park, New York, 2/23/10 Posted by Doug Sadler June 15, 2010

Echoing walkie-talkie squawks in the ATM cubicle at 8am. I’m there. Undercover dude with a hoodie bolts out the door.

A few minutes later I see him again, hiding the walkie, the same gesture as a boy, excited, mystery. Something about a guy with a dog I hear and again the hiding of the walkie. I leave him crossing the park, crossing traffic, timing myself to pass behind a slowing sedan. Inside two more guys with walkies pause behind the double-parked plumbing van.

Cops, right? Gotta be. One hops out, walkie by his hip. Flips up his hoodie against the misting rain, strides off. Is the hoodie standard procedure? In the distance, a guy walking a dog. Maybe the ATM guy was spotted. Maybe this is a shift change.

Just like kids all of this. Same excitement. Same drama. Same games we used to play. I want to play too. Be important. My every move watched. Maybe I should go up to the guy with the dog, say, ‘cops are trailing you, man, what did you do?’ Or maybe shake his hand, pretend to pocket something. Get the cop talking. Earn my own tail. Someone following me, tracking my every move, trying to figure out what I was doing, how I fit in to the whole picture. I could use that.

 

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