Man, it’s been crazy, like a whirlwind.
My grands are closing up their cottage the last weekend of October, so I had to look for a new place. Thursday was moving day, sort of. My lease started yesterday. I’m all moved in, slept here last night.
I rented a house on a nice street, right in Cedar Point. Can’t afford it by myself — it’s a three-bedroom house — so I had to advertise for two roommates. I put an ad in the paper and on a website too. I got a few calls but only one person came to look at the place. But she took both rooms!
Her name is Oshi. She’s very nice. She’s from Japan, a photographer. She’s going to use one bedroom as a darkroom.
The house is owned by a college professor. She’s on a sabbatical, spending a year in Asia, took her whole family with her. They’re not going to live in this house when they get back, they’re building a new house in Vancouver. I guess they’ll sell this place then.
Anyway, they moved everything out a month ago. That’s why I say yesterday was “sort of” moving day. The professor agreed to let me move stuff in early, so I’d already brought most of it over. I did some last week and the rest over the weekend.
Tuesday night I brought the TV over. I put that off as long as I could because the cable hookup won’t be until next Monday, earliest appointment I could get. Sucks too, ’cause I have to work at the bakery Sunday night and I usually sleep all day Mondays. Now I’ll have to be waiting for the cable guy.
I also brought most of my clothes over Tuesday night. The deal with the owner was I could drop things off, not move in. That had to wait until the lease began, October first.
But I found myself unpacking a couple things. And then a couple more. Eventually I had all my clothes put away, I set up the TV so it’ll be ready for the cable guy Monday. Really, I was just hanging out in my new room, sitting on the bed, getting the feel of living in Cedar Point. I was really happy everything had worked out…finding a place, finding a roommate, getting everything moved.
I went downstairs to the kitchen and unpacked some of the boxes I brought over last week. I put away dishes, cups, glasses and other stuff I hadn’t seen for awhile. It’s all been in storage at my brother’s until I got my own place again.
I finished in the kitchen about 10:30. I opened the back door and stood on the porch for a minute, thinking about deck furniture. I walked into the yard. It’s nice, shrubs along the property lines – neighboring house to the right, town beach to the left. I walked along the shrubs on the beach side. The end of the property is at the foot of a tall hill. Where the shrubs end, you can walk right onto the beach. Cool.
It was a bit cool, actually. Eleven degrees. I hadn’t planned to come out here, my jacket was up in the bedroom. But hey, I’d found an unexpected shortcut to the beach and I had a joint in my pocket. I wasn’t about to go back inside and upstairs for a jacket. Anyway, there was no wind, so it wasn’t cold, just cool.
I watched the moon through a light fog and lit that bone. I’ve never really hung out on this beach. Good place to get high on a quiet night like this, no one around.
I was sitting on a big piece of driftwood. After a few tokes, some headlights came down the street. The car slowed, then stopped. I heard a car door slam but the lights stayed on. I looked over my shoulder and one of Cedar Point’s finest was walking toward me.
I dropped the joint in the sand and covered it over with my shoe. Now a very bright flash light was shining in my direction.
“Evening, sir,” the officer said. He was a big guy, solid, built like a tank. In the foggy moonlight, it appeared he was bald but he seemed younger than me.
“Good evening, officer,” I said as I looked up at him.
“Little chilly out here, without a jacket,” he said. His tone was hard to read but there was a definite hint of suspicion in it.
“Yeah, a little.”
I figured he knew what I’d been doing, either he could smell marijuana on me or he just assumed. But he never said anything about it.
“Been out here long?”
“No sir, just a little while.”
“There’s no sleeping on the beach, you know?”
“Oh no worries, officer, I’ll be going soon.”
“I’ll need to ask for some identification.” The police officer took a step forward and held his flashlight a bit higher. In the glow, I could see he was light skinned with a heavy five o’clock shadow, deep-set blue eyes, intense. The light showed he was bald by choice.
“Oh. Okay. Uhhh…I don’t have it with me. I left it in my jacket. In the house. This yellow house, right here.” I started to raise my arm to point.
He shined the light right in my face and said, “Put your hands over your head, please. Stand up.” His tone shifted from calm to a sharp bark.
I was stunned but did as I was told. The officer came around the driftwood, light still shining in my eyes. He barked a series of questions at me, rapid fire.
“What’s your name?”
“Where do you live?”
“In Cedar Point. Well, on Route 75, near the town line.”
“And why were you in this yellow house? You know someone there?”
“No…uhhh, I’m moving in, on Thursday. I was just dropping off some stuff.”
The officer reached for his hand cuffs. “Turn around, slowly” he demanded.
I turned around, slowly. “Am I being arrested?”
“No. You are being detained,” he said, in a matter of fact way.
“Be still. I’ll explain in a minute.” He yanked my arms and secured the cuffs around my wrists. I felt and heard them click into the closed position. The officer then did a quick but vigorous pat down. He found nothing, my pockets were empty.
I heard him rustling some equipment. “This is Nault. I’m at North Beach. I’ve detained a man here who matches the description. He has no identification on his person. Over.”
The voice on the radio asked if the officer needed assistance.
“No, I’ll bring him in. Leaving now. Over.” I heard him put his radio back on his belt.
“What’s this about?” I could hear my voice tremble a bit.
“I’ll explain once you are securely in the car. Walk slowly toward the car, please.”
I continued to do as told but I was freaking out inside. I’ve never been arrested. Or detained. I’ve never been in any trouble, never dealt with the police.
He put me in the back seat and once he got behind the wheel, he looked at me through the rear-view mirror and told me that they’d had a call about a possible break-in in the neighborhood and another call that said that a man matching the description of a wanted criminal was seen in the vicinity.
I guess he looked like me.
Editor’s note: Special thanks to Jamie Anna Wright, creator of the Officer Nault character, for writing and editing assistance on this story. Check out her blog for more Cedar Point Stories which includes several installments directly related to the above story.