Up Late

Anna and I spent a quiet evening at home last night. We watched the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics. Very interesting. After it was over I stayed up to do some reading. At about 2:00 AM I heard a loud wail. It sounded like someone was over the legal blood alcohol limit. I stepped onto the terrace to investigate and saw a spotlight shining on the side of my parent’s building. Kathleen and Dave live on the southeast corner of 7th floor. The spotlight was focused on the northwest side of the 10th floor. There was a man in the window shouting at the police below. “You know me, OPD!”

We live in an urban valley. Tall buildings on either side of the street channel the sound up Perkins, so this shouter, amplified by the landscape, sounded closer than he was. He was loud enough to have caught the attention of two neighbors across Perkins who were standing on their front porch, drinking a beer. At one point there were at least 3 police cars sitting on the street, shining lights at the shouter on the 10th floor.

Our neighborhood is generally quiet at 2:00 AM. From our terrace, after shouting man tired of taunting Oakland’s peace officers, I could hear the steady rhythm of the tick-tocking cross walk indicator. Occasionally a car would whip around the corner—the sound of its wheels on the pavement could be mistaken for a wave breaking on the shore. The only thing missing that would have made a symphony of this wee hour soundscape was someone playing a saxophone. (A twitterer noted a sax player contributing to her appreciation of sunset the other day.)

I finished what I was reading then slipped into bed with my honey.

Saturday February 13, 2010 — Mark —