Distractions, Distractions

I’m trying. I really am. But the world seems to be conspiring against me giving my full attention to my writing tonight. Since about 7 PM, we’ve had a hostage situation unfolding less than 50 yards from my house. The Beloit police swarmed all over the place and surrounded the house across the street from our next-door neighbors.

Apparently, an undercover cop bought some drugs from two guys down the street. The police managed to arrest one of them, but the other ran back into this house and has been holed up there since, reportedly with some children. The first I heard of it was when I was in my driveway, attaching the carrier frame for our quadruplet stroller to our minivan’s trailer hitch. The sound of a police officer on a bullhorn ordering someone to come out with his hands up smacks you awake.

Ann and I gave the kids baths and put the quads in their cribs just like normal. I read Marty another part of A Wrinkle in Time before putting him to bed too. Before that, though, he got a kick seeing a few members of our local SWAT team strolling through our back yard and hopping over our fence to get a better angle on the house with their assault rifles. I got a wild shot on my camcorder of Marty waving at me while the SWAT guys moved into position behind him.

It’s been over three hours since this all started. The police seem to have identified the guy in the house, as they’ve started calling him by name and telling him that they know there’s a warrant out for his arrest. Still, he shows no sign of communicating with them at all, refusing to even turn on a light in the house to acknowledge that he can hear them. The cop on the bullhorn keeps repeating his plea for reason every few minutes, despite this, guaranteeing the man’s safety if he comes out peacefully.

A group of our neighbors and other rubberneckers are camped out on the lawn directly across the street from us, watching this all unfold. I’ve gone out a couple times too, once to see more SWAT guys jog up my driveway with a K9 unit on a leash. People have come and gone as the evening has worn on, but there’s a solid core that seems to be determined to stick it out to the end. Sadly, the guy in the house looks to be just as determined. Still, as the police keep telling this “Curtis,” “We are not going away.”

Me, I’m just trying to write something while I listen to the negotiator keep talking over his bullhorn, asking the guy to walk out the back door with his hands up.