Most days of this writer's life are uneventful. There is some hissing as the cats vie for position on top of my desk to watch the bird activities in the treetops just outside the window. My iPhone buzzes, whistles and pops with each tweet, text and news bulletin. Sometimes there are staccato bursts of the computer keyboard.
I spend a lot of time staring off into space. And my space is a window onto the street in front of my house. So while I was dreaming up a new twist for my romance novel the other day, you can imagine my dismay when a new twist for a spy novel appeared outside my front door.
Two white panel vans were parked in front of the house under a street lamp. The occupants of said van appeared to be working in tandem. I can't tell you the exact time of their arrival, but once they were noticed, they were under surveillance for the next several hours.
Lest you think that I am the only person in my world with a vivid imagination, the Handsomest Man Alive came into my office for a non-specific consultation at the lunch hour and exclaimed, "hey, look there's two white panel vans in front of the house."
You should know that we watch "Homeland", "The Blacklist" and "The Americans." We know what goes on inside white panel vans on television.
You should also know that we live next to a very nice family who are, as Jane Austen would say, "of foreign extraction." They are the nicest people in our neighborhood. The only ones who say hello. My only hesitation in having them over to supper is that the gentleman practices his hand-to-hand combat skills on a mat in his garage every Tuesday night. I'm not sure if he is the instructor or if he is taking instructions. It isn't wrestling. I know wrestling and there is some other evidence that I do not want to mention here that leads me to believe that they are not training for Olympic competition as much as they are training to be ninja assassins. I only hope it is for self-defense.
I spent a lot of quality time that day wondering if we were under surveillance by proximity. A lot of quality time when I could've been doing something else.
So it was with great relief that long about five o'clock in the afternoon, a couple of guys with knee pads strapped over their pants wandered out a house down the block and went out to the vans. They loaded their tool bags, some scrap carpeting, and a roll of padding into the vans. And then they left.
International crisis averted
If you're going to be doing any sort of remodeling in my neighborhood over the next few weeks, I'd appreciate it if you could alert me in advance.