I’d been seeing this putty-colored van all week, always idling, always facing the wrong way in front of my neighbor’s house on our tree-lined street in Washington, D.C.
The other day, while walking Casey, I thought about approaching the driver and asking why he was there, as though it were my proprietary right to know. But then I thought, What if he’s a terrorist? He’ll know where I live. Better to remain inconspicuous.
Today Casey and I were out again and curiosity got the best of me. I went up to the van and the cutest guy I have seen in a long time rolls down the window and flashes a smile with his whole face, including his blue eyes.
He looked so familiar and I asked, “Do I know you?”
“No,” he said, still smiling.
“Oh, I guess you look like one of those cute guys on TV.” It just came out that way. He continued smiling. The less cute guy next to him also smiled.
“I’ve noticed your van before,” I said, “and I was just wondering how come you’re here.”
“Law enforcement,” he told me. A bolt of thrill and terror shot through me.
Questions began gushing out of my mouth.
“Did they hire you?”
“We’re with the government,” he answered. More thrill and terror.
“But you’re not exactly being subtle,” I submitted.
“We want to be a deterrent,” Cute Guy replied. Whoa!
I told them I had thought that they might be terrorists, and I’d been hesitant to approach them. I added, “I guess you’re protecting us against terrorists.”
Afterwards, while making my coffee, I thought about what Lou, my burglar alarm guy, once said. Your home is only as safe as the weakest link. Talk about weak links: When I walk Casey at two a.m., these guys are nowhere to be seen, deterring. What then?
I went back to the van to ask about the two a.m. shift (he shrugged) and I told Cute Guy I figured out that he looks like J.P., who married Ashley H. from “The Bachelorette.”
He had never watched “The Bachelor/ette.” Too busy watching out for terrorists, I guess.
Thank goodness for a Washington story like this; otherwise my neighborhood of the evenly trimmed hedges can bore me into narcolepsy.
What’s exciting about your neighborhood?
LOTS ABOUT THERAPY, MARRIAGE, RELATIONSHIPS AND MORE IN MY NEW MEMOIR . . .
The perfect book for worrywarts or anyone who enjoys a “neurotic, hilarious, poignant,” deeply personal story.