I came home today after spending Thanksgiving with a friend. I flew down on Wednesday and returned Monday night. I can't say I was thrilled to walk up my littered dingy street. The surveillance cop truck left last week, unfortunately. It had grown on me as more than just an oddity--I felt measurably more secure walking home at night knowing one cop stood at my corner and at least one more sat in the big marked truck in front of my house. Surprisingly though, a friendly neighbor stole our garbage can right in front of the surveillance van. My house chore is taking out the trash and I'd spoken to some of the cops while doing that. If they had paid attention, they should have noticed someone who did not look like me walking away with our trash bin. I decided not to take the theft personally, and since I believe that one's garbage can should express one's individuality, I bought a beige can as a replacement.
We've all wondered why the cop truck was there. Obviously it was not there to protect my garbage can. One friend said she thinks the van parked there because of the empty lot across the street. It was completely grown over with huge weeds and bushes. She suggested that special weeds also grew there amongst the evil pollen releasing sinus irritating ones. I remembered that someone always used to hang out by the lot, at all hours of the night. That's not unusual, people like to hang out on street corners all night long in neighborhoods like mine. But, what happened a few days after the cop van arrived is unusual and the best proof that the lot was used for illicit agriculture. One morning, a dumptruck and some other large things showed up. Within two hours they had the entire lot cleared of all growing and green and brown things and trash. They left nothing but the broken pavement, shards of glass and cruddy grey city dirt. The van left the following week. Someone must have lost his livelihood. I'm curious to see how long it takes for business to return to usual.