Before falling into bed for the night, I pry loose the following from my daughter's hands as she sleeps:
one baby comb
one mini Tonka truck
one plastic pony
one metal race car
In the middle of the night, my 3 year-old cries in his sleep. His father and I wake up and call out to him to crawl into bed with us. Eventually we all drift off again.
4:30 AM the alarm clock start to sound. I hit the snooze button once, then again and again. At 5:00 I get up, get dressed, pet the cat, brush my teeth, brush my hair, grab my coat and backpack and hat, slip on my shoes and head into the fog. My bus arrives at around 5:30 and by 6:00 I am sitting at my desk at work. It is still dark outside and the office is silent. By 6:30, a colleague or two start to arrive and the day slowly builds as voices echo throughout the floor.
Yesterday, after I arrived at work, the fire alarm went off. They were doing some alarm testing (which no one warned us about) so another woman and I stood in the cold in front of our building waiting for it to finish. Across the street we saw three vans with long satellite antennas sending off the top news story: a man across the street was holding someone hostage in his apartment building. It had already been going on for 5 hours. She and I watched as police cars emerged and disappeared up and down the streets. How ironic that we were forced outside by a fire drill to stand outside on the sidewalk , in the cold, across from a crime scene. At around 6:30 the alarm stopped and we went back in. I sat back at my desk and continued working. I never took the time to find out what happened to the hostage or the hostage-taker.
While we stood outside, one man came out and in a burly voice and a sarcastic smile said, "So, did they kill the guy already?" It seemed funny at the time. Later that day, the thought of it nauseated me.