Follow the broken and crumbling brick path off the paved road, the path that cuts between two buildings and ends up against a twisted and broken wire fence. Tree roots have tunneled under the once perfectly laid bricks, like determined moles, leaving displaced earth and brick in their place sticking out at rude angles that threaten of twisted ankles and nasty trips. These are the kind of trips that don’t involve existential experiences but rather visits to the emergency room.
Careful, the night is cold and dark and the way is fraught with peril, but it isn’t far to the back door. Turn left here and it’s straight ahead.
Wait a minute, a police car is parked outside of the door, behind the building next to the cans of overflowing trash. Legos and Kleenex, a pair of old sweats are on the ground around the cans, while plastic bags within the cans bulge over the sides with orange peels and dirty diapers thrown on top.
The car is turned off and pulled as far back as possible making detection from the road impossible. Could this be an undercover operation, the middle of an investigation? Where is the officer? Perhaps a better question, where are the criminals?
The backside of a man leaning against the car becomes visible through the shadows. His head drops backwards in relaxation. He could be the driver of the car. It’s really too dark to tell until a security light comes on with a snap and a buzz of electricity.
He is wearing an unmistakable uniform.
Yanking his head up from his state of contentment, he glances around. Under the harsh light, it is apparent that he is not alone. A lady of the night is blinking her eyes under the sudden illumination that gently fades out and darkness returns.
Creep quietly back down the broken and crumbling brick driveway and step cautiously over the tree roots, return to the smooth pavement of the road and do not glance back.
Oh brother-in-blue, if anyone asks: No, I did not see you.