It’s not entirely unusual to hear some shouting altercation outside in my parking lot, usually somehow related to the neighbors who have some affiliation (patient-wise) with the Cascadia facility across the street. For example, earlier this afternoon, the female neighbor was sitting on the stairs, praying loudly for guidance from God, while a solitary red balloon (leftover from the downstairs neighbor kid’s birthday party) fluttered and bounded around the pavement.
So when I heard such noise a few minutes ago, I assumed it was just more of the same.
It was, but with a few bonus features. Namely, the seven police cars and at least as many officers in and around the parking lot.
Over on the upstairs landing outside the aforementioned neighbors’ door was a man in heated conversation with another man who was standing on the stairs. Obviously, I had missed the start of something a little more complicated than normal.
I suspected from the conversation that the man on the stairs was, in fact, from Cascadia across the street, since he was engaging with Agitated Man — who was ranting about wanting “the killing to stop” — in a way that suggested trying to “talk him down” while the police officers stood around and milled about.
Eventually, Cascadia Man asked Agitated Man is he trusted him (he did), and then convinced him to let one of the officers — who Cascadia Man said was “a good man” — take him to the hospital. As long as Cascadia Man went with him, and that there was no trickery, Agitated Man said he would go.
And so Agitated Man came down the stairs, and Officer Good Man explained that although it wouldn’t suggest that Agitated Man was somehow a bad man, there was a procedure to follow, and he had to restrain Agitated Man’s hands.
“You mean handcuff me?” asked Agitated Man. This wasn’t a problem, he explained. He’d been through it before.
So the extraneous officers began returning to their cars, as Agitated Man was put into the one belonging to Officer Good Man. Three officers then stood around outside the car for a bit, discussing satellite television.
Strangely, given Cascadia Man’s earlier promise to accompany Agitated Man, he instead returned across the street to the Cascadia facility.
And the police cars slowly and silently lit up, each in turn, one by one, until at last they had all driven away.