Thank Goodness I had gone home to Ann and found her ready to walk and talk as we love to do when taking our small herd of dogs out for a stroll....
We went out for pizza...and I had the fun, clown-on-duty, Jody aka Krinklies the Clown, paint my face...I wound up with lovely curlicues and glitter and green that accentuated my hazel green eyes...I felt more alive for some reason....but I did not look like someone who should be taken seriously.
The talk with Ann allowed me to be a grown up and at least try again with good, kind, handsome, fun-loving Joel who laughs really easily.
I was in the car headed for his place with my trusty black and white dog in the car. I knew dog food awaited us there since I had stocked his house with spare suits of mine and dog food for my puppy.
Five minutes down my backwater roads, I received a call that clearly made me appreciate washing off my lovely glitterfest on my face before heading out of the house. Mike was calling to tell me that something was up in Oakdale. He had been driving through the area on his way home from a business trip, when he had witnessed several streets in downtown Oakdale being swarmed with lit up officer's vehicles and teams of SWAT members. Mike's astute nature even had him guessing (quite correctly I found out later!), that 50 cars were involved.
I didn't go to Joel's after all right away...I asked Samara, my dog, what she thought I should do and she gave me her look for going for a walk...which told me I was going for "the story". I went after Mike's "Hot Lead"...after all the Central Bureau Chief had hinted that I could get the Stanislaus County area in my zone if I showed some initiative...so I asked myself..."What do I want to do? What would Lois Lane do?"
I was most of the way through the 40 minutes to Oakdale before Joel called and asked where I was....Even though I had already hinted that I might be going after the story....I felt guilty admitting I was almost to the usually quiet valley town. He laughed in his good natured way, he seemed to know I would just drive.
I muddled my way around a town, I know really well. In all my time here though, I had never been to the Police Station...I called my Ex who had worked in an architectural office here for years. He used his smart phone to set me straight. I made a mental note that I needed one of those smart phones...sooner rather then later.
On the way to the station, I stopped to ask one of the many officers in town what was up. I introduced myself as a "cub reporter on my first story and devoid of my Press ID since my new bosses had not had a chance to send it yet." I was painfully aware that this officer, though really together and intelligent looking...might be too young to know what a "cub reporter" even was...He couldn't have seen Cary Grant in His Girl Friday...an old flick about reporters working for a paper.
In spite of my professional jacket covered in Samara's dog hair, he treated me as a media person and sent me to the media center. He even gave me a "run down" of what he had been told. I just stood there gratefully writing down the address on the safer side of town.
On the drive over, I worried about Facebook friends who were also old high school buddies that lived in town since a shot was fired according to the officer.
I was so grateful that I had removed my facepaint as I trounced over the yellow police tape to go up to a large command center placed in the middle of a suburban street.
The officers didn't finch at all as they casually looked me over before sending me to the Chief of Police.
A van across the street had a TV station's number on it, but I was the only person around that I could see. The Chief kept walking but assured me he would have a Press Conference in about 20 minutes. He was busy of course but he took the time to jab me in good natured fashion by telling me that since I stepped over the police tape he would have to give me "less then the best" story.
I felt a mix of "playing reporter" and "being a reporter" for scholarly reasons...both sides of me were fighting for control.
By the time I was driving home, I had met the other reporters, talked to locals (let's face it...I had alot more in common with them...) and balanced both taking notes and video of the Chief's well done explanation of what had occurred.
Because of my "playing reporter" I ended my romantic part of the night on a sour note...but it was worth it to me to know I did not pass up an opportunity like this one. My new bosses might not even use my story...but it felt really good turning it in last night...I might have only gone for my own sake for all I know, but at least I did do it...and sometimes "playing" at a cool job can be even cooler then real life!
This morning though, I found myself packing up my dog food an perhaps leaving one of the finest men I have ever gotten to laugh with...playing can get complicated sometimes...