The Cactus Theory.

It was springtime of 1998, and I had just finished my shift at work for the day. In all fairness to me, I was wore the fuck out from a wild work week and I really just wanted to grab a beer, get home and watch the NBA playoffs by myself, but for reasons unknown the universe decided to do me a favor and throw me a curveball. I clocked out, grabbed my belongings and headed towards the exit. As I walked out towards the parking lot to head home, I got a page from an unfamiliar number. I walked back inside to call the number back and it was this chick named Olivia that I met through a mutual friend a few nights earlier. After a little small talk, she came straight out and asked me if I wanted to meet up at this new sports bar downtown and watch the game with her and some friends.

When I was first introduced to her I just remember how cute she was and how we kind of just hit it off with one another. This girl just had a lot of positive energy, and I was attracted to that, not to mention she was about 6’1″ and sexy as hell too. In a weird way she reminded of a tall glass of water, that’s how good she looked. At any rate I told her I was down, but I had to go home and get ready. I gave her my home number and told her to call me there just in case I didn’t hear my beeper, but I would be there shortly.  Now, since I didn’t want to miss the tip off and I wanted to make sure we grabbed some good seats at the bar, I sped the process up a little quicker and got off the phone. Now, on this particular sunny May day, the traffic on the street was really light and I remember that I kept catching all green lights so in actuality, I made it home faster than usual.

Once I made it in the house, I turned on the TV to watch the NBA playoff pregame show. I turned up the volume particularly loud so I could hear the commentary while I was in the shower. After the shower, I did my normal hygiene routine and put on some jean shorts with a plain white T shirt. I did a time check and looked at my pager. I had seen that Olivia paged me twice.

I grabbed my home phone and coincidentally it rings right before I get ready to dial her number back. I answer and say, “HelIo?” Hey you, it’s Olivia, I just got a call from my girlfriend and she said that they are at that sports bar but they stopped letting people in and it’s full to capacity, she said they wait is over an hour, so will have to go somewhere else I guess.” Then I said, “That’s cool, we can just go to this other one I know where the drinks are strong but the food ain’t that great,” She laughed, then said to me, “Actually, if you want, we can just skip the bar and you can just come to my place and we can watch it here, I just brought a brand new big screen, I could order a pizza for us and we can just hang out here?” I figured at this point it wasn’t going to get much easier. I told her, “Ok, I’ll just stop at the store and grab some alcohol on the way there, I’ll be out the door in about 10 minutes.”

Before I hung up, she gave me directions to her house and told me if I had some movies at home that I should probably bring one. I sat on the couch to put my socks and shoes on. Once I tied my shoes, the phone rang again so I hopped up to answer it, but this time when I said, “Hello,” no one said anything on the other end. I just figured, maybe somebody had the wrong number so I didn’t put any extra thought into it. I hung up the phone and walked to my bedroom to grab my wallet, pager and car keys.

Next thing I know, I hear my doorbell ring, so I grab my stuff, put it in my pockets and walk back to the front room to answer the door. As a force of habit as well as common sense, I look through the peephole to see who it is before I open any door. What I see is an older guy with eye glasses on and a clipboard in his hand. “Who is it?” I say though the door. The man on the the other side says, “It’s maintenance,” I say to myself, “Maintenance?”

Next, I did what any normal person would do that’s on his way out the door in a rush. I opened the door and say, “Hey man, I’m on my way out the… and before I knew it two other guys rushed in my door in front of him with badges and guns drawn screaming at me to get on the ground and don’t move. At this point I’m like what the fuck is going on? Then the guy in the glasses who was apparently pretending to be a maintenance worker says, “We are with the Police Departments Task Force Division, my name is Sergeant York,” he then named the other agents who’s names I didn’t catch the first time around. At time I was still trying to process what the Task Force wanted with me and what are these dudes were even doing in my apartment to begin with treating me like I was public enemy number one.

Once they looked at my ID and verified my identity, he showed me his search warrant and asked me this one question but it was in the most sarcastic way I’ve ever been asked any question in my entire life. He looks at me and says, “So what do you know about Robin Banks?” It’s like I heard what he said, but my brain is moving  faster than a million miles per hour, so I said to him, “Robbing banks, I don’t know nothing about robbing banks because I don’t rob banks. He looked at one of his other agents and they chuckled among each other, he then turns back to look at me and says, “No genius, Robin Banks is a person why do you think we’re here?”

To be continued


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