Saturday, March 31, 2007

Property Room

I thought I understood Cleveland pretty well, until I got to see the Cleveland Police Department's "Property Room." It's at the end of one of those eternally long beige hallways. Written on the window in Magic Marker are the hours it's open. After an echoing knock, a really nice man let us stand in the doorway while he disappeared behind stacks of blue bins.

Here's what we saw: guns, rifles, Glocks, a bazooka, a virgin Mary statue, bolt cutters, artillery, posters of Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant and Arnold Schwarzenegger, prosthetic legs hanging from the ceiling, an entire room full of guns.

Semi-automatics, big, heavy ledgers with hand-written entries of property received, property released, property "re-distributed." A statue of three dancing toads painted in Oaxacan folk art style, an oversized brick, small handguns. A shopping cart full of guns, their barrels facing skyward.

I'm there to recover my stolen stuff (a tiny percentage of it), including a computer whose hard-drive holds all my old writing and resume material. (Try constructing a resume from memory...)

Tony Bennett was singing out of a boombox.

My stuff, alas, could not be found. I have to return. Looking forward to it.


Erin O'Brien said...

That is fascinating.

Maureen McHugh said...

A shopping cart full of guns?

Jarvis Rockhall said...

That is brilliant. I remember how shocked I was to see the racks of pump-action shotguns in Wal-Mart the first time I went to the states.

You must have been totally freaked out...