So here’s a scene-setter: 1:43 in the AM, my room, last night. The lights are all off save for haze of the freshman building that sneaks through the blinds, the laptop monitor and the digital clock. I’m making an attempt to observe Quiet Courtesy, so i’ve got my studio monitor headphones on.

I’ve just turned my report on well, the Drudge Report in via Yahoo Groups a few hours ago and i’m sitting back to watch some of this and this. Now remember, i’ve got headphones on. What I hear is the faint rapping of a knock on one of the inch-thick steel doors we have in this building. I- as usual- ignore it– i’m not expecting anyone, especially not at 1:43, and i’m not about to pretend to care about some sap from two floors up who locked himself out of his apartment and is too shy to tell the front desk about it.

About thirty seconds later I hear another muffled knock. There’s only difference this time. This rapping is distinctly on the door to my room (locked).

Christ, I think to myself, Suitemate must have locked himself out of his room. I open the door.

I’m greeted by a true-blue San Jose cop wearing a grimace and a full utility belt. We’re talking full here: Taser pistol, pepper spray, nightstick, cuffs, and a jet black handgun from what I made out in my quick scan.

Cop: “Hi, could you step outside of the room, please?”

Me: “Uhhh, why?”

Cop: “It’s ok, just step out of the room, please.”

Outside in the living room I almost walk straight into three other guys: another SJ cop and two SJSU security boobs in blue nylon jackets and with intimidating authoritarian walkie talkies at the ready. My roommate is standing in his doorway with a blank expression.

Cop #1 waves a massive flashlight inside my room for a bit before turning back towards me.

Cop #1: “Hey you, what were you doing in Mark’s room?”

Me: “…… I’m sorry?”

Security Guy: “He’s asking you a question, man.”

Cop #1: “So what were you doing in Mark’s room?”

Me: “I- uh, am Mark.”

Cop #2: “Marcus ________??”

Me: “No,” I tell them my full name.

Long story short (too late for that, really) they got the wrong room number from whomever rats out people downstairs. I think the selling point of this anecdote was the spike of raw terror I got when I emerged and saw those three mooks at the ready. For a moment there I was sure that they were going to jump me and give my eyes a good spraying and wrists a good cuffing before dragging me down to the lobby.

The point where the cops looked skeptical and had to radio to reconfirm whatever it is they reconfirm was also good for a few chills down the spine. This building is great!

Currently Listening to: The gentle cries of riled fratboys