In which our intrepid hero narrowly misses a police siege—by about two years.

Just under two years ago, I moved from Earlwood. The low pay I was getting meant that I couldn’t afford to live by myself anymore, the place was a bit small and a lingering plumbing problem led to chronic respiratory problems.

I was also a little creeped out at three or four incidents of arson in the area not long before I left, and the number of bakeries and restaurants on my block meant that I could never seem to get rid of the cockroaches which plagued the apartment..

I did kind of like the place, though. It was fairly close to the city, and everything I needed day-to-day (except perhaps a sushi bar and an Indian restaurant) was within two minutes’ walk.

Today, though, I was glad that I moved. The courtyard at Earlwood Police Station saw a three-hour siege. A police officer had holed himself up, and the whole area was cordoned off.

Earlwood Police Station was two doors down the street from my old place. It seemed like a glorified parking lot in many ways; although police cars were often parked in the courtyard, nobody ever seemed to be in the station itself.

Being so close by—and on the way from my place to the Coles supermarket—I walked past there every day, often during the mid-afternoon. Were I still there, I may well’ve wandered past the entrance to the courtyard, with its armed, freaked out, cornered cop inside. There were no hostages today, but were I still living in Earlwood—and being one of the few people who frequently used that stretch of laneway—then I might’ve been taken.

Of course, I haven’t been back since I moved, but like when I saw footage from the foyer of the World Trade Center during 9/11, the story sent a chill up my spine: I was there. And now, bad things have happened. Good thing I got out.