Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Wednesday, 31 July 2002

# 3:50 PM

At nine-thirty this morning, two people from the Daly City police department and three from the the San Mateo County crime lab arrived to check out my apartment for traces of blood. They had arranged this with me last week, as part of the investigation of the body found in a Daly City storage locker last month. The body had been dismembered, and the detective on the case thought that the murderer might have done it in my apartment. The actual murder happened in San Francisco in January 1999, so this would have been long before I moved in.

The investigators had me sign a consent form permitting them to do a search without a warrant. This authorized a much more thorough search than what they actually did; I assume it's standard text. They photographed all the rooms in the aparment, drew a floor plan, had me show them all around the building, and then got down to checking for blood. This is done by using damp cotton swabs to sample locations, then dripping chemicals on the swabs that turn green in the presence of iron. Rust generates a false positive; they got one off the rust stains below the overflow pipe in the bathroom sink. They checked out the bathroom very thoroughly, the kitchen and bedroom cursorily. They didn't find anything.

In the middle of this, the handyman showed up to unclog the bathtub. He freaked out a little at the sight of five police officers standing in and around the bathroom, but they were all immediately reassuring: no, please, do unclog it now, then we can get at the drain opening. (This is a major reason why I wanted him to show up yesterday, not this morning.) Anyway, he extracted an enormous hairball from the drainpipe, and the tub now drains faster than it has in months.

# 2:55 AM

You know how sometimes you avoid doing a task for ages and ages because it seems like it'll be really hard, and it only becomes bigger as time goes by so you get even more reluctant to do it? And then when you actually do sit down and do the task it turns out to be much easier than you expected? This just happened to me regarding cleaning up the apartment. Once I got started it was ridiculously easy. Pick up all the clothes, vacuum the floor, put the books on the shelves somewhere, shred all the receipts, done.

There is no longer much organization to my bookshelves, but that's to be expected, since I am now officially out of space; things have to be squeezed in whereever they will fit. Also, the handyman never showed up, so the bathtub is still clogged. If he doesn't turn up tomorrow, the landlord will regret it.

Now off to rescue Adam and Robin from the airport.