Invisible Man

Beyond Gattaca/Central District/Fri July 9/10:20 pm: Officer Hotnit reports: "Sergeant asked me to contact [a white female] and collect some cheek swabs from her. Apparently, the Alaska State troopers had requested a DNA sample from the [white female] as part of an ongoing missing-persons investigation. An Alaskan investigator had contacted a Seattle detective, and the Seattle detective, in turn, had contacted our unit. I went to the [white female's] home and collected the swabs. She swabbed her own cheeks. I took the buccal swabs, let the covered swabs dry, packaged them, and transported them to the Seattle Police Department Evidence Unit. The swabs were in my custody throughout the transport. I requested that the swabs be shipped by UPS to the investigator in Alaska."

By "cheeks," Officer Hotnit must mean the inside of the suspect's mouth, not the outside, the surface of the skin. Nevertheless, this kind of police work seems so dull. Even if the case had involved a sensational serial killer like Gary Ridgway instead of a missing person from Alaska, the tedium of collecting DNA in this manner would not have been disturbed. To liven up things a bit, what's needed is the old drama of drawing blood--puncturing the skin, pushing the needle into a life stream, and pulling up the red, warm, secret-rich blood cells. Saliva or hair can never match the sight of blood.

But with each advance in DNA technology, blood is pushed further away from everyday life. And it is only a matter of time before the technology achieves its supreme objective: not only the removal of blood and saliva from an investigation, but the whole damn body. At this final point, all the police will need to determine the truth is your aura. You were standing here in this room an hour or so ago, and what remains is the heat of your absence. The police swab the dusty air and in under a minute know who you are and what you have done. In the future the perfect crime will not exist.

My Milkshake/Broadway/Mon July 12/12:53 am: To continue the theme of absence, for this report I will only offer the list of details collected by Officer Rivera and not the substance of the committed crime.

Firm Name: Dick's Fast Food Restaurant. Suspect One: White Male; White Jacket; Cut-Off Shorts, White Adidas with Blue Stripes; White Kangol Cap. Suspect Two: White Female; Thin; Scrawny Looking; Dirty Blond Hair up in a Bun; Wears Glasses. Victim: Clothes Covered with a Milk Product. Conclusion: Area Check for Suspects Was Negative.

A Few of My Favorite Missing Things/West Seattle/Tues July 13/2:41pm: An old man who lives on Myrtle Street and allows a young woman to "spend a few nights in his apartment because she is homeless" reported to Officer Lee this list of things which recently went missing or were stolen: "One Brass Eagle Statue, valued at $25.00; One Porcelain Doll of a Jazz Man, valued at $40.00; One Set of Antique Carving Knives, valued at $80.00; Two Gift Certificates for Sizzler Restaurant, valued at $20.00 and $25.00." The total cost for this extraordinarily disparate set of missing/stolen objects is $190.

Support The Stranger