Somewhere between Bell's Palsy and death
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Remind me to NEVER open my door again

Four forty-two. That’s what time I got home this morning.

No, no. I wasn’t partying up with my crew or getting my junk crunked or anything one would normally assume would be going on at 4:42 ayem. Nope, I was driving home from Area 2, District 5 after sitting there for FIVE HOURS. For nothing in which *I* was involved.

Let’s back the train up, here: 10:30, right as Chelsea starts her monologue. I’m on the can after watching Nip/Tuck (whoa, this season’s going to be fucked UP, people!) when I hear voices (or A voice, as it turns out) in the hallway followed by hysterical knocking. I yell “Hold up! Hold up!” and finish my business, thinking the building’s on fire and how the hell am I going to round up the boys to get them out. The building wasn’t on fire, though; it was my downstairs neighbor, and a cop just called her and said he has her boyfriend, can she come and pick up his truck so it doesn’t get impounded? They’re at the corner of such and such ... on Chicago’s East side. And she doesn’t know how to get there, can I please, PLEASE come with her!??

Now, you might remember such situations as the Sweetest Day debacle that would be reason enough for me not to venture out of the crib where these two are concerned. You might also remember that I’m a big sap. And anyways, she was going to take the long way to get there, and I at least know how to get there quicker.

So the ride there was listening to her manically flit from one topic to the next, but the gist was the cop didn’t tell her why they had him and that she’d talked to him an hour earlier, and he’d said he was sleeping. (I, in the meantime, had decided it wasn’t a cop that called her but an “associate” who was going to pop a cap in her head as soon as she got out of the car, but I digress.) We get to the intersection, and sure enough, there’s his truck and an unidentified cop car behind it. She parks, throws her emergency lights on and then tells me to follow them to the station, but doesn’t tell me how to turn her emergencies off, so there I was driving like an idiot in a 2009 Camry with emergencies, blowing stops and shit just so I can keep up because it’s been waaaaaay long since I sowed oats on the East side. (Yeah, I was hardcore back in the day. What!?) Our destination: 111th and Cottage Grove, also known as Area 2, the place where telephone books are never wasted.

I think I told y’all once the lesson I learned about the penal system and how it’s not supposed to be like Momma’s house in order to keep criminals from coming back, right? I can tell you with utmost authority that Calumet Station? Not so much with the amenities. Thankfully, it didn’t smell like urine a la the old Gary HQ, but man! Imagine taupe and burnt sienna colored floor tile that’s kinda coming up in spots but not really, gray walls, block glass surrounding stairwells with primary yellow painted railings and brown gates separating the lobby and the rest of the facility, then take away any joy or hope you’ve ever had in your life and throw four homeless people sleeping outside, and there you go. Oh, and let’s not forget this art ... thing suspended between the two buildings that looks like a big chunk of ceiling tile held by 100 little wires and any manner of sketchy hooligans wandering in and out, especially the one woman who kept railing at the “pussy-ass po-lice” for arresting her brother or cousin or whoever—THAT was fun to decipher.

We’re there about an hour when the other arresting cop comes out and tells her his prints have come back fine and that whatever it was he was doing (and I do know, but for privacy reasons I’ll keep it to myself) wasn’t serious enough for the cop to pursue it but that the boyfriend WAS arrested and would be released at, oh, 3 a.m. “Well, hell, (neighbor), why don’t we just go home and he can call you when he’s done? We’re not that far from here for you to come back.” She told me I could take her car home, but like yeah, I’m going to leave her in the middle of the ‘hood by herself all geeked up on adrenaline and suspicion. That’s never a good combo for ANYONE. At that point, she says let’s take his truck and get something to drink.

And that’s when she started the recon.

We’re sitting there in the parking lot, she with her coffee and Red Bull (and for those like T who know my neighbor, they know that’s a baaaaad combination) and I with my Sierra Mist Cranberry, going through his immaculate vehicle looking for evidence. This, I had mixed feelings on. I mean, I’m no stranger to the recon and am pretty darn good at it—please—but. It’s all about what you’re going to do with the info once you have it, and I knew she was going to do exactly what she did—call the woman—and really, when the relationship is as bad as theirs, there’s really no point in getting all up in the other woman’s biz; let the other one deal with his stupid ass, right? Turns out, though, that that woman isn’t the woman he’s cheating with; it’s ANOTHER one. (FABulous!) Anyway, whoever it is doesn’t matter because now she knows, and hallelujah! she wants to leave him there—except we CAN’T, because she can’t just leave his keys at the front desk for him, say the officers.

SIGH.

So, we go back out to the truck for awhile before coming back in at 2:55 because he was supposed to be let go at 3, remember, and I’m starting to reek because the temp in truck was like 80 and who knows how hot it was in the station, and I was wearing sweats that should never leave the crib, clean or not. 34:10 rolls around, and we ask again what the holdup is: The officer said there was a “mishap”; the cleaning ladies said someone threw up and peed all over, and until THAT was brought “under control,” no one was leaving. FINALLY about 34:20, he came out. I thought she would just hand him his keys and leave with me, but no, she wanted to ride with him, so whatever, I didn’t have to listen to it. I got in her car and drove the hell home.

Earlier this evening, I was on the horn with Mother when I started hearing what sounded like caterwauling until the caterwauling started forming words. I look out, and the boyfriend is walking up to the door with a bag, then he goes back to the truck and PULLS her out of it. I stood there and waited for her to throw herself in front of the vehicle, but thankfully that didn’t come to pass. Haven’t heard anything since.


Posted by Broad8:18 PM
It is the job of a good person to be honest. To be self-aware. To deliberately explore the fault lines of your character and try desperately to not inflict suffering in this strange, ghost-ridden world of worked and fabricated objects. Sometimes the jobs of writer and good person coincide. But more often they don’t. There are way more writers in the world than there are good people.

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The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:



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