my car, as always, impersonating a rubbermaid, bounced.
the driver ditched out of the truck.
"let's go! let's GO!" his friend slurred from the sidewalk.
by then i was already remotely blinking the lights on the civic to let this little wasteoid know that i had seen the whole thing. i'm omnipresent. hear that, college kids! i'm your mrs. garrett and you are all tootie!
[let me reiterate that i absolutely love this weekend mayhem. i'll sacrifice a tail light or two, and consider it the price of admission for a pretty decent show. these predictible acts of public urination -- metaphorical and literal -- are my real world marathon.]
"hey, you litte effer," i yelled down to him. "you just hit my car."
"wha --?" he said, dumbly.
"yeah. you just hit my car. i think that means you are supposed to leave your information on my windshield," i called down.
"what's you're information?" he asked.
"just put your phone number and insurance information in a little note on my car," i talked him through the protocol.
"do you have a pen?" he asked.
"look in your glove compartment," i suggested.
"what's your information?" he asked again.
"i don't give you MY information. you hit MY car," i reminded him.
"what's your number," he asked.
"are you drunk?" i cajoled him.
"no," he said.
"put. your. information. on my car," i said more slowly.
"give me your information," he said.
by this time he'd built up my inner ire, so i tore down the steps after him only to see his truck disappear into the night. down the block, a front door slammed. the passenger had sought refuge in his house.
by now, chuck and i were in the street. occasionally we would see the truck driving slowly up an avenue two blocks away, driving down an avenue a block away. aren't they so precocious at that age?
my car, meanwhile, was undamaged. i almost wish something had broken. these kids were part of the same posse that, a few weekends ago, ignored 20 minutes of police presense on their doorstep. stood behind a locked door mocking the officer and knowing that he couldn't, like, kick down the door. it is the sense of entitlement and disregard for repercussions that interests me the most. say he did wreck my car. say i did get his information. i'd probably end up in court with his hairy knuckled onion breathing father who would post a counter suit. something about the emotional anguish i'd caused his son by calling him a little effer. and they would probably win.
i nudged chuck. just down the block, a massive body was curled up in the fetal position, napping on the sidewalk.
"i kind of want to check that out," he said.
the napper was breathing. his potbelly heaving and distended over the tops of unfashionable jeans. we gave him a few nudges. then a few more serious nudges. we tried to talk to him, but he continued to billow wafts of boozy breath. you could smell his rancid exhales from half a block away.
and herein lies the conundrum: once you have repeatedly jammed your bare foot into into a drunken stranger's shins, he becomes your responsibility. you can let him lay on the sidewalk until he wakes naturally at 5 p.m. the next day. but in this town, the locals like to get all wasted and then go rock climbing in chester creek. this death trap has some sort of animalistic tug, a coaxing pitch that you can only hear when you are at about .30 and suddenly decide that you love nature so much, you are going to go ram your skull into a boulder so that your brain parts can become one with the creek.
we asked some people in the vacinity if they knew the man.
no one did. including the f-wads carrying a case of coors light who had ditched their pickup a block away and thought i'd forget how they tried to park in my backseat a few minutes earlier.
so i called the police. i didn't necessarily want this man to wake up in detox. but i definitely didn't want him to not wake up with his spleen splattered on the rocks, either.
i described him to the dispatcher. apparently, merely interpreting his aesthetics like a piece of art. i said he was white, middle aged and chunky. he was not white, college aged and chunky. at least i know chunky when i see it.
two squads pulled up about 15 minutes later. both cars contained one officer in uniform and one plain clothed officer in a hoodie and jeans. and once they were in action, they were a four-man fun factory.
cop 1: that's a funny place to take a nap.
cop 2: i wouldn't nap there.
cop 3: nope. that's not a very comfortable napping place.
cop 4: would you nap there?
cop 1: i wouldn't nap there.
cop 2 [flashing light on sleeping man]: hey buddy, time to get up.
cop 3: wakey wakey.
cop 4: you can't nap here.
cop 1: that's no place to take a nap.
finally they get him on his feet.
cop 2: what's your name?
cop 3: do you have any ID, sir?
cop 4: we're going to need some ID.
cop 1: that's not a name.
cop 2: that's a funny name.
cop 3: what's your real name?
cop 4: yeah, no one is named that.
cop 1: ed duane? your name is ed duane?
cop 2: that's a funny name. duane.
cop 3: mr. ed duane. that's not your name.
cop 4: duane. come on duane.