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August 3rd, 2009

My Pleasant Thursday Part II

Continued from Friday

Upon returning home from my day trip to the hospital, I noticed a couple of unfamiliar cars in my building’s parking lot. I didn’t think much of it (people are always parking where they’re not supposed to ’round these parts) and went inside. Several minutes later, I looked out the window and saw two police cars. Because my natural instinct is to run toward potential danger, I went outside and pretended to need something from my car, stealing glances at the lawmen as often as I could. I’m sure they didn’t notice.

On the way back up to my apartment, my neighbor (you may remember her from the Swine Flu incident) opened her door. “Oh!” she said, acknowledging the cop cars. “Those are mine. Don’t worry about it. They’ll be gone soon!” When I asked her what was happening, she told me that her boyfriend was due home any time now and, rather than letting him into the apartment, she was going to send him to jail. “So those cars will be gone soon. They’re bringing some unmarked’s around to wait for him.”

I didn’t really need to ask why he was going to jail. Paul and I have spent many a night being forced to listen to The Domestic Abuse Variety Hour. I was just glad she’d finally been able to break out of the cycle of abuse and fear-based forgivness. But, as she explained it to me, I realized it was much worse, and much more criminal, than I had ever known. The only thing I could think to do is run up to her and hug her. She yelled to the cops, “It’s okay! She’s my little neighbor!”

When I got back inside, I opened every window and door in my place, to make sure I could hear everything that went down over the next few hours. When Paul came home, he made me at least put the chain back on the door. I kept sneaking back to unlatch it, but eventually he threatened to call my parents so I let it be.

Turns out it didn’t really matter anyway because a few hours later they caught the guy out on the street, which we wouldn’t have been able to hear anyway. The only way we knew he had been arrested is because we could hear the rest of my neighbors hooting with glee. I went out onto the stairs. “HEY! THEY GOT HIS ASS!” my neighbor shouted. Paul and I hooted our congratulations and turned to go back inside. “Come out here!” she yelled. “Have a beer with us!”

By the time we’d gotten our shoes on and peed and stuff, the entire building was out there in the yard, drinking beers by candlelight. Everyone had a story to share about their part in the day’s activities. We spent an hour or so out there, dousing our post-adrenaline jitters with Heineken, and getting to know each other. It was the first time I’d met most of my neighbors, and all of them were very nice. In fact, I think we’re all getting together for a Building BBQ here pretty soon. Too bad it took a felony to bring us all together.

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