I’m being profane here. Seriously. I apologize, but I’m still a little shaken up.
I just paid back all those people that intervened when PK and his brother tried to stuff me in their truck like a overgrown sack of potatoes.
First: some backdrop.
I live in a pretty ghetto part of town (as the Family von N and Heather can attest), on a pretty busy street. My next door neighbor is a cop, and I’m pretty sure the house on the other side is a storage facility for dismembered bodies (No N is of the opinion that some crazy agoraphobe lives there, which may or may not be more likely).
I have two floors to my house; the main floor and the converted attic where I have the Kid’s room and my computer desk. I have a window up there that overlooks the busy street, which I keep open for fresh air.
So I’m IM’ming with Vi and wondering if the Rocketman is soaked in urine yet, when I hear this sort of distant yelling. Living in the neighborhood that I live in, this is not necessarily a surprise to me, but then suddenly it gets louder. And I note somewhere in the back of my brain that it’s really more like shrieking, really, not shouting so much, and actually, it’s pretty goddamned loud, and actually there’s a beater red truck pulled over outside my house containing an unknown driver and a 14-16 year old girl hanging half out of it.
I’m kind of at a loss here. Is it a domestic squabble of the type that will render one 2N fairly dead? Is it some hysterical drugged out hooker trying to get away from her pimp? Then I hear this poor girl screaming for actual help, and I’m thinking, well, dead 2N or not, I can’t just sit here.
The Dog is going absolutely bonkers. He doesn’t usually bark, he’s actually a pretty quiet dog, but suddenly I’ve got a 50-pound, slavering, lips-pulled-back-from-teeth, growling black menace tearing down my stairs and towards the front door. So I follow.
I grab my phone, which is dead, and go to the front door. The girl is screaming louder than ever and I see that whoever is driving has a hold of her arm. This girl is in complete disarray – her sweatpants are half off, her hair is one big poufy mat, and she’s still screaming at the top of her lungs.
I take a deep breath, open the door, tell the Dog to “Go!” and I head down towards the street.
My front yard is basically one steep slope from the front of my house to the sidewalk. I walk about halfway down it and stand there. The Dog rushes up in front of me, growling and barking like he actually is tough (and actually he kind of looked like it, a little).
I guess saying something is in order.
“What the fuck?” I’m so eloquent.
The girl looks up and screams, “She’s beating me up! Help me!”.
The driver leans over a little to see me, and holy shit, she’s a fucking crack whore. Seriously. She’s got ratted up hair and sunken eyes and looks like she hasn’t eaten anything in about 3 years.
“She’s my daughter!”
Oh no, you didn’t. Really, you didn’t.
“What the fuck? So that makes this okay?” I’m thinking about how people stopped me from getting kidnapped, how my mother hung me out to dry, how fucking awful people can be, and I really don’t give a crap if the girl was the woman’s daughter or her pimp, I was fucking pissed.
“She’s my daughter!” As if, maybe, I didn’t quite get it the first time. Well, I don’t necessarily speak crack-whorish, so I guess that’s a reasonable assumption.
“I don’t give a FUCK who she is to you, what you’re gonna do is let her go and get the FUCK away from my house!” I flip my non-operational phone and make like I’m going to dial.
Crack Whore stares at me for a minute. I stare back. The Dog is practically inside the cab of her truck, barking his freaking head off, showing lots of teeth, and in general giving the impression that he’d happily gnaw off her hand. Finally she shoves the girl the rest of the way out of the truck, the girl sprawls onto the sidewalk, and Crack Whore peels away.
I’m shaking. I look at the Dog, who is busily investigating the girl and still kind of growling in the back of his throat.
I’m nonplussed. I have no idea what to do next. I look at the girl. She’s got pink flip flops on and painted toenails. Gray sweats, long hair that is absolutely hopelessly tangled, and a hooded sweatshirt on. Her makeup is a mess. She’s totally sobbing.
I told her to come have a seat on the porch, get herself pulled together. I introduced myself, and asked her if she needed anything, a phone, or whatever, and offered her a cigarette. If anyone needed one, it looked like she did.
Turns out, she had her own phone. From her conversation I gathered that her and her mother had gotten in an argument and her mom grabbed her hair and started punching her in the face. Granted, this is coming from an overwrought sixteen year old (I asked), so I’m taking it with a grain of salt. But still.
I wanted to hug her and tell her that, that wasn’t how things were supposed to be, and that I was sorry. I wanted to explain that parents sometimes did dumb things. I wanted to make her feel better, to make her feel at least a little safe. But I didn’t say any of those things. None of my business, right? I just told her that she could stay on the porch if she needed to, and that I would be just inside if she needed anything.
I checked about fifteen minutes later and she was gone.
I live in a trashy part of town on a trashy street, but I’ll be damned if that shit goes on outside my house. Jeebers.