Eastern Standard Tribe – Day 21 of 64

“I thanked the cop profusely, and I kept on thanking him as he booked me and printed me and took my mug shots. I was joking and maybe even flirting a little. I was a cute fifteen-year-old and I knew it. After the nastiness with the Sony cops, being processed into the criminal justice system seemed mild and inoffensive. It didn’t really occur to me that I was being arrested until my good pal the cop asked me to turn out my pockets before he put me in the cell.

“‘Wait!’ I said. ‘Sergeant Lorenzi, wait! You don’t have to put me in a cell, do you, Sergeant Lorenzi? Sergeant Lorenzi! I don’t need to go into a cell! Let me call my mom, she’ll come down and drop the charges, and I can wait here. I’ll help out. I can get coffee. Sergeant Lorenzi!’

“For a second, it looked like he was going to go through with it. Then he relented and I spent the next couple hours fetching and filing and even running out for coffee—that’s how much he trusted me—while we waited for Mom to show up. I was actually feeling pretty good about it by the time she arrived. Of course, that didn’t last too long.

“She came through the door like Yosemite Sam, frothing at the chops and howling for my blood. She wanted to press charges, see me locked up to teach me a lesson. She didn’t care how the Sony cops had gassed and trussed me—as far as she was concerned, I’d betrayed her and nothing was going to make it right. She kept howling for the sergeant to give her the papers to sign, she wanted to swear out a complaint, and he just let her run out of steam, his face perfectly expressionless until she was done.

“‘All right then, Mrs. Walchuk, all right. You swear out the complaint, and we’ll hold her overnight until her bail hearing. We only got the one holding cell, though, you understand. No juvenile facility. Rough crowd. A couple of biowar enthusiasts in there right now, caught ’em trying to thrax a bus terminal; a girl who killed her pimp and nailed his privates to the door of his hotel room before she took off; a couple of hard old drunks. No telling what else will come in today. We take away their knives and boots and purses, but those girls like to mess up fresh young things, scar them with the bars or their nails. We can’t watch them all the time.’ He was leaning right across the desk at my mom, cold and still, and then he nudged my foot with his foot and I knew that he was yanking her chain.

“‘Is that what you want, then, ma’am?’

“Mom looked like she wanted to tell him yes, go ahead, call his bluff, but he was too good at it. She broke. ‘No, it’s not,’ she said. ‘I’ll take her home and deal with her there.’

“‘That’s fundamentally sound,’ he said. ‘And Linda, you give me a call if you want to file a complaint against Sony. We have secam footage of the Boardwalk and the Station House if you need it, and I have that guy’s badge ID, too.’

“Mom looked alarmed, and I held out my raw, bruisey wrists to her. ‘They gassed me before they took me in.’

“‘Did you run? You never run from the cops, Linda, you should have known better—’

“I didn’t run. I put my arms in the air and they gassed me and tied me up and took me in.’

“‘That can’t be, Linda. You must have done something—’ Mom always was ready to believe that I deserved whatever trouble I got into. She was the only one who didn’t care how cute I was.

“‘No mom. I put my hands in the air. I surrendered. They got me anyway. They didn’t care. It’ll be on the tape. I’ll get it from sergeant Lorenzi when I file my complaint.’

“‘You’ll do no such thing. You stole a car, you endangered lives, and now you want to go sniveling to the authorities because Sony played a little rough when they brought you in? You committed a criminal act, Linda. You got treated like a criminal.’

“I wanted to smack her. I knew that this was really about not embarrassing her in front of the Sony Family, the nosy chattery ladies with the other franchises that Mom competed against for whuffie and bragging rights. But I’d learned something about drawing flies with honey that afternoon. The Sergeant could have made things very hard on me, but by giving him a little sugar, I turned it into an almost fun afternoon.

“Mom took me home and screamed herself raw, and I played it all very contrite, then walked over to the minimall so that I could buy some saline solution for my eyes, which were still as red as stoplights. We never spoke of it again, and on my sixteenth birthday, Mom gave me the keys to a Veddic Series 8, and the first thing I did was download new firmware for the antitheft transponder that killed it. Two months later, it was stolen. I haven’t driven a Sony since.”

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. (To tell the truth I don't even really care if you give me your email or not.)