Leaning on the warm hood of my Camaro, I have no illusion of ever understanding her or how quickly the chill comes on. In an instant she strikes a pose with her hand on her hip and takes a dramatic step back leaning on her left foot. Dressed in tight cut-off shorts; a ripped white slightly translucent t-shirt without a bra; and her hair tied in a loose ponytail; she shifts her gestures abruptly as if to say “what the fuck…?”
In a blink of an eye and without a word said, she flips around and walks insolently back into the house. Slamming the door as she screams out “Get out of here. I don’t ever want to see you again!”
Enraged and emotionally deflated, my anger boils over like a volcano spewing lava. I jump in the car, crank up Ozzy on the radio – playing it super loud to diffuse this moment – and I do an impetuous burn-out and dash out of there.
“Maybe it’s not too late… I can apologize!” Suddenly a hundred different images flash before my eyes as if to kill off that thought!
Images of the times that I, conveniently just let slide. Blind love, I guess you could call it. You know, letting things go convincing myself that forgetting was the better option.
But here they show up again…
I recall the way she leaves her kids in second place – choosing a temporary boyfriend over them; even skipping her weekends with them to be with me. At the time I felt content that she was wanting to be with me, but these are her kids. When I found out, I felt it in my bones that it wasn’t right…
Or maybe the way she would belittle her ex every time he’d came by to drop off the kids. She would beat him up verbally. He’s a jerk in my eyes, so the justification was that he deserved it, but I knew there are two sides to every story…
“maybe I’m better off without her…”
? ? “Mental wounds not healing
Who and what’s to blame
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train…” ? ?
“I am goin’ off the rails pretty fast here…” The speedometer hitting 55, in a 35, as I cross the bridge over the railroad tracks at Southern Boulevard. I don’t know how I got here from the other side of the airport – but here I find myself. The thoughts overtake me and I come to a realization: “She is not worth me getting all wrapped or twisted over.”
Up ahead, the light at Dixie Highway is about to turn red, so I take the turn rather quickly before it changes. Maybe a little too fast. Wheels squealing and rear end swaying, I regain my composure on the road and find my way back into my lane.
Looking back into the rear-view mirror, I catch a glimpse of a Black & White pulling out of the corner gas station.
“Shit! I didn’t realize he was in there…”
Turning on his lights, he whips out of there quickly! In a hurry to catch up, he cuts off another car. The siren wails it’s too familiar tune and knowing there is no way out, I pull over at the corner. With a bitter taste of surrender, I park the car.
“Fuck! I can’t be getting another ticket. I got enough points to plaster the length of the curb. I’m on my own now and I better figure a way out of this one…”
The officer takes his sweet time strolling up to my window. I had already lowered it in expectation, but I didn’t imagine him pulling his revolver on me.
“Get out of the car with your hands up!” he yells. “Now reach out and open the door from the outside!” As he is frisking me he asks “What the hell is your big hurry?”
Like a deer-in-the-headlights, I am frozen in my tracks. I don’t have words to rationalize that move. As he continues frisking me, a million thoughts flow through my head as quickly as my blood pulsates through my veins…
still no words…
“Kid! What’s your hurry?” he asks again…
“I gotta get somewhere…” was my generically lame and idiotic response.
“Where is that? And why in such a big hurry…”
“Fuck! I can’t believe you said that.” My inner voice chimes in a condescending tone. “You’ve got nowhere to go & no one to see…”
The office, losing patience shouts at me. “Hey! I’m talking to you! Where are you going in such a hurry?”
I don’t know how to respond! Still trying to figure out what would be so important to take the corner like that. I don’t think he would like to know my current state of mind.
“I’m-m going to… Doctor’s Hospital… you know – on 10th Avenue!” I replied faking anxiousness while hiding my disposition.
“Why? Are you sick?”
“No, no… my… my mother… She is in the emergency room!”
“what? Are you kidding me?” The office asks concerned. His eyebrows raise in the middle and dip on the ends, looking as if he’s buying my story. He has a kind face & his eyes reveal a softness in him. But I don’t know how soft he will be when he finds me out…
“Yeah! A friend called me and said my mother was taken to the emergency room…” Now I’ve done it! Not only am I playing this cop’s soft spot but I’ve given my mother a severe injury!
“I’m really reserving my spot in hell now!” I whisper softly hoping the cop didn’t hear that.
“Yup, you’ve really done it!” My little voice chastises me again as the officer drags me to the back seat of his police car.
“Wait a second o-officer…” I yell out in vain as he slams the door shut. Too late to turn back now! If I tell the truth, he will just be angry enough to drag me to jail – obstruction of justice – or something like that…
He walks around the front of the car to the driver’s door. Speaks into his mic and then sticks his head in the car window. “What is your mother’s name?”
“What officer?” I question not because I didn’t hear him, but from the astonishment that he’d ask me such a question…
“Your mother’s name – last name first…”
“Holy fuck… you’re done!” my little voice again contributes to my state of shock.
“Solis, Hilda Noemi…”
“Fuck! My goose is officially cooked.” I now find myself replying to my little voice “I’m answering in very official terms by even stating her middle name.”
He walks away from the window but stands next to it. I do every effort to hear what he is up to. I slide over to the driver’s side and put my ear up to the glass. “…yes dispatch – emergency room… Doctor’s Hospital…”
He noticed that I’m eavesdropping on his conversation and walked away toward the front bumper of the cruiser.
A few minutes go by but it feels like an eternity! I’m shitting bricks waiting in the back seat of this police car. I can’t hear him now but I can see him exchanging postures. Shifting from leaning his head to the left to speak into the mic on his shoulder; to tilting his head to the right to look down to his notepad. The one thing I do hear is the officer responding in a bewildered tone.
This time his posture shifted to a rigid, upright position as he exclaims “What? Can you confirm?”
Now his eyebrows are crunched together over the bridge of his nose – looking pissed. He is staring right at me and will not break the gaze. I cringe and shrivel in my seat because I clearly understand what he is going to do next. He comes to the driver’s door and climbs into his cruiser. He sits there quietly for a minute or two – enhancing the suspense! What is he waiting for, I don’t know. He should be yelling at me and calling me names for playing him. But he is not. He is just sitting there staring at his notepad.
The answer becomes obvious as his supervisor arrives. When he sees him, the officer seems to be giving me one last chance to come clean. “Kid, your mother is not in the emergency room at that hospital…”
I pause to let my mind and my lie catch up – maybe I should fess up and stop this charade. But my mouth just takes over and blurts out “Maybe I heard wrong and she’s in another hosp…”
He cuts me off… Lifting his gaze up at the rearview mirror. His furrowed eyebrows staring right through the glass directly into my eyes, he says “She’s not in the emergency room…
in A-N-Y hospital…”