My neighbor drove in a slight curve, right square into the back of a small car parked across the street. I cringed as she yelled and screamed and ranted loudly. I couldn’t see if her small child was in the vehicle with her. It really upset me. My daughter, Margot, knows about stuff like this, so I called her.
“Maybe it will be a wake-up call for her,” Margot told me. “If the damage is more than 500 bucks, they have to call the cops.”
Someone did call the cops…then two cop cars arrived, then three. Her little girl wandered out into the street. Someone pulled her back onto the sidewalk. The cops walked our neighbor around the corner away from the wrecks. My husband, George, came home, and we both watched the drama.
If she was drunk or breathed on the cops, they would take her away, I thought. She had just purchased this used SUV, and it would be off to an impound yard. The daughter would either go to family or intake somewhere. George told me that if the air bags went off, the SUV would be totaled.
Crowds gathered. I felt guilty squatting down to peer through leaves and tree trunks hoping she had nothing to drink. The afternoon seemed on hold.
After a long pause, the officers handcuffed her and put her in the back of a patrol car. One officer attempted to find someone in the building to take the daughter. No one was home. We didn’t count. Slowly quiet came back to the neighborhood. Someone swept up the broken glass. All of us crept back to our dinners, or news, or what other acts we do at dusk.
“Then again, it might not be a wake-up call,” I told George. “After I went to jail for drinking and driving, all I did was stop driving. I didn’t stop drinking.”
“I feel so sorry for her,” I said watching them tow her SUV away while I stirred my dinner.