(Be sure to read parts I, II, and III)
I walked away from this confrontation with the two hood rats, my intestines and arteries still intact, if not my pride. I never looked back, but listened intently for the sound of anyone approaching from behind. No one did, and my heart rate dropped back below 200. I was sweating profusely and if I had eaten anything today it surely would have parted company with the stomach by now. The full measure of what had just occurred never hit me until months later, so deep was the preoccupation with locating my stolen motorcycle.
I passed by an abandoned convenience store with boarded up windows and a parking lot full of old mattresses that the neighborhood kids used as "ghetto trampolines" for the "hood Olympics", amongst the empty 40 bottles, cigarette butts, scratched off scratch-offs with no luck and rotting bags of garbage. There were no olympics today, but something even better, my savior, I thought, or at least a little help. Honor. Service. Integrity. Philadelphia's finest sat in the lot, the 1994 Crown Victoria cruiser looking more like a white horse than squad car.
I approached slowly, because, having just escaped a beating at the hands of two thugs, there was no desire to set off any itchy trigger fingers either. I attempted to explain to the officer drinking coffee that my motorcycle had been stolen.
"Did you call 911?", she asked. I responded no and was informed that she could do nothing "without a call from dispatch". I don't know why I was under the misguided impression that a public servant would actually help the public and asked her if she could call it in, to which she responded a resounding negative. I asked if she knew where a payphone was, she shook her head.
"I guess I have to walk back to my apartment and call." Still sitting there drinking her coffee she nodded without looking up. So much for "Service".
This day was really starting to drag.
(Part V coming tomorrow)
|Who says there's never a cop around when you need one?|