This will be the least pretty thing that I’ve written in a long long while. It may not last a day, but I kinda need to just write this out to keep myself from freaking.
I’m currently drinking a half assed Manhattan so I can chill my nerves and maybe go back to sleep, though I’m going to wager that won’t be for a while, since my adrenaline is pumping pretty hard right now. It’s pumping hard and fast and I’m strangely calm, but at the same time freaking out a little bit, and slightly angry, and scared and I’ll just say it, a wee bit paranoid.
At about 10:30ish, I was lying on the couch trying to will myself to doze so that I could get in the bed early, and just sleep there, even though the toddler had decided to insert himself into our bed yet again. I’d just stared to doze, eyes heavy, sinking down into that place where you just pass the hell out when I heard a series of bangs, a screech, a louder and larger bang, shouts and then screaming.
My eyes popped open and I sat up, and headed straight for the front door. I flipped open the locks, stuck my head out and through my fuzzy eye-glassless eyesight, saw a white car in the intersection a house down from me; it was on its side, like a half assed turtle struggling to right itself.
“DEB! Call 911–a car flipped over!” I quickly threw pants on, grabbed my glasses and my folding knife (you never know) and ran out into the street, no shoes, of course.
Folks had gathered trying to push the car back right. I joined in. The car was on, the smell of gas was strong, and the car was smoking…wrong…it smelled like something was burning.
The girl was inside, screaming. A bunch of kids (20somethings…I’m “old.”) were seemingly all piled in the front on top of the driver seat. To be sure, I have no idea who was driving. It was like they were stuffing a phone booth or something (Look it up, it used to be a thing when kids were dumb but safe and there was a thing called a ‘phone booth’ for ‘public pay phones.’)
We pushed, the car teetered and then fell, righted. Someone opened the door and then people piled out like a clown car. Two guys drug a girl to the corner, and our back neighbor–a nurse–jumped in and triaged. Another guy was standing around digging in the car and came out with…a pressurized tank???
“Are you OK???” I asked him.
“I’m cool.” He said, cradling the tank in his arms. And then he ran down the street. Something shattered as he beat a retreat.
Another guy had gotten out and was looking in the car.
“Are you OK?” I asked him.
“Yeah, I’m cool. Shit!” he said, looking around.
“Turn it off,” I told him, looking down at my feet and noticing, not for the first time the gas and the glass all over the street.
“What? I’m cool”
“Turn off the engine. Turn off the car.”
“Oh, thanks.” He reached in and turned it off, pulled out the keys and stuck them in his pocket.
My neighbor the nurse worked to keep the girl conscious, and try and figure out her vitals, injuries, etc. The two guys paced and, I think for a minute were considering running off. One guy dialed the girl’s mom, talked to her in Spanish for a bit and then hung up.
The police arrived and then very quickly, the paramedics/firemen.
Who saw what, did you? Did anyone see the crash? Yeah, what happened? She hit two cars? Any other cars? How many people were in the car? Did you see who was driving? Did you see when they pulled the girl out? Did anyone see when they pulled her out?
I don’t want to get involved. You know they’re going to have to check for alcohol, right? No one wanted to push the car over, but I was saying just do it. Cars will catch fire when they’re on their gas tank like that. I smelled the smoke. How old? 20? Oh shit. Did you see the bottle over there? I don’t know, I didn’t see anything, I’m not going to get involved. Did you see it? No, I heard it. No, I came out and helped push it back up.
And then they got her on the board with a bunch of screams, one guy got in, and the other guy decided to “just walk to the ER and meet them there.” And then the police looked around asking questions and then–
“Look, beer bottle, balloons…”
“I saw one of the guys get out and run up the street. He was carrying a tank.”
“Yeah, nitrous oxide…that’s what all these balloons are for.”
I gave a statement of what I saw, heard and noticed. Gave my info.
I hope the girl is OK. Someone said (was it Deb? She came out a couple of times, hugged me….I was…hyper focused? What do you call it?) she lived down the street. Seemed like someone recognized him.
Why do I feel like I’m going to get shit later for actually, I dunno, doing my civic duty? They could have gone through someone’s front door–my front door, they were close enough. The car could have exploded, caught on fire. They all could have died. They, mostly walked away from it, but it could have could have could have…
I did some stupid shit in my twenties–hell, I’ve done some stupid shit in the last year, but now I have kids. That changes the level of stupid shit I’ll put up with. But at the same time…Blargh.
I just want to keep my children, my neighbors and folks around me safe. And that might mean actually telling the police what I saw (See, this is the part of where while I’m all BLACK LIVES MATTER and mean it, I want folks to know that I do, and always have appreciated the JOB that police do–what they largely do–PROTECT AND SERVE); the suck part is that these kids, through doing stupid shit will probably do time. Possibly serious time. Serious stupid is serious time. But then, you know, some guy with rich parents gets a slap on the wrist for “boys will be boys! Now go enjoy college!” for much more horrible shit.
I dunno. Sleep is coming on and out and I need another belt of whiskey and sweet vermouth so I can sleep. Because, man, I’m awake.
Shit. Fuck. Shitfuck.