June 15th, 2003

JOY

Professional Witness

Tonight I spoke to the fourth police precinct I have in the past eight months. First, Maryland State Police. Then, the US Postal Service Police. Fairfax County. And tonight, Washington D.C. Metro Police.

My brother, sister-in-law and I had been at a party all night. We stopped at the Cheesesteak Factory in Georgetown for a late night snack. I wasn't hungry, so I was having a smoke outside while I was waiting for them when I saw a red Volkswagon Bug try to pass a cab on the right and instead smash into a parked car. The driver got out of the car, looked at the damage, got back into her car, and drove away. Some guy came out of the Cheesesteak Factory and I asked if he had a cell phone so I could call the cops. He said he didn't, and incredulously asked me "what do you think you can do about it?"

I flagged down a police car and told them the whole story. One of the officers got out of the car to take down information, and the others went off to chase the Bug.

Long story short, another officer had pulled over the Bug already because it was stalled out in the middle of M street, lights out. The driver was completely intoxicated, and even tried to run away from the cops after they got her. I stuck around the scene, and as I was filling out my witness report, the owner of the parked car and his buddies came back.

It held us up for about an hour, but all I could think of was how happy I would be if *my* car got smashed and someone took the time to report it. The parked car's gas tank was leaking all over the street, entire back side destroyed. What if I had listened to that drunk and didn't do anything about it? That poor guy would be stuck with a totaled car and no clue to how it happened.

I have been going through a lot of shit lately. I'm hoping that if I can do something to help someone else out of an otherwise hopeless and entirely undeserved mess, maybe things may turn around. Maybe someone will be sticking around an extra hour for me.
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