1845 hrs-- I'm having a hard time, here. Can't seem to find the place. Apparently, no one in this trailer park believes in house numbers. I pick up my cell and call the daughter of the deceased:
"Diane? Yeah, I know I'm really close to you, but I can't figure out which house you're at."
"Oh, our place is the one with all the cars and stuff in the front", she says.
Diane needs to narrow that down a bit. Her description isn't helping me at all.
"Could you please just come out and wave at me?" I ask. "I'm in the dark blue car."
I see a woman pop out of her front door and she's waving. Problem solved.
There's a lot of people in the double-wide. Kids of all ages are skittering around the place. I chat, briefly, with the husband of the deceased and can tell that he's handling the situation well. Mr. B. returns to the bedroom where his wife lies... he needs to be near her right now. I sit next to Diane and busy myself with phone calls and paperwork.
Suddenly, the living room becomes still and silent. Instinctively, taking the cue to not move, I dart only my eyes up from my work and see the figure in the doorway. He's big, he's beefy and he's very, very inebriated.
"WHERE IS SHE?", he bellows. Before anyone dares to answer, he staggers down the narrow hallway that leads into the back bedroom.
Accusations and questions begin flying around the living room:
"Who called Junior?", someone snaps. " I didn't think we were supposed to let him know right away!"
"I didn't do it!"
"Well, she IS his MOTHER!", says one brave soul. Oops... All eyes fix on the culprit and the subject is dropped.
Ba-BAM! Ba-BAM! My body jerks in reaction to the noise. My heart is absolutely pounding. Still sitting, I lean forward and peer down into the hallway. Junior has just attempted to punch a hole in the wall. I can't see any damage... the wall has triumphed. Head bent, shoulders drooping, Junior wobbles on over to his sister, Diane:
"Junior", says Diane firmly, "We ALL loved Mom!"
"But I loved her MORE!", wails Junior and he spreads his arms widely, showing her just how much.
Diane's drunken brother manages to fumble his way out of the front door. Those of us left behind, in the living room, emit a collective sigh. The sense of relief doesn't last long. I hear banging and crashing. Looking out the window, I see objects flying through the air. Junior has taken his tantrum outside where he has access to an enormous selection of kickable and throwable items.
To be continued ...