Thursday, August 21, 2008

Drunken Fists of Fury -- Part 2

[This is part 2 of a two-part story. To pull up Part 1, just click on the label "Drunken Fists of Fury"]

I have a sudden and ominous thought: What if Junior attacks the body removal team? In Junior's drunken logic, that would be a fortuitous "two-fer". He could make sure that all the attention remains on him AND prove how much he loved his mother. The funeral home is due to arrive at any minute. I quickly turn to Diane:

"Look, I'm really sorry, but if no one here can get your brother under control, we need to call the police. If you're not willing to do it... I will."

"It's a done deal", says Diane and she reaches for the phone.

Almost immediately, the police officer arrives and we are all witness to Junior's magical transformation. Drunkenly swaying from foot to foot, he smiles broadly as he chats up the cop and promises to be a good boy. While I am well aware that the mere presence of a cop can deescalate dangerous situations, this was almost too easy. As I see this miracle unfold before me, I'm pretty sure that the MPD is now issuing magic pixie dust to their officers.

Officer Johnson enters the double-wide and scans the living room. He spots me and asks, "You alright, Ma'am?".

 I silently nod "yes", but I know my eyes are screaming, "Get me the !@#%  outta here!". 

Ignoring my screaming eyes, Officer Johnson walks throughout the entire house making sure that everyone is okay. Satisfied, the policeman exits and drives away, leaving a deflated Junior in the front yard. Once again, a sense of relief fills the room and I pray that, this time, it will be lasting. Then, ever so softly, a woman's voice: 

"He really is a nice man."

Looking to my left, I see that the woman is speaking to me. I also suddenly realize that this is Junior's wife and hopefully, his designated driver. Unable to think of an appropriate response, I smile weakly and nod. I look away and wonder what life with a handful like Junior must be like. It can't be very good.

The remainder of my visit is blissfully uneventful. The funeral home has come and gone and so has Junior with his sainted wife. I say my goodbyes to the family and return to the quiet and safety of my car. My nerves want to calm themselves, but my mind wants to rehash the events that occurred during this visit. 

My mind is right. I must not forget what happened here. Was Junior really dangerous or just being dramatic? It doesn't matter. Every home visit I make is a walk into the unknown. Officer Johnson has all the trappings of authority and weapons to boot. I have none of this... and I sure don't have any pixie dust.

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