Friday, October 28, 2005

The Red Rose Sniper

I don't think I have ever met a policeman who was not instinctively a gentleman.
I have met a lot of policemen.
I have met a lot of policemen usually when I am attired in my nightie and dressing gown - about as many policemen as you can meet in a nightie and dressing gown and not be charged with "living off the avails of" of whatever it's called.
Something gives me away.
The milk stain on the front, perhaps, the perfume of baby oil?
But they always treated me if I am one of a vanishing breed that must be protected from the harsh brutalities of life. So they make soothing noises, and cough and shuffle their feet. If an unidentified body be found in a near-by alley and they go door-to-door with a photo, they will take one look at me and ask for my husband.
It's very frustrating.
They tell my husband everything.
And that's how we know the other half of this story.

We were living at the time in a neighbourhood that was in the process of being "gentrified."
In other words, it was a former slum, with an equal mixture of ordinary single families, elegant old homes being renovated by real estate flippers and some remaining flop houses.
My mother-in-law was visiting to enjoy and coo over the results of my latest lying-in. Here, I should add, my mother-in-law was not the conventional cliche harridan. She was a dear, brave and lovely woman, and I loved her.
One night as I lay awake listening to the lastest babe scream her lungs out, hoping she would go back to sleep, my mother-in-law came into our bedroom.
"Daughter Dear..." she began.
"I know, Mother. I'll get her a bottle in a few minutes..."
"It's not that," she said. She was clearly upset. She was trembling. My mother-in-law did not get up-set. My mother-in-law did not tremble over bagatelles.
"Something came through the window...there's glass all over."
I rose, like an avenging goddess. I strode into the front bedroom in my bare feet. I did not care. I was possessed by one of those rare impossible rages that defies mere material objects. Something, something foreign and alien and crude, had upset this beloved woman. The glass would not dare cut me.
Well, it didn't. But there was glass all over the bed and the floor, and a shattered window. Two shattered windows, the storm and the interior light.
There, amid the glittering, vicious shards, lay something that was therinafter referred to as "The Object."

I'll continue tomorrow.

1 comment:

Bonnie Calhoun said...

How can you leave me sitting here with bated breath(actually it's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup-sugarless kind)breath, but just the same......shame...I'll be up all night! :-)