Monday, September 19, 2005

A Village

"DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL THE COPS!?" It was a threat, not a question. "I KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN THERE. DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL THE COPS?" ('on your sorry ass' was implied.) "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!"

My consciousness floundered a bit as it struggled to the top of slumber. WTF? The dark of night still had its fingers clutched around the city. All was quiet except for the voice, a strong and forceful female voice.


What is going on NOW?! You're going to wake up the monkeys, for gawd sake!

I couldn't tell where the voice was coming from, but it was close. Was something going on across the street? Was someone breaking into a car? I gingerly moved to the window and raised one blind up ever so slightly. There was my 40-ish looking neighbor (the only decent one here) standing on the sidewalk in front of another apartment wearing a tee-shirt that barely covered her panties. Her feet were bare and her fists were clenched. She neither looked right or left. She was presenting a solid wall of "non-acceptance".

The door to the apartment opened and some of the occupants tried to calm the woman down. "Where's Clyde and the baby?" she asked sternly. (Clyde must be the six year old they call Buddha and the baby couldn't be more than four months old.)

Apparently we were having some domestic violence going on and I had slept right through it. And the 'decent' neighbor was not going to sit by and let it happen as so many do. ('Its none of our business. That's his wife/girlfriend and he can do what he wants to her.') Plus, both apartments are next to each other and sound carries easily between apartments. Smack! Thud! Cry!

I don't know who actually called the cops, but they were there talking to the battered one the next time I looked out. There was talk of "PO" (parole officer), "work release", "drugs", "drunk" and "done it before". The police shined their flashlights at the woman to look at the evidence.

Several years ago one of our laws was altered. It use to be the woman would have to lodge a formal complaint before the police could do anything about domestic violence. That is no longer the case. Now they only need to be able to see the evidence of the violence... the bloody nose, the swollen eye, or the fat lip... and the perp (that's cop talk) can be arrested. The crime of violence is now done against society instead of an individual. Thank you.

The police got their information and left. The little dickhead had taken off, otherwise his ass would be in jail. Of course, he'd only be there a few hours before being released. Our criminals know the city doesn't have enough jail space to hold them all. But nonetheless, when there are consequences to your actions, you have a tendency to think before acting. When society as a whole says "Stop. This is not acceptable" then we will have begun to become a civilized society. It does, indeed, take a village.

I must remember that evolution is a slow process, a very slow process.

You can take the man out of the cave, but you can't take the monkeys out of the horse's ass.... or something like that.

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