So that was interesting to say the very least!
I was getting ready for bed the other day when my neighbor came out and told me that there was some woman in my old car I'm trying to sell, saying the car was hers, and tossing things out the window, all over to the ground nearby.
To make a long(er) story short(er), I put on my robe and walked outside with my phone in and after telling the girls to stay inside. Once I saw that there was someone, indeed, in my car, I dialed 911 and reported the event. 911 is the only way to get an officer dispatched.
To assuage any worry, I did not approach her or try to engage her in conversation, and I stayed well out of reach of both her, and the car door, should she try to open it. Now, for the rest of the story.
As I waited on the phone with the 911 operator in my robe and bare feet, standing on a pile of broken safety glass, I listened to the woman in my car. Obviously seriously troubled, she spoke out loud to people who weren't there, threatening, accusing, bossing, and more. She was violent, but only with her words, and appeared to also be hallucinating, especially considering how she repeatedly ordered the invisible people to stop shining lights onto her, because they were blinding her. There were only the parking lot lights, stable, and unchanging.
She sat there, in shorts, a hoodie, and a pair of socks, her long, dirty blonde hair tied in a bun, and a second hoodie tied around her waist. At one point, she offered to trade my car back to me, in exchange for a cigarette...
In the back seat of my car, the waifish girl in her early 20's babbled incoherently, and twirled in her hands, one of the tissue paper flowers the kids and I made over a year ago, and had left in the car, abandoned and forgotten.
As I waited on the phone for the police to arrive, this girl stated that she was serious about "it" three days ago, and she was serious about "it" three years ago too. Whatever "it" was, must've been something that had been troubling her for quite some time, and maybe what was bothering her now, was an ongoing thing, in need of serious intervention.
When the police arrived, she told them it was her car, then recanted and said that the car was her daddy's, then that it used to be her daddy's... She said that she'd love to leave the car, but that no one would let her out, then said that she wasn't getting out because she wanted someone to carry her, because her feet hurt. All statements fired off in rapid succession. It was very clear to me that my newest little acquaintance was in dire need of a potentially-extended stay at the Mental Marriot.
After tearing down the header, ripping up most of the carpet in the back, and other violent damage, as well as tossing everything out the window, the only thing she was gentle with was that single, discarded flower.
Even after getting into a fight with the police when they finally showed up, I found that she had set it to the side, gently, before getting physical with the officers.
So when they took her away to sit in a police car and continue talking to her invisible family members, the police came to myself and my neighbor to get the full report. I saw the damage to my car when looking for things that may have belonged to her, and nearly freaked, seeing as how there were now so many more things that were broken or damaged than before it was broken into.
As I talked to the officers, I cleaned up the mess surrounding my car, and they warned me about bare feet and glass, then commented on how much tougher my feet must be than theirs. I told them matter-of-factly, that I simply was not going to go back inside, as them/this needed my full attention at the moment.
But before they carted her off to jail, I had to do one small thing. Regardless of what she had done to my property, regardless of how crazy she seemed, that one, simple, discarded tissue paper flower had somehow brought her a small bit of peace or joy...
So I made the officers take it with them for her. To me, it was garbage, just more flotsam to be moved to the landfill, but to her? To her, it was obviously something greater, and I couldn't bear to let her leave without it.
So they left, taking her and her flower to jail, and leaving me with a seriously damaged car and a police report paper.
I hope I can get the money it would cost to get the car repaired, but that is highly unlikely, and honestly, not the most important thing on my wish list this Thanksgiving. Instead, I wish, for her, that she finds peace, love, and comfort, both within her own self, and in her life, from whatever external sources she may encounter.
And I'm thankful. Thankful that that wasn't me, when there have been so many times in my life where that is exactly where I could have been, had I chosen to move in a different direction than I did. Thankful that I was able to start the woman in my car to what I can only hope is recovery and a better life. Thankful for my family, for my positive outlook in life, for little goals that lead to big dreams, for health, and for my dear, dear friends, without whom, I would be adrift and alone in the sea of humanity.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and may you find your one small thing that brings you peace and joy this year.
I hope you find your own, battered paper flower this holiday season.