I was settling in to write when I heard an all too familiar sound on the street. Squealing brakes followed by a crunch. I looked out my front window and saw nothing, so I returned to my writing post, fully committed to write. The words were coming slowly when I heard someone talking in the alley, which is not uncommon. The alley is used as a regular cut through, so strange voices are a regular visitor in the living. Back to work. The words are still struggling to form themselves. As I sat there, trying to will something to turn up on my screen, the voices persisted. No, this wasn’t a parade. It was the same two voices and they had been there for a while. I checked the window closest to me. Nothing. I go to the next window. Peeking through the blinds ever so gently. Jackpot. There stands the disturbance and also the explanation of the earlier collision. Being considerate drivers, they had pulled into the alley to handle their business. Both mysteries solved, I could return to work.
The windows were open wide, so I couldn’t but help hear a very curious remark as I attempted to return to work. One driver calmly stated they did not want to go to jail today, which made me wonder if there was a better day to go to jail. Personally, I would rather never go to jail, so everyday is a bad day to go to jail, but maybe he had big plans later in the day or the next day that would be ruined if he went to jail that day. It was at this point that I gave up writing. There was something much better happening and writing wasn’t working out. Maybe I was just desperate for an excuse to quit trying, but either way I returned to my window to see if anyone was going to jail. With the window wide open and the blinds drawn, I could easily observe without being observed.
I could watch without notice and as it happened outside my dining room window, I had seating available. This was an ideal setup for spying on my newest neighbors. Truthfully, I did not immediately pull up a chair. I was expecting quick resolution to the latest drama outside my windows. But, as the minutes rolled by, I soon took advantage of the seating arrangement available. The driver who did not want to go to jail soon revealed why he would be off to the clink if the police showed up. He was drunk! That is an overstatement. He seemed perfectly coherent and his faculties were in apparent working order as time will reveal. He had likely had one too many at brunch and was worried about the notable smell he would offer the officers should they arrive. Given his panic, it is possible he would be a repeat offender and was worried about compounding his already poor decision making. This was when I realized I was going to be here for a while and was relieved that I had nothing else to do since I had given up writing for the day.
The pleading soon led to bargaining. I’m not sure how we turned the corner, but we stood at a crossroad. He was not simply trying to avoid jail. He was willing to take full responsibility for the accident if it could take place at a more convenient time. Intrigued the other driver let him continue. His plan was not terribly elaborate, but it had the signs of being effective. They would recreate the scene of the crime at a time when he did not have to worry about going to jail or on a better day to go to jail. She protested. He pressed on. Name the place and the time. I’ll be there. Whatever is convenient for you. He was committed to not going to jail that day. She was intrigued but before she could agree she demanded assurances. She needed to make sure he would show up. His driver license would be collateral. A picture was snapped. A meet set. They parted.
Once more, I sat down to write, but the well was dry. I was exhausted by the latest drama. The screen stared at me blankly and I shut my laptop.