Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Quiet Morning in Bed

We awoke this morning to the sounds of a domestic disturbance in the ol' neighborhood. Fern woke up earlier from upstairs and heard more than I did. She also saw one of the participants of the disturbance standing around in our (fenced-in) back yard. I woke up at 5:00 when the woman two doors down joined in the yelling. It was lots of "f*** this sh**" and "f*** you" with a little bit of "b****" mixed in, not to mention the "get these n*****s out of my house". We also both heard the dude admit that he had pushed the woman ("Only one time, and you act like this."), and we also heard him threaten another resident of the house ("F*** Richard. I'll f***ing kill Richard.") So my question is, at what point do we break down and call the cops?

For me, I considered calling to the point of wondering whether it constituted a 911 call, or whether I'd have to get out of bed to find a phone book so I could call the actual police number. I was deep in a sleep when it started, and I remained half-asleep throughout the argument. My overriding thought was that calling the cops didn't seem like it would improve the situation any more quickly. The man (the threatening, pushing man) was already leaving the house, which is why they were outside yelling, and the woman sounded fully able to tell him to "f*** off" (in fact, I think she did, at 5:10 and maybe also 5:12). I didn't really believe the threat on Richard's life. Of course, I'm not a highly trained police officer, but here was my fear: the cops come, the woman defends the man, they make up, and then we're back to having an on-going abusive relationship, instead of the man leaving the house, maybe never to return...

However, if I had seen the guy standing in our back yard, I might have done it then. I'm not sure what Fern's tipping point was. It was obviously past having a yelling man in our yard. Mostly, I'm just shocked that Bev didn't call. She seems to have no trouble telling the city when our weeds get too big.

Meanwhile, Buddy slept through the entire incident. Some watch dog he turned out to be.

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