Saturday, May 22, 2010

Locked Out

She wanted to talk. She was a reader. At least she had a book, a book by a female comic, fraught with obscenities. Let’s call her “J.”

“Is that Hebrew you’re reading?” J asked. “No, Greek,” I replied. I didn’t elaborate lest I pressure her into some unwanted discussion of religion. I knew she wouldn't like that.”

“What are you reading?” I courteously queried.

“The funniest book I ever read.”

A few moments of silence followed.

“Are you a Tampa native?”

“No,” J replied, "I live in Little Rock." And then the deluge came.

J was on her way to Sarasota to rescue her daughter. Let’s call the daughter “A.”

A was in a relationship with "C," whose name derived from Greek, “Christ bearer.”

A and C had cohabited in Little Rock, moved to Sarasota despite an “intervention”because of C’s repeated violent outbursts against A. Sarasota would be worse.

C had choked A, the last straw in a haystack of other violent actions in Little Rock and Sarasota.

A, an interior designer, bore two illegitimate twins to C in December. Now, with the protective order against C, J was on her way to Sarasota to bring her promiscuous and foolish daughter and “grand” babies back to Little Rock to start life anew.

Ironically, J belonged to a motorcycle club devoted to protecting abused children. Her tattoos and overly-sun-exposed, leathery skin testified that she was a tough old gal with lots of rides in her past. Now her own daughter, and her "grand" babies were victims. But what else should they expect?

Married three times, J was now separated from her current husband.

J then told me C’s story.

C’s mother, a prostitute and drug addict, bore two children, C and a younger brother.

In a drug-crazed tantrum, C's mother locked him out of the house when he was fourteen.

When the authorities came to take C and his little brother into custody, C ran away. He eventually knocked on the door of a family in the neighborhood who had been kind to him. After a lengthy legal process, the family adopted C.

"But they always had trouble with him,” J told me. “They were Southern Baptists, probably too strict on him. But I don't think he'll be able to hurt us while we're loading up in Sarasota; we changed the locks. He's locked out.”