When I was little, I used to watch a show called “Kids are People Too”. They would do things like have Ralph Nader on to talk to kids about not getting their money ripped off at the candy store. I loved it. My mom, the mother of five kids, would wander by the television and grumble, “Yeah, Parents are People Too.” But it was MY show. Get your own show Ma.
One day they had a speaker come on who talked about being a witness to a crime. In the middle of the interview, a mugger rushed the stage, mugged the guy and ran off. The speaker then turned to the crowd of kids and asked them what the guy looked like. What nationality was he? What was he wearing? What color was his hair? Could we give a good description to the police? It was much harder than I thought. I couldn’t remember a thing about that person.
Ever since that day, I have practiced being a witness for the state. Sometimes I will look at a person quickly, and then try and see if I can remember what they looked like. I have practiced being on the stand, and pointing to the accused, “That’s HIM Madame District Attorney. He’s the own who ran off with the old lady’s purse.”
It’s only gotten worse since going to work at the Courthouse.
Everyday I hit Dunkin Donuts. There is a group of townies that are there rain or shine. I don’t know if they are homeless or crazy, but they just aren’t quite right. One day a few weeks ago, I was standing in line when I heard a commotion out the window. One of the townies started screaming at this other girl. The alleged perpetrator townie threw a sandwich, and then started hitting the alleged victim, and even banged her head on the wall before she ran off. I was oddly detached, I thought to myself, “Well, that’s an assault -and now wait – that would be a battery. That girl could get 2 ½ for this.”
I looked around the Dunks to see if anyone else found this remarkable, but no one did. I looked outside again and the victim was wandering around aimlessly, crying. Though my better judgment told me not too, I motioned to her through the window. After all, this was my chance to be a witness for the state! I helped her call the cops and then we waited. Meanwhile, she was growing hysterical. And all of the other homeless types started gathering around to her the story and discuss what would happen to the girl who did this – a girl they all knew.
The cops finally arrived. This young guy gets out of the cop car, and looks slightly amused by what the victim was telling him. I step up to him and let the officer know I could totally verify her story. He took my name and I left.
Now, I’m not saying this is because the police don’t value homeless people, and I’m not saying that maybe they just don’t care when you are poor and victimized, but even though the alleged perpetrator was a known person to the police, and even though the victim had several witnesses, the cops never picked the perpetrator up. Go figure.
Anyway, when I go for my daily coffee run, everybody knows me now. I’m the girl who works for the judge who saw the thing between O and C. It’s like walking into Cheers.