So last night. Something happened and it's not funny, although I don't know that it's really that serious, either. I don't know anything but this: the middle of nothing. A dream, wading. Screams and yelling, me being pulled from sleep at 2:45am. I woke up and realized it was real, the screaming. It was a man's voice, or a boy, a teenager? He was screaming for help, blood-curdling helpohgodhelpmepleasesomeonehelpme. And then another voice, this one yelling for him to shutthefuckupbitchjustshutthefuckupI'mgoingtokillyou.
We live on a hill behind the high school football field. I've become accustomed to the bravado of seventeen year old boys as they saunter out of shiny SUV's, bumpers kissing no-parking signs. I know the sound of lacrosse games, of grunting, of brass whistles and Americana, the sound of humanity in all of its terrible teenage turmoil. I know shut the fuck up bitch and the mothers who come to watch their sons' games with big boy chrome sippy thermoses of Gatorade. But this, this screaming was gutteral. Was terrified. Was 2:45am on a Sunday night/Monday morning. This screaming was not right. I wrapped myself in a blanket and stood on our front deck to listen for more. God! Help! and then this: I can't breathe. I can't see. Help! And then the other voice: Fuck you, Bitch, Shut the fuck up you little bitch, over and overandover, we were not getting anywhere. Disembodied voices somewhere down below, on the field or on the street. I didn't know. I scanned the neighborhood but saw no one else, no lights or shadows on decks like mine. I thought about calling 911. Should I call 911? What if it's just some kids screwing around? What if it's nothing? But what if it's not? The boy screaming--it was not right. The apathy of being wrapped in a plush blanket still warm from the couch. I had never called 911 before, but I went inside and grabbed my phone. 911, what's the nature of your emergency? Such a strange question, and I did not know what to say. I stuttered, and explained. Then I got off the phone and yelled as loud as I could I JUST CALLED THE COPS! hoping that I could make them stop, cold water on dogs before the jugular. Bryan came out and told me not to get involved, but I already was. I heard it, even if I don't know what I heard. The Central Park Jogger: I don't want to be an incredulous story told in psych101, the dehumanizing effect of urban life, or, in this case, the animalistic effect of suburban life: separating the weak to protect the herd, me on my deck. How could I just climb back in bed and close the window? And then the voices grew farther away as the boys walked, dragged--? As something happened and I stood on my deck until I saw searchlights from police cars cutting wide swaths against the trees. I did not sleep. All day I have been scanning online news, but nothing. I called the Sheriff's department who would only confirm that they found the boys; they would not/could not tell me more. And so I am left with this: This is a good town, a good community, a good school system, a good that one searches out to raise a family, to build a life. But the balance of good is never just bad, it is evil. One boy making another boy scream like that. I don't know what happened. I am tired and I do not know the nature of my emergency.