Monday, May 25, 2009

The Van

Stepping out for a run on Saturday, I paused on the front steps to do a few semi-useful stretches, when a brick-red minivan parked in front of my building caught my eye. The street was unusually empty of cars for such a nice Saturday afternoon, as the Conservatory at the end of the street usually draws a lot of extra traffic to the neighborhood and sometimes visitors are courageous enough or simply just do not know better than to park on my street. The couple in the van were Caucasian, so I immediately associated them with the conservatory. Then I noticed that the woman was fidgeting with something. Then I realized that the object in her right hand looked familiar, as I see them crushed on the ground fairly often as I run out of the neighborhood: a hypodermic needle with orange plastic. In my mid-afternoon haze, I naively and briefly thought that maybe she was diabetic and needed insulin after visiting the Conservatory. Then I saw her vaguely punk or goth hairstyle, her black apparel, and the male driver's tattoos... and I thought to myself, "You moron, she's tying off her left arm and shooting up right in front of where I live." I stood at the top step with my arms folded, about to ask them to show some respect for my home and to find somewhere else to get high... then I realized that "respect" is not a concept that junkies really understand. At that moment, the girl was undoing the strap around her left arm and she happened to glance my way. She then quickly motioned for the driver to pull away... and that was that.