a stray showed up on our doorstep tonight. the doorbell rang, and there she was. "um, i was wondering if i could use your phone?" uhh, ok. so i went to get my cell. she made a phone call on our front lawn as the sun went down and spoke mostly in spanish, and i could only pick up a few insignificant words. she tells me that her father kicked her out again and she has no place to go. hmmm, do you need to make another call so that someone can come get you or meet you? "the only other number i have is in my cell phone which is dead, i can't get the number out, can you charge this?" i look, and no, i can't. i suggest that maybe she should call home. she says her dad hits her and she doesn't want to go home. well, then, i'll take you to a shelter. so art finds numbers to call and i take them with me to call ahead as i drive her. turns out the women's shelter is full and the backup number they gave us was also full. hmmm, i'm thinking what in the world am i going to do with this girl?! so we call the ywca, which tells us to call health and welfare. i spoke to a nice woman from health and welfare as i drove jazzmyne through carl's jr. and got her a big sized #1 with a gigantic sprite -- she was so hungry. the nice lady dispatcher tries to grasp my situation. nice lady: what relationship is this girl to you? me: i've never met her before tonight. n.l.: how did you happen on her? me: she rang my doorbell. n.l.: that's very strange, now you are where? what is your plan? me: carl's jr. and i don't know, i was really hoping you could help... actually, the whole situation was even more bizarre than the dispatcher understood. we live at the top of a steep hill in a cul-de-sac. not a through street -- no where to go at all but our house & our hand full of neighbors' homes, no traffic at all, only open areas all around, not a place you could just stumble upon, and not an easy walk either. our street is the steepest incline in the county -- exercisers challenge themselves everyday on our hill. it is a total work-out for athletes. and check this out, the girl was wearing flimsy flip-flops! anyhow, the nice lady tells me that since jazzmyne is 16, i really have no choice but to take her to the police. my heart sank. ugggh, really, that's my only option? that didn't seem cool at all. even though i didn't want to drop her off at the police station, i drove there anyway because i knew the dispatcher was right. honestly, who knows what kind of shenanagins was going on? and she was a minor. though i did basically believe her story, and empathized with her. so we get to the police station and i park the car and we listen to my cd while she finishes her hamburger. then, after a while she says "you know, i have an aunt who lives close by" you do?! so we drove 2 short blocks away, and as she gets out, i hand her $25 and my 40 watt hype cd, and watch as a youngish looking woman answers the door and welcomes jazzmyne inside. that is how i spent the last 3 hours. what a wild ride.
PS - i included this cat picture because her name was jazzmyne, and i couldn't help but think of her tonight.