Wednesday, January 13, 2010

other: do you, don't you...?

(moral quandary)

Important facts:
  • It's raining again so traffic is f'ed up real good.
    We had a window of a couple of days without rain, but it's soggy out there, the streets shining and slick and So buses are running late.
  • Monday was L's first day at "Miss Ronda's."
    This is the daycare we sent K to for one day a week. Now K is in preschool and L is old enough to go to Miss Ronda's and M can work all day Monday. Which means:
  • I'm on an early schedule, 5.30a bus in to work, 2.10p bus home so I can hurry down to pick up L by 3.30p.
  • Sunday was a long night because we made L stay in her crib and "cry it out" (meaning, she screamed and hyperventilated because we wouldn't bring her into our bed, and she was going to be a mess in the morning).
I waited for my home-bound bus in the rain, shifting from foot to foot, trying to ignore the couple nearby who were acting like 17yo lovers at a junior prom. Except they weren't in evening wear, and it wasn't a dark dance floor. I'd seen them before, noticed them because the man was wearing a bright white hat in the darkness of Seattle December, and he had attitude. Like he wanted people to notice him so he could look them in the eye and say "Yeah? What're you looking at?" He was all over his girlfriend the first time I saw them, and he was again on Monday. But she was with him, smiling, laughing, even when she pushed him away after the 5th or 10th deep kiss, speaking to him in Spanish, holding his hand. I found it annoying, but who were they bothering, really.

The bus came (late) and we climbed on, dripping. It was more crowded than usual, probably due to the weather. It moved forward, one stop, another. I'm checking my watch. I don't want to be late to pick up L. I'd been late to pick K up at Miss Ronda's once, and she was the last kid there, acting like she thought she'd been abandoned. I didn't want that on L's first day.

We came to another stop, this one in Pioneer Square. And the bus stopped. And sat. And sat. The rain rattled on the metal roof over our heads. People got restless. No word from the driver, who was sitting silently at her wheel. I checked my watch more than once, beginning to really stress.

Then two cops came onto the bus, one up front, one through the back door. They scanned the passengers, looking, walking, then paused. "No woman being molested?"

We looked around. Nope, not that we knew about.

They got off the back entrance, then back on again, moving to the back of the bus. I realized they were going to talk to the couple I'd seen. They asked them to get off the bus. He looked about 18 or 20, she about 17. They went with the cops who separated them and talked to them individually out on the sidewalk. I heard the woman tell her cop that the man didn't speak English. The man had his hands on his head now, was being frisked by the policeman.

I wanted to gogogo! I needed to pick up L. I didn't want to be late!

But as the police told the driver she could drive on, I realized that I could get out, tell them that as far as I could see there'd been no molesting going on. Some serious Public Display of Affection, but having witnessed this last month as well, I was fairly certain that the woman wasn't being forced to do anything.

Yet the doors closed with their hiss of compressed air, and we started off and I checked my watch again and wondered if my being on time to pick up L was worth the man's possibly being taken into the police station.

I didn't know. I still don't know.

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