Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chapter 29: In which Eoin really, really, really wants to go to jail.

“I’ll hold her down, and you spray the paint,” Eoin suggested. Using the pink as a base, Katie painted the stars and the wand and the wings silver.  The word “fantastic” was the only thing she did in black.

“Done!” she said, giddy. “What’s next?”

“We go to our next bridge,” said Eoin, giving her a quick kiss.

The quick kiss sort of slid into a longer kiss, and then she was putting down the knapsack and they were kissing with his back up against the chain link when suddenly there was a light shining into the darkness around them and a voice called out, “Hey! What are you two doing up there?”

“Shit. It’s the cops!” Eoin said, laughing, and pushing Katie ahead of him up the fence. “Hurry!”

“Stop where you are!” called the police officer, his tone angry, frightening. The light shone in their faces, making Katie squint.

They scaled the fence, swearing, laughing, tumbling over one another in their descent from the bridge. “The stuff! The stuff!” Katie gasped as they raced down the steep slope, thinking of her little fairy godmother stencil and those cans of spray paint they'd abandoned.

“Just leave it!” Eoin called over his shoulder, and he leaped to the ground. “Try to get to the truck!” He shouted, over his shoulder, but there was no hope, never any hope. Katie and Eoin got about ten feet before the cops (on bikes, it turned out) cut them off.

“Oh, no.” Katie grabbed Eoin’s hand. He was laughing, nearly hysterical, and she felt sick. Sick. Sick. And giddy. And full of adrenaline. She wanted to cry and vomit and laugh all at the same time.

“What were the two of you under the bridge?” asked one of the officers, a burly man with a deep voice and Mr Universe biceps. He looked kind of funny straddling a bike.

"Just exploring," said Katie, at the same time that Eoin said, “We were...being intimate?” Eoin’s voice was high, lit up with adrenaline of his own; while Katie was pretty sure she came across as innocent and remorseful, she thought Eoin probably seemed, like, actually high.

“We’re sorry, sir.” Katie said in her calmest voice, squeezing Eoin’s hand in what she hoped was a chill-the-fuck-out kind of way.

“You weren’t spray painting the bridge?” Asked a smaller, less intimidating police officer (who definitely suited the bike a bit better).

“No sir.” Eoin and Katie shook their heads.

“You’re sure?” asked Mr Universe, his hands tightening around his handlebars.

Katie said nothing. Eoin giggled.

Twenty minutes later Katie and Eoin found themselves in a police station. “An honest-to-Christ police station!” Eoin was grinning from ear to ear. “This is awesome!”

They'd been handed over to some cops in a car by the cops on the bikes. They were not cuffed, and the sirens did not blare, much to Eoin’s dismay, though the cops did put their hands on the back of their heads while guiding them into the car which Eoin did think was “just spot on”.

During the ride, Eoin tried to convince Katie to see this as some kind of adventure.

“Look. This is not the sort of thing everyone gets to experience. We’re lucky. We’re two of the chosen few!”

“We didn’t win this, Eoin! This is not lucky. This is bad!”

Eoin took her hand, lowering his voice even more. ‘Look, I’m sorry I got you into this. I really, really am. But honestly, neither one of us has a record, right?” he raised an eyebrow and Katie shook her head. “Then this is nothing. We’ll be fine. Just play along. Enjoy it!”

“But I--” Katie started to protest, but Eoin put a finger to her lips, cutting her off.

“Shh! We can’t hear the police scanner if you keep worrying. We might get taken to a murder scene!”

With Eoin’s twinkly eyes and devil-may-care attitude, Katie had no choice but to stop worrying. Really, it was no fun to worry on your own. So while she didn’t enjoy it, exactly, she certainly didn’t vomit. And that was something.

An hour later, Katie and Eoin were sitting in what Eoin kept calling "the holding cell" but it was really just a waiting room. There was even a vending machine, from which Katie had purchased a bag of baked ketchup chips. "You sure you don't want any?"

Eoin shook his head. "It would ruin the experience," he said. He was a bit disappointed they hadn't been taken into custody, or into small rooms to be questioned about their "nefarious activities." All that had happened so far was that they'd been deposited at the police station, questioned about what they'd been up to for about ten minutes in a small room off the lobby, and then told to wait in this waiting room across from the front desk. The cops were watching them, alright, but they weren't doing anything about them either.

"I feel like I'm at the hospital," Eoin whined, and craned his neck to see if there was any action behind the desk where the cops were. He rose from his seat.

"What are you doing?" Katie tried to pull him back down again but Eoin just yanked away from her.

"I'm going to see what's taking so long," he said, and he strode towards the front desk. "I either want them to arrest us or send us home."

Katie shivered. She knew Eoin was likely hoping for the arrest scenario.

Just then a cop came in with a scruffy-looking guy with long, greasy grey hair and a dirty jean jacket. The cop was holding him by the arm, tightly -- a bit too tightly, thought Katie.

"Oh, boy, what's Old Joe been up to now?" asked the tired-looking cop from behind the desk.

"Nothing," said Old Joe, defensively, but the cop who was clutching his arm disagreed.

"Caught him outside a 7-Eleven, holding this," the cop held up a baseball bat.

"So I was playing ball earlier. No harm in ball. It's a very healthy activity," Old Joe swayed a little on his feet.

"And he's drunk. Real drunk. We're going to keep him in the tank tonight, let him sober up." The cop led Old Joe over to the hard plastic chairs. "Sit here while we get the paperwork started," he said, not totally unkindly. Perhaps he felt bad about the tight grip on his arm. Or maybe he'd been gripping so tightly because Old Joe was a bit of a wreak, realized Katie, when Old Joe started to slide off his plastic chair and onto the cold, dirty floor.

"Hey, man, let's get you back up here," she said, and pulled him up into a seated position.

Old Joe turned to look at her, his eyes watery and old-man-squinty. "Hey," he said, and reached out to touch her face. "I know you."

"No, no you don't," Katie said, backing away from him. The alcohol and body-odour stench was pretty bad.

"Yeah, yeah. You used to bring me sandwiches," Old Joe said, looking at her. "But you're too skinny now. You've got to fatten up. Winter's coming."

"Yep, okay," said Katie. "Thanks for the tip." She looked down at her half-finished bag of chips. "You want these?" She passed them over to him, and he took them, hungrily.

"See? I told you. You bring me sandwiches."

Eoin was striding toward them, with an angry look on his face.
"Oh no! Are we being arrested?" Katie asked, but he just shook his head.

"No. We're not. We're being sent home."


"Yeah. They forgot we were here. We were discharged with a warning. Not even a ticket!" Eoin tossed up his hands in dismay. "Can you believe it?"

"Not really." Katie knew Eoin was disappointed, but she was relieved. "Listen, Eoin, we should get out of here before you make a scene and they change their minds. C'mon," Katie took Eoin's hand, and began to lead him out of the station before he turned around and begged for justice. 

"Annie." Old Joe's voice was raspy, loud. "Annie, it's you." Katie spun around and went back to the drunk old man.

"What? Do you know Anne?" She knelt in front of him. Was this the guy with long hair and a jean jacket who used to go to the 7-Eleven with her sister? Is that where she bought him sandwiches?

"You're Annie," he said, squinting at her. "Aren't you?"

"I'm Katie. Annie's sister. do you know where she is?"

"Annie has a sister? I never knew that."

"She does. I'm the sister. This is important -- I've been looking for her. Do you know where she is?"

"No," he shook his head. "We met in a house, we were squatting in a place around Eastview, about …oh, a long time ago. But I haven't seen here in a long, long time. I don't know why." He shrugged. "But that's the way the world is. People just come and go…."

"So you don't know where she is?" Katie grabbed him by the shoulders, the stench from his clothes and his hair and his breath filling her nostrils, not even mattering.

"People come and go…." he said again, and began eating his chips again. "Please tell her Old Joe says hello. Tell her thanks for everything," he smiled at Katie, and then he closed his eyes. "Oh, I'm so tired." His head tilted backwards and withing seconds he was asleep.

Katie and Eoin took a cab back to the truck under the bridge. "This weekend, we'll go to Eastview, we'll try to find that house," she said to Eoin.

"Do you think it's the same guy from the 7-Eleven?" Eoin asked. They were both so excited, talking over one another. They got into the truck, and were going to drive back to Eoin's.  It was nearly dawn.

"Oh my God," said Eoin. "Do you see that?" There on a building near the parking lot was a spray painting of the fairy godmother. And there she was again a little further up the road, and then, while they were driving home, at odd intervals for about a block or two, she appeared three more times.

Eoin parked in front of the last one, on the side of a crumbling, concrete wall. The sun was coming up. Katie climbed out of the truck and went towards the painting. Eoin called after her, "Someone has been doing this, Katie. Someone has been doing this for you."

You Decide! 

Eoin and Katie go to Eastview to look for squatters' homes


Katie has to go shopping for Melissa's birthday present -- the party is tomorrow!


  1. Squatters homes! Melissa is boring!

  2. I agree. I want her to get closer to finding Ann.

  3. Me too, let's go to Eastview!!

  4. I'm tempted to vote for Melissa just because I feel bad that no one did, but I'm going to jump on the band wagon and go with Eastview!!

  5. I also say Eastview! I am finally caught up after a crazy summer & busy work schedule :) Thanks!

  6. Eastview.....she is on a roll. Melissa will understand.

  7. Squatters! Hey we all agreed! cosmic.