It's the details I tend to fixate on.
intransitive verb 1 : to focus or concentrate one's gaze or attention intently or obsessively
My cell rang on Tuesday morning. It was my friend--my Non Son--Young Guy. His voice was too tight. Too high. He was trying hard to hold it together, but it was obvious that something was really wrong.
"Can you come see me?" he asked, his strangled voice quiet and scared.
"Yes, of course. I'll be there in a half an hour."
"Thank you," he answered, "but you'll have to come to the basement door."
I was left with a half hour of drive time--time to wonder "What's going on? And why the basement door?"
When I arrived at his house, I immediately noticed two funny half-circle imprints on the upstairs door. And the door jamb looked odd.
Guy came out from the basement door and has never been more grateful to see me. His eyes were a little red. He hugged me very tightly. He was shaking.
Guy had just been released from a night spent in jail. All charges were dropped because the marijuana he grows is for his own medicinal purposes and under a legal permit.
But the pre-noon raid . . . Well, that would have been enough to terrify Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It was just like what you see on Cops. If you watch Cops. Which, I never have . . . because that would be all white trash of me . . . and I'm so much classier than that . . .
Anyway. The imprints on the door were from the battering ram. Is that what it's called? That tool police officers use to break down doors? Like they do on Cops?
As Guy told me the story, I kept getting hitched on the details. I was trying to imagine myself or my husband being awoken by the front door exploding open and the loud voices of the unknown swarming into our home.
I wanted to ask Guy what his first instinct was when he heard people breaking into his house. Did he think he was being robbed? And when he realized it was the police, was there an instant of relief that it wasn't armed criminals--the instant before wondering what was going to happen next? I didn't ask him. It would have been inexcusably insensitive of me.
He was handcuffed and held on the floor of his bedroom--at gunpoint--before they carted him off to the county jail for 24 hours. He'd been asleep when they burst in.
Again, the details of this process fascinate me.
He was confiding in me the ordeal of being held at gunpoint, and I was wondering how many people (after all, what do you need to do first thing in the morning?) actually wet themselves when the cops burst in before the residents are awake. But I thought maybe this wasn't the best time to ask Guy about that either . . .
We went out for awhile. Concentrating on grocery shopping seemed to calm his nerves a bit.
We came back to his house. Looked around at the aftermath of the raid. Put groceries away. Made lunch and talked for awhile.
When it was time for me to leave, it got a little awkward. He lives alone. He longs for human touch. In moments of distress, he craves mom comfort. But I don't know exactly what the boundaries are. I instinctively did what I would do with my own kids.
I stood behind him--behind the kitchen chair he was sitting in--and worked my fingernails over his scalp.
"Is this okay?" I asked, a little nervous that I was making a huge assumption in acting so maternally toward him.
"It's perfect," he sighed.
I put my arms around his neck and kissed the top of his head. "You can call me any time," I offered.
Still sitting in his chair with his back to me, he reached up and wrapped his long arms around me, hugging my shoulders. "Thank you," came his quiet voice. "I appreciate you. You have no idea how much."
That is the moment. That is the glittery, magical, gold infused moment I have always wanted with him. The moment declaring once and for all that my presence in his life hasn't been a mistake.
And it would have been a beautiful moment if I'd been paying attention. It probably would have brought tears to my eyes. But I was only half listening because I was lost in the details . . . the details of his backwards hug.
While he was saying the most profound words to me he'll probably ever say, what I was thinking was this:
"The way I'm leaning over and how his hands are placed on my shoulder blades, can he . . . ? Nah. He probably can't feel the back fat."