Sunday, July 18, 2010

Punches Thrown while Police Look On, An Insect Receives Last Rites


Punches Thrown while Police Look On, An Insect Receives Next-to-Last Rites

I raised my glass of Merlot and sipped to the beginning of my second movie for the night: A Streetcar Named Desire. There was a flowery smudge on the wine glass just next to the first capital letter of the winery where I bought it. I never noticed that before. Was there a previously unnoticed flower appliqué on the glass? No, my finger found the mangled body of a small insect. It was probably a moth that I had been swatting unsuccessfully all evening.

I moved the tiny pathetic body (and a leg found separately) to a napkin and was trying to answer philosophical questions about the life and death of bugs when I heard loud male voices and car door slamming outside.

The street I live on, Alvarado, is a dangerous street after dark. I shut off the living room lights and peered outside from behind the curtain. Two young men were shouting near a car pulled into the right lane. One man emerged from the sidewalk and punched the driver of the car twice before the driver noticed two police officers on motorcycles crossing the street at Montana, heading west. The driver raised his hand, possibly to let the officers know he was alright, but then again, he may have been hoping they would turn left onto Alvarado and intervene.

The officers went straight and when I looked back to the car in question, it was leaving the scene. The identity and whereabouts of the assailant are unknown.

I was overwhelmed by the timing of these events. After the first punch, I wondered if I would have to call 9-1-1. In the end, everyone seemed to have survived with little more than bruises, except for the moth who I’m hoping is on its way to a partial recovery sans one leg.

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