February 3rd, 2021
“[Horror fiction] shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.”
― Clive Barker
I have attempted to organize the events of the last three days into a coherent narrative, and I have failed utterly. Creating a meaningful story from the chaos and confusion of the last 72 hours is impossible for me to do. Maybe a person who has some distance from what has happened can make sense of it all. I can’t.
So, I will try to describe various scenes, without explanation or comment. They will be like photos without captions, or like shards of a shattered mirror.
I heard Asher crying late on Sunday night. Karin and I had both been asleep for a while. Asher was in the other bedroom with his mother. I listened to Asher cry, and waited for a couple minutes. It usually takes the young woman about five minutes to give Asher a bottle, and then get him to settle down. Asher cried for much longer than five minutes.
I got up and walked across the hallway. I opened the door to the young woman’s bedroom.
Asher was lying on the floor, on his belly, wailing. The young woman sitting on the floor nearby, her head slumped over. I tried to rouse her, but she was passed out. She’d been using something, but what? I picked up Asher, and felt the old sensation of fear. Anger came too.
The paramedics came after we called 911. They went to the young woman’s room. She hadn’t moved at all. A paramedic patiently tried to pry information from the girl. She balked at that. The paramedic became impatient.
“Hey, c’mon, work with us here! What did you do?”
She mumbled that she had drank hand sanitizer. The medics poured her into an ambulance.
The cops showed up.
One officer came in, looked around, and said,
“I’ve been here before.”
I nodded and replied, “Yeah, you have.”
The police know our address very well.
Karin and I talked to the cops. We told them that we just can’t deal with the stress and fear any more.
The cop asked me, Do you want us to call CPS (Child Protective Services)?”
I got a call from a doctor at the hospital where the young woman had been taken. He told us that they had dried her out. Then he explained to me that she had left the hospital, gone to a local store, bought booze, and got drunk in public. She was back in the ER, asleep. He told me that her BAC was at five hundred (.500). That’s close to being dead.
I drove the woman home from the hospital. Upon our arrival, it became clear the the girl was still drunk, or at least not thinking straight.
A loud argument. Harsh words. She screamed at me,
“I should have stabbed you when I had the chance!”
I took that as a threat.
Another call to 911. Some of the same cops showed up. The girl fled to her bedroom. I walked with the police down the hallway.
The sound of shattering glass.
The sight of a smashed window, with the young woman standing in the snow outside of it.
The cops took her.
A two hour-long conversation with a woman from CPS. A change in custody. Papers to be signed.
As we signed the paperwork to get Asher to stay in our home, the lady from CPS said,
“You look worried. Are you regretting doing this?”
“Are you worried about the young woman?”
“But you’re okay with this protection plan?”
“Yeah. This is hard, but it has to be done.”
The lady nodded.
Asher sleeps next to me. Karin is in bed getting the rest she desperately needs. The young woman is in jail somewhere.
I keep picking up pieces of broken glass.