BUST

I’m skipping around. Poor Karen and the people in the camp.

…in a line of ten, the same car, thank god, and we pulled out.

Slowly, blue lights flashing and turning, sirens softly wailing, we drove into the night.

*

At the station some kid cop gave David a pair of jockey shorts and let him make a phone call. I was left alone in the dimly lighted room, sitting on a hard concrete bench, freezing, turning blue, scared, trying to sort things out.

No one spoke to me although many people, cops and others, walked by. There seemed to be a heavy load of traffic in the police station that night, but no one paid any attention to me or looked me in the eye. It was as though, sitting there with my teeth chattering, my hair all hanging down, I didn’t exist. I was invisible. Decent, law-abiding citizens didn’t even see me. I was convinced, and I still am, that had I rolled up my eyes, swallowed my tongue, and fallen off the bench, they would have kept right on walking.

Long before David came back, the others arrived.

It was a mixed bag.

The people in the camp were prodded in by threes and fours, little kids, too, to sit beside me on the bench or on the concrete floor in the narrow hallway. The strays, people I’d never seen before, moved freely among us. Gaping. Watching. Rudely staring. One of these characters caught my eye and gave me a knowing wink.

No one said a word.

After awhile a couple of women came in, looked around, nudged each other, whispered something I couldn’t hear and started towards me. They appeared to be harmless enough. Before I had time to grasp the situation one of them whipped out a camera, with a flash, and blinded me.

I was to have seen more flattering pictures of myself.

The only reason I didn’t make the front page is because David looked so much cuter in his borrowed shorts.

Dozens of pictures were taken that night. I’ve kept none for my scrapbook.

*

After the picture-taking session the camp people became restless. At one point I tried counting noses, but that was impossible, people moved about too much. Everything was in flux, there was constant churning.

We were a peaceful bunch. I think everyone was in shock.

I was startled to discover Kuuipo, Bobby Lim, the Postmaster, in the crowd. He was standing in a corner speaking to a big Portuguese cop. They were talking together earnestly. Kuuipo was wearing a brown-leather jacket and white cotton boxer shorts with over-size cinnamon-red ants running rampant across the front and back. He was shaking his head violently.

I’ve never seen him in  a pair of shorts before. He was a stocky little guy; the muscles in his calves bulged. Except for the violent head movement, he seemed undisturbed.

In the middle of the room the seven members of  skiing team held conference.

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