It’s 6 a.m., not quite first light, as I run towards daybreak.
Suddenly I hear a screech, like a car careening around a corner, but of course there are none since the park is still closed. A couple running ahead of me hear it too as the three of us briefly look both ways, not breaking our stride.
There it is again.
I look up and see two immense raccoons fighting on the top branch of a huge tree, a third, smaller, scurrying down.
A family, I decide, the kid knowing he better get the hell outta there if he knows what’s good for him.
Yeah, I say, go visit a friend, relating to parents swinging at one another not caring who gets hit. Run don’t walk, I yell, wishing he could really hear me.
Bet the father’s a drunk and the mother, stupidly trying to reason with him, like any true al-anonic. Every time she approaches him, he slams her again. Wow, I think, how familiar is this?
I want to yell, you both need a meeting…AA for him, Al-Anon for you, ma’am, knowing how much it would help her, but can tell, the way she keeps trying to negotiate with her drunk, that she’s still a victim not realizing, she’s also a willing volunteer.
The kid is smart, unlike me at his age, not hiding under the bed, knowing enough to protect himself at all costs. Maybe when he does venture home, they will have slept it off forgetting the names they called each other and how she got those brutal bruises and blacker eyes.