It was stormy with high winds all yesterday afternoon and evening. This morning the sky is blue and beautiful, but the wind is still up. I wish I had a body board. The waves are high and crashing up over the dunes.
When I drove out from the airport Friday afternoon I was surprised to see that it's springtime here. The azalea bushes were flowering and I almost crashed my car when I saw huge vines of blooming wisteria braiding their way up tree trunks along I-64. I love wisteria. It takes 10 years for it to reach maturity and bloom the first time. It reminds me of the rewards of patience...which is something I need to be reminded of from time to time.
My case has been somewhat disappointing. None of my witnesses are willing to talk. I have spent two days taking photographs of the scene, timing the cycling of streetlights, and diagraming the intersection. I've dropped by houses unannounced. I've tried calling and leaving notes at the door. I guess nobody wants to put themselves out there.
When I knocked on the first door, I could here a male voice inside speaking urgently and quietly. I knocked again. No answer. Huh. I leave a card in the door and am just getting into my car when a woman peeks her head out. She looks afraid and won't meet my eyes. I walk over and ask her if my witness is there. She says that she's never heard of him and that she lives alone. I thank her and get back into my car. I wonder who the man was inside. I wonder who she was more afraid of...him or me.
The second house is just down the street. There are two kids playing on bikes in front of the house. They stop and stare at me when I pull into the drive. I smile and a little girl tentatively waves. Three or four dinosaur cars are parked in the yard where grass used to be. I see a teenaged woman open the front door before I even get out of my car. I ask her if my witness is there. She says she's not home right now. The girl uses her leg to block a diapered toddler from scampering out of the open doorway and into the yard. I give her my card and ask if she'd please have the witness call me. The kids on bikes continue to stare as I pull out into the street. I wink at the little girl and she smiles as I drive away.
I drive a couple of miles to get to the third witnesses house. But I never get the chance to knock on her door. As I drive down the street trying to find the house, I notice two men stop what they're doing and stare after me. I look in the rearview mirror as I pass and they are still watching my car. Oh, well. No doubt I do stand out. Let them stare.
I find my witness's house a hundred yards or so down the street and just get out of my car after making notes describing the residence when the two men come up and angrily ask what I'm doing here. I am surprised at the anger and back into my car as they come closer. One of them asks me if I have a boyfriend. I am about to tell him about all of my boyfriends and all of the many venereal diseases that I carry when a cop pulls up. The men walk away as if the confrontation never happened. Oh, hell. That was close.
I take a deep breath as the cop calls me over to his car.
"Hey! What in hell's name are you doing out here? Don't you know this is a bad neighborhood?"
I look around at the gutted cars, trash, and broken down shacks that line the street. "Yes", I say simply. "I'm working."
He shakes his head impatiently and says, "Get out of here. Now."
I am slightly irritated at his tone, but I decide that it would be better to comply then go to jail for suggesting that instead he kiss my ass. Now.
Besides, he might just have a point.
So, I spent the rest of the day knocking on doors and not getting answers.
I should be disappointed but it's hard to do so as I rub more sunscreen on the bridge of my nose and lie back in the warm sand.