Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Passenger- Part 7

Officer Parker conciously withheld the stomach acid that crept up his throat as he stood in the door way of the doctor's office. Doctor Gupta was a short man, at least in comparison to Parker's 6'3", and young. Parker thought to himself that Gupta was a funny little man and maybe a dead end as far as the investigation was concerned.

"Please, come in Officer Parker. Have a seat." The doctor pointed at the chair in front of his desk as he sat in his own chair behind the desk. "What can I do for you?"

Officer Parker sat down. He pulled a small note pad, and pen from his jacket. "I'm investigating a possible missing person who was last thought to have visited you on September 20th at 10:30 am. Her name is Deloris Tate."

Dr. Gupta turned to his computer and tapped at his keyboard quickly. "Tate. Tate.... Ok yes. I remember her. She came in with a possible head injury. I scheduled a CAT scan for her but she never showed up to it. Oh. This is the one that left her purse here." He picked up the phone on his desk. "Sandy, could you bring me Miss Tate's purse? Thanks."

Parker wrote in his notepad as Gupta made the call. His wrinkled brow indicated intrigue based on the context. But it was mostly distress he felt as sweat began to form on his head. The need to vomit was interfering with his concentration. "You say she had a head injury?"

Sandy walked in with the purse and Gupta motioned for her to hand it to Officer Parker.

"Well there were no physical indications of an injury but she complained of sleeping a lot, she was dissoriented...." Sandy held the purse out to Parker as if it were infected by something. It was covered in mud. ".... ahh.. and she was a mess. We needed to rule out any head trauma before moving forward."

Parker, who was holding the purse with one finger by it's strap turned to Gupta in amazement. "What kind of mess?"

"That kind." He said pointing at the purse. Gutpa replied. Parker peered down into the opening of the purse and pulled out a leaf. He marveled at it for a moment.

"She had dirt all over her. She had blood on her though I couldn't find a source so I assume it wasn't hers." Gupta explained.

"Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. A dissoriented, clearly distressed, possibley injured girl comes in here for your help and you just send her off on her own to get a CAT scan?" Parker raised an eyebrow as he looked at the doctor.

"Well... yeah. I mean... I advised her not to drive. She said she could get someone to drive her. There was no apparent wound. We get all kinds in here, Officer Parker. Domestic violence injuries, drug related stuff. To be honest it's none of my business if the patient doesn't offer the information."

"Did she say how she became such a..." Parker looked to the purse then to Gupta "...mess?"

Gupta shook his head. "I was way overbooked that day. It was a very brief visit."

"Is there anything else that stood out?" Parker asked.

"....Well considering the circumstances I should probably tell you we did run some labs on her."

"And?" Parker asked impatiently.

A look of discomfort painted Gupta's face. "Miss Tate is pregnant."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Passenger - Part 6

Officer Parker took a sip of his coffee only to spit it back in the cup. He calmly set the cup down on his desk, calmly picked up the waste paper basket and set it between his legs where he sat in his office chair, and calmly bent over and purged what little fluid was in his stomach. He spent a moment dry heaving when there was nothing left to vomit. Then he calmly moved the basket back to it's original resting place, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and went on reading the file that sat in front of him.

Deloris Tate
31 years old
Single- never married
Works for Wells Fargo as a billing analyst.

5'4" Red Hair, Blue Eyes, 145 lbs

Missing Persons Division Summary
Reported missing by her mother, Anita Tate on Thursday, September 22 at about 1:30 pm. Reports that she had not received calls back from her daughter on Tuesday and Wednesday, noting this was not uncommon behavior. She had planned to pick Deloris up at her office at 12:00pm on Thursday for lunch. When she went into the office Deloris' supervisor was called to the front desk and told Mrs. Tate that her daughter hadn't been to work all week. They had left several messages and even sent a coworker to her house and not found her home. They intended to call her emergency contacts if she did not arrive to work on Friday. Anita Tate then reports she drove to her daughter's home and using the emergency key she unlocked the house and entered to find it in disarray. She immediately dialed 911 believing there had been a break in. Officers Madding and Stevens arrived at the scene at 12:50pm. A search of the premises found no persons on the property, no sign of break in to the front and rear entries. The house appeared vandalized; furniture turned over and damaged, broken personal affects littered the floors as well as mud and yard debris.  It was also determined that the mud/ leaves/ and refuge found were not from Tate's own yard. Only one neighbor was home at the time of the investigation, an older man in his 70s. He claimed not to hear or see anything unusual from Tate's home, he was largely uncooperative. A missing persons report was filed and the investigation was handed over to MPD. At this time the case is not being followed up by the Crime Division.

September 23rd 2010
Anita Tate, mother of missing woman, Deloris Tate, states that she had spoke to her daughter Monday night around 7:30pm. She noted that her daughter sounded strange and that she had advised her mother she had a doctor appointment the next day. Investigation of the woman's home found a note pad that noted an appointment with Dr. Gupta at 10:30am on the 21st. Caller ID showed a Dr. M Gupta at 718-447-2657. The office is located on 1st street. Follow up to come.

Officer Parker stood at the front desk of the 1st Street Family Clinic. He leaned against the reception counter in a way that made him appear cool and relaxed in his wrinkled grey suit, and by no means sick and weak. He hadn't vomited in almost an hour, so he had a little time to interview Dr. Gupta before he would feel the urge again.

"You can go ahead back. His office is the last door on the left." the receptionist said as she hung up the phone.

Officer Parker said nothing. He opened the door and walked down the hall.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Passenger- Part 5

Deloris sat in the waiting room of her doctor’s office. She must have had an anxious look on her face, she thought to herself as she noticed the looks of concern on the other waiting patient’s. She stared suspiciously at the child who sat in the chair across from hers. It was a young boy, maybe 6, with his face mostly buried in his mother’s arm save for one eye that stayed on Deloris watchfully. He seemed frightened.

Deloris was growing more and more agitated. She eyeballed the child with a sideways sneer for a few minutes then stuck out her tongue forcefully. The child flinched into his mother’s protective embrace. The mother stood up, arm still around the child, and led her son to a chair across the room with a look of disgust aimed right at Deloris. “What’s her problem?” Deloris thought to herself, further agitated.

“Deloris Tate? The doctor will see you.” A nurse dressed in obnoxiously colorful scrubs had come out of the door next to the front desk. As Deloris approached her she had a passing thought about how ridiculous it was that such a large woman would be wearing an outfit covered in florescent cartoon hippos. The nurse gave her the same worried stare.

“I must look how I feel.” Deloris joked as she walked through the door.

“Let’s hope not, honey.” The nurse replied.

Deloris grimaced and followed the nurse into an empty examination room. She took it upon herself to sit on the papered bench. The nurse set to checking her temperature and heartbeat.

“The doctor will be right with you, hun.” The nurse said leaving the room and closing the door behind her. As the door swung closed Deloris saw a startling and unfamiliar person in the mirror on the back of the door. There sat a haggard and filthy creature, with a rat’s nest of hair matted to the sides of her head. There was mud streaked across her face, blood smeared from her face down her neck. She looked down at her body. Her clothes were torn and soiled with dirt and grass stains and god knows what else. There was dirt under her nails, scrapes up her arms. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “How did I…”

“Good morning!” Dr. Gupta said cheerfully but mindlessly as he entered the room, nose still in a file. “Let’s see. You are here for headache?” He looked up from the file at Deloris and gasped. He took an unconscious step back.

“Oh. Uh. Yes.” Deloris replied, suddenly very self-conscious. She ran her hands down what used to be a white t-shirt as if to smooth it out. “ I.. uhh… I’ve been having these terrible migraines for almost a week now. Umm… I had to take some time off work. And well…. last weekend I slept for almost three days straight.”

Dr. Gupta approached her warily, reaching slowly to pluck a muddy leaf from her hair. He held it away from himself for a moment both inspecting and presenting the article as if it might be pertinent to the problem at hand. He stepped on the pedal to open the trash can and dropped the debris in. He looked back to her with a stunned expression.

“Has there been a head injury?” He asked as if he knew the answer already.

“No… well…” Deloris put her finger to her face wear the dried blood was. “Maybe?” she said unsure.

“Well lets make an appointment for you to have a CAT scan this afternoon. And while you're here now we'll go ahead and get some blood work done and a urinalysis. In the meantime do you have someone to drive you? You probably shouldn't be driving until we know if there is a head injury.”

“Uhh. No..” She mumbled thoughtlessly, “I mean yes. I can work it out.”

The doctor gave her a suspicious look, “Well be careful. You should have time to get home and... uh... clean up before you need to be at the radiologists office.”

After Deloris had her blood drawn and had hap-hazardously peed in a cup and handed it to a nurse she walked out of the doctor's office and got into the driver's seat of her car. She looked through her cell phone for a minute pretending to herself that she might actually call someone for a ride. She turned the key in the ignition and backed out of her space. Driving was the least of her worries now.

Deloris decided unconsciously to take the country road home. She didn't feel like dealing with the traffic on the highway, and she had a strange desire to be near the trees.

As she came around a wide bend she was forced to slam on her brakes. I fox stood in the middle of the road, unwilling to move. It just stood staring in Deloris's eyes and Deloris found herself staring back. She was enchanted. As the fox walked slowly across the road and into the trees it did not take it's eyes off of her. She pulled her car over to the side of the road and got out. The fox was still there, now at the edge of the woods, looking at her, waiting for her. It slowly turned and walked into the forest. Deloris followed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What's Funny

He laughed as I was leaving, and leaving him hanging, no doubt. We had indulged a quick something in passing--not quite a dialogue, but nothing less. The usual some kind of a thing, where we offer what we have, albeit not much of it is in the form of a sentence. The usual something-or-other, where we reach a temporary end, and I leave (or am left) feeling renovated and yet crushed by a thing inexplicable, and I'm relatively certain that I could devastate just about any sort of thing in my path with the howling fury that probably flies in rays out of my eyes. Then, instead, I use the rays to burn another hatch mark into the something. I mean, into the wall.

It was just the usual transitory not-nothing as I set and he rises, so to speak.

And then he laughed.

But it wasn't the kind of laugh that twinkles his eyes, and subsequently mine. And if it had truly been aloud, I would have known it. This was the nearly silent laugh of a creature, elusive himself, evaded by me, conceding to an evening's fate. It was another tacit moment that I'm not altogether sure he knows I apprehended. This wasn't the first time that one little laugh seized me by the throat and nearly coaxed forth the expression--however ineffable--of that which I also crave, but it does belong to one man alone. I can't remember a time before I was wracking my brain, programming a method to make futile the distance between my mouth and his. I would extinguish his bereft laugh if I could, but not forever, because I know I would want to do it again.

And then I left.

I could ruminate on the appropriate noun with which to describe or explain the history of my behavior, but really, I'm discussing modernity here. The reprise, or something even catchier. And perhaps what I'm doing isn't driven by a noun at all, so much as the dodge of a seemingly incomplete invitation, but a clear invitation in spite of its misshapenness. A clever invitation, even, for a girl who has an eye for a subtle man. Such carnal intimations tucked quietly, neatly within the folds of mundane observations. He offers questions without the indicative mark, created by hands too willingly disconnected from their source to make what some might feel is a passable request. His breadcrumbs are shaped like trees in a forest. And somehow I've grown to adore his almost complete aversion to saying things, harnessing what I believe is my ability to interpret something nearly akin to his language, which is none at all. Perhaps it is my own silence that has unfettered my sight. Questions seem only to breed more questions, until we finally stop asking them. Still, there is a perfectly justifiable question somewhere in that laugh, and my avoidance is approaching negligence.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Passenger- Part 4

Morning light shined in the bedroom window. Long sunbeams touched Deloris on the face with just enough intensity to wake her slowly from what felt like the most restful sleep she’d ever slept. She stretched her arms out in front of her, yawning widely. She looked out the window from her bed noticing how lovely the day was and how lovely she felt. She hopped out of bed and went downstairs to enjoy a morning coffee. The microwave clock read “11:16”. No wonder she felt so good. She’d actually slept in for once. Deloris prepared her coffee maker and stood in a daze as it worked its magic. She thought about the night before, and how she went straight home from work with the intention of getting ready to meet some friends. But she’d felt so exhausted from her busy work week that she decided to stay in instead. She was content now with that decision, having woken up in the best mood she’d been in, in ages.

After 2 cups of coffee, 4 bowls of cereal (she was ravenously hungry this morning) and half of the latest “Marie Claire” Deloris decided to go take a shower. She entered her bathroom still groggy from her ample sleep. She disrobed and caught a glance of herself in the mirror. She noticed a wide scrape up the back of her shoulder. She touched it lightly and winced in pain. It was fresh.

“Now how the…” Deloris said to herself, as she peered over her shoulder into the mirror. She opened her cabinet in search of the peroxide. It wasn’t there. She looked down and noticed the bottle was in the trash can. She bent to pick it up. It was empty.

“Strange.” She thought. “I just bought this bottle.“She took another speculating look at her wound and got into the shower.

After about 10 minutes of showering she noticed the water starting to collect in the bathtub. She flipped the drain switch…. Nothing. She put her fingers in the drain to see if she could tell what was clogging it. She pulled out a large wad of coarse brown hair. Where had that come from? Her own hair was red and wasn’t at all this texture. She stuck her hand out of the shower and dropped the fur ball in the toilet.

“Gross!” Deloris said as the hair plopped into the bowl.

Deloris stepped out of her shower and grabbed the towel off the towel rack nearby. She heard the phone ringing from the kitchen. She took her time drying off, knowing the machine would get it.

“Deloris? Are you home?” the caller paused. Deloris perked up to listen to the woman’s voice on her answering machine. It was Nancy from work. “Deloris? Well it’s not like you to not call when you aren’t going to be into work. You never showed up Friday night and a few of us here at the office are getting a little worried. Call us.”

Deloris froze, perplexed. What did she mean it wasn’t like her to not show up to work? It’s Saturday! Deloris marched upstairs to her bedroom, opened the laptop that sat on her nightstand and waited patiently for the desktop to come up.

Monday, September 19, 2010

“What!?” Deloris exclaimed. “How could I have slept for….” Deloris thought for a moment, then in an astonished whisper she said to herself “…. Something like 65 hours?”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Passenger- Part 3

When Deloris’ eyes opened she shrank back from the morning light shining through her car windshield. Her hands went up to her face, blocking the invasive sun. As Deloris grew used to the light she realized she was sitting in the passenger side seat of her car, which was parked in the driveway of her home. Her head was pounding.

“Hangover.” She said aloud, holding her head in her hands with regret.

Deloris opened her car door and stepped out onto the pavement. She walked to the front door, fumbling through her purse furiously for her keys. As she approached the door she looked up slightly, realizing it was opened, keys still dangling from the lock. She stepped cautiously through the threshold of her home, scanning the living room thoroughly for evidence of an intruder. Nothing seemed out of place. She stood in her living room for a moment wondering how drunk she would have needed to be to come home, unlock her front door, only to return to her car to sleep for the night.

Deloris made her way to the bathroom in desperate search of pain killers. As she entered the room she noticed all the cabinets were open, their contents pulled out and strewn around the counters and floor. Someone had been here. They seemed to have been looking for the first aid kit. The kit lye open on the toilet lid, a peroxide bottle spilled over on the floor, the gauze was opened and unraveled. She turned to investigate further and noticed a large bloody handprint on the edge of the sink. Not just large, HUGE! Impossibly huge. Her eyes followed a trail behind the bathroom door where a bloody blanket sat wadded up in the corner. She recognized the blanket as the one she’d had in the trunk of her car.

“What the hell?” Deloris gasped in confusion and horror.

What could she have done? Did she kill someone in a drunken stupor? Did she hide a body? Panic overcame her and she ran from the room, closing the door hard behind her. She ran upstairs to her bedroom. Breathing erratically and crying, she lied down on the bed struggling to get a hold of herself. She tried desperately to piece together the night before.

Deloris had left work early, she remembered that much. She was heading home to change her clothes before meeting some friends from work at a bar near her house. Then…

“What then?” Deloris asked herself out loud. Could she really have gotten so wasted that she’d deleted any memory of making it home? Some sort of retro-blackout? Deloris was not a heavy drinker, so this seemed unlikely.

“Someone must have roofied me!” Deloris exclaimed in horror. But where did the blood come from? What had happened to her? Before she could speculate further a high pitched ringing began in her ears. The room went black as she fell into her pillows.