I see the Officer open the rear passenger door and he says something to my mother. She then steps inside with her left leg, ducking her head as she guides herself into the cramped backseat. A few minutes later, the car makes a u-turn in the middle of my street and they're gone.
It's 3:00 AM Sunday morning when the phone next to my bed rings. I've had a lifetime of late-night calls that are never good. Nobody calls me at that hour to say they love me. Nobody calls me that late to tell me that they're coming over in the morning with mimosas and a fucking muffin basket. The content of these calls is always misery and/or some shade of violence.
I answer on the first ring with a tone that suggests I'm completely awake and have been knitting eye patches for kittens all night. The voice on the other end is My Gay and he's out of breath and between his huffs and puffs I begin to understand the situation: he borrowed my mom's car to go to work and it was stolen from the employee parking lot.
Now it's 4:00 AM, and my mom and I are on our 43rd cup of coffee, waiting for the police. When the Officer arrives, he takes her statement and explains how her Jeep Laredo is the second most popular car among car thieves out here.
She signs her statement, he writes down the case number and then he's gone. I lock the door and tell my mom to kiss her car goodbye because there is no way she's going to get it back and if she does, it won't be in one piece.
P.S. ... she's not covered for theft. Translation: she's fucked.
So when the call came in the very next day saying that they thought they found her car, I was in total shock. In fact, the car was parked in an apartment complex and under surveillance and would she like an Officer to come pick her up and take her to retrieve her car? Hells yes.
An Officer picks up my mom and takes her to the actual spot where an undercover cop is watching her car. It's a huge apartment complex with a move-in special of $99 and no credit check. The kind of place where flea market blankets act as curtains and discarded diapers litter the walkways. Real uptown livin'.
The car is relatively unscathed and all they left behind was some makeshift drug paraphernalia and the distinct smell of junkie.
But the story doesn't end there because that very night, some motherfucker (same motherfuckers?) broke into her car again and this time, stole my garage door opener. The garage door that leads directly into a garage full of power tools. A garage door that leads directly into my home.
Now my undiagnosed but totally relevant anxiety disorder kicks in and I think it's safe to say that I freaked the fuck out. I immediately raced to Lowe's to purchase something (anything) that would bolt my garage door shut. This being Nevada, the helpful clerk told me to buy a shotgun. He was serious.
Fast forward to me back at home where I'm moving at breakneck speeds, locking windows and doors, installing a club on my mom's steering wheel and gluing shut her faulty front wing windows. Then with the help of Johnny Boy, I disengage the garage door and I start to feel a little better, but not much. This bullshit is triggering me in all kinds of ways. I remember being about three or four and our home was burglarized while we slept. A couple of years later I watched as my Grandpa was held at gunpoint by two teenagers who wanted cash but only found an old man with a paycheck and a frozen turkey. I wonder if my house is being watched because they know that my husband has passed and the only constant male presence here is a six year old boy. At this point, I'm breaking out in hives and putting together a checklist in my head of weapons to be passed out before bedtime.
My mother picks out a lovely baseball bat and I choose something that can easily be inserted between a would-be robber's ribs. I'm considering sleeping with the cattle prod ... spooning it like a long lost lover. My mind flips back to that cowboy/Lowe's employee who suggested a shotgun. Hmmmm .....
Now I will spend the rest of the day researching Nevada's laws on the use of deadly force and justifiable homicide.