Runnin’ (Part 7) – A Cop Called Pipes


No Escape

I have never been inside a police station before, but it’s nothing special. It looks like the welfare office my mom went to, with cinder block walls and sliding Plexiglas windows you talk to a receptionist through.   I wait on a wooden bench near the front door while Pat’s dad talks to an officer.  I kick the linoleum floor, hoping to leave black scuff marks for the next person to see like an SOS.  The officer walks over after patting Pat’s dad on the shoulder.

“Hey, there.  What’s the story here?”

I don’t want to look at him.  I feel really stupid and hope Pat’s dad didn’t tell him the whole bogus marriage story.  “Where’s Pat?” I ask.

The officer takes me down a hallway with several doors.  He opens the last one and says, “Just a few minutes, though.  Pat’s in real trouble.  I shouldn’t even let you see him, but, here you go.”  He puts his hand on my back and gently pushes me into the windowless room.

Pat’s sitting on a wooden bench, too.  But his hands are cuffed in silver.  Another police officer stands in the corner.

“God, my fucking dad.  Thought he’d be happy I was home, but no, gotta call those pigs, huh?” Pat’s voice sounds different, with an edge I am not used to.

“What am I supposed to do?” I start to cry. I feel stupid as the tears spill onto my cheeks, my shirt, the floor.  I feel like a sucker, a loser, a big baby.  Feelings I’m too familiar with.

Pat looks blank. “Don’t know.  Maybe stay with my parents.  They’re loaded.  Maybe they’ll fly you home.  I’m screwed.  Go home, and I’ll call you when I get out of Juvie.”

The officer pulls me out of the room before I have a chance to watch Pat taken away. “Follow me,” he says and takes me to a back room with a copy machine and white coffee pot covered in brown spills. There’s coffee in the bottom all thick and muddy.  It smells burnt, as if it’s been on for days.

“Pat’s always raising hell for his parents.  He’s a regular runaway. Was supposed to do some time in the Juvie for stealing his parent’s car, but he got away.” He stares at me. “What’s your story?”

I look at my shoes.

“I’m so sorry.  I’m being rude.  Names Pipes.  Officer Pipes.”

“Yea, right.” I say and try not to laugh.

“It’s a funny name, I know.  Think I made it through school easy? Alright… just laugh.”

I start busting up and realize he’s doing some good cop shit.  But it’s too late, I sorta like him.

He says, “I bet you like McDonalds.  Hungry?”

“I guess.”

“What do you want? You can have anything you want, really.”

I order a large fry, a chicken sandwich and a large milkshake.  He gives the order to someone at the desk and walks away.  Alone, I sit in the rectangular room with no windows, watching the coffee pot’s red “on” light flicker.  There’s probably a short in the wire, and a fire will bust out at any moment. Pipes will have forgotten all about me, the lonely girl in the backroom waiting for fast food.


One Response to “Runnin’ (Part 7) – A Cop Called Pipes”

  1. Mars Attacks! – and this installment – both rule!

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