the phone rings and i turn over to look at the screen – “restricted” is says.
i see the time. i tell myself it’s saturday. i tell myself that it’s too early for the credit card collections to call. i open the handset.
“hello. this is officer_________ from the 83rd precinct”
“are you the owner of 1087 broadway?”
my head was swimming. “no. i’m not the owner of the building.”
“do you own the business at that address?”
“..uhh, yeah..” my head stopped swimming and my mind began racing….
“well, someone called the fire department from inside your store and they had come this morning….do you live around here? can you come to your store?”
“i’m on my way. i live next door. be there in a minute.” i’m already throwing on the black jeans.
in front of the store are four officers, a couple of whom i’ve seen before.
seems a girl awoke in the bathroom about a half hour ago and panicked. she called 911.
they called the fire department. they came with monster-bolt-cutters and went snip-snip with the locks.
there was a tearful reunion that i missed with this girl and some guy.
one of the policemen were writing away in that black leather book that they carry while i was chatting with the other police. i turn to him and ask,”am i getting a ticket?”
“oh…no! i’m writing a statement that you’ll read and sign when i’m done.”
“oh…ok. i had a bar in the city for ten years and i don’t think this ever happened. this is funny.”
after i said it, i wondered to myself, “did it?”
the policeman finished his statement, handing the book to me.
i signed it and printed my name just below.
we all passed the words “thanks and have a good day,” around and one of the guys pointed to the ground.
“you might want to do something with those,” he said.
so i did.