Two police cruisers idle in the cul-de-sac, lights off, projecting calm authority. Nothing to see here. Move along. An apologetic looking sergeant steps from his air conditioned refuge as we arrive. “She's off her medications again,” he tells us. “I've spoken to her doctor, and the paperwork is on its way.”

But of course it isn't here yet. We take a moment to discuss the situation and opt to wait. The officers say she won't go voluntarily, and there is no point in escalating the situation until we have all our tools in place.

She has different plans, however. Suddenly she materializes on the front lawn and walks to the side door of our truck, bemused police officer in tow. My first impression is of someone my age trying to look like an 80's pop star. Somehow I don't find that strange on this day, in this city. Her left hand clutches a half-empty iced coffee with which she gestures for effect. “Let's go.” She points at the ambulance with her straw.

Inside, I try to be nice. “So what's going on this afternoon, Ms. Lauper? Why am I here?” The response is vulgar and not informative. I try again, but now she feels my family and lineage are somehow relevant to her situation.

OK then.

I sit on the bench and initiate the Stare of Life. I have nothing to treat and she won't talk to me, so I sit quietly and watch. She alternates her time between looking out the back window at traffic and shooting confused glances at me. I'm not going to play the game.

I have seven minutes of intermission before Act Two will begin at the Emergency Department.

1 thought on “Intermission”

  1. The Stare of Life!  Confuse them with silence.  I love it.

    I’ve used that on angry clients/co-workers, it works wonders.  Now I have a name for it.


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