3:45 p.m. Thursday...
the office phone rings.
office manager picks it up. (she has been on the phone all day back and forth with a mutual friend of ours. her best friend. her husband has been fired from his job this morning due to problems associated with his alcoholism. his third job in five years.)
"hello..." she shrieks and starts sobbing uncontrollably.
"oh, god, oh god... have you called 911?"lets out a scream of shear terror.
"I'm coming, I'm coming... okay? call 911!" she collapses in her chair and instantly springs back up.
"whats going on?" says the uber boss.
i jump up from my desk and grab our office manager and say lets go. that conversation to me meant one thing only...
"he's hung himself! oh my god, oh my god... i have to go, oh my god, what the...." her speech trails off and her legs almost give out from underneath her. "oh my god..." these are her very best of friends.
we walk out in each others arms and i help her to her car. we are a three minute drive from where we need to be.
"I'll take care of it, can you shut off my computer?" i say as i close the passenger door to the uber boss who is still standing in the office doorway.
"i cant close the office we have a meeting in ten minutes. i cant go with you! is that all right?" he replies with a cracked tone.
"everything will be handled, I'll call shortly." still in motion towards the other side of the lexus.
i jump in the car and she is wringing her hands and has entered the first stages of shock. seconds later we are turning onto the highway and the suv is being pushed to do things its never been asked to do before. i put my hand on her knee and say nothing...
"that coward! why would he do something like this. she was getting him help! he was supposed to leave tonight....she was helping him..." she trailed off and her anger turns to fear.
"oh my god, what is she going to do?!? oh my god, what is..." her eyes well up and she turns angry again.
"fucking coward, this isn't how its done.... she was going to get his job back....everything was going to work out!"
we turn into the park and blow the stop sign at the kiosk. two very unaware park aids don't even notice. we triple the allowed speed limit into the employees only area of the park. this is where there is housing for some of the parks staff. drive around the family enjoying their casual stroll and give them a polite but alarming series of honks.
left turn into the housing area and pull up behind the first ranger to get on the scene. she was just getting out of her patrol vehicle. we jump out of the car and start towrads the house. we hear a muffled shriek and our friend comes running out of the garage...
she was not screaming, not crying, just wide eyed and shaking... shaking like I've never seen anyone do before. this woman, our friend had lost the ability to control anything...
"oh god, oh god... what... oh god, i need, oh..." she repeated for over an hour... we made a series of quick phone calls and got some more of her friends on their way.
the ranger went in and out once... got on her radio and our volunteer fire dept. chief assistant, showed up. i believe these two woman cut him down. two more rangers came to the area and exhibited the worst of human behavior possible. I'll be writing a letter. but that's not the point.
as we were outside trying to "just be there" for the woman and get her back into the planetary world, they chief ranger walks past with the defibrillator machine...
"ladies, lets get into the house. we don't want to hear this."
"no, i don't want to go in... yes i, oh god... oh Jesus..."
"yes, ladies" i turn and nod the the woman who i drove here. "we will be going inside through the side door now."
she understands this means we are at least moving from ear shot of the machine.. as we go inside i hear the beginning of the automated instructions from the machine.
"place paddles on sides of chest area.... waiting, charging... when ready depress triggers..." in its most polite and calm auto-mechanical female voice...
once inside i found some cups in a glass fronted cabinet. my idea was to get her to focus on one thing, give her something to concentrate on, bring her back into the now, anything other then reliving the last moments. keep her moving forward.
another one of her friends arrived, the ranger denied her entry into the home. i saw this through the window and went out to bring her in.
"excuse me, we will be keeping this area clear!" the young blond ranger stated.
"that's great, we will be going inside now. thanks." i looked him straight in the eye and moved him back with out touching him...
"no you wont, this area is closed." he puts his hand out to stop our forward progress. another ranger walks up motioning his hand towards his bat belt.
"i just came out of the house and I'm bringing this woman in, WE ARE GOING INSIDE." i put my arm out to move him aside.
"this area is remain clear and you will not..."
i interrupt him.
"we are not going in the garage, we are going into the home and you will move."
the friend speaks through her tears and says... "we are going in to the house now get out of the way!" she is now losing it as well.
the officer who had his hand on his belt puts a hand on the other rangers shoulder and moves him out of the way.
he politely says, "yes, you may go into the residence."
"no shit? thanks."
"whats your name, whats your name? where do you live, i need your information..." i close the door behind us and fetch a third glass of water.....
in the short hours that i stuck around doing what i could, i went across the parking lot to a friends house and told them what was happening. its close quarters here and lots of people are like family. we made lots of phone calls and told some of the people who needed to be in the know. other folks were asking what was happening and about all i could muster was.... "they are having some family problems right now and the rangers are acting like dicks... i wouldn't try to bother them." the laws of three were not fulfilled like i had hoped. this was our second death this week and oddly enough they have the same first names.....