The 20th Day – Even though I’m on the do-not-call-to-solicit list, I still calls. I am able to deal quickly and politely with people offering me a new whatsis or subscription to Thingamabob Monthly. But when the state police foundation for something or other to help the officers’ families and fund for treatment of PTSD calls me, I routinely snap the guy’s head off and tell them to stop calling. I did it two days ago and I have been thinking about why.
Okay, staring at the screen isn’t working and I knew that if I said I would write this it would be honest and I would say some things that I just don’t talk about. Here goes: I have a lot of mixed feelings about anyone who says they know what’s best or right for me simply by virtue of their view of the world or the badge in their wallet. One of my earliest interactions with police involve stealing a dog from the officer next door. At 14 I couldn’t stop the guy from thrashing his wife and kids, but I could help find the dog whose leg he broke and beat on a place to live safely. I’ve seen the dark underbelly of their rules and behaviors more than a few times as an adult. I’ve got a tidy bundle of old aches, anger, misgivings and scars that generally live on the back shelf of the closet in a box labeled Failed Heroes. This year, however, is about cleaning out the closets and cobwebs and replacing them with clear space and contentment. I misread something today that said ‘the mitigation of pain is fairly impossible; therefore, contentment is a fictitious goal.’ Thank you, Mary Sunshine. Fortunately, my slightly dyslexic brain read migration and I could envision my bundle of discontented feelings making a long, leisurely flight to a destination far away.
So I did two things: I called the 800-number for the state police foundation and politely asked them to remove me from their dialer list. Then I stared at my phone for about half an hour, found the number for the PA State Police and dialed. The female trooper was patient as I told her that this was about a previously-unreported incident from 1981. She was polite when I told her I had been assaulted in front of the state police barracks after troopers inside refused to let me use their phone or help me with a flat tire. She said she will have a trooper call me back. Sigh. Somebody cue Alanis Morissette singing Ironic.