Journal Entry: Measure for Measure Act 2

I went to the Hanover police station to obtain a copy of the police report as advised by several lawyers. A fee is involved. I laugh about it’s absurdity. It’s a public record and yet, to have a copy costs you.
I fill out the paperwork and pay the fee. I ask if the Chief of Police is in and am invited to sit in his office to speak with him.
I will not recount the conversation. I will say, I have a great deal of respect for this man. I appreciate the time he took to sit and talk with me, even our agreement that we may never agree on several points.
He asked questions, listened, spoke his mind and let me return it in kind. He proposed a meeting with the two officers to discuss the inaccuracies of that evening and to address them.
We promised each other nothing, in regards to the outcome of such a meeting. We shook hands, smiled, and he walked me to the door.

Journal Entry: July 2, 2010

Yesterday, my friend Maidie and I went to the Co-op in Hanover, New Hampshire to grocery shop.  After we were done, we drove the car to behind the gas station next door to eat the lunches that we had purchased.  There’s a short grassed road running along-side a field, we pull into it and park at the head.  We get out, planning to lunch on the corner of the grassy field.  I see in the distance, at the end of the grass road, a trail sign.  Maidie has walked over and sat down on the field and I head towards her.

There is a small sign planted on the edge and it warns of pesticides.  The field has been treated in the last 48 hours it describes.  We quickly remove ourselves and head over to the picnic table across the parking lot, on the backside of the gas station.  A pleasant couple says, ‘hello’ as they get up from the table to throw their lunch trash away.  We sit down.

Lunch is sushi and a banana.  This is my last time eating fish or seafood.  I have decided to go back to being a vegetarian so I savor each bite.  Maidie and I chat about this and that.  I’m feeling melancholy as she will be moving away soon.  This will be one of our last meals together.

We finish eating and she offers to throw all the lunch trash away.  My curiosity has finally gotten the best of me and I run down the dirt road to read the sign.  Indeed, it is a trail sign.  I see the familiar Appalachian Trail marking and the white blazes on the trees.  I can hardly contain my excitement and I quickly break out pen and paper.  I jot down a brief note saying, “Lakeshore friends, please go to the Dartmouth Outing Club on campus and read the Register.  Girl with Dog.”

Measure for Measure – Act 1

An overview of a phone call at 7:10 a.m. Monday June 21, 2010 to the Hanover Police Department, Hanover, N.H.

I called in, identified myself and referenced the past Saturday’s ‘incident’ to the officer taking calls. I asked for the location of the keys to the Odyssey. The voice on the other end asked me for more information to reference the ‘incident’…the names of the officers involved. I told him that the officers never identified themselves to me so I didn’t know.
The voice then said the keys were at the station under the vehicle owner’s name and could only be picked up by them. I explained that the officers left the driver’s side window down, it had rained and it was a cloth upholstery interior. Also, anyone could reach in, unlock the door and steal the car and or its contents. I explained that the vehicle was not properly secured. I asked if they would please go and put that window up. The officer curtly said, “No.” My words were falling on deaf ears and when I tried to say a few something more he hung up on me.

An overview of the phone call at 7:12 a.m.

I called back asking to speak to the Chief of the Hanover Police. I was directed to his voicemail. I left a message referencing the call just a minute ago and also mentioned this was the second time I called. I asked for him to please return my call so I could speak with him about these matters, expressed thanks, and hung up.

A Comedy of Errors – Act 3

Sunday June 20, 2010

I wake up early, around 8:00am or so.  Maxwell and I start out on our morning jaunt, heading up Green Street, to Allen Street and then on Bank Street towards the Junior High School.  We make it as far as WISE and I stop there, looking in the door.  They’re closed.

I start heading down the stairs.  I hear the door behind me open.  I know the woman and she comes outside to talk to me.  I tell her what happened and a few minutes into it. the woman planting flowers around the corner appears and offers to take Maxwell for a walk.  I share the prior night’s events, every detail I can recall.  She listens. She says I can use her office.

The gardener walked Maxwell around the building a few times and hands him back to me.  Just as we are about to go inside, I see a tiny figure standing inside the door.  Maxwell, of course, gets very excited at the presence of another dog.  Once inside though, the two dogs assess each other.  Circling each other, sniffing.  They start to play.

I head upstairs to use the woman’s office.  She suggests I call the Attorney General and contact Hanover’s Chief of the Police.  She has a meeting to get back to.  Maxwell follows me up, assesses the room, then trots off a little while later downstairs.  I call the Hanover police and ask to be connected with the Chief of Police.  He’s not in.  It is Sunday.  I leave a voicemail.  I call the Attorney General’s number but there is no answering service to leave the call.  I call an alternate number, and a man’s voice answers.  He says he’s with the Security.  I ask him if he’s ever worked for the police before.  A lot of people in Security have and he says. “Yes.”  I tell him about what happened and ask if this is normal police procedure.  He tells me, he doesn’t know.  Then says, he never worked for the police.  I thank him for his time and hang up.

I go and look for Maxwell.  I want to get out of there and decide to take a friend’s suggestion.  I walk over to a law office on School Street crying.  The office isn’t open yet so I sit down at the end of the walkway, my feet on the sidewalk.  I call my friend Gary, the answering machine picks up, I leave a message.  I sit there.  Crying.  My phone rings, it’s Gary.  I tell him about what happened.  A man parked nearby and standing outside his car thankfully keeps his distance.

The door to the law office opens and a man walks out asking me if there’s anything he can help me with.  I tell Gary, where I am and I have to go.  He says he’ll call later.  He’s got a meeting to go to.

I walk up and introduce myself.  I graduated high school with the man’s daughter.  I tell him about the situation and prior evening’s events.  He tells me to get three things, write down every detail, get a copy of the police report and my doctor’s note.  I thank him and walk back to my friend’s house.  There I call another friend who is a lawyer.  She had helped me before and been the Justice of the Peace who married my ex-husband and I.  She listens and says that the lawyer who had advised me the night of the incident made an error.  A possible breach in confidentiality if he was advising me of what to do if he had identified himself as a lawyer.  She gives me the name and number of a gentleman to call who deals with police brutality cases.  I feel despair.

I sit down at the computer and begin typing out what happened.  I get to the part where I get into the police car and I cant go on.  I can’t focus.  My stomach is clenched and Steve gets me to eat a little something.  I wander around the house.  I call my friend, Pete and leave a message.  I ask him what his favorite color is.  I need to get out of the house.  My head hurts just thinking about all of this.  I need to get away from the house.  I decide to finish the morning walk.  It’s around noon.

We head out, walking up Green Street to Shaw, then to Bank Street.  We walk by the junior high school, past where the Riverdale Store used to be.  Past the field I had played T-ball and Little League in.  It was a long time ago but the field still looks the same.  We head left onto the Heater Road.  I feel detached from reality.  When Maxwell and I reach the intersection to cross over heading towards the Mount Support Road I don’t stop.  I don’t look.  I pray for a car to hit me.  I just don’t care.  A dangerous frame of mind to have.  And as I approach the four-way intersection where I’ll take a right I think about my friend, Maidie.  I’m supposed to meet her and hang out today.  A follow-up to her graduation from Nursing School Party.

I call her then my friend, Miriam and ask her what time she is heading to Norwich to Maidie’s.  She says she’ll pick me up.  She’s already on the road.  I ask her to meet me on the other side of the walking bridge at the first gas station.  She agrees but when I arrive, I get the feeling she’ll be a while so I walk on past to the Listen Center where I work.  A new job but I decide to just pop in and get  coffee.  I’m dying for a cigarette.  I hate that feeling because I quit March 17th.

I talk to my manager and some of the others there telling them what happened.  I can’t help but talk about it.  I’m still shell-shocked I suppose.  Love my new job.  The people I work with there are lovely and I gladly call them all friends.  I never did get to that coffee.  Instead, I make sure Maxwell gets lots of water.  It’s hot out there.  Miriam calls me and I head out.  I get in the back seat and ask if she or Horus has a cigarette.  They’re planning on stopping at Dan & Whit’s, thank god.  And on the way I fill Horus in on the details.

We get to Maidie’s and it is just a perfect hot sunny day.  Everyone is getting ready to go down by the river swimming.  They were just waiting for us to get there so we can all eat.  Everyone is starving, we eat and eat good.  It’s nice to be with friends.  We all head down to the river to swim.  It’s nice to have my mind distracted.  I have some good friends.  My friend, Seth calls.  He lent me his digital camera for the trail but it’s back in Lebanon.  We make a plan for him to stop by later to pick me up, drive there and pick it up.

We hang, he shows, I tell him what happened.  We walk with everyone over to the trestle bridge nearby.  Maidie and the kids want to jump off.  I don’t swim much anymore.  It’s rare.  And I haven’t done a jump like that in a couple of years.  Last time it was from 20′ up off a rock into a river pool of icy water.  I hesitated once, twice but the third time’s the charm.  Seth and I head after a short while.  I give Maidie a big hug before I go.  She’s my gal and moving soon with her kids to PA.

I ask if it’s possible to stop by and see the Odyssey and where it’s parked.  I’m so distracted now thinking about all that happened once we’re away we drive by the van twice.  Poor Seth.  How patient he is with me.  How thankful I am to him.  When we finally make it to the car I see the driver’s side window is still down.  It rained last night.  The interior is a cloth upholstery.  I just reach in and unlock the door to take a look inside.  Anyone could.  I can’t put the window up.  The car needs to be on for that.  I lock the car and we get back into Seth’s.  I hate hate hate leaving it there like that but what else can I do…nothing.  It’ll sit there until Monday evening when my friends get back, driver’s side window open.  I just hope to god it doesn’t rain.

Footnote:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
[(2) Specific prohibitions
(A) Discrimination
For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, discrimination includes
(i) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered;]

A Comedy of Errors – Act 2

The ride to the Hanover Police Station is a blur.  At one point I ask the officer, “Do you know the definition of the word ‘rape’?  It’s nothing sexual.  It means to take someone or something by force.  There was a famous painting, by Titian, The Rape of the…”  I trail off because I can’t remember the name of the painting.  He retorts, “Thanks for the history lesson.”

I tell him, “You can’t just do whatever you want to people.”  He replies, “we can do whatever we want when you’re in our custody.”

He continues to tell me I am intoxicated.  My mind is boggled.  Has this man ever drank before?  Do drunk people speak as I do?  I ask him if he’s happy.  He says he is.  I ask him, “What’s something you do that makes you happy?”  He says nothing.  I continue, “Because happy people have an easy time answering that question.  Are you that unhappy with being unable to fight ‘real’ crime?”  I don’t recall a clear answer.  I suppose that was a bit crass to ask in retrospect but I ask a lot of people that question because I seriously want to know.  Happiness is an important thing.

We arrive at the station, he parks and gets out.  He opens the door and tells me to get out.  He tells me to stand here.  And then stand there.  He opens the door to the building and tells me to go inside.  I do.  He tells me to sit, pointing at a metal bench.  I sit. He tells me to stand. I stand.  He tells me he’s taking the cuffs off.  I’m so irritated with this rigamarole.  I say, “I was just standing, you tell me to sit.  If you knew you were going to take the cuffs off, why did I have to sit then stand again?”  He walks away telling me to sit.  I stand.

He stands there asking me questions.  A few minutes later I hear Maxwell, barking for me through a metal door to my right.  The other officer enters.  I tell them that he is a Service Animal, prescribed by my doctor for anxiety, and I would like to please have him with me.  They refuse.  one of them goes on to say, if he’s a service animal then I would have proof, papers, a card and tells me to prove it.  I tell him, “Do you understand that what you’re asking is illegal?  No one can demand to see proof of a Service Animal according to the American Disabilities Act.  Would you please give me my dog.  I need him with me.”  They refuse.

I say, “What are your names?  I would like to see some credentials, business cards, someting saying who you are.”  They both laugh and walk out of the room together leaving me alone.

The dark-haired officer reappears and stands behind the counter at a computer.  His fingers angrily clicking the keyboard.  I feel so weary and anxious because there are times when I can’t hear Maxwell at all.  All I can think is, “What the hell are they doing to him?  Where is he?”  My head is spinning.  I’m freezing and shaking.

At one point, I look up and see the sign saying that the room is under video surveillance and sound recorded.  I gesture to it asking him to explain to me why it is I’m here again.  He tells me, “It has already been explained to you.”  I say, “Now that we’re under surveillance you won’t say, huh?  Just say it once more, for posterity.”  He repeats, “It’s already been explained to you.”

I tell him, “Honey, you have made a gross error in judgement.  There is a fine line between pride and foolishness and you are being, well, idiots.  You are making a mistake here that you are going to regret.  Just think about it for one moment reasonably and logically.”  He stares down at me, “If you are not intoxicated then prove it.  Take a breathilizer and prove it.”  I stare back at him, unblinking, “You drag me out of my vehicle, handcuff me, bring me here on some bogus charge, oh that’s right, I’m not being charged.  But on hearsay and now you want me to take a breathilizer? No, I will not.  This is ridiculous.  You can’t treat people this way.  Tis means that anyone could point at any other person on the street and say they did something bad and you can go and get them?”

He tells me to come stand against the wall so they can take my picture, a photograph, they do it to everyone who comes in.  I tell him, “No.  If I’m not being charged with anything or arrested then no.  You do not have my permission to take my photograph.”  He turns the camera at me and I hold my hand up in front of me looking away.

I repeatedly ask for my dog, about 20 times saying ‘please’.  I re-explain that he is prescribed to me and a service animal.  My request is repeatedly refused.

The phone is turned and slammed at me on the counter.  I’m told if I don’t get a ride, someone to come pick me up then I’ll be ‘put in jail’.  I tell them I want my cell phone.  All my numbers are in it and I can’t make any calls until I do.  They bring me my cell phone.  I call two lawyers, including my divorce lawyer, and Barb and Steve.  It’s 2:00am in the morning and I feel like a complete idiot because I’m house-sitting and they were kind enough to lend me their car as well.  They have to be woken out of bed and are away in the Cape for a funeral.  I call my friends Val and Chuck praying.  They pick up as I’m leaving a message.  Val is working in the morning and Chuck has to work a double.  Val says she’ll come pick me up.

I tell them I have a ride on the way and can I please have my dog.  They stare at me, almost seeming to enjoy my anxiety, and tell me I can have him when my ride gets here.  They leave me shaking and shivering alone again.  I can’t hear Maxwell.  I don’t know where he is and he’s all I really have in this world.

One of the officers enters again and I ask for my dog.  He tells me they ran my license, which means they went into my purse, searching it, and my license has been expired since October 4, 2009.  I say to him, “You must be mistaken.”  He looks it up again behind the counter and tells me the same thing.  All I can think is, my payments are up-to-date with that lawyer in Concord and I received no notification from the State of New Hampshire.  How can this be? I call the layer and leave a voicemail asking for him to please contact me Monday morning about this matter.  I ask again for my dog once I am off the phone.  He says, my ride is here so I may.  They walk me through the metal door to my right.  They hand me my purse.  Maxwell’s leash is being held by an officer and he is pulling against it for me.  I pick him up, he is so happy to see me and I him.  They walk me out to Val.  As we’re walking away, the officer says, “Well you better get that license figured out.  Have a nice day.”

To be continued…

Footnote:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
[(2) Specific prohibitions
(A) Discrimination
For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, discrimination includes
(i) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered;]