It would have made a great photo. The sun was in it's last hour of being above the horizon, the particulates in the atmosphere giving our small piece of the world a red-golden glow. There were ten of us watching the show, all lined up in a gentle arc, our attention focused on the small man reassembling his possessions and moving them from the hood of the Trooper's car into a nylon backpack. The front of the man's shirt was carefully labeled "Safe Sex Expert" the rear with a poem about fate, politeness and eternity. I contemplated grabbing my camera and taking the shot, but it felt exploitative and I let the thought pass.
We couldn't help but laugh, the small man was naturally quick witted and was eager to share his wit and his off-color jokes with us as he worked. My only concern was that we would be called for him again, probably in the middle of the night. His behavior attracted attention, numerous calls to 911 were almost a certainty.
It had started with troopers being flagged down by passing motorists who told them of a man laying in the middle of the street. They had driven to the location and had found the small man standing by the road, dancing and gesturing to the passing cars. The troopers were relieved, their location was well inside the town limits. All they had to do was wait for the sheriff to show up and hand it off to them. They also decided to call for us, just in case the man needed medical treatment.
We arrived and found the small man leaning against the hood of the Trooper's cruiser, looking bored in an amused sort of way. The man answered all of our questions, adding detail and wit. It became obvious that he was well aware of his position and situation. It also became obvious that the man did not have any emergent medical condition and that he knew it and did not wish any treatment or transport. He also threatened to sue us if we took him against his will.
We, as well as the troopers, decided that waiting for the sheriff would be the best course of action. We didn't have to wait long. Two cars from the S.O. pulled up, the deputies walking up to us, skeptical of why they were there. The trooper and myself explained the situation to one of the deputies, who then walked up to the small man.
The man displayed the same level of awareness and wit that he had displayed to us. The other deputy examined the mans possessions, including the two glass pipes that had been in the backpack. Fortunately for the man, the pipes smelled of tobacco, not of weed or something else. After a while, the deputies determined that the man had committed no crime and was not a danger to himself or others. Thus, they did not feel a 72hr hold was an option. As he did not claim injury or illness, was oriented and alert and did not want to be treated or transport we weren't going to take him either. The man was going to walk away, free to go to Wal-Mart and spend his dollar.
The trooper and one of the deputies apparently did not agree about the 72 hr hold. Although I didn't want to take sides, I knew that we would be back out on the man within an hour. I don't think the deputy was happy with us or the deputies as we watched the man load up his belongings.
The show began anew as the small man walked up the street. The dancing began again, followed by flopping on the ground and pelvic thrusts toward passing vehicles. I can see conflict on one of the deputy's face, as if he is torn between letting the man go, or taking further action. Comments from the troopers cause a scowl to form on the deputy's face, I decide to stay out of it and keep my mouth close. The deputies head toward their cars as if to leave. The troopers and us continue to monitor the mans progress as he walks down the street.
The antics increase in intensity and in vulgarity. The deputies are getting in their cars when the matter resolves itself. The man drops his pants and moons a passing car. One of the deputies shot us a dirty look as I gave a shout of thanks to the man for crossing the line. His actions have ensured that I won't have to deal with him again, at least for tonight.
As the deputies approach the man, he drops his pants again and appears to piss in the street. The absurdity of it caused us some mirth, as it did for the troopers. Their humor was centered on the fact that now the deputies had to actually arrest the man and transport him to the county seat. Apparently, 72 hr hold would have been much easier.
The Safe Sex Expert is off the street, at least for the night. Depending on what he is charged with, he may be gone for a while. Regardless, it will take him a while to work his way from the county seat back to the healing place. Besides, coming back up here be a waste of his time, the Healing Place works for us, not for him.
Thanks for reading,