Down By the River

Well, there I was downbehind the Comstock community center, checking out the new wildflower walk, going along the mowed trails that lead you to the Kalamazoo River, and I found this bottle.  I figured I knew what it was, the residue of the one-pot method of synthesizing crystal meth, but I touched the top of it anyway, just to get a better look, and to pose the bottle for this photo, which I took with my phone. Then I looked around and felt an eerie silence and was not sure that the meth makers weren’t there hiding out. I looked around for a weapon, spotted a nice sized rock, but decided to leave anyway.

I swatted at mosquitoes and called the non-emergency number for the Kalamazoo County Police, and ended up tangled in a complicated phone tree. After pressing four options, I hung up and called 911. The guy asked me where I was (we had a big back and forth about that, since he thought by “river” I meant River Street). I waited for forty-five minutes and called back, and got the same operator. He said there was a shift change and could I wait longer. I said, I had things to do and you guys can find it without me, surely, and so I left.

On the way home, I touched my neck and whatever was on my fingertips burned my skin, and so I was in a hurry to get home and wash myself off. But I got myself behind a school bus full of teeny tiny kids, and I was slowed down a bit in a way that was sort of stressful, but also comical and sweet, because kids that age are so cute getting off a bus with their little backpacks and lunchboxes and such.

Then I kind of regretted not waiting.  I mean, I had a bunch of things to do, stuff to prepare to mail at the post office and phone calls to make before five o’clock, emails I’d neglected.  But I think I would have liked meeting the cop, walking with him or her down by the river, asking some questions about the meth situation. Maybe we would have seen the culprits in their hiding places. Maybe I would have defended the cop with a big stick. It would have been something different anyhow. Maybe the cop would have said something that I hadn’t heard before.

So I’m thinking of changing my ways.  I’ve got all kinds of obligations (work, writing, household, family) and then I’ve got some things I would like to do that aren’t necessarily obligations, such as meeting new people, following mysterious trails, visiting with people I like, but haven’t seen in ages, cracking black walnuts.  I think I’m going to start neglecting some of my obligations instead.  June is all tied up, but  I’m going to start slacking off in July. I’ll apologize in advance to those who will feel let down by my neglect,  but if you’ve got something interesting I just have to see or do, drop me a line.

About bonniejocampbell

I'm the author of ONCE UPON A RIVER, AMERICAN SALVAGE, MOTHERS TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS, Q ROAD, WOMEN & OTHER ANIMALS. I love Michigan, donkeys, black walnuts, blackcap raspberries, Flannery O'Connor.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Down By the River

  1. angelaval2 says:

    I love this, Bonnie. I often walk away from a situation for that same reason of being too busy to linger, but the situation lingers in my head for the rest of the day–so I might as well have stayed to see how things played out.

  2. Johnny D. says:

    sulfuric acid is one of the components.. no wonder you got chemical burns..

  3. Bob says:

    My first thought was why did you touch that thing with your bare hand? My next was that meth cooks probably didn’t fight each other to lick the beaters after a mix.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s