Current Ebb by Christine Swiderrski

Current Ebb

 

Being young I wonder sometimes why my parents are so angry and negative. Their belief is that most of the younger generation, are mediocre. I wonder if that is typical for their age group? Yet I know when I do certain things I want to just slide through it. Such as a grade or a job. My parents in no uncertain terms believe that there is a prevalent move to mediocrity.

I understand every generation goes through their mantra of what should be happening. They want to leave a strong legacy for those who have come after them.

Am I shrugging off their brave reflections? Or am I understanding the need for society to evolve? Into what? Into something more predatorial with a pervasive wind that ushers in a new era.

Each generation has it’s own Characteristic. I would have loved to have grown up in the 60’s when women were burning their bras. On the surface, it seemed like a fun thing to do. Yet in the end? The women who did this wanted equal rights. Equality! Yet in recent year’s these same women who burnt their bra’s and marched on Washington followed by a gaggle of horny men for free love did not accomplish what they claimed to set out to do. They became the banal love toy of the free love era.

I want to be more relevant. It is difficult to be relevant due to the antagonistic atmosphere. I need to tread lightly when I speak my mind. I wonder how I can achieve something my parents can be proud of.

My first goal if you can count it as a goal is ‘not to get pregnant’ too many of my friends put their lives on hold because of what they call a mistake. Planned parenthood as far as I am concerned is to ‘plan your sex life accordingly’.

My current status is in a relationship. I am really good with that. I do not see me going to college. Many of my friends have degrees and are out of work. In fact, I plan on giving my best girlfriend a job in my salon now that it is open. I wonder can I truly make a difference doing hair? I believe I can. So many men and women speak to their stylists as though they are the bartender. It does not take long to know what goes on in their lives if you listen. I have had young girls mulling over their life choices, only to be set back by indecision. I want to think they take my advice.

I open on Monday’s even when other salons are closed. Yet my salon is doing well I enjoy the work and the people that I come in contact with. I have a new client she is married to a police officer. Sometimes when she comes in she is not as chatty and forthcoming. I get the impression there are problems at home.

I finally asked her: “Monica, what’s wrong sweetheart.”

Tears swelled in her eyes. I leaned close to her and she whispered: “My husband get’s in moods. When he hits, he makes sure no one can see the mark. He tells me to keep my mouth shut. No one would believe me.”

I said: “I believe you Monica. If you need help getting out I can help you.”

I could tell she was forcing back tears. She nodded her head.

I said: “Just enjoy getting your hair done. Today’s highlights are on the house. I will make a few calls. When you leave here you will be safe.”

She nodded again. By the end of the day her husbands commander was assessed of the problem. Monica was tucked away in another county. I felt assured she would be safe. I am glad there were no children. That seems to complicate things when it comes to domestic violence.

I closed up. Called my boyfriend John. Told him what had happened with Monica. He was glad to hear I could help. He was out of town working. John is an attorney. It is rare he has to travel and when he does it’s for only a day or two. John and I chatted for a while. I told him I was going to the store to pick up some groceries for the weekend. We made plans before he left to have an Italian cook off this weekend. It’s always fun when we do this. John is a great cook.

I pulled out of the parking lot turned towards home, the next thing I knew I hit something. My first thought was irrational “Did I hit a deer?” It was dark, I noticed people rushing over. I got out and could not believe my eyes. I passed out!

 

The next morning

On a scale of 1 to 10 I feel like zero. My legs are wobbly like a fawn trying to get up and moving after being born. I am moving at a snails pace, bundled in a robe. What happened last night was not my fault. None the less it’s a catastrophe pressing against my psyche. As I poured myself some juice I looked out my kitchen window. Several reporters were on my lawn speaking to cameras.

I am sure the headline will be spoken and read: ‘What a horrible thing to happen. Undercover police officer was run over while crossing the street. Megan Gleason stopped to assist. There was nothing anyone could do.”

Those who witnessed the accident said he was crawling across the street. I cannot make since of it. What grown adult would crawl across the street? I need to drown out the droning voices. I turned on my CD player a Beetles song came on ‘Yellow Submarine’ I never could figure out the lyrics. “We all live in a yellow submarine” If I did I would more likely see a whale out my window not reporters.

I know I should eat something. I need a lift to my well being. Nourishment would help yet I cannot seem to muster the energy or decide what to make. With glass in hand I browsed through my refrigerator. I decided curry eggs with sauteed onions would do the trick.

As I finished my eggs there was a knock at my backdoor. I hesitated until I heard a familiar voice call my name. My boyfriend John. I lunged for the door, it flew opened. John stepped in quickly and wrapped his arms around me. He said: “I came as soon as I heard.”

I said: “I am so very glad you are here.”

John urged me to go into the living room with him and sit down. A knot immediately wrapped itself around my intestines. As I sat with him on the sofa John said:” The man who was crawling across the street was an undercover police officer. He was nearly dead before you hit him. The coroner said he was shot and beaten. You did not kill him when you hit him.”

I looked at John and said: “Thank you for telling me, but I am not sure that helps. He is married to Monica my client. There is a part of me that is glad he is gone.”

John looked at me and said: “They say a pipe was used to beat him. They have not recovered the gun that was used. Do you think Monica had anything to do with it?”

This comment stopped me dead. I shook my head lamely.

John said: “Thus far his partner and commander said that he was off last night. They also added that it does not mean he did not take a call from a snitch he trusted only to be jumped.”

I shrugged my shoulders and asked: “Do you think they will find out what happened?”

John said: “Situations like this, many variables, there is a slim chance. Right now, no one has any idea what he was doing there and who he was meeting.”