I stand near my car while two of the officers cautiously approach the
trailer and peer into the street-side window, the one with the bright pink
sticker. I hear one say that he can’t see inside. They go around to the
screen door and knock. The broken exterior door is missing. “Hey!” one
of the officers calls out. “Hey! Come out.”
Someone stirs inside, and the man in the Carhartt coat emerges. He
leans against a curbside fire hydrant, tucks his hands in his pockets, and
looks down at the ground. A moment later, the woman storms out, fir-
ing a string of obscenities at the officers. She stands near the door, arms
crossed in front of her chest. “I know my rights,” she yells. “Her dad
knows I’m here and doesn’t mind.” She scowls at me.
The officers look my direction.
“No, she doesn’t have permission,” I call over to them.
“She’s a liar,” the woman shouts.
I look away.
The officers tell the man and woman they need to leave, that if theyreturn, they’ll go to jail. The officers wait outside the trailer, watchingthe woman gather her possessions. The man sits on the fire hydrant. Istand by my car.
One of the officers in the SUV calls me over to sign the trespass orders.
“Hey, aren’t you Joe’s sister?”This town is too small.
“Yes,” I say. “Who are you?”
He tells me his name is Robert, that he was in my brother’s class in
school, two years behind me. He also apologizes that they couldn’t make
it out to the trailer over the weekend.
“Oh, no worries,” I say as casually as I can, trying to compensate for
Saturday’s outburst on the phone. “You’re here now.”
When I sign the trespass orders, I write my name on the wrong line,
in the space where the trespasser is supposed to sign. Robert points this
out. I apologize.
“Just cross it out,” he says. “I don’t have people like this sign any way.”
“Yeah, me neither,” another officer chimes in. “I always write ‘re-
fused.’ I don’t want them touching my pen.”
From the trailer, one of the officers walks over to where we stand.
“She’s sober for once,” he says. “And he looks better than I’ve seen
him in a long time.”
I hear the woman still cursing at the other officer. “You know them?”