“Oh, yeah.” He tells me that she usually isn’t wearing any shoes, that
she usually isn’t coherent at all, so high on methamphetamine she can’t
talk. “She’s got a couple kids somewhere,” he continues. “You might
know her brother. He’s our age, went to the same high school we did.”
My face flushes, and I begin to wonder if I went to high school with
everyone on the force. “I don’t think so.” But then, I don’t remember
most of my high school classmates. Most days, I smoked weed before
school, at lunch, and after classes let out, somehow still earning decent
enough grades to graduate a semester early. I wonder what he knows
about me and my past, if he’ll later tell the other officers, “She used to be
such a stoner.”
I walk back to my car so I can make some phone calls. I need to find
someone to tow away the trailer.
The first number I call says they don’t take trailers. Hardly anyone
does. “Have you tried calling the city?” the man on the phone asks.
“How about the police?”
The second person I speak to gives me the same advice.
“Do you take camper trailers?” I ask the third.
“Not interested,” the man says and hangs up.
I haven’t heard back from Bernard, so I try him again. The womanwho answers the phone tells me he’s not there. “He’ll get there when hecan,” she says.
Robert walks over to me and asks if I’ve had any luck.
He turns off the body cam on his chest. “I probably shouldn’t tell you
this, but if it were me, I’d tow it to a judge’s driveway—maybe then the
city will do something. Or maybe you can haul it out by the casino and
dump it there.”
I smile and nod. Though I appreciate his candor, I don’t believe it will
work. I’m beginning to think that I’ll be tied to the trailer forever.
The woman’s possessions—a black rolling suitcase, a cardboardbox, and a couple of canvas bags—now sit in the street. She still bumpsaround inside the trailer, cursing.
“Either way,” Robert continues, “you’re going to have to get rid of it or
someone else will move in.”
I know he’s right. Years ago, I never saw homeless people around
town, not like now, standing at busy Clarkston intersections with hand-
written cardboard signs—Homeless vet. Anything helps. God bless. Com-
munity leaders have responded by erecting their own signs—Keep the