Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The woman at the precinct

The woman is about 5'4, slight build, 50ish with silver-white hair in a tidy bob. It's still damp from the shower. She is dressed entirely in black: black riding breeches, shiny black equestrian boots with a two-inch heel, worn, quilted black jacket. Her accent is American but polished, and she is carrying a designer bag. Small gold drop pearl earrings and chunky tortoiseshell glasses. Also designer, I suspect.

If I were 12 years older and had serious money, I like to think I would look like this, but I could never be that severe. Some turquoise would find a way onto my person; there would be a headband or a neckerchief, something. Artsy earrings, or strange European shoes.

I am behind her in line at the Seattle PD's precinct on 5th between James and Cherry--the new one, right across from the new city hall, in the same building as the new muni court. This precinct doesn't look like the ones I used to hang out in when I was a crime reporter. It's clean, for one thing, and it's been beautifully designed with poured concrete floors and textured concrete walls, recessed lighting and nice chairs. It's the money precinct.

She goes to the window and she asks, in a voice that doesn't seem to carry but does in the bank-lobby atmosphere, for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. From her demeanor, she might be shopping for melons at the farmer's market, but she asks whether felons are allowed to join the military. She asks someone else a minute later.

I look at the girl in line behind me. She is about 20 with badly dyed red hair, cheap black synthetic pants, and a knock-off bag. Her name is Monette, I will learn when the police call her name. Her eyes have grown wide as she listens to the woman at the counter, and we giggle at one another very, very quietly. She gestures to her boyfriend to tell him about her. They whisper fervently for a moment.

"You do not need a concealed weapon," he tells her, and walks back to his chair.

1 Comments:

Blogger debra said...

Great story, Brooke. The visual impression is fabulous! I'd probably have a touch of red. Too much black'd be too severe!

8:39 AM  

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