Carpet as a Rorschach Test
Some days I wonder if being homeless and a drug addict would be any improvement.
Ding-dong! Of course, that made Buddy start barking. How can anyone nap around here?
Whoever invented doorbells should be wired to one.
“Hello. Can I help you?”
“Sorry, but I can’t open the door (a head pokes at a one-inch gap with its nose) or the dog might get out.”
“Is David home? I need to see him.”
Now that’s a curious survey you doing, lady with a clipboard.
“No he isn’t. Why?”
“Then is his mother home?”
“No. She’s gone too. What you need?”
“I am with DCFS. We received a report about David, so I need to ask a few questions.”
Mindless stare. Has Big Brother arrived?
“May I come in?”
The dog stays back and waits, which is surprising. I open the door.
“Pardon the mess.”
A pair of pants and a towel get moved from the recliner to the couch.
“Here. Have a seat.”
Excuse the mess. People always say that. A house could be as shiny as a brand-new dime, yet someone in charge will not only say the phrase, they will sincerely mean it. I eye the carpet on the way.
She settles into the cleared chair. I sit facing her from the couch, towel and pants at my side. Her pencil hovers at the ready.
“Now what is your report about?”
“Someone called who is concerned that David is not being fed properly.”
“What? Who in the world said that?”
“We are not allowed to say. But before we get started, I need to know who exactly you are.”
“I am the boy’s father.”
Surprise; eyes to clip board.
“Hmm. There is no mention of your name on here anywhere.”
What can I say, lady?
“So what questions did you want to ask?”
“How often is he fed? Let’s start with that. Breakfast? Lunch? Supper?”
Did he walk the dog while not wearing his shirt? Some nosy neighbor saw him through their blinds?
I nod to all three.
“Do you have a working smoke alarm?”
If that thing starts beeping now, I am sunk.
I nod hopefully, saying yes.
“Do you keep weapons anywhere in the house?”
My tongue. A drawer full of sharp knives. Bleach. Ammonia. The coffee-maker. Rocks lining the flower bed outside.
“Just a computer.”
She did not stay long (after seeing all the food in the house).