Not in My House
I just returned from the Brewers home opener. I had a great time. I love baseball, and it was a pleasure to spend the day at the ball park. I mean, I watched baseball, today! How great is that? It was also nice to see the Brewers churn out a win.
What wasn't so nice was driving past a brutal fight on 38th and Wisconsin as I was leaving the park. After swerving to avoid the body of a man who was swung into oncoming traffic, I immediately reached for my phone and called 911.
When I told the operator the situation, she said, "You need to talk to Milwaukee county." After waiting a moment to be transferred, the next woman said, "I don't know why you called me! This is the Sheriff."
My response was swift, and simple, "Hey, lady, sorry to trouble you. I'm just a concerned citizen trying to report something. Don't let that get in the way of not helping me." She decided to take the complaint and said she'd get it to the right person.
While continuing to drive on, I realized I had no idea what would ultimately happen behind me. But I did know that I didn't even hesitate to call 911. It was almost a natural progression. I don't know why I reached for my phone; I just did. That's the way I was taught, I suppose.
Or maybe it's because even though I have no idea what started that fight, or who was fighting who, I felt an obligation as a citizen of this city to do my part to help it stop.
I donno. Maybe it was just a selfish inclination. I was pretty angered by the whole thing, to be honest. I had just had a fantastic baseball-filled afternoon, and after a wicked morning rain, was enjoying the sunshine that somehow made its way through the clouds, and turned the day gorgeous. I still had the smell of the tailgater's charcoal grills in my mind, and I come around a corner to see what?!
I don't want to see violence on MY city streets, and I can not understand a mentality that says, "Not my problem." That fight became my problem the minute I laid eyes on it. The mentality I had was more along the lines of, "Not in my house."
If that is, in fact, a selfish inclination, I wish more people would have them about the goings-on in our city. I believe it implies a sense of ownership, and people who take ownership of something tend to care more about it.
As the scene got smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, I found myself thinking of the post I wrote about Raheim Patrick, and the reason for writing it. Because I can't help but wonder how different things could have been for that boy had someone picked up the phone.