Thursday, June 02, 2005

two nights ago a car had its windows broken in. as far as i know there was no reason. i heard it happen. at first, i thought someone was having problems shutting their car door. so, they were slamming it. but there was a counternoise to it. inbetween each car slam was what sounded like a popper that people throw to the ground in order to make it explode. it took about 5 of each sound to make me get up and decide to investigate. i saw nothing. i didn't see the guys who did it, i didn't see what they did. as i was standing out there i saw the owner of the car come out, look at it and raise his arms as if to say "what the fuck is this?". later, the cops showed up. i was standing on the sidewalk and they ignored me. admittedly, i was four houses down from what happened. the cops unhooked their guns and advanced on the neighbor's house. after a bit, the cops went to the house of the car owner. i went to bed.
the next morning i arose somewhat tired, because i had been waiting until one a.m. in case the cops wanted to ask questions (plus, apocalypse now redux was on). so, i managed on my to work to look over and see the car that had had its windows bashed in. every single one of them was either gone or bent inward. i got to tell my co-workers the story. it wasn't until i was driving home and on my block that i noticed there were two cars that had all of their windows beaten the hell out of. right next to each other. i know that the time from when i heard the window beating begin to when i heard it stop was all of ten to fifteen seconds. two cars, all of the windows. i hoped that the instance was a targeted thing and that the owner of the cars would shut his mouth.
tonight i was walking and on my way back i met the man who owns the cars. his wife and two small children were outside watching him try to punch out the rest of the windows with a hammer and piece of wood. she moved away from me. wouldn't look me in the eye. i went to him to ask if the cops had caught the guys who did it. he didn't speak english. this family lives there four houses down from me and they can't communicate with their neighbors. a quiet family (now i know why). i know they will get nothing from the police if they can't speak english. i know that whatever the reason for someone to want to break their windows they will not get any satisfaction or justice. it's a shame.
but how do you speak with someone who doesn't understand what you're saying? i used body language to tell him i lived right down the block. i hoped that he understood that he could ask me for help. somehow, though, i ldoubt it. i am a good actor, but this was different. he looked at me as if i was going to belt him. and i see someone who doesn't necessarily need help with the windows, but may need help with where he and his family live.
i'm a sucker for strays. that's why i have a cat.

1 comment:

airplanejayne said...

Here's a few suggestions that (may) work. Go to one of the local elementary schools (you may have to find a year-round one). Put on your best/sweetest face, explain event to translator and ask them to translate kind note into neighbors language.
Also, if the kids are school age, they usually speak at least a bit of English.
Finally, food gifts transcend all language barriers.