Black Hand Coffee
I picked up Inger from Tucker. She was hanging out with friends at Black Hand Coffee and had a breakdown. She started out explaining the abandoned car that was in front of my house last spring. In short order, it turned to a story about the car belonging to Donald Trump.
Prezzy Darling, she said, stole the car to escape the Secret Service and hook up with her at her East 16th Street house. The drugs and money the cops found belonged to the Donald. Ditto the used condom.
Then . . . she got triggered. There was a guy in line for coffee at Black Hand who had a scant resemblance to the Donald. Not Trump, obvi, but with Inger, once she launches there is no stopping her. She bolted from her table and ran up to the guy, trying to jump into his arms, “Donny!! What’s Up!“
Dude was stunned. Total deer in headlights. He didn’t catch her, Inger stumbled into the coffee counter and hit her head, “why didn’t you catch me, Prezzy Darling!? I thought we were a thing!“
Inger touched her scalp and saw the blood on her fingers, “what did you do?” Dude didn’t, but now he was caught up in Inger’s reality distortion field, “DONALD!! Are you trying to kill me!?” He was not. Black Hand Coffee just become a crime scene.
Some of the cafe customers started to rush the guy believing Inger’s accusing tone of voice. There was some pushing and shoving as opposing narratives embodied were litigated in the cafe. The barrista pulled on the hand of Dude and both of them headed for the kitchen at the back.
Not the Donald
Friends of Inger sat her down away from the guy. There are cell phone videos and it’s clear that Inger is the aggressor. Someone in the cafe called the cops to report an assault.
Officer Khalid Harris got there in a half-hour. It took another ninety minutes to collect statements and fill out the police report. Inger was still amped so her statement didn’t make sense. She still thought Dude was the Donald and that he had tried to kill her by shoving her into the coffee counter. Khalid listened to her and quietly requested medical transport, ‘Khalid! What the fuck!? I’m the victim here. That guy tried to kill me! What are you doing! I’ll have your job! Fucking asshole!” And so on.
Inger was cuffed, searched and placed in a transport van while they waited for the ambulance. That just enraged Inger so they had to pull her from the van, pepper spray her and put her in a hobble. All on YouTube with the usual recriminations about how the cops are brutal, uncaring asshats.
The Twitter Outrage mob kicked into high gear. The evening after Inger was hauled away there was a mob that threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Black Hand Coffee. They finished the night on Monument Boulevard chanting, “No Justice, No Peace” on the median near the J.E.B. Stuart memorial. 3 arrests were made. Black Hand Coffee suffered some broken windows and a bit of charring from the Molotov cocktails.
CBS-6 interviewed one of the protestors who claimed that Black Hand Coffee was a racist cafe oppressing minorities. This was based on the name and an unchallenged assumption that Inger was brown and a lesbian. When the reporter tried to tell the protestor he was incorrect he shoved her in the face. The protestor also attacked the photographer. Riot over at that point. RPD stepped in and began pushing the crowd away from the J.E.B. Stuart memorial.
I drove by Black Hand this week. They are open. The broken windows are boarded up and the char scrubbed off the tan brick.
Sugar Cookie Finger
Inger is out. I picked her up last Monday. In her things were some summons charging her with assault and public intoxication. She’d stopped taking her meds because she was feeling good. That bomb kept ticking all summer. Then she started talking about Halloween and it got weirder. Then Black Hand Coffee. The Secret Service said, “meh.” They looked into what Inger was saying and dismissed it.
Now, the finger. I’m in the First Precinct. Inger’s Stuart Avenue house is in the Third. She’s created her own cross precinct footprint within the police department. The finger is in the hands of RPD and is evidence. Inger has Officer Harris’ card. She’s convinced that the Russian Mafia had something to do with the abandoned whip and that it is connected to the Donald. Officer Harris is convinced that Inger needs better meds. Inger is on the Secret Service’s radar now, though.
Officer Harris came to my house and spent a half-hour asking me what I knew about the whip and Inger. I pointed him to the two prior blog posts on the story: Inger’s Finger and No Pulse, Just a Finger. Khalid said they had DNA from the whip and were investigating. It’s not clear who the stray finger belonged to.
So, Inger . . . has turned her East 16th Street house into her own private detective office. She doesn’t have the evidence that the cops have so she’s been using her social connections to follow up leads. This is not making friends and influencing people within RPD. I mentioned Inger to Khalid and he let out a snort then an annoyed look flashed across his face. He doubled down, “we are looking into it.”
I’m writing this from my desk in the extra bedroom. Door knock. I hear the back door unlock. It’s her, “Alan I’m hungry.“
Kitten has a dry pantry you could eat out of for a year. She throws away food in her fridge because it’s gone bad. The last time I was over there her trash was full of Chinese takeout containers. She had wings and veggie fried rice circled on East Villa’s menu, “And you want me to cook?“
“I mean, if you want to.”
Not Cooking Today
“There is plenty of stuff in the fridge, help yourself,” I guess I didn’t want to fast enough. Inger gives me a dirty look and then starts opening and slamming closed the few cabinets I have in my galley kitchen. She bangs pots and pans as she works. My stove has a drawer on the oven that makes a satisfying bang if you aren’t careful closing it. She wasn’t careful.
It’s 11 am on a Monday, my day off. Since getting fired in August I’ve been working six days a week doing Uber and Lyft. I was up at 6:30 as usual and ate breakfast then.
I find this interesting. On Stuart Avenue everything is pretty. Nothing is ever out of place. The fridge is immaculate. Everything came from either Whole Foods or Ellwood Thompson’s. Inger tells me that her Mom and her people take care of Stuart Avenue. If she was there she could get her Mom’s chef to cook for her and it would be lovely. 16th Street? Not so much.
And this is the thing for Inger. She wants something of her own. Something she made. It would be so easy to slip into her lane, use her Gender and Sexuality Studies minor and Political Science major to work on K-Street, hook up with Charles, and slow walk through a career in lobbying, some kids, and retirement with a nice GS5 pension. All that went away when Inger lost her shit and claimed that a co-worker raped her. Plus, the stench of Charles still lingers on Stuart Avenue.
East 16th Street is a dump. It smells of hickory smoke, greens, and bacon. For the neighborhood it’s bougie. But Inger is from Old Gun Road. Her Mom thinks the house is a dump. This pleases Inger. Plus, the neighbors don’t really care what goes on inside her house.
She made two french omelets, “You are out of eggs. I made Orange Juice. Hungry? ” she asks me while doing something on her phone.
Not really, but the omelet looks good. Again with the tablecloth, cloth napkins, and service from Saks. Inger has upped her toothbrush game to include one of my kitchen cabinets. I seem to be the middle path between antiseptic and photogenic Stuart Avenue and chicken wings East 16th Street.
“What’s the latest on the stray finger?“
“Khalid is looking into some leads that point to Charles. I hope so. Asshole.“
Chuck E Cheese, last I heard, was off the radar in Taipei competing in Fortnite. Inger is good there, “what points to Charles?”
“The cops found an ac adapter for an XBox One and some dandruff. I had a swab of the back seat that I paid to have analyzed. Some of the DNA matched Charlie boy. He’s in ancestry.com. Creepy bastard.” You can say the evidence points to him being in the whip at some point. It doesn’t explain the expired New Jersey temporary tags or the pile of fast food leftovers with a receipt from Earl of Sandwich. “Plus, I found evidence of blood all over the way-back. I couldn’t get a sample, though.“
“Topic change. How are you? That was a pretty nasty scab on your scalp.” I haven’t heard anything more from the local news about what happened at Black Hand Coffee. Inger seems to have let it go except for the cut on her scalp, “I’m good. Scalp cuts bleed a lot so they look worse than they are. I got a couple of stitches and have to go to my doctor next week.“
“How about your meds?“
“Yeah, uhm, can you take me to the pharmacy? It’s CVS on West Broad at Boulevard.” Sure. Woo. Inger didn’t clean as she cooked. I don’t bother to ask who is washing dishes. I already know. Dirty dishes in the sink for just us two. I start to wash up. That gets me a hug.