Last night was pretty fun. We walked up to the Kennedy School, taking a route that led us up Alberta Street (so hard to not stop and get an Italian Sidecar on the way).
Brian stopped near Alameda Street to get a yard waste can out of the middle of the street, and one of the neighbors thanked us for doing it. Apparently some teenagers had thought it’d be a good idea to hit the trashcan in their cars, knocking it into the street. I was just worried that the next car would hit it or swerve to avoid it and get into an accident, and that particular curve is a bit dicey to begin with so I was happy Brian did that.
We had a beer or two at the bar in Courtyard because Brian wasn’t in the mood to play shuffleboard (and the Boiler Room was packed), and wandered back down Alberta St, stopping to get a doughnut on the way (what? I had a sweet tooth).
It was a great October night for a walk, and I had a scarf, hat and gloves so I was cozy and enjoying the crisp air and kicking leaves. Fun to see how people carved their pumpkins (it’s Portland, so we saw one that involved three Pabst cans, hehe).
When we were about a block and half from our house, we waited for the light to change so we could cross, and these young teenagers came flying across the street at us. They were pretty young, I’m guessing fourteen or so. When people come running directly at you like that, you immediately tense up – are they going to ask for money? What’s going on?
One of the girls, out of breath, told us that there was a truck parked across the street with a little girl in it, all alone in the dark. They said they talked to her through the window, and she seemed to be okay, but the teenagers were worried. The teens said they waited at the corner for about five minutes to see if the little girl’s parents came for her, but that no one had.
The girls definitely came running to us because we were clearly responsible adults. I had that slightly strange feeling, I wanted to tell them, I’m not sure that I know what to do about this anymore than you do! I’m still a kid too! Really! And it made me laugh a bit that they chose to run up to a guy with a mohawk as a responsible adult. Brian walked toward the truck and the little girl tried to hide from him. Hmmmm.
The girls were very, very concerned about the little girl, and couldn’t figure out what to do. I am so touched by that, and that the three of them stood guard while they came up with a plan. They couldn’t split up, because either one girl stayed with the kid, while the other two got parents (dangerous) or one girl walked alone to get a parent (also dangerous).
I took a look at where the truck was parked and decided that it made sense to just knock on the nearest door and see if our neighbors knew who owned the truck.
The man who opened the door was probably about my age, and when I told him that there were some teenagers worried about the little girl, he was clearly embarressed. He said “I was just going to get her. She and her mother are on the way to the airport, but it’s taking her mother longer than expected to pack one of the bags.” The little girl was too excited and wanted to be in the truck so she could go to the airport. I remember doing things like that to my mom, I was a stubborn child too.
I felt pretty sorry for the guy, he was clearly concerned that I was accusing him of child abuse, which I so wasn’t. I hope in retrospect, he’s as touched as I am that three young teenagers were looking out for his daughter.