Friday, March 31, 2006

Heard on the train this morning

"Dad? It's me. Listen, Mary and I had a dispute last night. She started getting upset with me and hitting me and stuff, and now she's in 24-hour lockup.... The cops asked me how old I was and how old she was, and although it was consensual and her mother knew about it and everything, that I might go to jail for statutory rape...

"What? She's sixteen. No, SIXteen.

"Anyway, they said I might get something in the mail from the DA within four days. If I don't get something by then, it probably means they're going to let it slide.

"I'm on the train now, I'm on my way to Grandma's. I've been at the hospital and I've been up all night, so I hope she'll let me get some sleep there, until you get off work.

"OK, I gotta go. I'm using somebody else's cell phone and he's gotta get off at the next stop. OK. See you later."

What a heartbreak! I can only guess what life is like for this guy, his girlfriend, the rest of their families... The guy who lent out his cell-phone told him to "hang in there" before he got off. I got off 2 stops later, and told him I'd say a prayer for him.

It is astonishing to me to see a kid in front of me, who looked like an only slightly edgy middle-class teen-ager, whose life is so different from my life or that of my kids or, I hope, kids they know.

May God have mercy on him, and on us all.

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