Art by Molly
Last Wednesday I got a call from my boyfriend but didn’t pick up the phone. I was sitting with my niece watching Dora the Explorer and didn’t feel like answering. He called again. And again. I sent back a text, “i’m with the babyyy,” and the calls stopped. I found myself an hour later calling him back in the bathroom of a deli. He didn’t answer. His phone was off. I called again. Nothing. I called for 24 hours and sent about 37 different texts that ranged from, “what’s up bunny” to “you can’t do shit like this to people you love,” but still no response. I was convinced he’d taken off with some woman, and I was going to get one of those weird emails that told me about his child that he had while living in New Mexico, and that my mother was right that you can’t just meet someone in New York City in a cafe and expect it to work out, and i’d feel kind of suicidal for awhile, and then i’d get over it with a lot of bad bodega snacks and a call to a very stable friend who was now living in Boston. However, I wasn’t ready to give in to these personal fables and I started to act. These are the five steps I took to uncover my missing lover!
1. Go on a semi-scam website and pay $22.95 to run a background check on the man you love!
So after his little brother, best friend and family are also in the dark about where their adult son is, and they all assumed he was with you, panic will set in. You will want to confirm that your boyfriend is not in fact an x-con who has been tracked down and murdered by a secret mob. The best way to do this is to find a website that will allow you to pay for a background check of your boo. I suggest InstantCheckmate.com, but you can surely find others. After you pay the fee, you have full range to the person in question’s former addresses, marital status, children, and criminal record. The best part is you also have a month of free access to look up all the other creeps of dating past that still might haunt you.
If your boyfriend is an angel like mine, the site will have robbed you of your money and reveal nothing except that he actually moved to Georgia in April of 2009, not March.
2. Go to your local police department and file a missing person report.
After crying in the shower for about 45 minutes, and having some strange clarity and grace under pressure to be able to fix the leaking faucet that has been broken for four months out of desperation to at least “do something” it is best to walk the 9 cold Brooklyn blocks to the local precinct. You will walk in and give the old lady at the desk your loved ones name and date of birth. She will hand it to the punk police man behind her who will look you in the eyes, confirm the address, and then say, without much emotion “oh yea he got arrested.”
You will stop. You will swallow. You will say, “for what?” in a low voice.
“Resiting arrest in the subway.”
You will get very angry. You will say thank you and you will leave and swear under your breathe howstupidcouldhepossiblybe and heissoinbigtroublemisterwhenhegetsout, and then you will start to cry a little bit and get really scared and know your search isn’t over.
3. Head downtown to Central Booking.
Your gut instinct tells you not to tell anyone just yet what’s going on, but you’ve gotta know. You remember where the courthouse and local holding cells are because you use to babysit next door to the building. Inside you go through a metal detector. It is about midnight now, and you look a little too sweet in your Hello Kitty sweatshirt. You walk to the front desk and again give your baby’s name. The older gentleman looks up and says, “his case was dismissed last night. He’s out.” You seem skeptical. You walk out of the courthouse. You walk about 20 more feet. You then turn around, go back through security, and ask again. You are sure he would have called if he had gotten out already. The man looks in his computer again.
“Oh wait, no, they didn’t let him out. They didn’t have time to see the case. They sent him to Rikers Island for the weekend.
(Lil Wayne was there)
(Lana Del Rey sings about that place…)
“Here’s the number if you need to get in touch.” the clerk interrupts.
“His hearing will be Monday morning.”
4. Panic, Panic, Call every free legal clinic, look up his arrest number 3,000 times, cry in bed for the entire weekend, wonder why he can’t call you, call the Chaplin at Rikers Island, try and leave a message, panic more, call out of work for Monday, decide to go to the hearing.
Pretty self explanatory. At this point you have found out that he used his brother’s student card at the subway turnstile and didn’t listen when the undercover cop tried to stop him. Oh yeah, and he had a missed court date from traffic violations from 2011, so there was a warrant for his arrest. You read somewhere in the early morning of internet searching that he could get seven years in prison, or maybe it was seven days? The number cuts through your lungs and tears spill in your pillow. You don’t know if you will make it all the way to Monday.
5. Dress like a BOSS and show up to court to take your man home!
Your dad once told you (who by the way knows NOTHING about this) that when you go to court you have to dress well. You do. You wear the best outfit you own. You walk into the courtroom after two sleepless nights like you own the place. You observe many public defenders around you, the care they are taking with their clients. You notice many of them are women and realize, Beyonce was right, girls run the world. You find the court room where your beloved’s case will be heard. His name is last on the list so you figure you will have to wait awhile. Three different people ask you to, “Please sign in, Attorney.” You really do look THAT good and regret again not going to law school. You sit through traffic violations, battery hearings, and even a sexual abuse trial. Finally, someone asks you, “who are you here for?” You are weary, and entering the 11th hour. You say his name again.
“Oh yeah, we can let him go home now. His file is clear.”
You feel too tired to register the news as good. You sit in the hallway. Suddenly the door opens and he walks out, with prison shoes on, and an orange. He comes to you and hugs you. He couldn’t call your number because it was out of state. Your life just got a lot more real. You want to yell but are too overjoyed to find a mean thing to say. You just hug him back. You hug him and say I love you I love you I love you. You realize you do.
– Laura Marie Marciano