Comforting Words: Performing Arts My Ass! Chapter 3

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Performing Arts My Ass! Chapter 3


Late 2009 I was selected and sent to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to be trained and certified as a Negotiator. On some level it feels like it was too late to help someone I had lots of respect for.

Back on February 25, 2006 had I possess the negotiating skills that I now have things might have turned out differently.

On that fateful night, I was the only one standing between Whacko and a murder-crime scene.

Tried as I might, Whacko insisted that The Witch deserved to die and the killing was going to be done that night.

Still caught between Whacko and the front door I offered to drive as far as necessary to calm the situation (and my nerves) down. Whacko was not listening.

Finally, after what felt like an hour but were really minutes, Whacko said that my offer of a ride was good but not to some distant place as I wanted but to a major street – Jasper Avenue – not far from where we were.

On the elevator ride down from the 11th floor apartment, as we entered my car and driving out of the parking lot my pleading intensified. Still Whacko was not listening.

We got to Jasper Avenue and I pulled over by a plaza and said "Here is Jasper, get out!"

Whacko refused.

"Take me to the house."

"No, you said Jasper, so get out," I screamed as my own plan was falling apart. My intention was that as soon as Whacko got out, I would pull away and do the unthinkable – call The Witch – to warn about what was going on then go get Whacko's sister so that she could intervene.

Either I was transparent or Whacko could mind read – whatever it was that was not going to happen.

"Drive!" Whacko demanded. "Take me to the house!" That was when it fully dawned on me that the hand pointing at my side from Whacko's coat pocket had a knife! I had seen the gesture soon after we left the apartment but it only registered then that Whacko was willing to hurt me.

I drove.

While not yet a Negotiator, I was still a Chaplain and Counsellor and so those skills kicked into full gear. I reasoned, stressed, pled, begged, prayed, cried and wailed but Whacko had a response to everything I offered as reason why taking another person's life was not the solution to the problem.

Yes, I agreed that The Witch was evil and yes it was true that Perfidia did nothing to help resolve the impasse about the house. Nonetheless, killing The Witch would do nothing but land Whacko in prison.

"You can counsel me there," Whacko said to my warning that prison life is not pretty.

Changing my tactic, I begged Whacko to think about implicating me in this drama. Not yet a citizen in Canada and being black was enough to land me in prison for driving Whacko to the house to kill The Witch. I even threw in my baby girl in the picture – hoping that Whacko would get the f… out of my car if not give up on this crazy path to conflict resolution.

The response to that was my story to the police would be that after getting to the apartment Whacko no longer wanted to go to my place so I left and went home by myself. I watched enough CSI to know that that story would never hold even if I was stupid enough to offer it.

What could have been a 10-minute drive even on wintry roads took me much longer. We finally got one block of the house and as we approached the intersection where I would have to turn left, we both looked down the street at the house.

"It's dark, no one's home," I said "Let's go." I quickly did a U-turn and was heading back where we came from.

"Good, I will wait in the dark," Whacko said calmly. "Pull over!" And there was that threatening gesture again.

I did and Whacko came out of the car but turned around, bent over and looked me straight in the eyes and said "If you call the police before I get to do what I came here to do, I will tell them you were my accomplice, capisci?"

Whacko slammed the door and headed off in the dark.

For a couple seconds I sat there paralyzed by the threat to deliberately implicate me.

"You have to do something!" the righteous Claudette screamed at me, dragging me out of my reverie.
First I called Whacko's sister and as soon as she answered the phone I screamed, "Call the cops; [Whacko] is going into the house to kill [The Witch]!

Not convinced that she understood me, I dialed The Witch's number but got a fast busy signal. I then quickly dialed Perfidia's number thinking maybe there was another number for The Witch that Perfidia would have access to but that number was busy too!

"F…!"

Within five minutes of Whacko leaving my car, I dialed 911 – no longer caring if I was going to spend time behind bars, I just could not allow this to happen as much as I was hurting by The Witch's deceit and evil.

An Edmonton newspaper would later report that I was so hysterical that the 911 recording of my call was almost inaudible.

The police instructed me to stay where I was until the response team arrived and that happened within a few minutes.

Many hours later, actually in the wee hours of the next morning I was called to the station to make a statement. My first question as I got to the receptionist desk was whether [The Witch] was okay.

"Yes, she is," the Officer said "But the other lady was wounded."

"Other lady?" I asked and as if on cue I looked beyond the Officer to see Perfidia through the glass doors beckoning to me in a sign language that took 16 years to learn "What are you doing here?"

I fell to the floor, in a mixture of disbelief, despair, disappointment and utter disgust, wailing so loudly and painfully that the Officer had me taken outside and given water to calm down.

Stay tuned for the conclusion!

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