Bearing Witness

I don’t think I would make a very good criminal witness.

I mean the description part, mainly. I watched a guy get into a car that pulled up beside him outside a restaurant one day and my mind started formulating a story. “What if he’s never heard from again. What if the driver of the car wasn’t the person he thought it was and they’ve kidnapped him.”

The police would  ask me for  a description of the car and all, since I was an eye witness. That man’s life could depend on my memory. He’s hanging in the balance while I’m trying to describe exactly what I saw. Poor man.

“Well, officer, it was silver with a little beige, depending on how the sun hit it. You know, sort of silvery beige that looks like it’s been in the sun too long. That’s it.”

“He was wearing tan pants — not brown tan, a little more like cream — more light colored. They were wrinkly, too.”

And to think I’ve been married to a law man all these years. You’d think I would pay more attention to the details. Actually, I think I do  – that’s the problem. I try to fit all the details in. One thing always reminds me of something else and then I include that in my story.  The person I’m talking to just glazes over.

What the what?

I’m sure I would be the same way with weather events. If the weather channel people ever come to my house to ask me to describe the tornado that just hit, look out. I just hope I can come up with something different than, “it sounded like a freight train.”

My description would probably be something like this: “It sounded like a train that sounds like a plane flying too low and you think it’s going to hit your house, so you run outside to get in your car. Then you remember that your dogs are still in there, so you go back to get them and realize the stove is on. You don’t want the house to burn down, so you run to the bathroom to make sure you didn’t leave the flat iron on, too. By then you realize it was just a train rumbling down the track and all is well. That’s what it sounded like – a rumble – kind of like a freight train.”

Does anybody else do that?

So, moral to this story? There’s not one — except, pay attention to details. It could save somebody’s life some day when they’re being taken hostage in a slightly beige car.





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