Later, at home in Amagansett, I sip tea in my studio, and light a fire, when the phone rings, which is a rude interruption now that silent emails have become far more the thing.
- I am from the East Hampton Police Department. Is your name Michelle Murphy?
In the nano- second that follows, I compute that two of the few people I love most in the world are out in a car inEast Hampton. I brace myself for the worst. I tell myself to be strong, that I can handle anything, that I will carry on and manage to survive.
Ok I admit it. I must have PTSD, and for good reason. Who else thinks this way? They guy on the other end of the phone didn’t sound particularly distressed. I tell myself that he is going to break the bad news to me gently so I don’t faint. I am home alone. I begin bargaining that maybe it won’t be terrible. Perhaps bad. But not horrible. Fixable.
That slow–motion-micro-second finally passes.
- Were you at the Hess station today?
Heaven not hell. The card. I picture it lying on the pavement as I listened to Keith bash those bastard police. If my card was hacked, I would only get what I deserved. Punishment for the doing two–things-at-once. My addiction backfired. Maybe there is a program, a fellowship.
- Hello my name is Michelle and I do two things at once.
I am back to bargaining. My family is safe. I love this policeman. I have always loved policemen. Those white gloved heroes, those crossing guards of my childhood.
He asks if I’ll be home for a while. He doesn’t want me to have to come all the way to Wainscot. He’ll come to me. He’ll bring it right to my door. He’ll be there in two hours. No problem.
I relent. I tell him I live next to McCartney. He’s not impressed but he knows just where that is.
The doorbell rings. My husband and I greet SGT. Joe Kearney. A beautiful young hero. We live inLakeWobegone. We live in paradise tonight. I get my Amex back intact and unhacked. . A retired fireman had picked it up. He hand-delivered it to the police station. He could have tossed it. But no. I am filled with awe and gratitude.
-So how did you get my phone number? It’s not listed.
-You must have called the police once. Maybe a barking dog, or something. We keep records. Your number’s in the system.
Boy have they got my number.
He called. He came. He delivered.
Counting Crows. “I live in a small town”. I sing that song pretty well and I sing it often and way loud whilst driving round these parts thinking of how I can do two or more things at once.