(August 11, 2023) by Howard Diamond

This is the latest installment of a multipart story by Howard Diamond.
To view the whole story so far, click here.

For one, Ruth had not many changes, due to being similar 

Basically Ruth’s subtle change into a new twelve month cycle seemed similarly eerie to the way her previous twelve had concluded. Although she has a different phone number and new type of answering machine, the mystery man found a way to still make prank calls and texts to Ruth. Each call is practically like the last one, which causes Ruth much discomfort and too much unnecessary stress. On Tuesday the twelfth of January, a few days from now, Ruth has her initial visit for the year with Jane, her therapist.

Back at the diner, Ruth continues to work about three days weekly, twelve to sixteen hours and more when she can. Over the months, she has developed and maintained a few friends plus she has several regular patrons that generally ask only for her. Often she walks up and down the blocks near the diner and beyond. Other times, especially days when not at the diner, she sits in the park or by the lakefront watching various fowl wade in the lake or birds flying around overhead. Apparently, Ruth does relaxation techniques, assorted exercises plus reads short books and magazines in an attempt to keep her calm most of the day. 

In addition, Ruth has made connections with some of the people also living in Generations Housing. Occasionally, they get together outside of the residences, which included spending almost six days over Thanksgiving in a cabin at Pine Woods Lodge, which is approximately fifty miles away from Lake Town. Four young ladies just enjoying relaxing and recreation while being one with nature and animals. They sang along with the folk music and live performances, plus they hiked on various guided wilderness excursions. Two extra special events were the Thanksgiving Feast when they served mounds of turkey with a plethora of sides and desserts. At Saturday Night Barbecue, food included delicacies like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, corn, nut roasting and smores.  All was elegantly prepared by the Pine Woods Lodge staff and everyone ate like there was no tomorrow. One big rule was posted everywhere plus was strictly enforced by all: No alcohol or smoking was allowed on or in the vicinity of the lodge.

 Besides going to the lodge, when funds were available, Ruth and friends would go for a cheap lunch or dinner, in or near Lake Town. One favorite of the group was the Asian Buffet, which had Chinese, Japanese and other Asian Delights for eight dollars for lunch plus ten dollars for dinner. Friday and Saturday nights were a dollar more. Other haunts were the two Italian Restaurants, Vinny’s Pizzeria, Pasta and More plus Mama Rinaldi. Also there is a good Mediterranean fair called Halal Palace which offers very spicy to extremely bland Islamic and Israeli delicacies from different cultures. Let’s not forget the two diners including the one where Ruth is employed. 

December through April, there was free entertainment at the library, three days a week sponsored by Town Hall. Once or twice a month, there will be live music performed at the one hundred seat theater. Most of these events were free plus no cost transportation was provided door to door from Generations. From May 1 to Thanksgiving, weather permitting, various extravaganzas were held in the park or by the amphitheater by the lakefront. 

The Police Station With Officer Grey, Mary Blackman and Others

Mary Blackman started working at the Police Department when this year got underway and Officer Alex Grey’s day was handled quite efficiently, but the Station was always very busy. This got exceedingly worse with Mary aboard. She meant no harm, but it seemed like Mary questioned almost everything the officers and squad did or said. She tried to assist the Narcotics Unit, but broke the flow of data collected because she thought she knew more than head secretary, Cindy Bradford and Unit Senior Officer Scott Davidson. Naturally, this mostly irritated Officer Grey who had less and less patience for her shenanigans in and around the precinct. Although Mary’s office skills were impeccable, her mannerisms had much to be desired.

Scott Davidson, a twenty eight year veteran and eight year head of the Narcotics Unit of Lake Town Police Department. He is 52, 6 foot about 190 lbs. of solid muscle with short graying strawberry blonde hair and green eyes. Four years prior, Scott’s life changed abruptly when he became a widower when his wife died of secondhand throat cancer and pneumonia. Although she never smoked, her father downed about seventy cigarettes daily. 

Officer Davidson is left with identical twin boys, born Christmas Eve Jason and Lance, 20. They are built like their dad, with darker brown hair and brown eyes. The biggest noticeable difference is that Lance has a full brown beard with longish brown hair while Jason has short, cropped hair and sported a reddish mustache. Currently, Jason is away at Stanford studying criminal law and Lance is studying to be a forensic cop at the local community College in nearby Paramount. His plans for the fall are finishing his undergraduate studies at either New York University in NYC or Duke University in North Carolina. Since being in high school, both of them spent a lot of summer days poking around the police station helping everyone they can.

Cindy Bradford 23, five foot five inches, athletic build, maybe 110 lbs. with longish blonde hair, blue eyes and a nose trained so that it can sniff out illegal drugs anywhere. Not really, plus not big in size, but it has been very accurate in detecting drugs and other narcotics plus being quite proficient in her office procedures. Also, bolstering her credentials,  she graduated from Indiana University last year with a perfect 4.0 in Criminal Justice. Hopefully, in a year or two, she will be attending Law School, and as of this time has applied to approximately a dozen, including Harvard, Columbia and Stanford.  

Generally, most people do not mess with Cindy because of her boyfriend. Chris Reubens, 21, is six foot two inch, 190 lb. brown hair, brown eyed, with broad shoulders and tree trunks for legs. In addition Chris is a two-time college wrestling second place All-American Scholar Athlete. Since his main competitor graduated in December he is positioned to be first place in his weight class. Also in the fall, Chris is scheduled to become the starting half back for his college varsity football team.

Mondays were usually the most hectic days for all the office managers at the Police Station. Mary and Cindy were no different as they had to catch up with the files from the weekend and since it was February 1, all active files needed to be updated and organized according to proper Police procedure. Cindy often helped Mary, and Mary helped Cindy, but each constantly found plenty of ways to complain mightily about the other and the ways situations are handled. Resisting change was never easy for Mary, so frequently she did enough to work with Cindy effectively. Over time all hoped that all will adapt, became more congenial, and would turn slightly calmer at the Police Station. Also, the two attempted to be more friendly, both at work and at play. Both Officer Grey and Officer Davidson can begin noticing the more relaxing environment. At least between the two ladies.

Towards the end of January at Hunter, Holly met with Taylor and discussed preparations for Ruth on Monday and Tuesday, February 8 and 9, because it will be two years since her attack. Taylor suggested that she talk this over with Ruth, but plan to go to her clinic appointment with her therapist, (Jane). By Friday, Holly did connect with Ruth. They agreed to get together on Tuesday February 9 at 4:45 pm, at the Pollock Mental Health Clinic. Then, Ruth called Jane to let her know and Holly found time to do the same.

Several times during this month, Officer Grey and Mary disagreed loudly because each thought they knew best. Neither gave much room for changing their steadfast opinions or perspectives on matters. As Office Manager, Mary knew plenty about the running of those functions, while Officer Grey understood police procedure and all of its nuances. Each time the participants would stand their ground and in the majority of the situations, they agreed to disagree. By month’s end, there was a tiny hint of some compromises in the air, but remained there. Maybe, someday these items will be settled, but no one knows when or how. Both agreed that this was highly critical for the continuity of all the departments. 

Various officers and visitors regularly went into Officer Grey’s room to lodge complaints about Mary. His hope was that in the near future Mary could adapt to the rules and decorum of The Police Department. There is always hope.  Other than her office proficiency, Mary’s best attribute was relating to the possible criminals plus  individuals entering and walking up to her window at the station. Somehow her often loud and her vulgar mouth often found a way to keep the people at ease as she appeared to speak their language. “Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom”.

To download a PDF of just Part 11 click here.
To download a PDF of the full story to date, click here.

Possible Developments Coming, Random Act By a Peer Specialist: PART 12 is arriving here soon.
Howard Diamond is a Certified Peer Specialist from Long Island,  New York

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