How ’bout a knuckle sandwich instead?

Code 2 for “can’t sleep,” possibly a psychiatric patient. At the 7-Eleven. At 2am. I was most certainly sleeping. PD is holding the call.

One PD unit is there, but he’s actually getting a snack. He doesn’t even know there’s a call. Our guy is at the payphone.

“Why did you call?”

“I want a ham sandwich.”

“Well, we don’t have any food.”

“Oh.”

“So, really, why did you call? Did you call just to say hi?”

“Yeah.”

“So you’re not sick?”

“No, not sick.”

“Do any drugs? Alcohol?”

“No.”

“You have any pain?”

“No.”

“You want to hurt yourself?”

“No.”

“So you don’t want to go to the hospital?”

“Yes.”

I should have phrased it better. But I’m half-awake.

“Yes or no – do you want to go to the hospital?”

“No.”

“Where do you live?”

“Over there.”

He points down the street, where a familiar group home for psychiatric residents stands.

The officer walks over, “Sorry, they just called for a fill here.”

“That’s OK, man.”

“Hey, didn’t I tell you to leave?”

“Oh, you dealt with him already?”

“Yeah, he was in there asking for a soda, and the clerk told him to leave. And I told him to leave.”

“Dude, get out of here.”

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