Homecoming

“Now, what did you say happened again?” The officer wrote on a worn notepad. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I could tell he was rolling them behind his dark aviators.  Marie was putting up a fuss on the boardwalk.

“I said, He jus’ took off with my purse. I paid a lotta money fa dat, ya know. I was jus walkin wit my girlfran Jessica here, and all a sudden this guy comes outta nowhere and rips my purse outta my hand. I screamed at da guy, but he just took off and I’m wearin these new heels I got from that shop on Grand Street. Ain’t they nice? I got em for only forty dollas,” Marie took a break from smacking her gum and blew a pink bubble that snapped loudly as it popped. I was almost embarrassed to be standing here with her. Passing tourists were stopping to gawk. I gave them a glare to scare them off—there was still a little Jersey left in me.

The officer sighed, “Yes, anyways, what did the man look like?”

“Hell if I know!” Marie barked. “He was wearin’ one of them black hoodies from that store down the boardwalk a ways. Ya know, Paula’s? Only reason I know that is ‘cause my fiancé Jimmy has the same one. I saw the label on the back, looks like the same one. Yeesh, it’s way too hot out here fa that though. My hair startin’ to get flat in the back. Ya know how long it took me to get it like this, and now I’m out here, sweatin’ my ass off because this dope stole my purse. An’ my friend Jessie is here visitin’ from Maine and this is just—“

“Ma’am,” the officer interrupted. “I just need to know what he looked like. Can you give me a general idea of how tall he was?”

“Ah jeez, he was like medium height, probly,” Marie pointed her finger at me. “Like the height of my friend Jessie. You gonna catch him?”

“I’m trying, ma’am,” the officer groaned. I felt bad for him—Marie was making this absolutely impossible.  It was great seeing her after all these years, but it just reminded me of how different I was after moving east for college.

“Well, I hope ya get him. I really liked that purse. Say, you gotta girlfriend? You want my friend Jessie’s numba?”

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