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I've Decided

Dasani is a flake. Or perhaps he’s secretly been a recipient of an Obie. There are a handful of possibilities I’ve thought of, which I won’t delve into here, for why, on two occasions with me now, Dasani has acted like he has the intellect of a regurgitated rice crispy.

A few weeks ago the cool drink of water himself left me a voicemail asking that I call him.

I’ve kind of got it in my head that Dasani’s one of those guys who could bare-handed take down a rhinoceros if he felt like it. There’s just no doubt the rugged Task Force Sergeant’s insides are surging with Testosterone. So when I rang him back I expected he’d skip the passive-aggressive approach the other Law Enforcement Officers have tried with me -- pretty please, miss, it’d be gracious nice if you’d be so kind as to forget all about JADE otherwise we’ll have to start spite-ticketing you for any minor offenses we can drum up, or arrest you for obstruction of justice, or beat you by the side of the road until you’re black-eyed and bloody and compliant with us -- and go straight to a stormy “take down the effin’ picture of my wheels.” Only Dasani would use the real F-word ‘cause he’s tough like that.

Didn’t go that way in the slightest. After swiftly swapping how-are-yous, the first thing out of his mouth was “hey, are you in town by chance?” as if the thought had sprung into his mind that exact second. My brain half-jokingly translated: JADE has a drug bust planned and they want to know if I’ll be around to crash it. After I told him I was not there, the next line from him was “ummm… one day when you’re in town, give me a call, and, I’ll take you out to lunch, or, take you out for some coffee or sumthin’.”

Blink. Blink. “Why wouldja do that?” Blink.

“Cause I need t’… talk t’you about some things.” A length of silence, broken by his querying “is that ah-right?”

I inquired, chuckling because of his question, if he’d talk to me about them over the telephone. He refused with a solemn-sounding utterance he’d “rather do it face-to-face.” I told him I’d consider it. Sort of funny because there I was genuinely promising to weigh out an offer I suspected was for the most part fraudulent on his end.

From dial to disconnect the duologue was done and over in, truly, a minute. I, naturally, scrutinized everything about the conversation. Especially his odd one-day-get-in-touch-with-me bit. That made no sense. Whatever it is is so important it couldn’t be said over the phone, but when it’s said is irrelevant? He might’ve reasoned I’d contact him but he’d have no way of knowing if that would be in six minutes or six months.

No matter what were Dasani’s actual motives, I’d never reject a ripe opportunity to interact with someone in the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force. Everyone knows that. Therefore I’d called him a couple of times since. Like any properly conditioned JADE Charlottesville operative, he never picked up. Third -- and my resolved final -- time I left him a frivolous message. “Well you tell me to call when I’m in town and then you don’t ever answer your phone.”

The cell on my hip vibrated many minutes later -- digital ID displayed JADE hyphen Dasani’s last name. I was in the middle of trouble-raising and wasn’t prepared to bandy with the TFO right then. As soon as I’d finished my mischief, I buzzed him back. When he greeted me with “hello” I playfully let loose a skeptical “so you will return calls but you won’t take them.” Know what he said about it? This tripping over his tongue ramble.

Uhhmmkay… huh what?

Sadly the rest of the exchange never really rose above that level. The discussion lasted a trifling thirty seconds or so more than our previous one and was less productive.

Dasani made a half-hearted attempt to find out how long I’d be around while simultaneously, without me giving him any information, telling me he wouldn’t be able to meet until hours afterward. Then he implied that he’d be doing me a favor if he came out to talk at me. What. The. Hell. He initiated this; it hadn’t been my idea. Sure I was interested in hearing what’s on his mind but him not gracing me with his presence affects me about as much as a chicken’s hiccup. I delivered a sugared “never mind, that’s okay” about the possible one-on-one later and he responded apathetically “ah-right well I guess next time.”

Next time? Oh hell to the no.

Either the portentous subject matter the man alluded to earlier had depreciated over the last three weeks or it was, as I surmised, a charade from the get-go. I can’t remember why I took Dasani seriously in the first place. Ah, yeah, it’s coming back to me, something about his ability to pin a massive horn-nosed beast to the ground. Fortunately, there’s nothing he can say to crush that illusion.