Monday, February 23, 2009


We are on our way. We may update, we may not.

It feels a little unreal to be going away. I was going to take some time due on Saturday and spend a little extra time putting things in order before we left. That plan came to a halt around 10 in the morning, when I got a call from the patrol sergeant running the shift that day. They had a 22 year old man dead in bed. The man was living in a small group home, and had a few diagnoses including autism, seizure disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

I went to the scene and met with the evidence tech. Fortunately our best ET was working that morning, and she told me that nothing looked suspicious. I arranged to have the night detective come in early to interview the staff and residents.

The organization that runs the home notified the parents and they were there already when I got there. Once the ET was finished with everything I made the decision to let the parents see their son and say their goodbye instead of barring them from the room and making them wait to see him at the morgue or at the funeral home. I prepared them for what they'd see and walked them upstairs to his room, and stood by in the doorway. When they were finished I took them back downstairs and explained the procedure for retrieving his remains from the medical examiner after the autopsy. I sat with them while they made some calls and contacted their pastor.

The autopsy was performed Sunday morning, and didn't reveal a cause of death. It will be 8 to 10 weeks before the lab results and toxicology report come back. It would have been nice to call the parents and be able to tell them something, but I had nothing for them. Just the news that they'd have to wait another two months to learn anything else about their son's death.

As it turns out I really didn't need the extra time off to get ready. It's just me and MizBubs, and we pack pretty light. Our girls--really our young women--are fine on their own and are two of the smartest, most trustworthy people I've ever known. We made sure the refrigerator and pantry are well-stocked for them. My desk at work is cleaned off and I managed to tend to a lot of last-minute case assignments and messages while I was in on Saturday. Our house of chaos is even in reasonable shape. It's always easier leaving when it doesn't feel like you're running away from a mess.

The best thing about this morning was making the ritual trip to the bank to tally up the change jar. Our Trader Joe's coffee can yielded $236 and change--the amount of coin I've dropped in there since our last trip to New Orleans in March 2008.

Last night I dreamed I was teaching at an elementary school. The dream was confusing but pleasant. There was a lot of activity as I came in to take over the class from another teacher. The kids had already been assigned into groups, and I was having the kids assemble and write the group names on the chalk board. Parents were there, and it was hard to keep track of things because parents and other staff kept coming and going bringing kids in and out of the classroom. The dream ended with me taking the class on one of those dinner trains, and sharing a big meal with the students and their parents. It turned out we were on a field trip, and next thing the train was heading across southern Louisiana through a cypress swamp. We passed a flooded town that had a huge sign facing the tracks that said "THIS TOWN HAS BEEN ABANDONED".

By the time this publishes we should be in the air and flying south to the land of char-groiled oysters and badly-named titty bars. We should arrive in time for the Orpheus parade, and then it's all Sazeracs, freakshow and good times...

Take care of yourselves, and we'll see you soon.


Dale said...

Have an excellent time!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Have fun you crazy kids!

SkylersDad said...

Enjoy yourselves, don't worry about us we are fine.

Oh yeah, it the key to the door still in the hide-a-rock in the front flower bed?

FranIAm said...

Oh my - have fun. You should get in touch with Grandmere Mimi. She is a delight to meet and that is her town, our grande dame de Nawlins!

I have her em and so forth if you want to connect, although I realize you may not have time.

Lisa said...

I just know you're already there, having fun, soaking up the atmosphere. Have a blast!

Doc said...

Do me a favor: Drink to much, eat lots of exotic and rich food, frolic like newlyweds, and do something you might be ashamed of later, and if you get the chance, send Dale a naughty post card.

Have fun,

Gifted Typist said...

cya, have fun