It was almost 8:30AM and Grey and I were heading into Phillipsburg to run some errands. Well, I was going to run errands and scratch items off of my endless list. Grey would probably watch a movie on his iTouch or stare out the window of our island hooptie. I slipped on my Tevas, grabbed my shades and hollered for Grey to hurry up. I wanted to make it to Cost-U-Less, our would-be Costco, before the rush. Given the constant traffic on the island and lack of stoplights, it would take at least an hour to go the 14 miles.
Sitting the in car with Grey laughing at ‘Hot Fuzz’, we had just exited the infamous Golf Course and were stopped in the middle of the intersection in Maho. I looked to my left and saw a guy on the ground. Not moving. Blood, an ambulance less EMT’s, 3 coppers standing over the body talking and police tape in a disorganized fashion strewn across 2 light poles signified the event. People were gathered about 10 feet from the guy, with blood on him as noted previously.
“Oh, shit, Mom! Do you see that?” Grey asked yanking the earbuds from his ears and leaning across me to get a better look.
What the… ?!? Traffic started to move so I moved along with it. Did I really just see a dead guy in the road? Why were there so many people around gawking? Why wasn’t he covered up?
“Mom, did you see that? Dude was dead. I’m calling Kyle when we get home. He’s gonna shit,” Grey said, pleased that he’d just witnessed this comedy of errors on the side of the road.
“First of all, watch your mouth. Secondly, you’re not going to call Kyle. Taffi just got Max to agree to take a cruise here and if you tell Kyle they’ll never come visit. We’ll talk to your dad about this after his Block exams are over.”
Allowing Grey to be the one to tell Jameson placated him enough to agree to not spill to Kyle. I, however, was going to figure out what we’d just seen.
Mental Checklist: go to internet and Favorite the Daily Herald website for SXM. This HAS TO hit the paper. Oh, and look for swimsuits that give your breasts a visible lift. The perkiness of the 20 something crowd was killing me.
The following morning Grey was at school, Jameson was on campus studying for his Block and I was heading toward Simpson Bay Pharmacy. The store had so many brands that I recognized from The States that I made a special trip at least once a month. I was sitting behind an endless row of cars when drivers started buzzing past me in the opposite lane – toward oncoming traffic that wasn’t coming due to construction. I figured I’d give it a shot. After all, I only had about 25 feet to drive to make it to the entrance of the pharmacy. No sooner had I pulled out into the NOT oncoming traffic then I was flagged to the pharmacy parking lot – by a St. Maarten Dutch police officer.
“Shit, shit, shit, “ I mumbled to myself while pulling into the parking lot. I noticed there were several cars I recognized. These were the cars that had buzzed past me. Score one for the Dutch coppers for setting up a sting operation.
2 men approached my island hooptie. One stood at the hood while the other tapped on the passenger window. I pushed the button to operate the auto-window and asked, “Hi, there. I’m guessing you want to see my license?”
The officer nodded and then I saw the other cop stroll to the car to my right. Ohmuhgawd! Copper just took a wad of cash from the driver and waved her on. Was I about to participate in some quasi-illegal activity? Can you actually pay police in St. Maarten without getting carted off to the big house? Is it called “the big house” here or was that strictly a ‘Cagney and Lacey’ or ‘Magnum PI’ thing? My pulse was racing, but then I started to think about Tracey Ullman as Frenchy Winkler and I started giggling. A nervous giggle – the copper noticed. As the other officer came back, pockets filled, they both reviewed my license and insurance and let me go because I was “legitimate”. I wasn’t sure if that was really the case, or if my nervousness made them nervous. Either way, I was out of there. I drove home without going to the pharmacy and mulled over my past two experiences with the St. Maarten police.
The next 3 days passed in a haze. Jameson took his final Block Exams and passed. He passed his Anatomy Shelf with flying colors. I quizzed him on the name. Again. No answer. We were all enjoying a bit of downtime before Mitch and Jameson’s mom came to visit for the holiday when I happened upon the story online regarding the dead guy in the road. Apparently he had died of “natural causes” per the Dutch police, but an independent investigation from the French side discovered that he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. I wasn’t sure what part of GSW could be considered “natural”, but I didn’t want to find out.
First semester was officially over.