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Fugitives of Justice

Thank god I finally was caught and cited
for doing something that I didn’t do.

Just think how much worse I would feel
if I actually had done it,
as I have done so many stupid thoughtless things
without getting caught,
at least not by the judicial system.

I hope it all balances out
and at least I can face the music
knowing of my innocence this time,
and continue hiding all my negligent guilts from other times,
failing to read bedtime stories when they could have helped,
failing to remember to touch with kindness
especially when hurts could thereby be healed.

We sometimes confuse reasonable human error,
perhaps negligent in the absence of other stressful distractions,
with deliberately choosing to respond to damage
with full-willed intent,
to actively evade responsibility for damage,
for life’s victimizing owies.

And sometimes our front line justice system,
we have both inherited and created
to leave for our children to suffer against
and rejoice with,
further fuels this confused misunderstanding
confuses poor communication and human error
with taking high risk evasive action
far outweighing positive,
far less time and money invested,
opportunities to act
in a more socially acceptable spirit of cooperation
by exercising a basic Golden Rule orientation
to self-with-other governance.
When this happens, we evade credibility,
to too quickly embrace criminalizing responsibility,
perhaps due to our own overly-paranoid imaginations.

Communication.
Economic and political life is all about misunderstood messages
and sending out clear, consistent, redundantly positive messages.

Would any right mind,
when asked by a witness to a car door ding,
“You’re going to leave your number on their windshield aren’t you?”
would anyone fully insured,
totally sober
with a pen and paper in the car,
truly respond to that question with a “no”
and then drive calmly and slowly off,
leaving plenty of time for multiple witnesses to get a plate number?

Maybe.
Maybe if he had looked at the cherry red truck
and could not see damage
that portended a visit for needed cosmetic repair.

Then again,
maybe the witness only asked this question
in the silence of her own imagination
or out loud but at a level of discreet volume
restricted so only she and those with her could hear.
After all,
you don’t want to confront a crazy stranger
in a busy parking lot
who just might need some help
coping with his psychotic daughter
having an ill-timed manic episode,
laughing hysterically while blasting Ella Fitzgerald
singing “Love For Sale” across the medical center’s parking lot
right?
Or wrong?
Or maybe something in between?

Who are the victims here
and is there even one that could not have been made stronger
and healthier
with and by a stronger spirit of cooperation?
Thereby making it even more likely
that next time,
next place,
next cherry red truck,
next victims of life’s little transitional challenges
will get things better,
rather than climatically worse.

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