Saturday, September 3, 2011

Track Star has Left the Building

Once again Thursday night rolled around and once again Tutwiler got a little crazy. This Thursday was probably the most interesting night I've had as a RA to date. This Thursday will forever be remembered as Operation Track Star.

I was not on call that night but I was around because I work the desk from 2am-5am on Friday mornings. Hmm I guess the best way to break this down is by time. All times are approximations, my memory may fail me on the specifics.

12:15 am--I headed downstairs to do some laundry before my shift. As I was walking toward the elevators I heard someone crying. I tried and tried to locate the source of the tears but the sound faded as I went down each hallway. That's when I realized the crying was coming from the vending machine room. Homegirl was in the floor crying and talking on the phone. It was apparent she had been drinking but she wasn't too bad off. I asked if she was okay and she informed through sobs that she was talking to her ex-boyfriend. We had a coherent conversation so I decided to let her have a nice little inebriated chat with her ex and come back and check on her later. So I went downstairs to put on my laundry. Fast forward 45 min.

1:00 am--I decided to walk back up to my room to grab a few items before my desk shift started. I was in the hallway and right as I was about to reach my floor I see a another RA dart into the stairs. She spotted me and said "Hey, help me catch this girl!" The girl was running up the stairs and let me tell you she was fast as lightning! 

Ok, back up 5 minutes. When I was leaving downstairs to go to my room another RA stopped me and asked me to heat up her pretzel in my room before I came back down.

Now back to the chase scene. I join my fellow RA in pursuit of whoever she is chasing while holding a pretzel. My out of shape self is huffing and puffing and hoping that this crazy chick will at least sprain an ankle and slow down. But no, she flew up 7 flights of stairs before she decided to stop. She was so far ahead of me that the whole way up I would stop at each floor, panting and wielding a pretzel, asking people if they had seen a crazed drunk run by. I finally spotted her on the 12th floor and lo and behold its the crying girl from the vending machine room. (Time of capture appx 1:15am)

At this point our conversation was anything but coherent and she didn't even remember talking to me earlier. Now she was refusing to talk to me. She couldn't walk straight, was slurring her words, obviously intoxicated, and was bleeding from her ear. Our conversation went a little something like this...

Me: Hey sweetie, are you ok?
Track Star: I'm fine. Leave me alone.
M: Are you sure? Why were you running from the other RA? Do you know you're bleeding?
TS: I'm fine. I don't want to talk to you.
*she then tried to get away from me but I put my body between her and the stairwell because I had barely caught my breath from our first sprint*
M: Quit trying to leave, we need to talk.
TS: I am not going to talk to you. My roommate can come get me.
M: Well you either have to talk to me or someone above me so how about you and I discuss this so no one else has to get involved. 
*Meanwhile the other RA is calling UAPD bc Track Star is becoming quite belligerent.*
TS: I will not talk to you or anyone above you. Only your equal.
M: Well you ran away from my equal so why don't you and I talk

1:30 am--This is when our Community Oriented Police (COP) officer showed up on the scene. He talked to her, noticed her ear and decided she was going to have to go downstairs to be looked at by the paramedics. After she was seen by the medical team, signed a refusal to be transported and appeared to sober up a little bit she was returned safely to her room. She tried to give our COP a hug when he left but he grabbed her arms and said "No, we don't do that."

2:00 am--I report for work at the desk and realize my laundry is still there. I inform the other desk assistant that I'm going to drop my laundry off upstairs and will be right back. When I reached my floor guess who was coming down the hall? Track star herself and her roommate. When I asked what was going on she said they were just going to talk in the common area. I skeptically nodded and went to drop off my laundry. I grabbed a diet coke to keep me awake for my long shift and headed by to the common area. Now Track Star is walking down the hallway leading to the stairs. When she saw me she gave me crazy eyes and once again took off down the stairs.

Okay, so normally I wouldn't be too worried but this girl was not alright and I could not in good conscious let her run off in that condition and not know what was happening. So I take off down the stairs, this time with a coke in my hand, and homegirl took off out the security door. She was barefoot, drunk, and had crazy eyes so I informed the RA on call that Track Star was once again on the run. She was out of the parking lot before I even was out the door. The proper authorities were alerted and soon there was a full blown search looking for this girl.

4:30 am--YES, 2 HOURS LATER. Track star is finally located and returned home. Safe and sound, still drunk and quite apologetic after being given a talking to by her very upset father. I had no clue where she went or how far she had to run to get there but at that point I was just glad she was okay. I dragged myself upstairs to finally fall asleep about 5:30 am.

Seriously y'all. Everyone needs to spend at least one 2am-5am shift with me just to witness what all goes down. Its quite ridiculous.

I have to add that the next day she very maturely came to find me and apologize for her actions the previous night. That helped her earn a little bit of my respect back. We ended up having a good talk about knowing our limits and not running from your RA. But she has definitely earned a nickname that will stick for the rest of the semester. And I'll always wear tennis shoes when I'm on call.