Probation officer #47: Good day sunshine

Pants pants. Ana hated them. She was right, though I didn't say so.

Pants pants. Ana hated them. She was right, though I didn’t say so.

This time Ana didn’t stay when our time ran out. Her work clothes were making her uncomfortable. It wasn’t so much that they were physically uncomfortable, though they were that. She didn’t like me seeing her look so sexless. So I broke some more rules, this time doing the right thing, by giving her another hug before she left. I whispered in her ear that she’d be okay tomorrow.

And I growled, “banana smoothie.” So I got a split-second smile and a nod before she left.

I got home feeling bleak. I’d picked up some of Ana’s mood. I thought I’d call Sa’afia and see if she was free on Friday.

But my phone rang before I’d had time to have a shower. It was Sa’afia, with promise and meaning in her voice. Her mother had gone out, and had just called to say she was looking after a friend and wasn’t coming back tonight.

Good day sunshine

Good day sunshine

So would I like to come round? To Sa’afia’s house? To help her have dinner? Possibly bringing her some wine?

I said I had sunshine on a cloudy day, and she said what in the world, and I said I’d be right there, and she said, oh! but it isn’t remotely like the month of May, and I said, May, Schmay, will you be naked, and she said, maybe, but there was only one way to find out.

It doesn’t take much to cheer me up.   

Oh, Rodriguez? When I’d found him, back on Monday morning, he said he’d missed his anger management class because he’d slept in. I said that if he thought the course was crap, that was exactly why he had to go to all the sessions. He had to show that he could put up with annoying things without going nuts, if he wanted me, and cops and lawyers and judges to stay out of his life. He asked me for a lift to work, and if I’d drop his kids off at school, since that was on the way. That was to annoy his wife. She didn’t approve of my van. 

But I liked my van, and Rodriguez’s kids thought it was hilarious. They made sure everyone at school saw them piling out of the sliding doors when I stopped by the school gates. So he got his matrimonial victory. I told him he could pay me back by going to his stupid course. 

And on Wednesday evening I put on a new shirt and got into my van. Then I thought more about the tone of Sa’afia’s voice, and went back inside to pick up spare socks, underpants, another shirt and a toothbrush. 

Probation officer #46: Electrical banana

“Okay, good. There’s something else you should know. You feel like shit right now, right?”

“Oh god yes.”

“It started on Tuesday?”

Ana looked puzzled. “Yes, it did. What about it?”

“It’s the eccy. Eccy come down is  a bit like a hangover. Not as painful but more depressing. It usually hits on the Tuesday after the Saturday night. They call it Eccy Tuesday.”

“Oh, that’s Eccy Tuesday. I thought people took eccy on Tuesdays. I couldn’t work out why.” 

banner“Eccy-taking Tuesday. Yeah. Anyway, your eccy drop’s going on a bit longer than usual, that’s all. Maybe because you had a lot on your first go. But drink lots of water, have a banana smoothie and get an early night tonight, and I can just about guarantee you’ll be feeling fine tomorrow.”

“Does it have to be banana? Mango’s nicer.” 

“No. Banana works better. With a bit of lime. Or lemon. You’ll have banana. And like it, girl.”

Since the smoothie was a placebo anyway, it would work better if I was specific and positive about the ingredients. Also, she’d called me “sir”. It had awoken the desire to have her obey me. The more arbitrary it was, the sweeter the obedience. In bdsm flirtation can get extremely obscure. In a probation service interview room, I hoped it was so damn obscure that Ana wouldn’t notice. 

bananana“Okay.” Ana smiled. “Banana it is.” 

Bdsm flirtation turned into clowning around, almost as if there’s not much difference between them. “Damn right it is. You’ll do as you’re told.” 

“If you say so.” 

I pulled myself together. “So. How are your classes going?”

Probation officer #45: Aegean Sea, Augean stables

I said, “Ah huh.” I wasn’t sure what Ana’s father had to do with her eccy consumption. I let that pass, for now, but it alarmed me.

Alarm came out as anger, as it tends to do. “Ana, eccy’s illegal. You know it’s a stupid law, I know it’s stupid. But there are cops who’d love to bust you for possession. There’s a judge who really wants to put you in jail. I don’t want you anywhere near eccy again. You don’t take it. You’re not to have it in your pockets. You’re not to have any in your bag. When a nice guy at a party who wants to fuck you gives you some?”

That was a question. Ana said, “Yeah, it was something like that.”

“Well, next time you tell him you’re allergic. Or something. Look at this glamorous room you’re in.”

aegeanAna looked at the chipped old desk stacked with files and the poster advertising holidays in the Aegean, the domestic violence poster and the poster giving numbers to call if you thought you were pregnant. “It’s one hell of a room, all right.”

“Well, the justice system has worse rooms than this. Much worse. So just until you’re out of trouble, Ana, don’t fuck with the law any more. You can’t afford it.”

Ana smiled. “Yes, Mr Probation Officer Sir.”

“No. I’m serious.”

“No. So am I. Sir.”

I don’t know if she noticed that second “sir”. I felt it, of course.