Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If the van is a-rockin' or, There'll always be a Belmont

Remember when Belmont was described by Realtors as every house buyer's dream neighborhood? Charming! Darling! Newly renovated! Mere steps from downtown! Jon and I used to snort at the hype because when you actually live here, you see that Belmont hasn't really changed that much. True, it's less common to see passed-out drunks in the park, but it was only a few months ago that Jon had to speak sternly to a man who felt that it would be perfectly appropriate to sleep off his hangover sitting on the curb across the street from our house--his back against a tree and his legs sticking out into the street.

We call this "keeping it real."

So this Saturday I came home from an errand, about 4:30 pm and noticed an old van parked in the curve of the road between our house and our neighbor's. A suspicious car is very obviously suspicious. I knew immediately that the occupants of the van were not a family visiting the park. Nor were they guests of any of the neighbors. Perhaps the passenger-side door left hanging open was a clue. Still, it isn't a crime to park your car in a public street, so I went about my business. Jon came in the house a little while later and said, "That van is a-rockin'." And it was. Bouncing and jiggling in an obvious way that left no doubt as to what was going on inside.

I admit, we thought it was kind of funny. That particular spot on our quiet street has long been a favorite place for people to park and have public sex. We have seen it before, but it's probably been a good three years since the last time, when I called the police because when I looked out my daughters' bedroom window I got a clear sight of two people engaging in oral sex in the front seat of a pick up truck. This was in broad daylight right at the time when the kids were expected home from school.

We didn't call the police this time--I don't know why except that we've called so many times over the years for nuisance things like this, we've grown jaded. Our neighbor was less amused and the police showed up about five minutes after he got home and saw the van parked in front of his house. Then came an amusing little street drama: the police officer confronting the van, then stepping back for modesty's sake to allow the occupants to dress themselves. The man emerged first. He was older than I expected him to be. The lady took a few minutes longer to correct her dishabille. She looked familiar. I am almost certain that she is a prostitute. The cop either chose not to notice this or really thought he was confronting two ordinary people who decided to have sex in a van in front of houses and a busy family park in the middle of the afternoon. The couple was "advised" and then they and the cop went their separate ways.


  1. As I understand it, it's not that easy to arrest someone for prostitution. The cops have to actually witness the exchange of money.

    When we moved to this neighborhood, I told my husband that I wanted to live somewhere where I knew to call the police if I heard a scream. We used to live in the university neighborhood, and screams were common at night. The help screams were indistinguishable from the partying screams.

    Our current neighborhood has trouble with drugs and crime, but so far, no screams. It's a relief.

  2. That's some high drama--and also why living in the country has it's benefits. Lonely dirt roads with dead ends are perfect for copulation:)

  3. Yikes! And blecccchhh!