I got stopped by the cops this morning. WAY early this morning. At about 0430 as I was walking down to the gym. They stopped me past St. George Church(with the weird retro-futuristic-Sixties architecture). Apparently, there'd been a robbery in the area and they were doing a sweep. Of course, my head is filled with visions of martial law and The Patriot Act run amok...Along with my own distrust for authoritarian gunslingers. So the policeman checks my license and has me hold my arms over my head so he can frisk me for weapons. And then the paddy wagon shows up with two more officers. His back-up, the first guy explained.
I have to say WERE polite and cordial. Unfortunately, i wasn't in the mood. And since I've seen examples of more than one arrogant authoritarian figure with a gun, I decided it was MY turn to be terse, clipped, and unfriendly as I've seen OTHER Police goons in the past. Every answer they asked, I gave brief, abrupt answers with not a word wasted. I made very little eye-contact and looking at the car's radiator grille...
"What are you doing out this time of morning?"
"Walking to the gym.""Not using your car?"
"Don't have one."
"Can't afford one."
"That must give you quite a cardio-workout before youget there."
I didn't indulge in sarcasm but every syllable had avery clear message: "F--k You. Are we through here?" I know they have a job to do but there the ones with the guns and the prison-wagon.
My roommate told me that HE would have stopped me ifhe'd seen the way I was dressed. Army coat, jeans, and checkered vans sneakers. This was just a reality of living in a city that wasn't quite so crime-free anymore. Apparently, a cab-driver had the crapped kicked out ofhim by a group of dirtbags down on McBesic and they were canvassing the area. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. And there I was, just doing my thing that I do almost every day: Walking to the gym. I guess that's why I was so resentful. THIS is my hometown! I am a law-abiding citizen unlike the dirtbags from over the State line! Such indignance! Makes you wonder about the thin blue line that maintains law and order...and how attitudes can change from person to person. I guess it's just people like me, the polite citizen-on-patrol, the mirror-shaded asshole with the gun, badge, srut, and attitude. They're people too. How is it we haven't blown the planet to radioactive dust with all of these moods, attitudes, and misconceptions...?
Be safe out there. And have your i. d. with you...