Tap, tap… tap, tap.
I feel like I’m drowning, smothered, and something is keeping me under. I suck in some air and try to clear my thinking.
Bang, bang, bang!
Air, I need more air, and to figure out who is making that fucking racket!
I finally lift my head, look over and there’s a cop looking back at me, pounding on my car window and telling me, “Wake up sleepy head and roll down your window.”
I flail a little as I figure out how to roll the window down and as it slides down, he says, “Guy behind you called. He reported you’ve been here awhile, says you sat through three green lights before he called. And that was some time ago. What’re you doing snoozing in the middle of an intersection, at a red light? Where’s the dope? Where’s your heroin, bud?”
I blink a couple times with my mouth hanging open a little. I’m starting to come out of my underwater world, feeling a little less like my mind is wading through molasses.
“Huh? Dope? I…I’m f…fine, man. Just a little tired,” I stammer.
My thinking is starting to speed up, getting jumpstarted by the conversation I am having with the Man in Blue. How the hell did I fucking nod out at the light? And keep my foot on the brake?
Panicking some as the thought of the bags of heroin stashed in the trunk enter my clouded consciousness, I blurt out, “No, no…man. No heroin, I’m just really tired. I swear.”
“You’re sleeping at the red light because you’re tired? Right,” he says. “Outta the car.”
Just then the paramedics show up, strip off my shirt and stick those little electrodes all over my chest, so they can read my vital signs. I guess I check out as being alive and having some decent vitals, and the cop stuffs me in the back of his car. He turns and starts chatting with the medics.
I can barely make out what they’re saying but can see his lips and I can tell he’s asking if I’m on heroin. The paramedic says he can’t be sure, can’t really tell, so I start to work on my story. They come back over to the car and yank open the door.
“C’mon man, we know you’re on something. Tell us what’s going on, what drugs
you’re taking so we can help you, we don’t want you to die at a red light,” says the medic.
“I think I might be diabetic, it runs in my family,” I lie.
“You’re diabetic? You think, or you’ve been diagnosed?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never been diagnosed. But my brother and my mother are both
diabetic and they pass out all the time,” I continue.
They shut the door again and I can see them talking some more, and the medic telling
the cop I could be diabetic or just bullshitting, he doesn’t know. They start to pack up
their gear and load their rig to leave.
The cop watches them for a bit, pondering. I know he doesn’t want to haul in another
junkie and fill his afternoon with paperwork and sitting at a desk. He’d rather drive
around in his car, drink coffee and hope for something more exciting to happen. Or for
nothing at all to happen.
He opens the door and stares at me for a minute. I stare back, a little bleary-eyed, but
the adrenaline is flowing a little now and kicking me back out of my nod.
He inquires slowly, “Do you think you can get this car home without fucking killing
“Yes, yes sir.”
He pulls me out, turns away and gets in the driver’s seat, quickly pulling away and
leaving me standing there amazed and a bit dumbfounded. He let me go, incredible.
The excitement of my surviving a near-incarceration and near-death experience
leaves me feeling giddy, almost celebratory. I jump in the car and drive home. I love
driving, going fast and feeling the power of the car. When I get home, I greet Cali with a
kiss and act like everything is perfectly right in the world.
I jump in the shower, I’m a fucking mess, that cop had me sweating big time and I feel
gnarly. While soaping up I notice one of those electrode things is still stuck to my chest. I barely remember the medics ripping them off, but man, I can’t believe this one’s still
If Cali would’ve seen that I would have had some major explaining to do and she
would have seen through any bullshit lies I tried on her. I would’ve been done, I’m sure of it, out the door.
But she didn’t see it, thankfully.
So, I’m not done yet, far from it.
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