This cop looks like an asshole. He walks up to my car and taps on the window. I pretend not to notice, so he taps louder. I feign a surprised look - which is awkward since I've been staring at him the entire time. He holds up his fist and waves it in a circle. At first I think it's some asshole fist-pump cops do, so I do it back to show it doesn't intimidate me. He frowns and says "Roll down your window."
I roll the window down. "Is there a problem, officer?"
He cocks his head and looks inside my car, pretending his sunglasses don't make it hard to see. He points at the bag of heroin in my passenger seat. "Is that heroin?"
I look at the bag, then at him. He has a mustache a size too big for his face, which is two sizes too small for his skull. He's bald, but wants you to think he shaves his head to preserve its aerodynamic roundness. His sunglasses reflect the glowing sign on my car that says "We Deliver." Except reflected it says "Reviled Ew."
I smile. "Yes, of course it's heroin. What else would it be?"
He turns and spits, then just stares at me, like he's playing my answer back in his head to check for lies. Or maybe he's playing it in reverse to look for Satanic messages. I can tell he hates me. All cops hate the working-class cattle they shepherd for their rich overlords. Or such was the gist of a sociology lecture I heard at a punk rock concert.
He takes a pad of paper from his breast pocket and starts writing on it. "Where were you headed this evening?"
"Baker Street ..." He chews on that for awhile like it's a stale Twinkie, or a Boston Cream donut, or a Ho Ho. I know the names of dozens of confections and I'm not afraid to use them like black people use Attica or Rodney King if he tries to cuff me. I want to tell him he's wearing too much cologne, and that hiding your baldness with shaving doesn't make you a man, it makes you a bitch. Life throws us all curves - me for instance, I'm going to be late for this delivery now - and the measure of a man is standing up to them. He spits again and says "Can I see you registration?"
"Yes sir." I reach into the glove box and take out my registration, which is stapled to my insurance info and employer records. Everything is in order: my I.D., a certificate saying I'm a delivery driver, a license from my employer, Drug Zone, authorizing me to deliver class I and II narcotics, and a flyer for our upcoming Buy One Get One Free deal on speedballs. He takes his time reading them, looking for any inconsistencies to report to his rich masters, so they'll pat him on the head and throw him a bone in the form of a pension or Roth IRA. Eventually he hands them back, scribbles something else on his pad and puts it in his pocket. Then he leans close to the window. I can smell his breath, which smells like makers of tuna casserole and cat urine teamed up to create an even worse smell.
"You've got a defective left rear blinker. And I saw you do a rolling stop at that last sign. I'm giving you a warning. Don't let it happen again."
"Okay officer." I inflect "officer" really condescendingly, which cuts through him like a cold wind. He grunts and trudges back to his cruiser, realizing that he's just a whore with a badge, a prostitute for the wealthy and powerful, unlike me. I want to savor this moment, but I need to hurry to Baker Street so I can apologize to the customer for being late and hope they're rich so they give me a good tip.
You say collaboration like it's a bad word.
The ocean is full of the stuff of nightmares and, no thanks to all that water, you can't even kill it with fire.
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