52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

16. Middle-aged white man vaguely remembers a time he was pulled over by cops

High school, 16 or 17,
I was driving my beige Toyota Tercel,
with three buddies, on a residential,
one-way street in Capo Beach,
two lanes wide.

At a red light I made a right turn.
A cop behind us threw on his lights.
Were we fleeing? I pulled over.
My friends joked about drugs
we needed to hide, the officer walked
to my rolled-down window.

He spoke something like, "Hey guys,
How are you all doing?"—it wasn’t
memorable—where we'd come from,
what we were up to. He’d gotten a call
about four boys in a beige compact car,
shooting out windows with a BB gun.
Fear. My parents. What next. I said,
It wasn't us. I swear. Search the car.
I can get out and pop the trunk
so you can see for yourself.

"No no," the cop said, with a half-laugh.
"I believe you. You boys can be

on your way. Keep out of trouble."
He may have said something else.

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