I was on my way to Roger’s last Wednesday night with a DVD and a comic book to barter for illegal things when my car stopped working at the intersection of Great Hills and Research. I cried out as I depressed the car’s hazard button and set its lights to flashing yellow. Roger eventually showed up, smiling a broad unaffected grin and blinking hurricane eyes with the black centers dilated to dinner plates. He left to bring me gasoline, and then we left together to buy oil, and then he left when cops came, and then he came back with jumper cables when the cops left. Good man.
It’s the cops I mostly want to talk about. Roger’s 5-0 radar, honed by juvenile and adult delinquencies, had blipped three times with each slow squad car pass, and on the fourth, it roared with urgency as the first cruiser dazzled its blue and red lights and u-turned into oncoming traffic. He was a young militaristic fellow, this cop. Very procedural, not rude but not friendly either. All the same, the contents of my front pants pocket heated and seemed to shine in such proximity to an APD shield, and as the cop ran my license and plate numbers, I casually thanked and dismissed Roger from the scene, so he wouldn’t be ticketed for his expired tags or for being publically intoxicated.
“What were you going to do?” asked Mr. Policeman.
“Well, officer, the plan was to sit here until my car worked again,” said I.
His face twitched with conflict, and he offered to push my car with his when another cruiser arrived to block traffic. I agreed, and Roger screeched away as the second policeman arrived. He turned out to be a 5’ nothin’ chica with a tight bun and wide smile that revealed a mouthful of metal wires and rubber bands squeezing her promiscuous teeth closer together. She quickly pointed out that my bumper would damage both cars, so together, they flashed their blues and reds again, reversed about 100 feet away, trotted back, and hunched over the front of my car to push it into the Truluck’s parking lot. As they bobbed over the hood of my car, I enjoyed a brief notion that they were inverted slaves, more dangerous than their master, using the opposites of inertia to pull my coach the opposite of forward, and I, the signer of their checks, wickedly controlled the direction of their energies. The woman vanished before I could thank her, and when I stepped like royalty from my carriage, the man was trying hard to stand straight and control his breathing, but his exertion forced him to lean on his knees and gasp for air. Between breaths, he smiled for what I can only assume was his small athletic feat and the good Samaritanness that disrupted his regular patrol. I shook his hand with gushing gratitude and silently praised Allah, baby Jesus, and the Jewish one that I didn’t have any outstanding deviations that would have required a pat down and cuff-clinking restraint. He left.
Roger materialized as though he’d been watching behind a safe and shrubby cover, and we connected our automobiles by their positively and negatively charged nipples and gave up when the battery was clearly not the issue. He drove me home, and I lost myself in an eventual cloud of wonder over the History Channel’s blissfully distracting study of the Sun.
Thank you, Roger. Thank you, policeman and policewoman.
On a completely irrelevant note, I’m tagging “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” in the posting. If anyone knows why, I’ll offer you my intellectual respect...but nothing more.
Oh, yeah, and my fuel pump was shot, for anyone interested.
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