A lonely street at night.
It’s 930 Saturday night in Los Angeles. A police car came roaring around the corner and down my street. It’s tires made a searing sound as it halted at my feet like a TV show cop car stop. The cop leapt out and rushed toward me. He had his right hand on his gun.
Show me your hands, he commanded. The asshole. I was lighting a cigarette when he stopped me. The cigarette was in my mouth and I held my hands open. What are you doing here, he asked.
I took the cigarette from my lips and said, smoking a cigarette.
Don’t be a smart ass. I’m not in the mood for bullshit.
Neither am I officer. My cigarette smoldered.
Show me your ID.
I don’t have any. I left it inside my apartment.
Bullshit. What’s in your pockets.
A lighter. Chapstick. And a pocket knife, I told him.
No, officer. You’re armed. I have a pocket knife. Look, I live here. I came out for a smoke. I’ve lived here for almost 15 years. My neighbor, whom I believe to be a lesbian, a very nice lady, but a lesbian, has lived in her place for 20 years. My landlord is Filipino and lives in the apartment above me. There is a pretty French girl that lives in the little house behind me. I think that she is also a lesbian. I finally have a job with weekends off. I spent the morning doing laundry so I can spend tomorrow morning watching football. After laundry I had lunch with my son. And then I started drinking since 2 this afternoon. Before I walked out here I poured another. It’s a sad and lonely life and the whiskey, cigarettes and warm night is helping me get through it all. My ID is on my dresser and you’re killing my buzz. That’s the long and short of it. Do you still think that I’m the guy you’re looking for?
He got right in my face. He looked around as if someone might be standing by listening. I could swear his breath smelled of beer. I’m thinking PBR. He said, Sir, you are an asshole.
I told him that I know it. But it’s completely unavoidable.
He turned and got back into his car. With a hard clunk, he shifted the car into reverse and backed it up. Clunked it into drive and hauled away. A helicopter chopped through the air overhead and circled away too. I finished my cigarette and flicked the spent butt across the street.
Back inside, I had another shot and I could hear the helicopter’s rotor whipping through the sky again through the kitchen window.