Thursday, March 31, 2011

Past the Ides, ratio profiling.

A classic thunderbolt moment, his face, stunned, makes my face (I can feel it) look stunned. He looks driver side, passenger side, driver side, back seat, driver side, driver side. I can feel the heat rising under the blue collar, creeping up his neck. It was all going so well, what happened? His partner, rounding the supposedly broken tail light, flash light in hand (daylight be damned) and looked the other way: passenger side, driver side, passenger side, backseat, passenger side, etc. He exclaims "he, he's not wearing his seat belt!" As if to make up for something. This all hits me later in the shower of all places, I dry off laughing. We laugh together at the stupidity. Back on the street, he looks this way and that. He explains the back right tail light is not working properly. But this car is a piece of shit. There's Olde English lettering on the back window. She's Puerto Rican... or something. She was scurrying. He is stammering a little. He doesn't know what to do. We are blocking traffic. As I said, it is cold. Stupidly, insidiously cold. Doltishly cold. So my wife ran to the car from the grocer with her arms wrapped tight, hands in her pockets. My son's big head must have looked like an older person's normal head. This was the look on the cop's face. I say, no offer, pointing to the side street, "I can pull over there...." He nods. Almost gratefully. They take a long time to write out the summons. (Stammering, it seems) "uh, this is just a summons, it won't go on your record. You won't get any points." I nod. Now, in retrospect, I can feel the stupidity on my face; the unknowing, naive misunderstanding. They take forever to write the summons. In the time they are in the patrol car writing out the summons on the carbon paper, a friend walks by and laughs sympathetically at (or is it with) our predicament. The cop comes back. He twitches (a retrospective twitch, I have to admit) and mentions that the back light is sort of working now. Actually, it kind of goes in and out, it looks like it's not working and then it works again. It confused us. He mentions something about a dinner break, how he'll be at the precinct in an hour and if I drive by I can have him sign off on the summons. I don't understand. I mention that it's probably something to do with the wiring and how odd it is that it's out as I just had the car inspected. He gives me a funny look. I don't notice. I notice later, in the shower. He offers again to write off the summons in "an hour." I don't get it. I tell him I'll have to take care of it tomorrow because it's seven o'clock already and I have to get my kid to bed and what mechanic is open right now to fix it anyways? Another funny look. An "alright." We drive off. It's not until later, in the shower of all places.

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