I was pulled over by a cop this morning.
I wasn’t even driving a car…I was walking. Now, I know I often leave people in my wake when we’re strolling together—I’ve long been labeled a “fast walker”—but this is ridiculous.
Actually, it had nothing to do with speed. I was a few minutes into my morning walk, passing by the cemetery in the dark, when a police cruiser pulled up next to me and the driver rolled down his window. Needless to say, I got the hint.
“Good morning, officer,” I said, removing my earbuds while nervously wondering why he wanted to bend my ear. My brain ran through a litany of possible criminal violations—jaywalking, littering, running (walking?) a red light or stop sign—and quickly dismissed them all, deeming myself Not Guilty. One time in San Francisco, many years ago, I was handed a citation by some woman after crossing a street that charged me with being “too good-looking,” but any sense of flattery quickly dissipated when I saw she was handing out the same citation to everybody walking across the street, and some of them were certainly not good-looking. Like, at all. It was a scam…nothing more than glorified begging, since my “fine” was nothing more than a handout. All these years later, I can’t decide if that was clever or cruel.
In any case, I was clueless as to why this member of Rapid City’s Finest had flagged me down. It was 5:35 a.m., an hour before the sun rose. Even if I had been breaking some law, it would have been too dark to see that!
“Have you seen anybody else walking around the neighborhood?” he asked. “We got a report of burglars.”
Suddenly, I became self-conscious about my attire: I was dressed all in black, from head to toe. Long pants, hoodie, the works. Walking in the dark, on the outskirts of a neighborhood that had just been burgled. I was ripe for a good old-fashioned criminal profiling…and suddenly convinced he would slap handcuffs on me and throw me in the back of the squad car for a trip down to the clinker. The Big House. Club Fed. Crowbar Hotel. The hoosegow, the pokey, the joint, whatever you want to call it, I was sure I was going to wind up there and already stressing out over how that was going to really cast a pall over what had started out as a promising enough Tuesday morning. I had work deadlines to meet and certainly wasn’t looking forward to a strip search and taunts of “fresh fish!” by seasoned inmates crowding against the fronts of their cells as I was paraded down the cellblock.
It’s possible that I watch too many prison-themed shows.
“Give us a call if you spot anybody suspicious, would you?” he replied after I told him I hadn’t spotted another living soul at that ungodly hour.
Whew! The relief I felt was instantaneous, and I continued my walk, even as additional police cars showed up and cops were shining flashlights in the cemetery.
But then I realized, wait a minute. Burglars? In MY neighborhood?! That kinda sucks. 2020 just keeps dishing it up, doesn’t it?
In less stressful news, I have a beta reader for Dream Sailors. My friend Jeremy (we’re old blogging buddies, of course we are), an aspiring writer himself, offered to give her a read-through, and I took him up on it. Sent him the MS Word file and told him I don’t need an edit or anything of that sort, just tell me honestly whether it’s interesting or if it sucks, so I’ll know whether to push forward with publishing it or move on to my next project, which I’m growing more excited about every day. Either way, I’ve gotta find a resolution for this book before skipping ahead to the next.
Other than my friend Chris in Oregon, I’ve never had a beta reader before. This should be interesting.