what i've learned from the police…pt 3…

of course, not every cop is satan with a badge…that would be like saying every black man is a criminal…and that’s just lazy thinking…since it never occured to me to do something like this…and i have spent most of my life arguing with…and provoking…cops…i never expected to actually meet a decent human being in law enforcement uniform until one dark night in the middle of the new mexico desert…

a friend from college and iwere going to tucson…to watch the rockies in spring training…this was 93, maybe, 94…they were still a novelty…and not a complete joke…yet…denver to tucson is a 12 hr trip…but it can be done in under 10…if you know which way to go…and have the right car…we were traveling in his stealth…strike one…and we were on route 10…strike two…i finished my four hour shift from the colorado border through albuquerque and las cruces…he took over in deming…sometime past midnight, i fell asleep…

i woke up to what sounded like broken glass in a blender…the car was coasting on the shoulder of the road…and it was pitch black…the engine wouldnt turn over…we popped the hood…as if we knew what we were looking at…both of were too broke to own cell phones…they were huge expensive bricks back then…anyway…we were stuck…no idea how far ahead to civilization…too far past the last known outppost…and it was cold…getting colderr…our choices…wait till dawn…or walk…but which way…

then…lights in the rearview…rolling red and blue…fuck…window down…license and registration…what are you boys doin out here…we tell our tale…he calls for a tow truck…an hour later and five miles to lordsburg new mexico…we were checked into a fleabag with no idea what was wrong…or how soon the car would be fixed…

the next morning the mechanic tells us the timing belt has busted…and he has neither the part or the experience to replace it in less than three days…three days in lordsburg…a widespot on the highway…a truckstop, a hardees, and a handful of motels…goodbye spring training…hello hell…

then the trooper shows up…in a pick up truck and civilian clothes…following up…and by the way…he can give us a ride the rest of the way to tucson…all 150 miles…we had to figure out how and when to pick up the car, but we took his offer…of course…and we were in tucson before dinner…

now maybe things would’ve been different if i had been alone…or if one of us hadn’t been a deceptivly innocent looking irish boy…i don’t know…but…outside of his uniform…the trooper helped me see the person behind the badge…a decent guy…someone id have a beer with…someone not caught up in the ego trip of carrying a gun…someone who didn’t automatically treat me like a suspect…someone who caused me to think about rethink my assumption…that all cops are assholes…

now i give every cop an opportunity…to prove me wrong…

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