A Cut-up Life By Manton Aughtney [PREVIOUS PAGE] [NEXT PAGE] [Texts Index]

Part 4: Marijuana Road to Nowhere

The streets are deserted, all the tourist gift shops closed. We are taking our time, peering in store front windows and chatting as we go. A cop car pulls up on the street beside us. They stare at us, and we stare back. I feel uncomfortable.

"Oh look, It's the Boys in Blue!" says Blurry, in an loud, provoking voice. I can see some sort of confrontation brewing up, and I have this urge to fade out of the scene somehow ...

"C'mon, lets go." I say and start walking away.

"Alright, hold it right there." A cop calls after me. He jumps out of the car and walks up to me.

"You look as suspicious as hell."

"Didn't know there was a law against looking suspicious, officer." says Blurry, again in a reckless, challenging tone.

"You smell like Marijuana." the cop says to me.

"Have you been smoking Marijuana?"


"I can smell it on you."

Because they have reasonable suspicion that I might be carrying drugs, he tells me, he is going to conduct a body search. He checks my arms for tracks. He makes me turn out my pockets, feels the liner of my jacket, and goes through my wallet. Amongst my money he finds a folded piece of paper: my class schedule. He unfolds it and reads it with the aid of a flashlight. Then he turns the flashlight to my face.

"You're a student?" This new piece of information seems to baffle him a little. I guess the visual image I present to him doesn't match up with what he considers appropriate for a student. I have a penchant for wearing clothes with character. Some say I dress like a bum. Well, the jacket I'm wearing was purchased from a bum for two dollars...

"What are you doing smoking dope?"

"The fact that I have been smoking dope has not been established. Besides, studies indicate that marijuana intoxication rarely leads to aggressive anti-social behaviour, whereas 70 percent of violent crimes are alcohol related. All tests show that Marijuana does not lower I.Q. and causes far less brain damage than alcohol."

"Don't give me any of that psychological crap."

I thought that by speaking to him in a lucid, academic manner he might ease his aggressive attitude a bit, but instead it seemed to provoke him further.

"Are you hiding anything in your underwear?" - his voice is tense with restrained anger. I can't understand what he is so worked up about. I unzip my fly and pull down my jeans and undershorts in one quick motion. The cop looks at my penis then turns his head away, his mood suddenly changing. This submissive act of exposing my penis on command seems to satisfy him. I guess it is sort of like some primitive power display, the cop showing that he has ultimate authority.

"You don't have any drugs on you now, but maybe next time you wont be so lucky. Take a long look at yourself. Look at your friends. You're on a dead end road to nowhere. Do you know what I'm saying?"

"I'm on a dead end road to nowhere."

"That's right."

The other cop hands me back my jacket, and they get back in their car and drive off. As we are walking back to the Space I keep repeating that phrase: "I'm on a dead end road to nowhere." Don is telling Blurry never to provoke cops like that again: "You should just be as compliant as possible. Never challenge them. If they see aggression they will respond in like fashion."

I'm in a daze about the whole thing. Somehow it doesn't seem right that some guy can walk up to you and demand to look at your penis like that. I begin to think that maybe I should have resisted somehow, but that might have resulted his becoming violent. I wipe these thoughts from my mind by turning the cop's ominous phrase into a mantric repetition:

"I'm on a dead end road to nowhere... I'm on a dead end road to nowhere... I'm on a dead end road to nowhere..."

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