|A Cut-up Life By Patrick McDermid||[PREVIOUS PAGE] [NEXT PAGE] [Texts Index]|
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."
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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