* This is one of the two stories I wrote for my Writing Pad Storytelling class. The one I performed you can read here.
I looked through my rear view mirror and saw red and blue lights flashing. Fuck! A voice coming from a muffled bullhorn told me to pull my car to the curb. An all American policeman came to my window and flashed a bright light in my face. “Where did you come from?” He asked. “I came from a party and I’m going to a friend’s house to sleep.” (Fantastic answer!) Another question asked. “Have you been drinking?” I answered. “Yes.” (A second Fantastic answer!) Another question. “How much did you drink?” “I drank two beers and three shots,” I answered. “Did you eat?” “Yes, I had a full dinner with salad and a bread roll.” More questions were asked, then the dreaded statement. “Ma’am, please get out of your car.”
I knew I should have taken up the offer to ride with Ellen, but I didn’t want to bother her. She was already driving my friends from the Anime Expo dinner with her, and I told her I was going to follow her. As I was following her to my friend’s house, I ran through a stop sign, which unfortunately the police saw. Dammit, my reluctance to speak up has me in deep water again. It’s like that time I volunteered for the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco and wanted to be scheduled on Sunday when Tegan and Sara played but instead was scheduled on Saturday, the EDM day. Or that other time my friend left me faded at a party in college to hook up with his heroin friend, while I walked ten blocks at 3 am through Golden Gate Park to get back to my dorm room. Yes, I have quite the nose for great friends. But I didn’t want to bother the organizer of the music festival to change my schedule to Sunday, even though it could have taken her 5 seconds, or crash my friend’s hookup, even though I could have been attacked by ghoulies or abducted by aliens. I reasoned that other people’s wants and safety were more important than mine.
The police officer conducted a variety of tests to check on my alcohol level. One was the balance test. Balance on your right foot, then balance on your left foot. Easy Peasy, I’ve done enough dance and yoga to do those things with my eyes closed. Walk in a straight line with your arms out, then turn around and walk back. Kinda hard to do when you’re tired and in black heeled boots. Then I did the “follow my finger” test, which I thought I didn’t do so bad except my eyes kept dragging. Finally, I took the breathalyzer test, which unfortunately determined my arrest.
When the policeman placed the metallic handcuffs on my wrists, I was in shock. Sitting in the back of a police car with my hands cuffed was the last place I thought I’d be that night. I wanted to be at my friends’ house, under the covers, gossiping about the people we met and talking about anime.
Instead, I was at the police station, being interrogated and getting my mug shot. On top of that, they checked my alcohol level again with a blood test. I scrolled through my cellphone to see if I had any friends in the O.C. region. I decided to dial my friend Ellen, the person I was following before I was arrested.
She answered! She passed the friendship test! She told me that she and a couple of friends were at the police station waiting for me until I got out. These were people I met the week before, and they were willing to be by my side. I’ve never had that before.
When I came out, my friends came and hugged me. Yoonie, my other friend, told me that she and couple of our friends were outside the station saying, “fuck the police,” until they realized that there were cameras around them. Like I said before, I have a great nose for friends.
The humiliating night and the day after were the worst of my journey through the criminal system, but at least I can say I have street cred.
Photo Courtesy: Carlos Aguiar via Freeimages.com