Rear View Paranoid


I thought my life was flashing before my eyes as paranoia began creating a vortex for its ascent from my stomach up into my head. Fear shot electronic impulses through my entire body as the flashing continued. Get hold of yourself dude, everythings cool!! Its an actual flashing not my life flashing. A quick peek in the rear view mirror reveals there is a cop car advertising its intentions behind me in my car. The cop car drove past me in pursuit of another driver. My adrenal glands began chuckling as the paranoia flew out the window into the cosmos. Those flashing lights weren’t for me at all. The welcome relief washed over me but the tension remained. WTF? At this point of my life I am an upstanding law abiding citizen. Well aside from whatever I may do in the privacy of my own home but that’s my business. My car is legal, I drive and obey the traffic laws, (like never speed when a cop is near by, etc.) so I have no reason to fear even if I do get pulled over. I no longer keep any stashes under my seat or papers in the console. Hell man, I even had my seatbelt on. So why this rush of paranoia every time a cop is behind me when I drive? Primal evolutionary instinct? Not exactly but it can be traced back to my teen years.
Like most of the derelict suburban youths of my era my first contact with police outside of school visits, or watching Dick Tracy and Courageous cat and Minute Mouse, was our own teenage version of cat and mouse with the cops. We wanted to get drunk drinking cheap beer or wine and they wanted to catch us and sadistically pour it out while sarcastically letting us know we should head home to Mommy and Daddy. In truth it was an okay relationship for both parties, they could tell the adults in town that the streets were free of drunken degenerate teen hoodlums and we only had to cry over spilled beer, not get in big trouble with Mom and Dad. But it all changed when the evil Satan Smoke, Beelzebub bud, the Devils Weed crept its vile horned joint rolled self into our teen culture. The sinister antichrist herbal delight swept into our teen lungs, relieving our teen angst, making us teen laugh, giving us teen munchies, and made us feel all around teen fucking awesome.
Unfortunately the post teen portion of suburbia was not as enchanted with wacky weed as we were, they were certain it would turn each and every one of us into drug addicted serial killers who threaten to tear and shred the very fabric of their three martini society to shreds. Our relationship with the police altered drastically at this point. The police needed to massage the concerns of the scotch swilling adults assuring them no marijuana could find its way into their neighborhoods but we wanted to massage our minds with that very same illegal weed of wit and wisdom. Now our job as teens was to smoke pot and get high free of handcuffs and the cops hoped to arrest us and lock us up so the rest of society could rest easy knowing the refer mad hooligans were locked up alongside murderers, rapers, and armed robbers. Where we belonged. (is there a special font for sarcasm?) Then and only then could society relax and take a deep breath. Not a breath test, because I’m pretty certain most of our parents would register above the limit for alcohol. Anyway, the dichotomy changed, we found better hiding spots and continued our evil ways and cops continued in fruitless pursuit of passionate pot puffing juvenile perps.
Once we began driving however, the cops had the advantage. With badge comes privilege and the police were willing and able to take liberties in their attempts to remove our liberties. Now they could exact their revenge for our ability to avoid capture by flashing those strobe like red lights to pull us over on a minor violation accomplishing two things. First they knew that it sent a surge of paranoia through our circulatory systems causing discomfort, perhaps even incontinence. That’s the primal response I was speaking of earlier. Secondly, a pull over and the badge equipped them with everything they needed to search our cars to find out where we kept our hash pipes or hidden stashes, because they knew we were still prolifically puffing the perverse pot of decadence. With any luck they would then have the opportunity to use the Miranda right speech they had committed to memory for real. The bust of the neighborhood, a few more hardened (well stoned anyway) criminals locked away making society safe to continue forcing its backward values on their youths.
So now, even when I’ve reached the age where high school students read about our antics of demonstrating while high on the woeful weed in their history classes I still stiffen in paranoia when a cops lights flash in my mirror. That’s living proof of evolution right there, my brain has adapted to the fear of danger caused by flashing red lights just as our ancestors developed the fight or flight response from being chased by ferocious human devouring animals. My children probably have this red light fear gene embedded in their DNA already. Or maybe its just a stoner reaction. If that’s the case I wonder is if this paranoid phenomenon will ever cease. Will I ever be able to drive normally when a cop is behind me? Am I destined to peering behind my wheelchair in the old folks home if a light flickers while rolling to early bird dinner?
I get that the institution of policing is important, ever since I reached the point I understood I really never was invincible I understood that believing in anarchy is a part of teen angst coming of age, but like I said, I obey laws. For the most part anyway, and the few laws I may bend are hardly worth punishing because I obviously will never learn and will never consider my minor indiscretions to be evil or wrong. But seriously guys, there must be a way to break this cycle of fear every time I see a cop.

Busted, Disgusted, and Can’t Be Trusted (the consequence)

Be wise and don’t wise of to a southern cop. Especially if he’s your jailor

The Brutal Truth
This was no Sunday stroll these two backwoods hooligans planned to take me on. As I was escorted down one corridor I noticed a cigarette machine with a paperback book on top. Thinking I may need some reading material over the next who knows how many days, I grabbed the book as we went passed without the goon squad seeing it. We made many turns and I was confused about where I was until we stopped at a door that said “Interrogation Room” If I was confused before, I was completely perplexed now. Not sure what interrogating planned but I h they had a nervous feeling about their interpretation of the word interrogate. As it turned out, having nothing to interrogate was the plan. Jimbo opened the door and led me inside. It was a relatively empty room. Four chairs, three on one side of a small wood table, and one lonely chair on the other. It was apparent which one was mine and Jimbo led me right over to it and signaled for me to sit down. Nervously, I sat. It was Billy who spoke as Jimbo moved the other chairs and the table to the corner. “Boy, we need to git an unnerstandin’ tween us here. Firstly, I done never wanna here ya call any of us law officers turn-key again. That get through all that hair into yer brain boy?” With serious alarm I shook my head yes. I was in a very precarious position and was quickly weighing my best options. He stared at me with razor eyes and said “I caint hear you boy, I asked if yew understood!” I sheepishly let out a soft ”yessir.” I was taken aback at how wimpy it sounded. Even the echoing on the near empty room was scoffing at me. Jimbo lifted his right foot up in the air and brought it down hard. He kicked me with his “County issue” stiff leather boot. He had reached up higher than I would have thought he could manage with his roly poly body and landed the heel of that boot directly in the muscle portion of my left bicep. Both me and the chair were caught off guard (pun intended) and went sailing across the floor in search of the wall. My head hit something hard, and I knew I had found the target. A flash of pain and a second of darkness warned me a major headache would accompany me later. Jimbo walked over to my shaking body and got about an inch away from my ear. “He asked you if you got that boy? You lose yer tongue or sumpin?” He didn’t need to scream so loud, what with me being a half inch away and all, but he did feel a need to cover my ear in spit as he yelled. Now I was at a horrible disadvantage and needed to react quick to win these guys over and get out of here. I looked him in the eye and said clearly “Yes sir, I got it. I will not call you turn-key ever again.” It took about all the strength I could muster to say it. Billy was picking me up and Jimbo assisted the chair. “Now that’s much better boy” Billy was now speaking with an air of superiority that he enjoyed immensely. “Sit back down now boy, we don’t want you falling off your chair agin y‘all might hurt yerseff” Big bad Jimbo leaned down to my dry ear and began to talk in a half whisper. “Let me tell ya how this is gonna go here yankee boy. We dun like no strangers comin roun here causin no trouble. We don like you, but y’all gonna be here a while so you need to git the rules straight. Theys pretty simple. Rule one, we are always in charge and you nevah nevah talk back to any one of us.” I was nodding my head in agreement, but before I could get a word out, Billy Boy had whacked my left calf with his baton so hard I felt fire surging up my leg and go numb in seconds. First pins and needles then my calf was throbbing. Jimbo looked over on the floor saw the book that took flight when me and the chair went airborne. With a mocking disgusted look he picked it up. “Boy, now what the Hell is this? Lookie here Billy, hippie boy done stole someone’s book.” He shook his head like the condescending asshole he was, “ Now see , hairbag, this is just the kind of thing we wants to avoid. Where’n the hell y’all get this?” I gently shook my head trying to think of an answer that would appease him, but to no avail. “Nevernin boy, it ain’t matter no how.” He placed the book up to my temple, pulled back his baton to hit the book so hard my head snapped back. A new pain shot through my head. Throbbing, burning, and pounding like I had never experienced before. The chair and I both tumbled to the ground again. Billy walked over to where I had fallen, and stepped hard on my calf. “Is this the spot where you hurt yaseff boy?” I felt throbbing all over, in my leg, my head, and now in my stomach. When I looked up Jimbo was standing over me with his baton by his side and a sadistic smile on his face. I felt nausea whirling up and feared if I puked it would just piss them off more. It snuck up into my mouth and I clenched it shut and swallowed. It was even worse than the mornings year old oatmeal. I was having trouble breathing which is when I realized I had just been whacked in the stomach with his baton. Now my solar plexus and ribs ha joined in the misery. My head was spinning and my eyes had teared up and I everything looked blurry. Jimbo picked me up and locked my arms behind me. Billy took the book I had found, and placed on my temple again, and whacked the book again. He moved the book to various places on my face and continued the beatings. “See boy, you did us a favor with this here book y’all stole. Ain’t gonna be no marks on yer face, but I bet its gonna hurt for a long time comin’ You ain‘t gonna steal no more books, are ya?.” Jimbo sat me down in the chair, or should I say threw me into the chair where I collapsed in pain and exhaustion. I could hardly breathe, and barely speak. I looked up through the tears in my eyes and watched them parading around with ugly satisfied looks on both of their faces. The beatings continued for what seemed like an hour, but was more likely only five or ten minutes. They applied the book and baton combination to various body parts, mostly concentrating on my face and arms. It was accompanied with their hideous sadistic laughter. They were seriously enjoying it but I was beginning to fade in and out of consciousness and began numbing up. I swallowed another mouthful of vomit for fear of worse beatings. My entire body was throbbing and aching, and Billy got right in my face again. “So I think we have us an unnerstandin’ here, right boy?” He pointed the baton to my face and smacked it with his other hand. The hard wood made a direct hit to my nose and I could immediately feel blood trickling down my face. It took every ounce of strength to just nod yes. Satisfied, Billy stood up and smiled at Jimbo. “I think he unnerstans Jimbo. Maybe we should get this nice young law breaker something to drink, he looks like he has a mighty thirst. Maybe you better fill out a report bout how he got into a fight with another inmate. Use Chester this time” They both laughed. Billy left the room and Jimbo picked up the paperback and handed it to me. “Keep it son, you earned it. Now don’t y’all go nowhere ya hear me?” I looked up at him but everything was still blurry. I knew he was very close because I could smell his stale smoke breath. He grabbed my pony tail and lifted me off the chair, put his forearm to my chest and flung me as hard as he could into the wall. I collapsed and just laid on the floor, not sure if I couldn’t move or just didn’t want to. He threw what I hoped was a clean handkerchief at me and told me to clean myself up. I heard the door close and sensed I was alone. I think I cried as the blood from my nose was thinned out with tears.
After abut a half an hour I scrambled to stand up but fell again. I couldn’t put any pressure on left leg without feeling intense pain. I managed to climb onto the chair and rubbed my leg. My head and face took turns pounding out a tribal beat. I could actually feel the blood coursing through my veins as though my defense system was an ER on full alert. Blood to the injured areas, STAT! Blood rushing to my injure face, my swollen forehead, and my still throbbing leg. I was breathing hard and the dried blood on my nose made it more difficult. My ribs and my stomach hurt. I had been worked over real good, like Cool Hand Luke. Now a puddle of crying beat up excuse of a man was sure his street creds were all but over.
The door opened up and it was Jimbo again. “C’mon boy, it’s time to take you home.” He walked up close and stepped hard on my foot with his fat ass digging in his leather heel. A twist for good measure then a sarcastic smile and wink. Billy walked in with a bottle of water and threw it at me. “See boy, we takes good care of our crimy-nals in these parts. I sure hopes we got us a good unerstanding now.“ They each got on one side of me and basically carried me out of the interrogation room and back down some more corridors until we reached the general population of the jail. I was hobbling along limping and bent over like a captured animal. It was as if they were parading me around all proud of how tough they were to beat up a prisoner and making a statement to the others about who is in charge. They walked me to my cell and tossed me towards my bed. I plopped down on my mattress. They left and I just laid down and started to re-live the beating. Everything hurt. My face felt swollen and my spirit had been broken. I was barely conscience of my surroundings, but I heard noises all around me. After about a half hour, I fell asleep and dreamed. I had one of the most vivid dreams of my life. I dreamed I was going to a big mansion somewhere in the sky, and wondered if I was dying. The song “Spirit in the Sky” played over and over in the dream. I was in and out of lucidity for the rest of the day and night. Tomorrow would be another day