The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Plan B / The Last Hurrah, pt. 2

with 2 comments

continued from yesterday…

9:45pm – bottom of the 8th inning

            Jeff Frazier cranks a homer over the left field wall.  It’s enough to pull the Tigers within one run of the Rays and for us to hope we’ll be in for an exciting finish to what has been a pretty decent game.

10:05pm – top of the 9th inning

            The Rays score two runs on four straight hits.  The game is now out of the Tigers’ reach.  They fall 6-3.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

12:30am – 15 miles east of Benton Harbor, MI

            I think my Saturn can go 400 miles on the tank of gas we bought yesterday morning near New Buffalo.  I’m not sure, but I’m interested in trying because I like to test limits.  Joel isn’t as excited about this as I am.  He suggests several places to stop and refuel.  I ignore him.

            The odometer reads 394 when a Michigan state trooper pulls us over.  As he approaches the car, Joel quickly informs me, “He can’t search your car unless he has a warrant or if you give him permission.  Don’t let him tell you he’s going to search it; he doesn’t have that right.”

            The trooper taps on my window with his flashlight.  I roll it down a few inches.  He stoops, makes eye contact, and asks, “Are you in a hurry to get somewhere?”

            “No.”

            “Do you know what the speed limit is?”

            “Yes.”

            “What is it?”

            “75.”

            “It’s 70.  It’s not 91.”  I don’t react.  He’s waiting for me to comment or agree or apologize or I don’t know what.  This is true to cop form when they nail you for speeding–  they try to get you to incriminate yourself.  He wants an angle or an excuse or something more that he can act on, but I don’t budge.

            He takes my license and registration back to his car.  I tell Joel I’m probably going to get a ticket since I’m out of state.  Joel suggests that I roll my window down all the way because not doing so is disrespectful and is pissing off the cop.  I don’t think the cop is particularly pissed; nor would I say he is happy.  I don’t move the window.

            The cop returns.  “Have you guys been drinking tonight?”  His tone of voice tells me he’s mastered what I suppose is a critical skill for a cop– making an accusation sound like a question.

            “No.”

            “Roll your window down some more.”  I roll it down more than half way.  “Are you trying to hide something?”  Again, an accusation.

            “No.  Nothing to hide.”

            He hands me my license and registration.  “Let’s slow it down.”

            “Sure thing.”

            We stop six miles later and fill up.  There was still a gallon and a half of gas in the tank.  We could have gone 450.  I smile and laugh, “I just got out of a huge speeding ticket!”

            A flat smile breaks across Joel’s face.  He shakes his head, turns the engine over, and we start the final leg of the trip.

Before we got pulled over, we had spent an hour and a half talking about relationships, responsibilities, missed opportunities, and rare but satisfying victories.  Those conversations are half the purpose behind these trips; the other half is to experience the freedoms of life that sometimes fall in our laps.  Our karma gets jacked up, and sometimes crazy good things happen.  We’ll remember what we did as much as what we said within in the confines of my Saturn.  This is how men do it; not with cosmos while watching Steel Magnolias or while sipping a latte at Starbucks after a day of shopping, but in the wee hours on a dark highway after we’ve gnawed off a big raw hunk of life, while our hands are grimy and the juices are still running down our chins.

3:15am – Gurnee, IL

            I collapse on my bed, no worse for the wear of the day other than being extraordinarily tired.  My cat nuzzles me and purrs.  It’s nice to know I was missed.

            The deed is done.  Joel and I will still talk about this in ten years.  He’ll add it to his list of obsessions, below the chili and Mars Cheese Castle—his cerebral experiences will never outrank the physical sensations of food in his mind.  He’s a bit unusual, but a good friend.  As for me, I can wrap up summer and head back to school confident that I scored a substantive last hurrah.  Right now, I need sleep.

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Written by seeker70

August 14, 2010 at 12:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. So on my scorecard I also write who I was with, and what we had to eat and drink. This is in sketches, like a triangular slice of pepperoni pizza, a regular hot dog or a foot-long; a thin beer mug means a light beer (under duress) vs. a real one. I elaborate on the weather too – sunny, cloudy. I tried to count pitches a couple times, but that’s too distracting. As for your boxes, your method is less obscure to me than the ornamentation at the Addison Brown Line stop, which can’t have been designed by a real fan. There’s no single way to score, but there is absolute truth.

    Karen Zemanick

    August 23, 2010 at 12:50 am

  2. […] over the last few years to hide my skepticism regarding the police.  I even wrote herein about an encounter I had with a Michigan State Police officer five years ago.  I’ve had a pair of speeding tickets since then, so my personal business […]


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