My school was having its annual talent show. It’s really exclusive, so all the talent is… you know… good. I was on the phone with Allison as I weaved through traffic, and she was saying, “You have to get your butt down here NOW! People are parking up and down the street! I’m in the teacher’s parking lot, it’s the only one with any spots left and there are only three left and YOU HAVE TO GET DOWN HERE!”
So I was speeding, going at least ten over while Allison was shouting in my ear (“There are two spots left! Two, Elodie! TWO! And now there is… ONE! One spot left, and I am standing in it so nobody else takes it but let’s be serious, if someone tries to pull in I’m getting out of the way! Hurry, Elodie, HURRY!”) and then… and THEN… I saw the cop.
He was chilling on the side of the road in his cruiser, just behind a tree… a PRIME spot to see and not be seen, at least until it’s too late. And it was sure as hell too late for me. I saw him, and I did one of those deals where you kind of slam really obviously on the breaks, leaving everyone on the road without a doubt that you were speeding in the presence of a cop. And then I swore, and I swore good, too. It wasn’t a “damn” or even a “shit.” It was a flat-out “FUCK!” And he saw it. I passed so close that I could see the color of his eyes, for God’s sake, because he was RIGHT THERE. And he saw the blatant profanity I spewed, combined with the speeding and the fact that I was also on the phone, which is not illegal where I live but probably didn’t help my case.
He gave me a little shake of the head. A deeply disapproving shake of the head and a little squinting of the eyes, like he was saying, “You’re a teenager. I know what you get up to on weekends.” And then it was over. No lights, no siren. He didn’t pull me over. It was a miracle. (And I got the spot.)