PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Monday, May 23, 2005

My Early Encounter With The Po-lice

Before we moved to Iowa, we lived in a tiny town in Wisconsin. My mom was working in the school system & my dad was on the land we'd bought, building our geodesic dome home in the woods.

One of the rituals we established was that anytime we went to the little corner store/gas station, I got a fudgesicle. I loooooved me the fudgesicles. I would eat it while my mom would pump gas into her white Ford Falcoln, with a red vinyl interior. After gassing up one bright sunny afternoon, she backed up and straight into another car. I barely remember all of this, I was 6, and had my priorities straight: eat the fudgesicle before it melts. Anyway, I guess they exchanged info and all that, but it was going to take too long for the police so they were to come to our house to take a report.

Nobody told me.

I answered the door, as I happened to be strolling by into the kitchen and noticed there was a very nice lady, in her blue police officer uniform, standing on the front step. A police cruiser sat beyond her, parked directly in front of the sidewalk. I walked up to the screen, and she looked down at me. She had curly brown hair and she smiled as she asked me, "Is your mommy home?"

My legs began to shake. I absolutely knew in that moment that she had come to take my mother away, and I would be left alone to fend for myself. I looked to the left, towards the living room where my mother was (she hadn't yet realized there was someone at the door.) This was also perhaps a tip-off to the police officer that I was lying when I stuck my chin out and answered, "Nope."
She patiently said again, "Is your mommy home? I need to talk to her. It's OK." My mom had heard her by now and she was starting to come towards the door. I commenced to have a full-blown FREAK OUT. Crying, hysterics, establishment of anarchy and public unrest. The police were here to take my mother away for hitting another car, and there would be no more fudgesicles, I didn't even know how to call my father and I certainly wasn't going to go down the street to my babysitter's house, she played a 45 of Neil Diamond singing about Reverend Blue Jeans over and over and had large wall art made of wire and nails. I tried to push my mother out of the doorway, out of the line of sight of the police officer, screaming NO NO NO. Assurances that everything was going to be ok fell on deaf ears.

Of course, they didn't haul my mother off to the pokey and it was simply paperwork that the officer had to go over. In our living room, she tried to be nice to me again, and tried to reassure me she wasn't going to take my mother away. I stayed glued to my mother's side and glowered at the police officer, as if to say, "Bitch, don't take me on." I didn't believe her, either, until she had driven off, and I watched her taillights disappear down the street.

Thirty years later, I know now that one shouldn't lie to the police, and that the song is actually called "Forever in Blue Jeans". But I still don't like Neil Diamond, and I hate the threatened feeling of an authority that has the power to take away MY power. I respect the police, but I dislike it if their only job is to write speeding tickets. Last, but not least, I'm still not a fan of wire/nail art. These things get rooted in our systems early on and they never let go.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:47 AM