Saturday, June 26, 2010

Routine Stop

by Doug Draime

The cops stopped,
and had to inform me I
was on Grant street
in Santa Monica.

“Well, kiss my ass,”
I joked with one of the cops,
“the last thing I remember
I was smoking a joint
at a friend’s house in Silverlake.”

That’s when I had to relearn
that you don’t joke
with the cops. Or for that matter,
you can’t be honest
with cops about “illegal
drugs”, or anything else that
might be held up to serious debate.
Part of what I said was the truth
and the other part was just
a joke. I knew I wasn’t in Silverlake
anymore and I was quite aware
I was staggering some down Grant street,
having lost count of how many
beers I’d consumed since I’d
left Silverlake. So, I
pretended I was more messed-up
than I actually was, just to sort of, well,
fuck with ‘em.

“You trying to be a wise ass? You
just look like a drunk hippie to me,”
said the other cop,
with a potent dose of venom

“I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking
to your partner,” I replied, without
turning to look at him.

I knew that was a mistake the
instant it came outta my mouth,
but I couldn’t help myself.

He grabbed me from behind,
turned me around,
pushed me against the squad
car and turned me around again,
“Spread eagle, you piece of shit,”
he snarled at me, and then padded
me down hard, as he pushed me ribs
and cuffed me.

“This was just a routine stop, you
asshole, until you shot-off you
fucking mouth,” he said, grabbing
the back of my arms and leading
me to the back seat.

The Santa Monica cop shop/lockup
was much nicer than the Hollywood
Precinct that I had become accustomed
to. There was a color tv in the walkway
separating the cells, and access to
vending machines of soda, candy and

The next morning when they cut me
loose I left a note for the cop that roughed
me up. “Hey, Jerry, I was really only
joking. But cops like you are the reason
people hate and fear cops. Maybe food
for thought, maybe not. Love, Doug.”

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