It was 2am. The streets were quite for a Friday night. Rob and I sat on the sidewalk across from Kennedy Park, the place we considered our second home. That park contained the ghosts of more stories then I could ever convey. We sat and drank our beers in quiet, looking out onto the night. Rob lit up our last dube for the evening and passed it to me.
It wasn’t necessarily our last dube, I was always able to perform my nightly ritual of sneaking into my dad’s nigh table and stealing one of his. Well, stealing wasn’t really the right choice of words, what I would do is cut them all open, steal a little out of each and then re-roll them, leaving myself one nice one to end the night. But tonight was different. Neither Rob nor I wanted to go back to my house much. Hence the reason for being on the sidewalk at 2am.
We couldn’t go back there, Cathy was there. And if nothing else, we needed a break from her. Cathy was a girl I’d met in school a few months after my mother had died. Cathy was a neurotic mess, much like my mother was (which was no doubt the reason I found her). I’d fallen deeply in love with her and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fall out. The problem was, so had Rob. And Len, and Vince. Cathy was a remarkable person. Very, very intellyjent, crafty, and an excellent manipulator. But above and beyond all that, she was highly Manic Depressive, and suicidal.
I took her in because I’d needed to have the feeling of taking care of someone again. My mom was manic depressive, and with my dad working, and my sister scared to go near her for fear of the disease rubbing off, I was left alone to care for her. This was before we knew she was dying from cancer. When my mother died, I felt like I’d lost a parent and a child at the same time. The next few month were an alcohol and drug induced nightmare, and when I awoke, there was a strange girl living in my room.
Rob and I just needed to get away from it all one evening, so we left everyone at my place and headed out to go get pissed. And pissed we were. We sat there smoking the dube when we noticed a cop car pull up beside us and stop. Rob just had time to put out the dube and toss it under the front tire of a car next to us.
We had open beers in our hands, and our ID’s only showed 17 years a piece. We sat there, looking at the car. The 2 officers looked back at us. Time seemed to stand still. We didn’t get up, and they didn’t approach us. They didn’t even roll down their windows. Finally, Rob and I looked at each other and got to our feet, beers still in our hands.
“Evening”, Rob said to the cops. The driver, a male in his mid 30’s lowered his window. We walked around to talk to him. The passenger, a woman in her late 20’s, early 30’s sat there looking at us.
“You know it’s against the law to have open beer in public?” The driver asked us.
“Yes”, we replied in unison. “We were just having a quick beer,” Rob added.
“Well the neighbor’s called us about you guys making too much noise.”
“Oh shit, sorry,” I said. “We just wanted to sit and talk.”
“Well then, I suggest you go home and do that.”
“But…We can’t.” I said. “We’ll just go into the park, no one will hear us.”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.” He said. “Why can’t you go home?”
Rob and I looked at each other. “Well… We can go home, it’s just that she’s there.”
Though the cop didn’t understand who she was, there was a glint of understanding in his eyes.
“And she is?”
We explained as best we could the whole series of events leading up to, and including our being on the sidewalk drinking beer on a Friday night at 2am, and how, we just couldn’t go home. By the time we were finished, I felt like Arlo Guthrie giving a whole new rendition of Alice’s Restaurant (5x7 colored glossy photographs with a paragraph on the back of each one, explaining what each one was to be used against us in a court of law). By this point the cop had gotten out of the car to talk to us. We stood in front of the car with him and started to talk about girl troubles. And he, in return, talked about his.
“You think you’ve got it bad,” he began. “I have a wife at home… and one for a partner!” To this the female cop started bitching at him in French (we were, after all in Montreal). To which he replied “ah, ferme ta bouche!” (Oh, shut your mouth!). Rob and I did our best not to laugh.
By this time, Rob and I were sitting on the front hood of the cop car, drinking our beers. The cop lit a smoke, and we did the same. The whole event seemed to be out of a Dali painting. We talked for a while longer and then they left, making us promise not to be out too much longer and to keep our voices down. The last thing he said before he left was, “hey, don’t forget the rest of that joint under the car". He started to laugh and he drove away. The last thing Rob and I heard, as we re-lit the dube, was the cop's partner giving him shit.
Note from Scapegoatfortheworld...After writing The Cops & Me Part I, someone /msg'd me asking if it was fiction or not. As I told him, these little nodes are all true. I just thought it would be interesting to write about all of my experiences dealing with the cops when I was younger. Here's another one for your noding pleasure.
We were all at Rainbow Park, on the East side of Montreal. Me, Andrea, Gaby, JF, Steve and a few others whom time has forgotten. We were partying it up, as usual. Having a good time, drinking some beer, smoking some dubes. It was a wonderful summer night. No cares, no worries. Just being kids.
By 3:00ish, when the last of our party supplies were gone, we headed on out. We got to the parking lot, said our goodbyes and Andrea, Greg (oh yeah, I almost forgot Greg), JF and I got into JF’s car. Before I go any further, a little note needs to be mentioned about JF, it will explain a lot in the node (and my life).
JF (who’s last name will be withheld for some justifiable reasons), was the oldest of the group. He was 5 foot nothing tall, and about the same wide. He wasn’t fat. On the contrary, but he was very muscular. We called him (behind his back, of course), Steroid Smurf. He was the thief among the group. His specialty was doing B & E's. He’d spent more time in jail then all of us put together. And it was in jail that he started working out and taking ‘roids. He had grown tired of being the ‘little guy’ and decided to do something about it. He went in a little punk, and came out the other end as, well… Steroid Smurf. Enough about JF. And now, back to our story.
We got into the car and started to go. Immediately we were surrounded by 2 cop cars in the front of us, and a patty wagon in the rear (oooh, sounds kinky). The cops pulled their guns out and screamed for us to get out of the car and to get on the ground. We did. Andrea, my girlfriend at the time was starting to freak out because one of the female cops pulled her out of the car by her hair.
We were all down on the ground except for JF, who the cops were questioning. The other cops were searching us as we lay on the ground with our hands behind our backs. For some reason, I was the only one not searched. Andrea was getting hysterical, she was scared and I needed to go calm her down. I told the cop that was standing over me that I was going to go talk to her. He didn’t protest so I went to her. I stroked her hair and calmed her down. We stayed there, on the ground for a long time. (Why does time seem to pass so slowly when there's a gun to your head?).
What ended up happening was that JF had decided to take the boot off his car. (A boot is a metal contraption that locks onto a car tire, much like a bear trap. They put it on cars that have too many parking tickets). We didn’t know that JF had done it, and neither did the cops. All they see when someone does that is a report for a stolen car. So they took JF away, and left Andrea, Greg and I standing alone in a park in the middle of the night. No phone, no busses, nothing. We started walking and finally got to a phone. We called Steve, who came back to get us.
We all drove down to the cop shop to get JF . The cops were still busy with him. We found out that the car was going to be impounded. Andrea put on her charm and the cops allowed us to get into it so that we could get our personal property out. We went to the car, and while Andrea distracted the cop, I got my pot and pipe out of the back seat. I looked over and saw JF's little 25 caliber gun in the side pouch of the driver’s door. I thought about it, then quickly decided that my life was a little more important then JF’s freedom, so I left it there.
JF was let out a few hours later. He never got the car back. We never heard about what happened to the gun either. For JF's sake, I hope the cop who found it never has to drop a piece.
One sunny summer afternoon, I found myself in the back alley of a small shopping complex with my buddies, just hanging out, shooting the shit. I had some pot on me, so I rolled a dube while my friend Rob played with a little cap gun I’d found at a garage sale earlier that day. For a toy, it looked quite realistic. There were 6 of us there that day.
I finished rolling and went to spark it up when I realized that I didn’t have a light. I mentioned this to the group, and Rob and I decided to go to the little corner store in the complex to get some matches.
We went into the store and asked the guy behind the cash for some matches. He obliged and we walked out. As we got out the door I realized that Rob was still playing with my gun, but didn’t really think much of it. We went back to the group.
I sat down on the little staircase that led to the second floor and lit the joint. I passed it to Rob who took a few tokes and passed it to Len. The joint was rather large and it made it a few rounds before getting low. As we stood around, Rob began to twirl the toy gun around his finger, like the guys in the old westerns.
”Drop it!” someone screamed. We looked and we say 7 cops, all crouched down, low to the ground, with their guns pointed at us.
Rob just stared at them like a deer in the headlights. We looked at them, and they at us. No one moved. “Rob”, I said, “Drop the gun man. “
It took Rob a few seconds (not because he was stoned or anything) to realize what was going on. He gently put the gun down on the ground below him. We stood there as the cops approached us.
The first cop on the scene picked up the gun and looked at it. “A toy?” It was more of a statement than a question. “I almost shot you over a toy?”
Rob, who was braver then he was smart sometimes looked at the cop and said, “so what, it’s only a .38 anyway. Big deal. Take it and put it to my head and pull the fucking trigger!” He put his finger to his temple as a mock gun.
Not to try to drum up more points or anything, but to fully understand Rob’s attitude, you need to refer to The Cops & Me Part I and see the section under Cathy. Let’s just say that Rob had been going through a rough time lately, and was under a lot of stress.
The cop pulled his gun once again out of it’s holster and opened the barrel. “Sorry son, “ he said as he removed one of the bullets. “This ain’t no .38. It’s a .357 with hollow tips.”
I thought he was joking, but he showed it to me right there as well. Fucking hollow tips. I’d seen an ARMY video once. The soldier used one on a cow. You saw the bullet go in on one side, and when the camera panned around to the other side.. Well, there was no other side.
”But… how can you..” I started to say, but he cut me off. While this was going on, his partner came and started to frisk us.
"About a year ago, I went to bust this coke dealer, and his fucking bitch
stabbed me in the back with a fork. Ever since then…Well, fuck regulations.” He put the bullet back in the gun and the gun (thank God), back into his holster.
”Listen kids, you gotta be more careful,” he began. The other cops were heading back to their cars. One other cop, probably this guy’s partner, stayed behind and was making notes in his notebook. “We could have killed you. I’m going to have to take the gun away.”
"Wait,” I said. I just bought it. Why can little kids have cap guns but not me? We haven’t done anything wrong.”
”Fine, keep it. But take off your shirt,” the cop said to me.
"Wha…?” I began, but he nodded at me to do it.
He took my shirt and wrapped the gun in it. “Like this,” he said. “Until you get home. Then I suggest that you keep it there.”
He started to walk away. “Oh yeah, the joint you were smoking before we got here…Hand it over.”
"Aw, come on," Len began, but the cop was serious. I lifted my shoe and handed him the half-joint underneath it.
"You kids have a nice day," he said and got into his car and drove away.
Everyone let out a little sigh of relief. We collected out things and began walking to Rob's house. I wanted to drop off the gun. I put my shirt back on and tucked the gun into my waistband.
"Man, I could sure use a dube after that," Len said.
"Yeah," Rob agreed.
I reached into the back of my waistband and pulled out a crushed cigarette pack. I reached inside and pulled out a joint and lit it. The others looked at me.
"Where the Hell did you get that?" Rob asked.
"I had it on me the whole time, cop never found it when he searched me," I said. The others laughed and we went on with the rest of our day. A little more stoned, and a little less cocky.