Last night when I left work the sun was still up (possibly it goes down for a little bit while Iâ€™m at work, but Iâ€™m in denial). I drove part way to the big huge city and then stopped to snuggle and sleep with a friend. Itâ€™s so good to have friends you can call in the middle of the night for a cuddle. Even better when they live in a vehicle too (none of that creepy house sleeping) and your dogs can get along in the same bed.
This morning (er, afternoon) I got up and drove the rest of the way. My mom is coming down to the big huge city from her little village, and since Iâ€™m only a few hours away I decided to come up and visit. Plus I had some shopping to do.
Itâ€™s a beautiful drive. Half an hour into it I heard a siren and flashing lights appeared a few cars back from me. I slowed down and pulled over, as did the car behind meâ€¦ and a little green car went flying by, with a cop car in close pursuit!
I followed along a little ways behind. Iâ€™m nosy like that. The guy wasnâ€™t much speeding, but he wasnâ€™t pulling over either. I imagined that he was either really high, or thinking about what to do, or on the phone with his baby mama telling her that he loved her for the last time as a free man. Real life is never as dramatic as my imagination, though.
Itâ€™s a long road. Thereâ€™s a lot of RVâ€™s, and he kept getting hung up behind them.
I donâ€™t know what Iâ€™d do if I were ever in that situation. Part of me, the knows-what-itâ€™s-doing survival part of me, wants to not escalate things and build rapport. This is one way to stay alive, but it probably has at least as much to do with old conditioning as it does with survival instincts. Things get mixed up this way, you know.
Once, when I was (eight? nine? seven?) I woke from a dead sleep to guns pointed at me and my friends and cops yelling to hold still, shut up, let go of that baby and put your hands where we can see them. My friendsâ€™ mom started to sing Kumbaya, and a cop kicked her in the ribs. Hard. I was so steeped in civil disobedience, even at that age, that I didnâ€™t bother to tell the cops that my friendsâ€™ parents werenâ€™t our parents. It was funny, kind of. Funny except for the echo of his boot on her ribs and the baby locked in a cop car crying. Thatâ€™s really how I learned not to ever escalate anything with cops. But that is maybe not the best lesson to hold on to.
There is another part of me, a logical part, that knows resistance is almost always worth it. Itâ€™s the part that listened to my motherâ€™s lectures about never going with a kidnapper. â€œIf they say theyâ€™re going to shoot you, tell them to just shoot you where you are,â€ she would say. Itâ€™s the part who knows that during the holocaust the Jews who went along and did what they were told ended up in gas showers, and that the Jews who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising had the highest rate of survival (thanks to Derrick Jensen for that piece of logic and history).
Iâ€™d like to think that if it were me Iâ€™d do something logical and wonderful and escape. Or use my last moments of freedom for something significant and meaningful. But who knows what Iâ€™d do?
An hour on down the road they have a roadblock set up. He stops and sits in his car without resisting. The people in the RV behind me honk their horn impatiently. They have California plates. Within two minutes the man is in the back of a police cruiser and we are all back on the road.