Sunday, April 30

Guilty Again

"Will you guys please stop telling me that I should stop when an officer tells me? Notice that I am standing still on the sidewalk right now!" But I thought: what is this "obey" shit?
I am the Schmuck that got a ticket during Critical Mass yesterday for totally ignoring a bright red stoplight. I think my declaration here will help me work through the annoyance I have felt for about twenty four hours.

First, I want to express my gratitude for the dozen riders who actually turned around and witnessed the interaction I had with Officer Castro and his rookie Officer Booker. They turned out to be OK folks but it could have turned sour with my bad attitude. Thanks also to those who contributed to what will surely be a large fine. I was, after all, guilty as charged and intend to pay what I owe.

As I rode back home I thought that it's only the suckers that get the tickets. I still think I could have escaped because bikes are not worth chasing. I actually got away on that crazy Glendale ride after a rough rolling yelling match with the first of six patrol cars--all alone in the back of Ridazz to prove a point to the police. This time, I do not know why, it seemed better to stop and take it. At the end of it all maybe I just wanted to be listened to. Those guys have become so accustomed to lecturing us outlaws that my arrogant ass wanted to plant some humility. If the soil is good maybe it will take root and produce something beautiful.

Even now I am not sure what I accomplished. My dear mother is proud of me for changing the world for the better or some shit. She will probably always love me, 'nuff said. I vaguely remember turning my back on the superior officer because he wouldn't change his condescending tone.

Later, I had a chance to lecture him about my ideas about the way the world should work: that I was fully aware of the potential consequences of my actions and I did not need his help to determine that putting a bicycle in front of a moving car may be a bad idea-my bad idea, that I was giving up some of my safety for the good of the group as slow cars are easier to stop than fast cars, and that in a perfect world he (West Traffic Division) and I would be working together to create safety and to keep traffic moving.

At the end when he offered to shake my hand with his palm up (readers of business etiquette will see the submission in this gesture) and said he was looking out for my safety I believed him and took his hand. He smiled a little like he appreciated the innocence of my youth. I hope that it wasn't my whiteness that kept me from arrest. I hope that he heard me through the chaos of Sunset Boulevard and can see some lighter way of creating compliance. I hope I made a difference by accepting this pink slip of paper.

1 comment:

federico said...

this is a complex issue. i'm glad you decided to declare here. thank you.

our interaction with the Man is growing in sophistication, through practice.

pink, though, is the color of irony.