06/10/2011 I had a wonderful discussion with 3 Godland police officers at 6:30 am
I left work and was feeling nostalgic, I wanted to capture some long exposure images of downtown of Godland at night so, I took a short drive parked in front of Dos Banderas, grabbed my backpack, my EOS 3, 17-40mm lens and my tripod and took a walk.
Downtown Godland isn’t very spacious, two abandoned trucks and a “Church of Zion” creeper van were the only vehicles in sight. Not even one other body had a heartbeat but mine and I even walked by the library where my sister says all the homeless locals hang.
I couldn’t tell anyone what street it was, but a stop sign was in front of me, cars needed to stop and yield to pedestrians. I looked left and right before crossing, and on the right, a car was approaching quickly. I stopped halfway, because safety is no accident. The car speeds and corners to the right, just feet before my toes. I yell “HEY,HEY!”
I’m pissed, I almost got all my nice equipment ruined, including my camera and lens! I continue in the same direction, and see the automobile make an illegal u-turn at the T in the road! I hear a flap, see a man running across the street and her another flap. This chode drives down the road, so I decide to hold up my camera and pretend to take a photo of him. He spots me THIS time and flips me off (I couldn’t take an identifying photo, because it’s dark and my film ISO was 100, I’m taking 30 second photos here).
I make it to the end of the block, and see this mongoloid was delivering news papers and suddenly I notice the same car! He circled around and I hear him on the phone, and he’s talking to 911! I can hear him!
I’m not doing anything wrong, so I continue walking past the dried up town square fountain, a cop car passes with no response, cool. Fleeing would have led to suspicion, my record is clean and a “paperboy” isn’t going to make me quit.
I make it past the square to go to the truck to get a cigarette, success…begin walking back to the square to take a photo. Before crossing the street I look both ways, one light on the intersection is flashing yellow and in the other direction it’s flashing red. A cop pulls up at the caution light, I pause for ten seconds, he doesn’t move, so I cross. Still not bullied, I head back to the square, TOWARDS the cop (tri-pod and camera in hand wearing my backpack ).
Lights! COP1 exits.
COP1: “Hand outta your pocket. A person matching your description was reported looking into people’s cars!”
….where are the cars someone could be peepin’ in?….
Yours Truly: “No Sir, I’m just out here taking pictures of buildings and textured walls.”
COP1: “We got a call in, and you are a suspect.”
Yours Truly: “Well Sir,”……………………….repeat the aforementioned explanation…..
“I heard him call 911”
….Lights and another set of LIGHTS! Three cop cars and three cops around me for this shit? Now, I’m quivering like fecal matter in a Petri dish, because I don’t look like the All-American type (I’m not planting a bomb to celebrate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in Godland.)……
COP1: “Let me see some I.D.”
Yours Truly: “Here you go Sir.”
…..COP1 goes to the car…..
COP2: “You’re taking pictures of the dark?”
COP3:”Who are you working for?”
Yours Truly: “Yes, long exposures, 30 second exposures, I don’t work for any one. Look in my back pack please, I’m a photographer.”
COP3: “Why would someone be taking pictures of the dark?”
Yours Truly: “It’s art, and the artificial light gives an image an unusual ambiance. Check my back pack, it’s full of film and a lens.”
…..COP2 opens my backpack, every zipper, and shuffles it continuously to view the contents…..
COP3: “So what happened?”
COP2: “If you’re not looking into cars, why do you have a mini-maglite in here?”
Yours Truly: “It has a strobe light function, and has an interesting effect with long exposures, but the batteries are dead right now.”
COP3: “You have a flashlight taking pictures of the DARK?”
COP2: “Yep they’re dead.”
COP3: “So what happened again?”
…….COP2 is still fumbling through my backpack and I explain how I know how the police were called on me AGAIN and I’m thinking, does COP1 know how to use the computer in his car?…..
COP3: “Where do you live?”
Yours Truly: “Off Buckingham and Shiloh, my truck is right over there. Officers, I’ve been walking around here for the past hour and the only person I’ve seen or heard was the “paperboy” I swear to you he made this false accusation because he almost hit me and he thought I was recording his license plate with my camera or something.”
……..Finally COP1 exits the patrol car and shrugs. I can see the way all three of them are looking at each other, and they have this hilarious nonverbal gesture system that says they have NOTHING. They’re expressions turn diffused and disappointed.
COP1: “Alright, you’re free to go.”
…….Free to fucking go?…….hahahahaha………
Yours Truly: “Do you mind if I stick around and take more photos?”
COP3: “As long as we don’t catch you looking into anyone else’s car!”
Yours Truly: “Ya’ll be careful, I wish ya’ll could put a trace on that cell phone that called, because he just misspent 25 valuable minutes of everyone’s time, I apologize.”
All three cops literally squeal their tires speeding off, I walk around the block feeling sick to my stomach. I make it back to the truck without a photograph and throw up cranappleberry juice all over a parking space in front of Dos Banderas.
First time I’ve vomited in over 16 years.