Going to California

Making Magic — 7.2

After less than ten minutes driving my no-longer-stolen car, I was pulled over by a cop. He unsnapped the leather cover over his sidearm as he approached my car. My dad always told me to keep both hands on the steering wheel as a cop’s coming over, so as not to scare him that you might be reaching for something. That was one of the days I had a few moments to reflect, as the officer approached me, on that good advice.

“Hello, officer.”

“STEP OUT OF THE CAR.”

“Mmm-hmm, sure — it’s funny, I bet you think I stole this car.”

“STEP OUT OF THE CAR. SIT ON THE CURB.”

“Yes, sir. I just picked the car up for the impound—”

“SIT ON THE CURB. NOT ANOTHER WORD.”

Without taking his eyes off of me, he walked over to his vehicle and had a long exchange with someone on the other end of a radio handset. I’d never been so grateful to see the police, and after he cleared my story, I told him so.

He wasn’t nearly as happy as I was. “Been looking for this car for nearly two weeks,” he said.

“Thank you, really. ’M impressed you recognized the plates of a stolen car at a glance.”

He scowled, dismissing me. “They found it abandoned behind a furniture store down south of here. After a little over a week, some people who worked there called it in. A few days later it got towed in.” He sighed, scribbling on a piece of paper. “You can go.”

“Thank you so much for keeping your eyes open for my car, sir.”

He grimaced and walked back to his cruiser. Me, I was happy to get on the road. I had a hot date.

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