What is up with cops lately? It seems like they are up on me and I haven’t the slightest clue why this is going on. I came home last night from a very late tattoo session, and it was Friday yes, but I hadn’t had anything to drink but warmish water, as I laid over a table for several hours with my chin and neck in near impossible configurations, never quite getting the balance of my head right.

When you are bent forward for a long period of time it tends to bring back bored at school memories, those painful endless days trapped in a small desk containing your smaller body and folding yourself in half over the surface of the thing trying to disappear into it. This is somewhat of an altered state, as it blurs the vision and makes you react a little slowly as the world spins on behind you and you have to fully turn yourself around to go with it, but leaning extremely forward is not a viable method of intoxication, not like standing up super fast or spinning around wildly because these are the hard drugs of childhood that will make you pass out or at the very least go extremely pale.

I did none of these, but I did ask for heavy spray downs of lidocaine, which is my drug of choice. I don’t recommend this to anyone who is planning on getting a tattoo, this is just what I do sometimes, if I can remember to bring the bottle and if the artist will allow it. some really don’t like it, as it will cause the skin to react unpredictably and it heals slower and thicker and usually hurts more after the fact.

The truth is nothing takes the sting out of tattooing. It is painful and the pain is the method and motive of the delivery. I have understood this for some time and now am on the other side of it. as I see it, when you have more parts of your body that are tattooed than are not, you can make your own decisions about what works for you. So first become a candidate for a career in a turn of the century sideshow or circus and then make a conscious decision about topical anaesthetics.

I was driving home on the heavily traversed Sunset Blvd in Loz Feliz and I came upon a number of panicked vehicles turning left and I see they are swerving up into the hills above Sunset to avoid the sobriety checkpoint in front of me. I was too tired to bother with navigating up into the crooked lanes and one way dead ends that dissolve into silverlake and so I just went straight for the sobriety check point. Perhaps the test is that if you are sober enough to avoid the checkpoint then you don’t need additional screening.

A small army of rather youngish cops, the baby police, barely born and embryonic in their authority, stood in reflective vests and formed a bright line. I have been here before, and been waved through, as my expression is hard to read I guess. There’s my bar face and my car face and never the twain shall meet. But today my bar face must have made an unscheduled appearance because a stern cop stopped my car with the palm of his hand and made me to roll down my window. He asked me if I had anything to drink and I said no and I don’t think he believed me. My face had odd fold marks and indentations from the massage table, and these creases burned in the silence of his assessment.

He lifted up a pen and had me follow it with my eyes and I was so unnerved I kept following the pen with my face while looking at the policeman, which actually was harder to do because I was using both central and peripheral vision at the same time which alarmed him because he couldn’t identify what drug or drink caused the effect of this kind of hyperawareness.

He kept asking me to do it again and look at the pen only and I was looking at the pen but moving my face strangely in the opposite direction and then he was frustrated and possibly thinking I was making fun of him and his badge and his pen and I was not doing any of that. I was just nervous and unsure of how to bring someone into my body to show them I was capable of the moment. It’s a near impossible thing to achieve. When you try to convince someone of your competence, nerves and physical pride get in the way and mess up your performance.

He waved me off, and I watched drivers behind me get stopped and pulled out of their cars and I saw cones laid out in a lane in front of me and I was confused by them, like I was meant to weave in between them or something like in my motorcycle class, but I saw they merely marked out an exit lane and I escaped with flooding relief, wondering the entire drive home whether I had passed the sobriety test or not.

4 thoughts on “Checkpoint

  1. unfortunately, bravo is like that — and then the fun that should be occurring isn’t really happening as the world has been buried in the irresponsible notions of the MOST stupid people i’ve EVER had in my life. provincial, parochial morons proclaiming some novel message for the world as the stupid story of a van filled with idiots claiming something positive as a wonderful brooks brothers ensemble that winds up being a 15 year holdover of people whining about conditions while exploiting and trafficking plenty along with the tired miami waste posturing as austin enjoyment bringing a rat hole as pedophilia, junkies, alcoholics, molesters, and trolls — and one is left wondering — 15 years on, and that’s the best your ensemble can do?? it’s no wonder people were carrying incense to the brook forest inn to hear a long gone atmosphere — 15 years schlepping with the MOST stupid people in my life and the checkpoint that i passed is the united states of homophobia is no longer my home — and i have watched the orchestration of the MOST stupid misuse of so many beautiful locations and people. strange perhaps, i’ve met more endearing police than the limitations of cable executives feeding people the most banal, septic trash that this epoch does NOT need. i love you.

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