Today you snapped. It’s been building up, sure, but today you just couldn’t take it anymore. So far you’ve gone after your mother and your ex. Finish out your day as a serial killer. Your focus can either be on deep character development or on moving a plot forward.
Maybe it was the car? It wasn't exactly late model. Then again, this wasn't exactly Los Angeles. Hell, it wasn't even Dallas. This part of the state was filthy with shitty guzzlers like the one I was driving, so it didn't really stick out like a turd in a punchbowl. Hell, I'd just passed a pick up truck with out a passenger side door, so that ruled the car itself out. I could make a race case out of it, but what would it matter. Nothing would change the fucking fact that there was a City Police Cruiser in the next lane, slowly creeping his way back, angling his play. I was about to get pulled over, and I still had some unfinished business in the trunk.
I'd spotted him as I was ahead of me as I was driving across the city line. He was less than a quarter mile ahead, but I could still make out the rear tail lights of the Crown Victoria. That never made sense to me. The whole point of the unmarked cars is seamless anonymity, a quality that is blown all to hell when every unmarked car comes in the same make and model, in unvarrying shades of white and powdered blue. He was like a shark riding the current, biding his time, looking for a quick and easy meal. I could have turned right and made the block, but this wasn't my town, and need to get through it as quickly as possible. Leaving the highway was a bad idea. The last thing I needed was to get lost because the city fathers of Bracketburg or where ever the fuck I was had some Masonic aversion to the grid system.
Since I was running unavoidably parallel to him, I'd have to watch my shit. I spotted a speed limit sign out of the corner of my eye, and adjusted the cruise control accordingly. All I had to do
was keep my nose clean and my eyes on the road in front of me. I reached out and tapped the CD player up to track fourteen. The jangle of the acoustic guitar broke the silence and a quarter of a bar later, the electric guitar brought in a downward cascading riff that made it sound like the song was a Slinky, slowly tumbling down a staircase, only to be picked back up at the end of the riff and placed at the top again. Then the slinky was knocked over again and goddamn it, you got a hit fucking song. God love the Beatles.
Well you know that I'm a wicked guy
And I was born with a jealous mind
And I can't spend my whole life
Trying just to make you tow the line
Alice 3 didn't really appreciate the song very much. She just kept screaming. Even with the wash cloth jammed in her mouth and the packing tape strapped across it, she was so loud, that it almost drowned out the music. I thought about trying to figure out some way of putting her to sleep first, but that almost seemed like I was treating her like some kind of fucking dog. I loved her and respected her too much to make her miss out on her special day. Still though, the screaming really did put a damper on the song. She just wasn't paying attention to the words like I wanted her too. She had to realize how important this was to me. To the both of us. I'd have to think of someway to make the song work before I started looking for Alice 4. But, it was still early. This was a learning experience after all.
In the mean time, there was still Roscoe P. Coltrane up ahead of me, and I realized he'd gotten closer. The cruise control was still locked at a highway friendly 60 MPH, so I knew I hadn't been speeding. If anything, he was slowing down. Not good. Not the end of the world, but it would be far from ideal. He was still about two block ahead of me and he could still turn off at any point, so I wasn't too worried yet. I had time to get my shit together. I picked up my drink cup sucked up the last of my Dr. Pepper until that satisfying hollow slurp rang out. There was still ice in the bottom of the cup, but I didn't want to do anything stupid like throwing it out the window, so I placed it in trash bag behind the passenger's seat and made a mental note to deal with the melted ice if I had a chance to later. Just because the trunk was going to need a good scrubbing later didn't mean that I wanted the interior to look terrible. While I reached back to toss the cup, I glanced at the back seat and found it satisfactory. Nothing attracts attention like a messy back seat. Statistically, I cop is more likely to give you a ticket rather than a warning if the car is a mess. They've lost respect for you before you've even opened your mouth. Can't say I blame them.
I've gone through great pains to minimize the amount of mess and clutter that I generate. I could be glib and make a joke about how Alice has too, but not right now. Maybe later. Mostly, I was impressed at my own progress. I was getting better, much faster than I anticipated. Compared to the work I'd done with Alice1, Alice3 was I work of art. I'd gone from simple meat cutter to sculptor in only three easy lessons. If things went my way, by the time I got to Alice13, I was going to produce a masterpiece. At this point, I was still throwing pots in craft class, but one day I would be the Henry Moore of the flesh medium. If I put the work in and I learned from my mistakes. But most importantly for right now, if that cop didn't do what I knew, in my fucking heart, he was about to.
He had now pulled even with my car as we approached the last traffic light in town. One more mile and he would be out of his jurisdiction. That was cold comfort, because one mile was more than enough distance for him to pull me over. I mulled over my options. Speeding away was not an option. Not if I wanted sleep in my own bed tonight. I halfway considered matching his speed and boxing him in between my car and the car behind him. I thought that if he couldn't get behind me, he couldn't pull me over. I quickly recognized the flaw in this logic. Much like the myth of the Rio Grande, the county line wasn't an invisible forcefield. Desperados and fugitives were often pulled back across the river, protesting the entire time in utter disbelief. If I gave him provocation, there was nothing to stop him from stepping just out of his municipal zone and fixing the peperwork later. There was no way around it. The only scenarios that ended with me walking out of this all involved pulling over when his lights flashed. I broke my forward stare long enough to check my reflection in the rear view mirror. If today was my day to become famous, I needed my hair to look good.
The light turned green.
The Beatles - Run For Your Life