The officer approaches my car.
I place my hands on the wheel. Don’t want to make a false move.
“Sir, were you aware of the art you just drove past?”
“Was there art? Sorry, I missed it, I was in too much of a hurry, I guess.”
“Well, sir, it’s not just a local ordinance, it’s a state law to come to a complete stop at the art.”
“Right, right.” What was it? A freaking miniature? An Orthodox icon? A Van Gogh reproduction painted on the head of a pin by some insomniac convict? Jeez. They should make it bigger. All the art should be so big you can’t miss it. Right?
“Well, I’d give you a citation but since I’m holding this book of poems, and my partner back there in the squad car is busy painting a watercolor, I’m going to go easy on you and give you a recitation instead.”
She reads me Maya Angelou. I am late for an appointment. Goddam. How long will this poem take? Maybe it would be faster if I just had the citation without the “re”.
“Sir, what’s the theme in that poem?”
Seriously? I wasn’t really paying attention. “Um, Black Lives Matter?”
The officer smiles, a bit condescendingly, I think. She thinks about my answer for a minute. A long minute. Finally: “More or less. That will do. Sir, please, slow down and pay attention to the art. It’s a grave matter of public health and safety. Next time, we’ll have to have you come in on weekends to paint the county courthouse pink with green polka dots.”
That doesn’t sound like it would even match! Maybe we should elect a new Art Commissioner. Crap. I’m too busy to vote. Never mind. Just get me out of here.
Chagrined, I arrive at my meeting twenty minutes late. Apologize.
“I blew past the art and got pulled over. I had to listen to poetry.”
Everyone shakes their head. They’ve done it too.