Police Wheels & Donuts
“What do you want to talk about today?”
I felt slightly optimistic sitting there on a plush couch fiddling a stuffed alligator. Its mouth was open and my sight bee lined around and in between its teeth. I pretended to be thinking.
“Ummmm” I lingered. I didn’t know. I knew I needed to talk about something, anything really. I desperately did but Medulla was a tough trap for my thoughts to escape through. Nothing got passed Medulla. So I sat there in silence and hated myself for holding back. I was scared.
I eventually summoned up enough courage to talk about something insignificant. I had been on the waitlist for PTSD treatment for over a year and here I was wasting it away, wasting away. What a waste.
I go every Tuesday night after work and the next week I was running late, running off Metro in my thigh high boat, high waisted pants and blazer. Tap. I touch my metro card, swoosh; gates open, swoosh; I’m through. I run.
Suddenly, I’m stopped by a hand to my chest pushing me backwards back into the station.
“Excuse me ma’am, I need to double check to make sure your metro card processed properly.”
I stop. Heels planted.
“It did, otherwise the gates would not have opened…..!” My right eyebrow shot up to my hairline.
The officer moved his hand to my shoulder to move me in the direction of the station manager.
“I’m sure, but let’s check then I will be out of your hair.” The officer was young, mid thirties or so. He was tall in stature with a sculpted physique causing his uniform to dimple and stretch everywhere you would want it on a man. He was attractive but I was fuming. He walked into the three-sixty degree windowed octagon of a Manager booth. The gentlemen exchanged glares but no signals were received. The station manager seemed perplexed by the officer’s presence. My eyes found my metro card still in the officer’s hand as he exited the booth. Nothing happened.
“Okay, you’re all set.” He handed the card back to me with a smile and a wink. The blue eye that was still open turned gray and I fell sick to my stomach.
I turned around and continued running, running late to therapy.
“What do you want to talk about today?” It’s the next week and my session went better than usual.
What do you want for dinner babe? 🥰
Want me to order a pizza?🍕🍕🍕
Sure that sounds good, you pick, I trust you😘
I crossed the metro parking lot hastily.
My shoes stopped at the edge of the sidewalk and I looked up smiling at the thought of pizza and Daniel. As I looked for cars to my left, I noticed the cop who stopped me the week before watching me from across the street with a fellow officer. I made my way across the street and the two men quickly shuffled toward my direction. My steps got faster, longer, faster, I was running. So were they. Tap-Swoosh; through the gate, I didn’t look back. I flew down the stairs to meet an onboarding train on the platform. My escape. I slid through the closing doors and onto an empty seat. I caught my breath first, then my heart.
Boom boom, breathe in
Boom boom, breathe out,
boom boom, in
boom boom, out
My shaking hand moves into my purse in search of my phone.
I needed to text Daniel for comfort.
Unable to muster enough coordination to unlock my phone, I slump back into my seat and let out the remaining air in my lungs.
Breath in. Looking forward my vision began to blur as I began to relax.
Breath in, my breath is caught and my eyes sharpen as the intra-car door opens.
It was the officers. I looked away before they could notice me but I felt their eyes and a celebratory smirk once they realized their search was over.
Breath in, breath in, breath in, hold, hold, hold
My head swirled in figure eights around the train support beams. Seventies tinted oranges and greens blurred together. Breathe in.
The officer's ice blue eyes reflected in the window pieced through the haze and stopped my bloodstream. He moved his hands over his weapon belt softly, sensually, then grabbed and thrust his groin in my direction. Breath in.
Breath. Breath bre-ath. My eyes spun in circles, weaving past memories, and terrors of my past. It caught one.
I found my independence in Oakland, California. With new beginnings and exploration at my disposal, I felt in charge and in control of who I was. A sense of childlike wonder was restored, a new innocence reborn. Before the Bay Area, I received very little sexual attention on the street. When I did it was from your stereotypical construction worker who, as a motion detector, sounds at every instance of feminized movement. After moving to Oakland and becoming comfortable with public transit I began to notice how much attention I was garnering. Anxiety led to paranoia and I began to make conscious decisions about the clothing I was wearing and my overall presentation. When running errands around town I dressed in sweatpants and baggy t-shirts in hopes I would receive less attention on the streets.
No bright colors, no shorts, nothing tight. Of course, I quickly learned, my attire did not matter, my body was inherently coded with signs of desire.
By my sophomore year of college I was over this method of self-regulation, what was the point?
One night after visiting my friends in the city I was walking back to the dorms around 11:30 pm. Just getting off of College Ave. with my building in site, I noticed a police car ripping down Broadway with his lights flashing.
Reasonably, I thought there was an emergency at hand however instead of driving through the red light he was speeding towards, the police officer made a hard u-turn. He then u-turned once more before hitting the preceding light and continued this pattern until he made three elongated donuts in the deserted city street. Unable to cross the street due to his shenanigans, I stood on the corner watching in disbelief. I wasn't sure at which point he noticed me standing there but all of a sudden he broke his donut arrangement and sped my way. With his front right tire on the curb inches from my foot the police officer rolled down his window and asked what I was up to.
“Staying outta trouble?”
he asked. I replied yes, sir.
“That’s a shame, you'd look awfully pretty in my cuffs…why don’t you hop in, I’ll give you a ride,”
No thank you, I live just down the street.
I said shocked, disgusted, afraid.
“Get in the car sweetheart”
No, I need to go home now.
The police officer popped out of the car and slammed his door shut, my heart skipped two beats maybe three. Closing off my only exit, he approached me drumming his fat pasty white fingers on his black weapon hoister belt. My eyes desperately scanned the cityscape for witnesses, a witness, just one but there wasn't a soul.
He progressed, crooked grin and pointed eyes. He sauntered like it was a game like I was game and didn't stop until his flashlight met my hipbone. He wrapped his rough hand around my neck like a necklace while he explored the corner of my skinny jeans and discovered hills underneath leather. I swallowed hard and shut my eyes, shaking like a leaf in his fingertips. Sharp hairs above his lips penetrated pores on my cheek. He moaned and absent of words his hot breath and firm hands signaled that he had and me if I moved, he'd kill me. A few moments had passed, seconds or minutes it’s hard to say. A muffled transmission from his car radio broke through the clouds. My eyes opened with a glimmer of hope that this torment was over. The officer's ears perked up and he turned toward his cruiser. He kissed me on the cheek then grabbed my neck once more. With a firm push, my head bounced against the glass of the print shop behind me. The cop smiled, got into his vehicle, and sped off disappearing down Broadway.