Two Tickets

Lane's Revenge (Live in the Revenge Lane)

Lane Cummingsby Lane Cummings

Two Tickets

For some reason, which is still unknown to me, the most important thing I want the reader to take away from this little yarn is that it did indeed happen to me YESTERDAY. I’m not dredging up some story from the past that I think will titillate. I’m letting off steam here, folks. 

I drank a bottle of wine by myself last night. It was cheap bottle, so I mixed it with Sprite. And then when the Sprite ran out, I mixed it with cherry vanilla (I know, foul) soda. My goal was to drink quickly, mask the cheap alcohol taste and create a soft, cushiony buzz so I could shrug off the remains of the day.

And it was quite a day. I had been pulled over twice by two separate cops in the span of one hour. The first time I was driving while talking to a highly neurotic friend. My cell was on speakerphone, and before I knew it, an overweight officer balanced precariously on a scooter was behind me, lights flashing. I knew what was about to go down.  I was like a wet cat flailing wildly on the banks of a raging river. I pleaded, I lied, I cajoled. I told the officer I was listening to a song on my phone. I told the officer I had a medical condition where one side of my face is cooler than the other and I have to warm it with the heat from my cell phone (yes, I said that). I begged the officer to please cut me a break. I changed my story suddenly, swearing I was actually on my Bluetooth (I do own a Bluetooth, but I never use it because I don’t know how. I know, I know). I refused to sign the citation. The officer threatened to impound my vehicle. I told him to look at my vehicle as a testament to the fact that I most certainly couldn’t pay for the citation (I drive a seriously dinged up 2002 Kia). I concluded my speech with telling the officer that this ticket was on his conscience and that he should be ashamed of himself.

The second time I was pulled over was coming out of Home Depot, three blocks away from my apartment. Don’t ask what I needed at Home Depot. That one stays with me. I made a left turn between LA’s fragile and precious 4 to 7pm hours and just as I was cruising on the subsequent street a police officer, standing on the curb (no car, no motorcycle, no bike even) waved me over to the side of the road.

Now, I don’t want to imply that I think all non-white people look like, as clearly they don’t, however, I will say that this cop was of Hispanic origin, as was the previous one and they were both wearing helmets and sunglasses. I did indeed do a double take as I thought this cop was the same one. He wasn’t. He just looked like him. Slightly.

It was a bit like a Groundhog Day, no make that Groundhog Hour, with eerily similar looking cops, f—ing over the same highstrung blond.

This was when I let the floodgates of hysteria, pain, and panic come flying out. I showed him my other ticket, trying to cajole him to let me off the hook. I’ve learned my lesson, I swore. Please, won’t a warning suffice? I begged. He considered my pleas. I may not write you a citation, he said. He truly said this. But then he changed his mind. He wrote that citation.

And that’s when I turned foul. Poisonous. I must say, to give myself credit, neither officer was quite prepared to deal with a once desperate and sweet young woman who made an honest mistake, to the raving bitch I turned into with the flip of a switch. “Well I hope you feel good about yourself and your job,” I hissed. It was all quite manic, pridefully so, and I could tell it threw both officers when I spat venom at them in the end. 

But in the end they’ve won, or at least that’s how I feel with those two citations on my desk. How can I get my revenge? Peeing in public discretely and cheering when I get away with it? Littering with vigor? I mean really littering, like throwing ice cream cones down in the middle of a busy street with heavy foot traffic? Creating a loud public display of profanity? Graffiti? Tagging up some public property to rep my peeps and my homies?

Honestly, there are no answers. Until I find one or some, I will continue to be a vessel of hate. And I will continue to mix Sprite with my red wine.