So, yesterday I had this urge for chick peas like really bad, so I decided to shoot by Wegmans to see if they had some ready made salads. Their offering was meager..shoulda went to Whole foods, but I found something. I grabbed a couple of these Hubert’s Lemonades (I’m name dropping because they were rather good) and headed back to my car.
It was a gorgeous day. A bit muggy, but the sky was fabulous. So I decided to find a good vantage point and take a few shots. I pull over into the parking lot and find a spot that was free and clear with the best view. I take a couple of shots, then decided to have a sip of that cool refreshing drink (Eddie Murphy reference..you had to be there). Anyway..maybe 5 mins pass as I’m standing there taking in the moment musing to myself what I should do for the rest of the day when up behind me pulls a patrol car. Out steps the officer who approached me in a polite manner and asks me “What’s going on?”. I reply, “Nothing, just taking in the view”. He replies, “Someone called and said you’re making them nervous”. Pause. At this very moment, that high I felt evaporated and was now replaced with anger and apprehension. “This is how it starts” I said to myself. “Nervous? why? I’m not doing anything to make anyone nervous. It’s a beautiful day don’t you think?” I said, trying to disarm what I could see was now becoming a potentially deadly situation. What frosted me was that I picked that spot specifically to avoid being near anyone so as not to make them uncomfortable about me taking pictures. I wasn’t there 10 mins, how on earth was I a threat, real or imagined to anyone? The lunacy of that statement starting my blood to boil. In my mind I’m calling bullshit. I took a quick scan. Had I parked near someone?? There was no one there. The closest human being was the person in the Zales department store, which was roughly…600 feet from me. “You just bought a camera?”, he asks as he steps closer, one hand on his gun. “No” I replied..what the fuck kinda question was that? I’m thinking to myself. I realized now we’re in stupidland. Anything I say can be used against me to set him off and find a reason to mess with me..be calm..keep your hands visible..no sudden moves… “Can I see some ID?” he asks. In my head I’m saying “what the fuck for?” I haven’t done a damn thing. I know any attempt to rebut will only be used as “resistance”, so I capitulate. My wallet..where is it?..don’t go in your pockets..pat yourself down..hands visible..It’s not on me..it’s on the center console..I point to it and say “My wallet is right there, do you mind?” He nods ok. I make sure to keep my other hand visible..pick up the wallet..At this point, I know my life could end, but I’m in a no win situation…my heart is pounding. Be calm..be calm..I get my license and hand it to him. He takes it, reads my address and says “E##### Road..you’re from here in Hamilton?”..”Yes” I reply. Inside, I’m raging..yes motherfucker, I pay your salary. He’s eyeing my car..I can see it in his eyes..what’s a black man doing with such a nice car? There’s gotta be something wrong here. He’s calling it in..I’m getting angrier and it’s getting hard to hide it now. I haven’t done anything illegal or even odd…what the fuck….this is some racial bullshit..I’m clean..yeah motherfucker..what now? He comes back with a clipboard, scribbling down my info..I know what this move is..his way of saying, I’m keeping an eye on you..you have been subjugated to my authority. He gives me back my license and walks back to his vehicle. I stand there..I know what he’s expecting..I should run away now..but no..fuck you..I put my wallet inside the car and take another shot..it doesn’t feel the same..its not where I was coming from originally..the beauty is lost..it’s a sign of defiance..I will do what I have a right to do..My mood is ruined..Fuck it, I’m going..but at my own pace and at the time of my choosing…I take a swig of my lemonade..the happy face on the bottle now mocks me..You thought you were just like everyone else?..surprise motherfucker..
(the featured image is that last shot)