This bit has nothing to do with race, just so you know. Maybe it can, but I'll leave that to interpretation.
I have been pulled over four times in life. Two times were by the very same officer. I'm not going to name him, but I knew who he was, and he knew who I was. He didn't know me in a nefarious kind of way. He was friends with an ex-girlfriend of mine who had become a cop and I briefly worked with his wife at Mario's, a staple of Grand Blanc Township dining. He, of course, would come to eat there.
The first two incidents aren't, strictly speaking, necessarily relevant to the premise. But they do make for an interesting set-up. I don't remember the first time, but I do know that the second time was for a broken tail-light. I didn't even realize it was broken. We laughed about meeting up again. He gave me a ticket anyway. Fair play to him. Word to the wise: before getting into a motor vehicle, spend some time obsessively going over your car. For while the little bulb may still light up, the glass casing makes it red. That red light is important.
The cop in question was someone I would consider amiable. He was a good guy. If you never met him before, and just saw him across a room, you might think: “There's a guy who is probably polite, loves his parents, and chose an occupation because he thought in earnest that he wanted to do some good for his community.” I haven't had any contact with him since any of this happened, but I like to think that he is much the same. If I actually told you his first name, you might even say, “Yeah, that makes sense for him to have that name.”
Which is why this next bit was so distressing at the time, and in hindsight, makes me reflect upon it with a harder focus.
I was at home, living in the basement of a friend's house on Hill Road (I am now coming to realize that all of these events happened on or very close to Hill Road), watching TV. The house belonged to Jerrie Sue Kincaid, who was a wonderful and deeply saddened woman that life was not the best to. As stated, I was watching TV, and Jerrie Sue walked into the room and told me that (name withheld) was there to see me. She also knew (name withheld). Grand Blanc Township is very small town in that way.
It was weird to know that he was there to see me. Contact between he and I was less than sparse. And I wasn't in a car at the time. I walked out to the living room, and there he was, in his uniform. I'm am not sure what was in my head at the time. I don't think I thought that something bad had happened. I'm sure that didn't occur to me. That he was there to deliver bad news.
What I do know was that he looked sad. Uncomfortable. We sat down and I asked him what was going on. He started to talk, seeming to have trouble trying to figure out where to begin.
He did get to the point, though. He asked me if I was having an affair with his wife.
I was stunned, as you might imagine.
As stated before, I worked with his wife at Mario's. I was a dishwasher, she was a waitress. That being said, I didn't really have much contact with the waitresses. They would drop off their dishes and would wash them. I am inherently a shy person, so I didn't spend a lot of time instigating conversations. I was, however, very aware that the cop's wife was very attractive, which, for all intents-and-purposes, made me want to not talk to her even more.
Of course, I replied to him with an emphatic “no” and set about explaining how so left-field all this was for me to hear. The conversation perhaps lasted five to ten minutes. He left convinced, but no less sad or relieved. He was going through something. Some seed had been planted in his head. I don't know if he ever figured out whether or not his wife was cheating on him, but that wasn't my concern.
Or not. Not really. Because the fact of the matter is, (name withheld) came to my place of residence to confront me about an imagined affair I was having with his wife. In full uniform. With a gun. He could have stopped by in plain-clothes and off-the-clock, but he didn't. Forget the fact that I wasn't sleeping with his wife and just consider that he chose to have this talk with me with with the full thrust of his authority on full display. I had to answer to this sort of charge with a gun in the room.
So what happens if I was having an affair with his wife? With a gun in the room. I don't for a second think that he would have outright murdered me. But I know how ugly jealously can be, both inside and out, and sometimes good people can be driven by that little voice in their head that completely justifies even the most heinous of acts.
I like to think that (name withheld) would not have straight-up killed me. He left my presence still appearing sad and troubled, perhaps finding yet another dead end to contend with. I felt bad for him, because when someone you know is dealing with questions of infidelity and not finding answers, and you have no answers to offer, then your heart should go out to them.
But maybe leave the uniform and gun at home. Cops are as human as the rest of us, but they have guns, and when the personal becomes intertwined with the job, then that line can cease to exist. What if he thought I was lying? What then?
By way of mind experiment, if I was in his shoes… I don't know. Maybe I too would use the force of my job's authority to send a message. Maybe my desperation would drive me into such an action, because it would grant me some power in an arena where I felt powerless. But, I think, that there would also be a small fraction of my mind screaming at me: “THIS IS WRONG, THIS IS SO WRONG, WHAT I AM DOING HERE?”
But I don't know. I don't have that kind of authority behind me.