Monday, June 10, 2013
Always One More Canyon to Explore
______I don't know about you guys, but I'm always planning out little conversations and comebacks in my head for all sorts of situations that could unexpectedly pop up and smack me in the face. That way, if the day where I am pulled over by a police car ever does come, I'll be ready for it, charm and wit in one hand, dashing decent looks and every ounce of confidence in the other.
______So let's pretend that day has finally come, shall we? That day when suddenly, piercing blue lights appear in my rear view window, causing my heart to sink and my stomach to churn a thousand shades of panic.
______Like a cautious turtle on a traffic infested road, I ease my car to the pavement's edge. I roll my window down and keep my hands firmly on the steering wheel--ain't nothing sketchy here! Just a female in her convertible beetle bug, the most innocuous of cars.
______Alright, Ali, you got this! You're not going to get a ticket, no way. If all comes to worst and your winning personality suddenly can't handle it anymore, just cry. Cry a river. Cry a lake. Cry the saltiest sea of all, and feign immense sorrow and regret, and hope the police officer has a soft spot for desolate young females who are simply trying to find their place in life.
______I hear a door open and close swiftly, followed immediately by the crackling sound of footsteps on gravel; it sounds like bubble wrap popping and it is growing louder, getting closer. Cars make sudden whooshing noises as they speed by. Crunch, crunch, pop. The police officer is unfazed by the vehicles racing closely alongside him. He feels empowered by his physical proximity to them. Snap, crackle, pop. The Rice Krispie elves might be summoned soon if he takes any longer to make it to my car. Crunch, crunch. I am getting hungry for Rice Krispie treats. Crunch.
______Already, I sense that the policeman has no fear. He crunches rocks with ease. I catch a glimpse of him in the mirror and see a tall, uniformed man decked out in sleek cop gadgets. His mirrored aviators make him feel strong, mysterious, hidden within himself, though clearly present. He finally approaches my window and peers over his mirrored sunglasses at me. I see a twisted, curved reflection of myself in them--exactly what I must be in this moment.
______His brow creases and he says, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
______Here it is. Now is time for my response. Do or die.
______I muster up my courage and liquify it into words, replying quickly, "Is it because you are a police officer who wanted to put my heart under cardiac arrest?" I snicker to myself because I am so witty and thought of this utterly clever pick-up line all by my hilarious self. Goddamn! I think. I will get out of this so easily. Nobody can resist the charm of Ali Hval.
______Mr. Cop-Man grins slightly and releases one of those laughs that is really just air blowing through the nose, but stops himself immediately and pauses. He warily takes a step back. He, a police officer, has revealed an emotion on duty. He has shown that there is indeed a human beyond his fortified exterior, one who can laugh and be surprised and possibly even choke back a tear at the end of a touching episode of Blue's Clues. Faltering upon the revelation of his humanity, he falls silent. What will I say? He thinks. There is nothing left for me to say.
______In his mind, he plays back the two most important rules he learned in cop camp about being a successful cop on duty:
______Rule one: thou shalt purge thyself of human emotions
______Rule two: stop eating donuts on the job; it's giving us a bad rep
______The second one was difficult enough. He should have been an Iron Chef, just like he had dreamed throughout his high school years. Then not only could he be the emotion-laden man he truly was, but he could also eat all the donuts in public he wanted. Heck, he could make his own donuts, ones polished with sweet glazes and pumped full of chokecherry jelly. But no, he chose the life of a policeman, which simultaneously crumbled his zealous dreams of becoming a small-town pastry chef. Doubting his life choices, and suddenly spiraling into some semblance of a mid-life crisis, the policeman self-combusts as swiftly as the Pokémon Voltorb.
______I roll up my window and drive away. I am ready.
Dress: Ross Dress for Less ($8!)
Heels: Chelsea Crew
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Purse: Ralph Lauren