Saturday, May 21, 2011

So last night's fire was mostly an accident.

So I'm sitting at the bar last night and several cop cars pull up in front of the apartment complex across the street. The police get out of their cars and file into the front door. It looks like a standard domestic call where one of the parties has a warrant out. This happens a lot in the neighborhood I drink in. No one judges here. I see that only one officer is left outside guarding the four squads.
Now it is fair to say that by this time of the night I have drank more than I needed to and my judgment, while normally sketchy at best is reduced to a quivering, weeping child in the recess of my mind. I stand up and start walking toward the lone officer. In my mind I call him Rookie. He is gonna have a lot, and I mean a LOT of paperwork to do by the end of this evening. I make like I'm walking past him nonchalantly. As I get within a few feet I drop my keys and stagger a bit. He reaches out to steady me as I pretend to fall forward as I'm bending over to pick up the keys. I grab the keys with one hand and do a leap forward into him. He goes backward and down in a heap fast. I'm on him and have his gun and keys off his belt in less than a second. One quick stunning punch to the side of the neck and I have time to walk to the car, look over and give a smile, a wink, and a nod to the officer on the ground. pulling his radio to his mouth and I can hear the words "Officer down" roll coarsely out of his mouth as I shut the door.
I pull out onto the street and wait. The three other officers come running out of the building, one going to help the down officer and the other two come up to the car. Just as they reach me and are pulling out their guns, I put the gas pedal to the floor. They both stop cold in their tracks, and after moving the car ahead fifty feet as fast as it will go, I slam on the brakes. They are not moving and neither am I. They both start to move closer to the car, guns drawn and pointing at me. They get within twenty feet and I start the car rolling forward at the same pace they are walking. They both stop. I stop. I wait. I hear sirens coming. I punch it.
I am down the block and around the corner in no time. Flipping all the sirens and light on and turning the camera on the dash on so when they review the footage it will show how much fun I had. I check the rear view and nothing. I turn off the lights and siren and I hang a quick right and head for the nearest police station on a side street. I am within two blocks and I hear the sirens. I turn toward the sound and see three squads go by ahead of me. I flip on the lights and sirens. I accelerate and quickly catch up and pull in right behind them. The chatter on the radio is overwhelming at this point. I follow them as they turn onto the street that the apartment is on. We pull up and the police ahead of me pull in and park. Six squads and the ambulance is just pulling up. I turn off the siren and slow down to a waking speed. I see the officer I tackled sitting half in the front of a squad. Another cop is on one knee next to him trying to get a description. They both look up at me as I'm rolling past. I give a mocking salute. I see both their mouths open slowly, eyes going wide. I don't stick around.
My right foot suddenly weighs a hundred pounds as I realize I'm starting to sober up enough to feel the gravity of this situation. I am heading for the closest freeway and starting to consider my options. They are getting limited pretty quickly. I turn the dashboard camera around to record all the action going on behind me. Two squads closing fast and another dozen on the way. I hit the on ramp to the freeway and start making a plan. It may be a bit late for making a plan, but I am sobering up fast and I need a plan. The freeway is pretty empty and I'm quickly up to over a hundred. I can see three squads behind me now and I have to exit soon or face spike strips. I hit the next exit and see a green light at the intersection at the top. I hit the brakes hard and hang a right. I am on a road that goes straight to an old auto plant through a blue collar neighborhood. I am hoping I can make it to the auto plant and do a jump and run into the woods on the other side. I am coming up fast on the auto plant; four more blocks and I have a chance. A car t-bones me as I blow through a stoplight. I am off course bad and am skidding sideways through a gas station parking lot. I break a pump clean off and think that I am glad for emergency shut offs for gas pumps because otherwise there would be a lot more gasoline catching on fire right now. I think this as I am sliding into the propane grill tank refill station.
The waitress is standing next to me. And asking again if I want another one. I blink several time as my stare is broken. Across the street the police hauling a woman out of the apartment in cuffs. A man is holding a bloody towel against his side as an ambulance pulls up. Yeah, I'll have another. Thanks.

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