Non-police state

Yesterday night (after telling my friend I didn’t want to drive because I might get pulled over) I got pulled over for the second time in my life. For crossing the center line and otherwise driving like someone switching the radio station/driving drunk/checking my milage to made sure I wasn’t going to run out of gas/ correcting for a weird pull to the left, all of which I was doing (except for the drunk part). Anyway, the very second that I stopped, my hubcap flew off and rolled across the road. Lovely, I thought. The officer must be a prophet. He strolled over with his flashlight, after retrieving my hubcap, and I handed him my liscense only, since I couldn’t find my registration. “If you notice,” I said “that expired two days ago, on my birthday. I’m getting another one tomorrow.”

“Have you had anything to drink tonight?” asked the officer.

“No,” I said, as seriously as ever I could.

(this is technically a lie: I’d had a lot of water to drink, having just played ultimate frisbee for a few hours)

The officer meandered back over to his car, having asked a few questions of me such as how old I was (had to think about that one) and what I was doing in Oregon with an expired Idaho liscense. While he was occupying himself behind his brilliant lights, flashing like a sleazy dance hall, I chuckled at the irony of my life. I’d just been telling people it might be ok to drive without liscense, since I rarely speed and never get pulled over. He was gone for quite awhile. When he came back, he informed me that he had found no record of my liscense, expired or otherwise. That made me a bit nervous. I was strunk dumb, in fact.

“I’m sure it just means our computers aren’t working,” said the officer “you’re free to go.”

“Oh, thanks,” I said “Do you want to see my insurance registration?” (I had finally managed to locate it in my stuffed glovebox.)

“Nah,” he said.

So I drove away. I had enough gas to make it home, too. My hubcap is still off. I’m driving to the DMV later this afternoon to ask for an Oregon driver’s liscense. Hopefully I won’t get pulled over between here and there.

Birthday dinner

Yesterday was my 22nd birthday. Today I feel rather old. I have switched gears from barely-legal-drinker to early-twenties-undergrad. This is the result of our American laws that make 21 such a big deal, and thus everything after seems like a blind coasting over the hill of approaching age.

My friends and I celebrated with a night frought with hillarity boardering on the appaling. We went to a nice little restaurant owned by a fellow from the Middle East, who was also the cook and the server. He turned out to be higher than pie in the sky, and showed us his potato pipe to prove it. He asked us if we wanted to share; we said no. We didn’t order, because he didn’t give us menus. He just brought us food (which tasted of curry), and bread, all in large dishes, and a bunch of forks, and told us he didn’t want to wash up. So we partook together, to the sound of wailing Eastern music and the fellow’s blunt comments about how beautiful my friend was (“her hair is like gold. So beautiful we should cut it off and smoke it.”) and how much more beautiful the girls of Tunisia were (“here, you are a 10. There, you would be a 2.”) etc, etc. It was quite a night. “It wasn’t like this before,” said another friend, who had convinced me to go. The pottage was good, so we left, full of food and amused wonder.

April

As I sit in an English lab with the feel of a construction site, its walls concrete, unadorned red brick, and naked steel ribs, I contemplate the meaning of life. I’m waiting for something. Literally, I’m waiting for 6 p.m. tonight, when I have an appointment to meet. Other than that, I seem to be waiting for genius to strike. So far, it hasn’t. So I stare at this screen, my contacts drying against the weight of my corneas, and attend to the silence.

Qu’est-ce que je vais faire? J’ai envie d’envier. Je veux faire tout: mais quoi, exactement?

The sun has broken through the clouds of somber Oregon. April offers up herself to whomever will take her to enjoy. Her idealism is perfect, and will almost certainly drown in tears again. But for now, her garments are fresh in opal sheerness, soft in hanging moss.