I've been doing 10 Tuesday Thoughts and 10 Thursday Thoughts for awhile.
How about ONE Thursday Thought... easy enough.
I was laying across the bed on Tuesday afternoon watching the news. I was trying to get myself together because I was a little throwed off because of my work schedule that day. I usually work from 10 to 7, but that day, I'd work from 7:30 to 4. I had some training in the lab, and out of courtesy, I like to keep the schedule of whoever is training me. So when I do that, I am a little lost when I get home.I was home some 3 hours early, and I was sleepy. I figured if I could lay down for half an hour, I could think about what I wanted to do for the evening.
Someone was outside revving a car. I wouldn't normally pay much attention to such noise, but it was so loud
I thought about what my best friend LadyTee does whenever there's an ruckus outside her house.
"I call the police," she always says. "I don't dial 911, but I dial the police station directly. I keep that number written down."
"You can do that?" I asked.
"Yes. Call them directly. And I act like I'm an old white woman. I always say 'These nigras, I mean, these black people is out here fighting, and I can't find my medicine.' Then I just hang up the phone."
Every time she says this, it sends me into a fit of giggles.
LadyTee nods, her face serious. "That's what I do, girl. The police come screeching around the corner real fast. Bet the guys won't be out there fighting no more. Bet they won't be out there bouncing that basketball at two in the morning no more either."
LadyTee does not like noise. At all.
I lay across my bed, listening to the hard rev of the truck engine. My house shakes like crazy. I thought about calling the police and following LadyTee's intstructions.
I realized I couldn't do that.
I imagined my calling the police, and the police screeching in their cars around the corner with sirens blaring.
And instead of yelling at the men to knock off the noise, they'd jump out their cars and shoot them dead. No questions asked.
And then it would be all over the news: two unarmed black men working on a truck shot dead by police officers. My 911 call would be played over and over in a continuous loop. The loved ones would be on the news, crying over the loss of those they loved. The news reporters would go look up these men jail or prison records and lay that out for all to judge and see. The opposition would be standing up there talking about "Well if they hadn't been out there revving up that truck, none of this would have ever happened!"
And there I would be, laying across the bed much as I had been on that particular day of my 911 call, watching the news and feeling guilty because my being annoyed by something as simple as car engine noise turned into something unnecessary and tragic.
There use to be a time that the police would just come around and quiet things down. Now you have to think twice, for something as little as a missing plate or a failure to signal can be lead to your death.
Now... the news has me all shook. Subconciously.
There are thousands of traffic stops daily all over this country, with the overwhelming vast majority of them being uneventful. After all, who reports on the uneventful? The uneventful is normal. No news there, keep it moving. I've gotten tickets and everything was professional. I've gotten tickets from rowdy or disgruntled cops, and I've just channeled my inner slave, and go into slave mode. No protest because this dude is about to snap for real.
And the cops in my zone are nice enough. We have lots of women cops, and they have always been helpful. I guess it helps that half the zone was fired and jailed a couple of decades ago for some shadiness in the community. They are on their best behavior. They've even been at neighborhood meetings giving updates from time to time.
While laying across the bed, I closed my eyes so tight that it hurt. We're living in a different time now. Unless I'm in dire need or my life is being threatened, I'm not calling the police. I can stand a little noise. Patience will have to prevail this day.
The guys were finished with the truck before nightfall. I imagined them being happy about it. "Thanks for your help, bruh," one says to another, "because you know I wasn't bout to put this truck in the shop! My cousin said I could have it if I could get it fixed. I knew you could get it just right.'"
All ended well. As it should. They had a fixed truck. I had my peaceful neighborhood back.
Confusion and tragedy averted.
Thank goodness for that.
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