I haven’t talked to a cop since I was working at the Herald five years ago, where it was part of my job.
There I was, at S.E. Milwaukie and Long (near the bridge over McLaughlin) headed south; about 8 o’clock this was. A police car was in an apartment complex’s parking lot, and the driver swung around to get onto Long. He stopped and lowered the passenger-side window and said, almost conversationally, “Hi.”
“Um, hello, officer,” I said.
“Do I know you? Are we neighbors?”
(People often think they know me. I look kind of generic: a medium height, medium build, blond white guy.)
I went “Umm…”
“You live near here, right?”
“Um, yeah, north of Holgate.”
This seemed to convince him that I wasn’t someone he knew. He told me there’d been reports of drug activity in the area (oh, joy). He then asked me if I was involved with that.
Oh, hell. HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT? This would be a perfect time for the guilty-conscience part of me to say something that sounded suspicious, in a self-sabotaging “I confess! I confess!” way. Part of me thought anything I’d say would sound suspicious in that context. Another part was telling the rest of me, “Oh please don’t make a joke.”
I guess I looked sufficiently surprised that he decided I was clean. “You don’t look the type,” he said.
“Uh, I hope not,” I said.
And he said good night and rolled up his window and continued on that little stretch of Long that connects with McLaughlin northbound.