Read your own newspaper online before you leave the office.
First, just the facts.
I was driving down 15th Avenue Wednesday morning, as usual driving carefully and minding my own business – this is my story so I can tell it the way I want to – on my way to a photo assignment at the PG Railway and Forestry Museum.
As an astute reporter, I began to feel very uneasy.
I felt eyes on the back of me.
I looked into my rear view mirror.
There was a police vehicle behind me in the next lane.
Here I should say I am known around the office and to some of my omnipotent friends for my pas de deux paranoia. I coined that phrase myself (the one time I have used my psychology degree to any use other than to psyche out my boss.) What this means is that I often have the feeling there is someone, like a shadow, keeping in step with me or watching over me. I am always sure there’s someone out to get me – and generally there is.
So here it was that, once again, I felt as if I was being followed, I was under some kind of surveillance. I was a person of interest. I checked my rear view mirror again. The police vehicle had moved up into the lane beside me. Our two vehicles were – had this been a horse race – now virtually neck and neck.
The light turned red. I could not move.
I tried to keep my eyes looking ahead, at the lights, but I was curious. I glanced sideways to see a set of peering eyes darting all over my vehicle. The officer appeared to be looking in both passenger side windows and checking out the contents of my back seat – which admittedly is full of junque de jour.
I quickly averted my glance.
Why was he looking at me?
Was I speeding? No. Before I stopped for the red light, I was driving within the posted speed limit. Seat belt fastened? Check. Insurance decal missing? Not a chance, it’s on there with crazy glue (for people like who think someone’s going to rip them off.) Was the insurance up to date? Check. Dirty licence plate? No. It was raining hard so for once you could actually see that my white car was not almost black. Registration papers in glove box? Check (though I didn’t lean over to find out I was l pretty sure.) What could it be? No (not ever) liquor bottles or plastic baggies or paraphernalia in sight in the back seat – or hidden – that could be mistaken for booze or drugs in the car. Check. No outstanding parking tickets? No. Check. Lights all working? Check.
Check. Check. Check.
Now I am getting nervous. I have both hands on the steering wheel. My knuckles are white. If anybody looks guilty of something, anything, it’s me. The light is still red, in fact it shows no signs of changing any time soon. Then it happens. The officer pulls his vehicle over to the side of the road and (again appears to be) talking on his cell phone/radio or whatever gadget it is they have in there.
Ah-hah. He’s got them (the city) to freeze the lights so I can’t escape while he checks things out.
They have the power, you know.
So I’m sitting there, waiting and wondering what on earth I could possibly have done wrong so early in my day to attract all this unwanted attention from police.
After an eternity, the light turns green, the officer is still busy making notes by the side of the road and I slide through the intersection. One more look into the rear view mirror shows me he’s not following me.
No pas de deux today.
On my return to the office I check our website. My editor’s put up a story that the RCMP’s Serious Crime Section is on the lookout for a white Chevy Malibu, older model, in connection with the fatal shooting on Sunday. My car? White? Check. Chevy Malibu? Check. Year 2005? No check – but the model hasn’t changed significantly since the year of my 2001 model.
Driver acting nervous, suspicious? Check.
Well, I think it’s time to check into rehab. Either that or buy a new car.