A friend told me that she saw a headline about a Las Cruces resident returning from Hawaii and some arrest being made. Turns out, the person had a home security system that alerted them while on vacation to a break-in going on in New Mexico. It had nothing to do with me – but my friend had a moment of “hmmmm…”
And well she should have, to be honest. I have had the police called on me several times. Yep. Never justified, but done nonetheless.
When I was a teenager and had moved to New Mexico from West Virginia, I rode the bus back to visit old friends on several occasions. I stayed with friends, even lived in a friend’s car… was the house guest of two junkies and their sister who was trying to heal them and get them sober (I was known as the granddaughter of a healer).
I boxed up a dry tumbleweed in New Mexico and sent it by bus to my friends who were still at the college I had attended. You can see this one coming, I bet.
I had started college at age 15, so was only 17 years old when I arrived on the bus for a visit. The tumbleweed had preceded me. I had attended a school in Virginia, was staying in West Virginia, all on the border, going back and forth with no clue that one of the administrators of my former school had a warrant out for me in Virginia – believing I was bringing drugs there from Mexico. (I had moved to NEW MEXICO, it’s in the USA)
The tumbleweed was the catalyst. My friends had hung it from a light in their dorm room and the faculty member had broken off pieces to have it analyzed, so I was told. He did not wait for results, he apparently was so freaked out that he became convinced I was a drug runner. Here is a photo of me from that year in my life.
So, I ignorantly was going back and forth each day from VA to WV, visiting friends, visiting the newspaper where my Dad had been production manager and riding dirt bikes on the hill climbing track. A close friend at the newspaper grabbed me one day and told me what was going on. Crikey! He asked me for honest answers about what all I was up to, the tumbleweed and who all I was hanging out with – I was totally honest, nothing to hide, nothing weird going on. He wrote an article about the “witch hunt” and made me even more popular with the faculty and administrators at my old school!
We got me down to Tennessee to catch the bus for home, just in case going through Virginia was gonna be risky, but, as I later learned, the whole thing was dropped. No charges, no more suspicions, no more worries.
Then, decades later, when I was living (alone) in the shack on the side of the mountain, a neighbor called the police at 2:00 AM. She said she had heard my dogs barking and thought there was an intruder – I was asleep in my house with all my dogs on the futons with me – no one had barked.
My house/shack was kinda pitiful and there was no way to lock or block the sliding main door… so, the policeman knocked once then walked right into my house! Then my dogs started barking! He left the door open so three dogs ran out into the open, right past him and he had his gun drawn! I realized how blessed I was that he didn’t shoot any of us.
So, me in only a T-shirt I had grabbed from the laundry basket (I sleep naked), standing with only night lights on the walls and him with a blinding flashlight, I said, “What the f*ck are you doing in here!?” Not my best choice of words… but, WTF, it was an absolute intrusion!
He started the explanation and demanded to see proof that I lived there. Really!?
I turned on some lights. He lowered his weapon. I got my purse and had to show ID, my checkbook with the address, all the while my little dogs were loose outside – in the real middle of nowhere. I told him I had to get my dogs in and just left him there with my purse. After rounding them up and getting everyone safe, satisfying the policeman that I really did live there – sheesh – and finding yoga pants to pull on right in front of him, he finally believed me and left, drove away without even a breath of an apology.
Later many friends pointed out that his ID should have been demanded, recorded and his arse presented to me in a sling through a lawsuit. I don’t know, it was too surreal for me to think about being proactive.
Then, I was in a mobile phone store (won’t say their name!) years back, trying to cancel a contract and even PAY the penalty when I said, “Crikey, it’s just a phone!” And I really did say Crikey. They called in two policemen to wait until I left. Sheeeeesh!
Funny thing is, my grandfather was a WV state trooper and a revenuer; a highly decorated colonel in WWII and had ridden border patrol (he was kinda well known and very well loved, he was a good man). So I have always respected those who serve in the military and as peace officers… granddad was a real peace officer.
On another note, an officer pulled out behind me at night a year or so ago as I was driving home. His left headlight was out. He pulled me over, blinding lights flashing, and came up to the window, “Ma’am, do you know that your license plate light is out?” I looked back at his car… so did he. “Officer, did you know you have a headlight out?” I asked.
“I do now”, he said and he smiled, shook his head and tipped his hat to me. He walked back to his car and drove away. That one time made up for the others. He was just as nice as he could be. 🙂