BY: TYLER FYFE
We were somewhere in Southern California speeding down the blacktop in a rental car when we saw the sirens of a State Trooper. We still had a brown paper bag full of the weed we had bought legally back in Washington, so we all lit up cigarettes to hide the skunk and shoved the bag beneath the passengers seat.
When the cop got to the window first thing I saw was his gun pointed into the cabin. “What the hell were you boys squirmin’ back there for?” He was about 35 but had deep wrinkles like dried-up riverbeds running parallel through the middle of his forehead. That’s all I could see. His glinting barrel and the rippled skin on his forehead.
“Uh, I was just looking for my passport. This is a rental. We’re from Canada. We’ve been driving south since Seattle.” I fumbled to hand him the documents.
It was about then he must have realized by our faces that none of us had ever seen a gun before.
“You know some of the highest number of people die on freeways in the state pulling the type of shit you just did.” He slid the gun back in his holster.
“Well do they have speed limits in Canada?”
I didn’t say anything.
“Well DO they?”
“Ya we have speed limits.” Connor spoke from the passenger seat.
“See?? He knows. Maybe you should let him drive.”
Then he threw the passport back into the car and let us go without a ticket or another word. My heart was racing so fast that we had to pull over after three miles to break open the brown bag and forget about the whole thing. As we walked out onto the scorched field turned completely yellow to unwind with some photography, the cracks in parched earth reminded me of the State Trooper’s forehead.
Stories Behind The Stories is a series where our editors give you a glimpse at the micro-journeys behind our biggest stories. Think of it as a confessional, a testament to the unpredictability of the road, the hurdles jumped, people met and the lingering memories of adversity.