Saturday, March 22, 2008

run in with the man

i'm back in the land of the living, after a trip to the emergency room and two and a half days off work, i've finally turned the corner on this flu. being ill is a great way to experience the value of health, and i know i wouldn't be able to van dwell if i wasn't in generally good health, it's just too much work.
i had my first run in with the cops on wednesday night. i was leaving work, early due to vomiting, and my van was parked about 2 blocks away under a tree for shade. it was dark out, but i had reflectix in the windows to keep it cool during the day and i guess this makes people think there is something odd about the van because someone had called the cops. i walked up to the officer in the car and asked him what was wrong. he asked me if this was my vehicle, and i said yes. he said that someone had called to report a suspicious vehicle. i wondered what that meant exactly, but i didn't ask. he asked me for my name and address . i didn't miss a beat when i told him the address of my parking spot, but it felt a little weird, like he shouldn't be asking me that. what did i do wrong? my van was legally parked, the tags are current, it's insured. i wasn't bothering anyone, someone just thought it looked threatening. then the officer asked me for my phone number, where i worked and if i lived in the van. that's the first time anyone "official" has asked me that and it made me uncomfortable. he clearly didn't want me to be living in there. i didn't deny it, i just said i live at 3--- S Logan street, which is true. he seemed a little sheepish at grilling this innocent looking young lady and was easily appeased by my answers, but what if i was deemed "suspicious" looking? just what does that mean? i tend to calm peoples fears when they see decidedly classic american looks, but why? i could just as easily be a con artist, a killer, a person worthy of suspicion. it's all a game, it's played by hunches and stereotypes, and for now at least, i'm winning.
also, my boss when he gets a little drunk, likes to make jabs at me about living in the van. he doesn't even know what my living situation actually is, but he thinks it's fun to make assumptions and then ridicule me about them. he's got one of those overblown egos that surely knows more than anyone and always makes better decisions. i wish he would adopt a less intrusive manner, it's really irritating. he's an overgrown college student with a coke habit who has learned just enough about psychology to know that his experience is all that can ever matter. i guess he hasn't learned or doesn't care to learn that creating good relationships with people can enhance your own experience. he's also pretty sure he knows whether someone is important to him or not and acts accordingly. i've learned to stay out of his way and clash infrequently with him, but i wish i could just be natural and unguarded like i am normally.

No comments: