“Is everything okay?”
He leans up against my car speaking to me through the small gap in my window. I nod and remind myself to keep my hands where he can see them. I tell myself not to cry either.
I still cry.
“Where are you going?”
I reply to work.
“License and registration, please.”
I fumble through my work bag to find my wallet, grab my registration from my glove compartment and then proceed to search for my insurance card. The insurance card I forgot to print out, and eventually have to pull it up on my Geico app.
Sit tight? What else would I fucking be doing? I know what I did was wrong. I know whatever he came back with I deserved.
He comes back with a ticket.
But looking at it a little closer, it’s not a ticket.
“So I only gave you a warning. You seem a little frazzled, dear. But if you get another ticket between today and 6 months from now, you will receive a ticket for this warning too.”
I nod, take the paperwork, and stuff it into my purse.
He stays, adjusts his pants, and then crouches down close to my window, places his hand on my shoulder and asks if it is okay for him touch me. I nod.
“Are you sure you’re okay? You must be tired. Would you like me to follow you to your destination?”
I shake my head ‘no.’ Give him a bullshit smile. Tell him I will be just fine. He half-smiles back and pat me on the shoulder before leaving.
He proceeds to follow me half-way to my destination anyway.
I silently thank him for doing so.
I’m pretty sure I should have received a ticket. Hell, I technically think I should have been arrested. Because 15 minutes prior to this state officer pulling me over, I closed my eyes on the highway while doing a steady 70 mph. I don’t want to lie and say I didn’t mean to, because the truth is, I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time. Not planning. Not plotting. It’s just been a random thought that has made a home out of my very fragile mind. It’s sort of like a routine now. Every morning while in the midst of my commute, there is always a little moment where I ask myself, ‘what would happen if I just close my eyes right now?’
I wouldn’t say that I am suicidal because I have such glorious plans for this messy ass life of mine. But sometimes, in the wake of my unexplainable anxiety episodes, the return of my seasonal depression, and the heaviness I feel every morning trudging into work, I crave peace. I crave a pause button. I want something to temporarily relieve the emotions I have absolutely no control over, and closing my eyes just seemed like the perfect solution. Until it wasn’t, and I completely regret putting myself and others around me in danger.
But the experience needed to happen, because both the universe and that cop provided me the grace and patience I’ve been neglecting to bestow upon myself. Because in these tender moments, you have no choice but meet yourself with kindness and compassion. And now thankfully, by the grace of God, I have another chance in doing so moving forward.12