Put me in the motorcade
put me in the death parade
dress me up and take me
dress me up and make me
your dying god
(Mar­i­lyn Man­son, “A Place In The Dirt”)

Run­ning through the pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios in my head that would explain the fact that this lone police offi­cer was hold­ing up traf­fic on a week­day morn­ing in Sep­tem­ber along this scenic but busy park­way, a motor­cade was not in the mix. Clear­ly I am not psy­chic. (I nev­er for a moment thought I was, or even that such things are pos­si­ble: I’m just say­ing.) Anoth­er motor­cy­cle was parked down the street to my right, just where the ramp came off the main road up to down­town from the air­port. I have been watch­ing too many cop shows; I spec­u­lat­ed that it must be an ear­ly morn­ing drug bust. (I mean, I know it’s Cana­da, but I assume they can’t turn a blind eye to all the illic­it drugs going on here.)

At reg­u­lar inter­vals more motor­cy­cles roared up from that direc­tion, turned up the park­way that was closed to us, and gunned it toward down­town. The cop assigned to keep us in line was hav­ing no non­sense from any­one. More than one motorist seemed inclined to turn off, inch­ing out of line toward the right-turn lane; they were all halt­ed with a sharp shout and upraised hand. “Stay where you are!” was the mantra of the hour. So we stayed. This was the sec­ond morn­ing I had tak­en this route, and it had not gone smooth­ly yet. Maybe I should go back to my old route tomorrow.

I wouldn’t have had much of a shot from my posi­tion any­way. On my bike I cer­tain­ly couldn’t have pulled out any­thing more than a pis­tol, and as exposed as I was, the cop would have prob­a­bly dropped me before I got more than two or three shots off. If I was going to do any­thing, I would have been across the road on the bike path, maybe even with a Zodi­ac tied up on the canal for a get­away. I have no idea who was in pro­ces­sion of marked and unmarked police cars that came roar­ing up from the direc­tion of the air­port at speeds far in excess of the post­ed lim­its for this par­tic­u­lar park­way and head­ed north, sur­round­ed by motor­cy­cles, toward the embassy dis­trict. Maybe it was nobody (I cer­tain­ly didn’t see any­one sit­ting in the back seats of any of the six cars); maybe it was all just an exer­cise, or some­thing to amuse the pasty Amer­i­can on the rust­ed Schwinn.

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