Fly in a Web

As profile stops go, it hadn’t been bad at all. Workmanlike. No name calling, no Pancho/Pedro/Sitting Bull crap. The officer hadn’t directly referenced the driver at all, actually.

We’ve had a lot of daytime break-ins and burglaries around here recently. Unless you’ve got business here I’d suggest taking a different route next time. Turn right at the signal, takes you right back to the freeway.

The driver hadn’t left immediately, neatening up the glove compartment after putting away his registration. At last he starts the vehicle.


Glancing into the side view mirror, the driver sees a plainclothes narc approaching. He places his hand on the gearshift.


The driver studies the narc. Big cowboy looking guy, probably played high school football. Something feral about the eyes. Directing his gaze back onto the road, he presses down on the clutch.

You won’t make the street.

The driver turns and stares into the muzzle of a cop’s revolver. Odd how something so small can be the only clear thing in his field of vision. Like the type of photography that blurs out everything but a single object. He lifts his hand from the gearshift knob and turns off the engine. The driver understands there is nothing he can do here.

Where you going, beaner? Here to sell drugs to American kids? Sitting around with that greasy hair, greasy mustache, calling me a pig. I could get killed any day trying to keep people safe. You beaners come here, live in your greasy houses eating your greasy food, selling drugs to our kids.

You’re scared, boy. I can see in your eyes you’re scared. Why are you so scared? Guns and drugs in your beaner car? Greasy beaner house full of drugs. I’ll bet you got a lot to be scared about.

Deeply frightened, the driver begins “I’m scared” he pauses to exhale “because you’ve got a gun” intake of breath”pointed at my face“.

The muzzle moves from the driver’s view, only to be jabbed into his temple. Pressure from the gun barrel slowly turns his head until he is looking out the vehicle’s front window. The barrel feels cold against his temple.

That better?

The driver focuses his gaze on a nearby tree. Oddly, it was better.

You know I can do anything I want right now. Anything at all. You’re just a greasy beaner sells drugs to American kids. You don’t matter for shit.

After a brief eternity, the gun barrel is withdrawn. A moment later, it is gently tapped against the side of his skull.

Get out of here. Don’t let me find you around here again.

The driver starts the engine, pulls away and drives a few blocks. Pulling over, he begins to sob with fear and anger and humiliation.

The driver never tells anyone about the incident, not wanting to share his humiliation. Not wanting to share his fear of the cop, not wanting to share that he sobbed like a baby afterwards. He never shared his chill at one other thing, an awful truth within himself. Once the driver had regained his composure, for a brief period he knew with a certitude he would have happily blown away a cop. He knew that cop would be as faceless to him as he had been to his tormentor several minutes earlier. The cop could be any color or age or sex. The driver was relieved when that feeling had passed. He understood mention of it would have been dismissed as bravado, rather than an awful mutual connection with the misfits who enjoyed violence.

The driver was further shamed by something else. His attitude towards the police had become the attitude of a convict. He hated them passionately, yet had to fight the urge towards a smiling servility when he encountered them. He knew they would not hesitate to kill him should they choose to do so. It hadn’t taken much, some people were kicked and clubbed and beaten and still had fight in them. Not him.

it was only years later that he saw things in a different light. The cop had the power of the state behind him, that and a gun. There was never any intent to use it, rather he was amusing himself, enjoying the feeling of a spider with a fly trapped in its web. The cop drew pleasure from a victim whimpering with fear or pleading not to be hurt. He got neither, once released from the web the fly’s tears were unseen by the spider. In resistance, a small victory.

But there is yet another way to view this insignificant and mundane piece of the cosmically huge tapestry of day to day police brutality. Although the victims resistance ruined the cops fun, the cop ultimately got the last laugh. He was able to compound the fear of authority that already existed within a colonized mind.

Despite the spiders withdrawal, the fly could not extricate itself from the web of colonization.