Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Last summer, when the whole world was really into Pokémon Go, I had a very awkward encounter, because of the gaming app. It was probably the middle of August, and I was riding around the island with Jeanette. I didn’t really play the game, but she was really into it, so what we did a lot that summer was venture out and find as many Pokémon as we could.

This specific night, we had been riding around for a couple of hours, but mainly stayed close to our hometown. It was probably around 8:30-9:00 when we decide to go into the general vicinity of a place not too far from where we live, called the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center.

We noticed that there was a Poké-stop in the area, so we decided to go in the area really quick, get what we could, and get out. We thought nothing of it whatsoever, because a lot of the buildings were abandoned; maybe only half of the buildings that are a part of the psych center are still active.

But just as we pull up to the Poké-stop, which happened to be a gazebo on one of the outer ends of the area, a cop came out of nowhere, and pulled up right next to us, on the passenger side. My side.

You would think that the guy would just ask us for our information, ask why were there, tell us to leave, and give us a warning, right?

Think again.

Instead, the guy thought decided to scare us, before telling us to leave.

“Do you know where you are right now?”

Of course we did; the psych center had been there forever, as far as we knew. I answered his question.

“So you know what happens at a place like this?”

Well, not really. I could have made guesses—evaluations, group therapy, a lot of sitting around and talking—but I think that the officer didn’t really want an answer. Truthfully, I think the guy was bored, and wanted some kind of entertainment for the night.

“Do you know what could have happened tonight?”

Best case scenario: we catch the Pokémon, and go home. Worst case scenario: we make an encounter, and both of us get viciously murdered.

Neither one of us have never encountered a psych patient, let alone see one in person, so the worst case scenario didn’t even cross my mind, until this cop asked us the question. Did I know the risk we were taking? Subconsciously, yes. But also, the area always looks barren, so the thought of death didn’t pop up.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it was still possible.

And at some point during this, Jeanette lets out a chuckle. A damn chuckle! I understood that it was out of being uncomfortable, feeling awkward, being in a situation she hadn’t pictured herself being in. I was just too scared to react in any other way than look like a deer in headlights. Jeanette, on the other hand, let out a little laugh.

Cops don’t really like it when you laugh while you’re being reprimanded.

“You think this is funny?” He asked. “You know, I’ve arrested four other people doing this. And I get two hours overtime for every person I bring in, so I wouldn’t mind making a couple extra bucks tonight.”

At this remark, we weren’t Jeanette and Amanda at all. We were two deer, frozen in the middle of the street, watching a cop car rushing in our direction.

“Let me tell you this,” the police officer started, clearly noticing our fear. “I’m feeling nice. You know what you’ve done is wrong; I don’t want to see your faces again. If I do, I won’t hesitate to bring you in.

I’m going to give you three seconds to leave. Go home. Now.”

I don’t think we’ve ever moved so fast.

Prompt: What was the worst encounter you’ve had with a police officer?

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A twenty-two year old who lives through words and her Netflix account. She makes herself laugh more than others, and she claims that she is okay with that.

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