A Post By: Michael Gallo
Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to Atchison, Kansas to work with the university there in town. I’m not going to mention the name here, but if you’re not stupid (or have access to Google) you could probably figure it out. After a long day of shooting in the heat, I was parched. I wanted a Gatorade, so I pulled into the Shell Station and walked towards the entrance. I stumbled across one of the weirdest scenes I have ever seen in my life. It was an Atchison police officer talking to a strung out woman. The following account is completely factual. None of the following dialogue is embellished. the * will indicate action as opposed to dialogue.
In the Red Corner, standing at 6′ 2, keeping the streets of Atchison safe… He’s got a southern drawl and a fifth grade education… And a hand gun…Representing the law enforcement of Atchison, Kansas we’ve got the Country Cop!
And in the Blue Corner…Strung out on various medications and illicit drugs…Mumbling and drooling…Standing at a short 5’4 with a meth induced weight of 102 pounds…The Master of Disaster…The Blitzed Meth Head!
Who will be victorious!? Who will win in this battle of wits!?
*I get out of the car, jonesing for a Gatorade. I walk towards the store and find the cop standing, talking to the meth head who is sitting on a bench. It would appear I am coming into the conversation half way through*
Meth Head: Probably too much
Cop: Well what medications are you on exactly?
Meth Head: Methadone, Xanax, Vicodin, and Soma…I think.
Cop: Uh…what exactly are you on all those pills for?
*The Meth Head pauses. She’s either gathering her thoughts or trying to inhale every proton in the universe*
Meth Head: To live…
*The Meth Head head makes a sound like “meeeeeeh” and starts crying. She puts her head in her hands. By now I’m to the door. I go inside, eager to get back out there. I leave the store with the Gatorade and walk past the battling duo. I stop halfway and bend over, pretending to tie my shoe. This is too obvious. I walk slowly to my car and pump gas into it even though it isn’t even half empty. I keep listening*
Cop: So, if you didn’t take your uncle’s car, then what car did you use to get here?
Meth Head: The car I’m in…
*The Meth Head waves her hands in a circular manner*
Cop: You’re NOT in a CAR!
*The Meth Head starts crying again*
Meth Head: Why are you doing this to me? What did I do to you?
Cop: You’re driving a CAR! You’re going to kill someone.
Meth Head: Fine…
Cop: You’re okay with killing someone?
Meth Head: I’ve never killed anyone…
Cop: Oh my God. My patience for you is running out!
*By now I’m leaning on the hood of my car, staring*
Meth Head: Is it my fault I do this to myself?
Cop: What does that even mean?
Meth Head: I just hate myself…it’s official.
Cop: Listen, you can’t drive that car home. Who’s car is that?
Meth Head: My uncle’s.
Cop: God dammit!
*I flinch, is this pig about to go Rodney King on this meth head!?*
Cop: Stand up! Either I’m taking you to the station in my car or you’re driving home.
*I rub my chin trying to consider this ultimatum. What’s another option? Taxi? Space shuttle? She’s already on one*
*The Meth Head slowly stands, when she straightens out a cigarette falls out of her shirt*
Meth Head: Do I need that?
Cop: I don’t know, do you?
Meth Head: Yes.
*No one moves*
Cop: Okay, put one leg out and say the ABC’s.
*The Meth Head tilts her toes up*
Meth Head: Say the what?
Cop: You know what, just go.
*Without hesitating the cop gets into his car and starts it. I stare wide eyed at the Meth Head as she picks up her cigarette and stumbles to her SUV and gets in through the passenger side. I jump into my car and peel out, desperate to get as far away from this woman as possible before she gets on the road*
I repeat: this entire conversation occurred just 4 hours ago. There was nothing added or omitted. If you see an olive green Ford Explorer in Atchison, Kansas…get the FUCK out of the way.