Surprising Supporting Role? Introducing O.P.P. Sergeant

Hello and welcome back.

The language of the Universe can be cryptic at times. I mentioned a quote from Paulo Coelho in a recent post, ‘That which You seek is also seeking You.’ – and I know this is true.  But what about that which You are not seeking?

I had promised J that I would visit My father, I gave him My Word.  I believe that not keeping My Word will only cause disharmony in My Universe – and so it is.  To keep My Word I knew I must make every effort to visit My father.  Only the Universe would have the power to interfere; and part of Me was hoping it would.

It had been years since I’d spent any serious time on a bicycle – and My trailer, loaded with supplies, weighed just under 150 pounds.  J, Venus and Aphrodite had little concerns with how I would manage but virtually everyone else who heard about My adventure had serious doubts and thought I was nuts.  Knowing Kira would be accompanying Me only seemed to amplify the concerns.  But I started making My way across the country on a Sunday morning six days earlier and everything about the trip had been beautiful.  I became more and more efficient at packing and unpacking My trailer, making and breaking camp, My legs felt stronger every day and I grew more and more confident.  Kira remained unleashed every night I made camp and would faithfully return to the tent just as I was about to drift off to sleep – she seemed to be enjoying the trip every bit as much as I was.  By Saturday I was feeling rather triumphant, stronger than ever and knew I would reach My father’s by mid afternoon or early evening…  But I wasn’t really looking forward to it.  I was almost wishing the Universe would interfere but vowed to do everything in My power to keep My Word to J.

It was early afternoon when I arrived in town, hours before I’d anticipated.  It had been seventeen years since I’d last visited My father and I had no idea if I’d even be able to find him.  I had plenty of time to enjoy a coffee or two while I ‘googled’ the address and planned My next move.  The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to find him.  Perhaps there would be no listing for him, perhaps My mother remembered the wrong street name.  I waited for the search results with bated breath.

No results for My father’s name.  A smile crosses My face, perhaps We are not meant to meet after all.  I type in the street name My mother gave Me hoping for similar results – but no such luck.  The street name comes up quickly and is only three kilometers away, the street itself not even one kilometer long, narrowing the options.  I felt if I could find his street, I would recognize the house and a heaviness filled My heart.  I really didn’t want to go and I could feel Myself beginning to procrastinate – after all, it wouldn’t take Me more than five minutes to get there and I didn’t need to think about setting up camp for several hours yet.  Feeling somewhat defeated, I step out for a smoke and sit with Kira, J’s Words echo in My Mind.

“Promise Me You will visit Your father.”

“Why?  Don’t You think if he wanted Me in his life he’d have made some kind of effort by now?”

“Maybe he thinks You don’t want him in Your life.”

“I don’t really care either way.  You know that most of the time he was an ass.  But he played an important role in My life and helped Me to become the man I am today.  And for that I’m thankful – but that’s all.”

“Yeah, but I thought You wanted to tell him that, forgive him.”

“I do.  I did.  And I told You that.  He was one of the first people I called after I had My own self-realization and I’ve never heard back.  I’ve done My part.”

“But what if he didn’t get the message?”

“I feel he did.  Intuitively, I believe he got the message.”

“Yeah, but You don’t know.”

I knew he was right.  I didn’t know.  And the only way I could know for sure was to deliver the message in person.  And as if J were reading My mind, “You might as well try – if he’s not there, no loss, You have a place to camp for the night.  If he’s not there, if You can’t find him, You move on.  You might as well try.  You never know, the two of You might get along famously.”

I couldn’t argue with his logic.  And here I was only three kilometers from his house, hoping I wouldn’t find it, that the Universe had other plans for Me; there was only one way to find out.

I headed back inside the coffee shop, refilled My travel mug and packed up My laptop.  Even Kira was reading My Mind, happily making herself comfortable atop the trailer, ready to press on.  I’d carefully studied ‘google maps’ directions and made My way to his street, asking a couple of locals along the way to ensure I was on the right track.  It all seemed too easy, I would be there in minutes.

But as I’m rounding the last corner before his street, traffic signs warning of construction litter the roadway.

CAUTION:  CONTRUCTION AHEAD

ROAD CLOSED: NO ACCESS, LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY

I’m suddenly feeling excited, maybe the Universe is choosing to interfere after all!  I ride past the construction signs to make sure there is absolutely no way to get through.  Soon enough, My thoughts are answered.

I’m stopped at a large cement barricade that runs several kilometers up the highway.  It would be easy enough to jump over or carry My bicycle across but with the trailer and Kira – it was impossible unless I wanted to unpack the trailer, dismantle it and carry everything across the highway which was no small task and extremely dangerous considering the volume and speed of traffic.  The only realistic way to get there was to ride back into town and get on the highway where I could turn off onto his street from the north-bound lane.

I had two choices.  I could abandon the idea of visiting My father, return to town, google map the next leg of the trail and continue toward BC, or I could return to town, head south until I have an opportunity to get on the highway heading north.  Ten minutes later I am back in the coffee shop, finding out just how far south I would need to ride to gain access to the highway heading north and/or the next leg of the trail.

I’d procrastinated too long and suddenly it didn’t seem like I had so much time.  To gain access to the northbound lanes of the highway I would have to travel fifteen kilometers in the opposite direction, meaning it was another thirty kilometers to reach My father’s street.  Heading in the opposite direction did not feel like progress and it would also mean it would be dark by the time I arrived and far too dangerous to be riding on the shoulder a highway.  However, to reconnect with the trail north meant backtracking more than ten kilometers the way I had come and I already knew there were no suitable places to camp and there was also no guarantee that once I got on the new leg of the trail that I would find one before nightfall.  I found Myself reconsidering the option of dismantling My trailer to hop the barricade but when I pictured it in My Mind, it seemed absurd – there had to be a better way.

I remembered passing over the highway on My way into town.  The problem was I would be north of where I wanted to be and needed to be on the northbound side of the highway to gain access to his street – otherwise I would still be on the wrong side of the barricade.  But I wasn’t gaining any time considering My options in a coffee shop, I had to do something – fast!

I opted to head back the way I had come and hoped that I would find a suitable place to camp shortly after reconnecting with the trail.  If not, it was going to be a long, cold night.  About seven kilometers later, I was climbing the overpass on the opposite side of the road from which I had come.  As I crested the top I could see the barricade and construction lights that had been blocking My way – they couldn’t be more than 500 to 700 meters away!  How could they be so close and yet so far?  I dismounted My bike, grabbed My freshly-filled travel mug, lit a smoke, rested My elbows on the rail of the overpass and gazed at My destination.

I was no longer concerned with whether or not I was destined to meet My father, only that I had planned to celebrate My week of cycling with a fire, some hot food, camp on his lawn, and had started the day determined I would.  I’d even purchased a few sausages to roast and some fresh buns.  I could see the entrance to his street!  Nothing more than  700 meters of highway and fictitious ‘laws’ stood in My way.  Since when did such trivial things ever stop Me from achieving a goal?  Was this a sign, a metaphor that nothing but My own insecurities about seeing My father were keeping Me from My destination?  I drew on My cigarette deeply, filling My lungs, feeling triumphant – I already knew exactly what I was going to do.

The highway I was standing over is called a ‘400 series’ highway – bicycles are strictly forbidden, even on the shoulder.  I don’t know what the fines are, but they’re heavy.  To compound the problem, I would have to bike the wrong way – also strictly forbidden.  The more I thought about it, the more glorious it seemed.  How better to determine My fate than to leave it in the hands of the Universe?  If police interfere, they were meant to.  If not, I would be setting up camp and building a fire in half an hour or less.  The choice was clear; tonight was to be a celebration and I felt sure that the Universe would not deny Me.  Finishing My smoke and placing My travel mug carefully into the trailer, I jumped back on My bike with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Soon the wind is in My face as I’m racing down the shoulder of the highway.  Oncoming traffic flies by at freakish speeds, even Kira complains.  My thighs feel like thunder beneath Me, pounding the pedals automatically; the pain of lactic acid burning in My legs is long since removed from My Mind.  My destination nears by the moment and I feel like the superhero I am.  Inwardly, I’m giddy with joy; after all, what were the chances of running into a police officer over such a short stretch of road?

As if on queue, an O.P.P. cruiser flies by, heading south.  My heart stops for a moment, there are now less than 300 meters between Me and My destination.  But I relax and remind Myself he’s on the wrong side of the highway.  I’ll be long gone by the time he finds a place to turn around.  Once again, My thoughts are answered.

The brake lights ignite and a cloud of dust disperses as he pulls a hard U-turn into an unseen gravel path connecting the north and southbound lanes.  Fuck!

He doesn’t even bother pretending he has any intention to head north, the car moves directly onto the shoulder – now I’m playing chicken with a police cruiser!

Although this is not what I was hoping to manifest, I can’t help but smile at the irony of My own situation as I stop pedalling and let My bike slow to a halt.  Gravel grinds beneath My tires and even the sound of deceleration seems to echo My spirit.  Only moments ago I was unstoppable, yet here I am – stopping.

Fortunately, the officer is smiling, too.  I pull up to his window and start the dialogue.

“I know what You must be thinking but I promise You I can explain.”, laughing a little.

He seems to be containing his laughter, too.  “What, that first of all, You are on a ‘no access’ highway, and second, you’re going the wrong way!”

“Yes, but I’m not committing any crime.”

“Yes, You are!  Under the highway traffic act, you’re committing two!”

“Okay, but I’m not committing a criminal offence.  I’m sovereign, and I’m travelling.  I’m trying to get to a street that has been blocked by the highway.  There is no way to access the street unless I backtrack fifteen kilometers south to enter on a northbound ramp, and I would still be violating one of Your traffic acts, but I would have to violate that act for another fifteen kilometers instead of cycling the wrong way on a no access highway for seven hundred meters or whatever it is from here to that ramp.”  I gesture toward where I accessed the highway.

“Oh, come on.  You’re telling me you can’t get to where you are going without riding along the highway?”

“Exactly.  You can check it out Yourself.  If it was only My bike, I could jump the barricade but with this trailer, it’s kind of tricky.  And I have a right to access this street.  Not My fault there is no alternative route for cyclists or pedestrians.  If there is, please tell Me and I will happily take it.”

He chuckles again, but he’s serious.  “Where are you trying to get to?”

“My father’s.”

“Where does he live.”

“On that next street, right there.”, I say, pointing toward My destination.

He’s silent for a moment.  “What’s the exact address, and what’s your father’s name?  He’s expecting you?”

I laugh again, knowing how much more ridiculous My quest is going to sound when I answer his question.  “No, he’s not expecting Me, it’s something of a surprise.  I’m not even sure he will be there, I haven’t seen him for over seventeen years.  And I’m not sure what the exact address is, but I know I will recognize his house when I see it.”

Now the officer is making no attempt to contain his laughter.  “Okay, so let me get this straight.  You are heading the wrong way on a no access highway, hoping to find your father who you haven’t seen in over seventeen years and you don’t even know the address?  I am supposed to let you continue?”

“Well, I’m hoping You will.  I only have a few hundred meters to go, it’s the nearest exit from the highway anyway.”

He shakes his head, but he’s finding humour in the situation and still seems reasonable and well tempered.  “Okay, can you tell me your father’s name and I’ll see if I can look the address up for you.  I want to at least make sure he still lives there.”

I tell him My father’s name and explain that I do know he still lives there, “My brother visited recently but he doesn’t know the exact address either, just the street name.  That’s why I’m headed there.”

“And you think you will be able to recognize his house even though you haven’t been there for seventeen years?”

“Yes, I have a very good memory, I think I will recognize the driveway.  I’m sure I will.”

“Okay, what’s Your name.”

“I’m sovereign and I don’t believe I’m obliged to provide that unless I’m under arrest.  No offence, I just prefer not to give My name.”

He laughs again, “okay, then, you’re under arrest.”

Now I laugh.  “Really?  Okay, then, no problem.  I’ve told You I’m sovereign but I have every intention of keeping the peace and will cooperate and comply with Your order.  But please be sure to note in Your file that I do so under protest and duress.”

He smiles again but I can tell he is less tense, I’ve diffused the situation.  I give him My full name and he writes it down, tells Me he’s just going to run the names through his system to see if he can pull up any information to help Me out.  In the meantime, he has given Me permission to continue down the shoulder to My father’s street, but tells Me that he thinks the southbound bridge is out and that I can’t get there from here, either.  If that’s the case, he asks Me to turn around, head back down the northbound shoulder until I hit the patch of gravel where the cruiser made the U-turn and proceed on the southbound side until I get to the opposite side of the street, which will take Me back to town (where I was first blocked by the barricade).

I say thank You and he tells Me that he will be back to see how I am making out and hopefully have some information for Me.

I know when he runs My name that it will bring up information that will not improve My situation.  I can only hope that for some reason it doesn’t come up, or that he will choose to overlook it if it does.  I promise to do as he’s asked and that if I can’t get there I will just accept it a sign that I am not meant to go there and continue on My way.

Sure enough, he’s right and I begin to think that a reunion with My father is not in the Universal design.  The bridge is out.  There is no way to walk across, let alone bike, so I do as the officer asks and start riding toward the blocked entrance I started from.  Just as I’m arriving, the officer pulls up beside Me.

“So the road was closed?”

“Yup.”

“So You just heading back into town?”

“I’ll be looking for a place to make camp, it’s getting dark.”

“You’re giving up on finding Your dad’s?”

“There’s no way for Me to get there, I don’t think I have a choice.”

“Well, We could carry the trailer over the barricade.”

I laugh.  “Seriously?  No, I can’t ask You to do that, You’ve been kind enough – it’s heavy!”

“Well, no information came up for your dad, still waiting on your information.  But I can’t see that you’ve come all this way and you’re just going to give up.  Let’s lift it over the barricades.  Can You unhitch it from the bike?”

“Yeah, but really…  You don’t have to do this.”

“I’ve been sitting in this car all day, I need the exercise.  Come on, get your bike, let’s do this!”

I run over and unlatch the trailer from the bike and wheel it as close to the first barricade as I can.  Without a word, the officer grabs one side of the trailer as I grab the other and we haul it up onto the barricade, holding it steady as we hop over the barricade and gently set it down.  We repeat the procedure one more time and My trailer is sitting at the end of My father’s street.

“You can manage the bike?”

“Yes!  No problem!  Thank You so much, I really appreciate everything You’ve done for Me!  Can I get Your name?  I write a blog, and it’s good to be able to write something positive about police officers, I’m not generally a fan.”

He shakes his head and smiles, gets back in his car but kindly shakes My hand before he does.  “I hope you find your dad, it’s getting dark.  What are you going to do if he’s not there?”

“Camp on his lawn, make a fire and enjoy a hot meal before going to bed.”

Again, he smiles.  “I’ll be checking back in a little bit to see if you find the place, good luck!”

It only takes Me moments to carry My bike across the two barricades, hitch it to My bike and start along the road.  I pass a driveway that looks like it could be his, but I’m not quite sure.  But it’s the last driveway I see before the street comes to an abrupt halt at the edge of the lake.  I stop for a few moments to appreciate the view.  It’s dusk and the sun is setting at the end of the channel, the water is illuminated by a red-orange glow.  I could stand here and gaze until the sun is gone, but I have to make camp, find My father’s.  As I turn around to make My way back down the road, a car pulls up to make use of a set of recycling bins lining the wharf.  I decide to ask them if they know My father and where I might find him.  They do.  It was the driveway I had suspected and any of My doubts would have been confirmed had I simply started down it.

There are two large trees at the end of the drive, each with a sign posted on it.  The first reads, ‘No Trespassing’, the other reads, ‘These premises protected by Rottweiler’s’.  Quite the welcome.  A sturdy chain connects the two trees, blocking access to the driveway.  I unhitch the trailer and drag it under the chain, then carry My bike over it.  I finish reconnecting the trailer just as the police cruiser pulls up the driveway, stopping just short of the chain.

“This Your father’s place?”

There’s a Porsche and a VW Beetle sitting in the drive.  “Well, Porsche’s, VW’s, Rottweiler’s…  He’s German, he’s always loved German cars and dogs, I’m pretty sure this is it.”

“Is he home?”

“I don’t think so, house looks pretty dark.”

“And if he’s not?”

“Then I make camp tonight, eat a hot meal and head out tomorrow morning.”

“Okay.  Your information came back…  You know there is a warrant for Your arrest?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Want to tell Me about it.”

“Well, it wasn’t much different from what happened with You.  I was backpacking through Toronto and a few cops decided to ask Me My name.  I told them I’m sovereign and that I’m not obliged to give it unless I’m under arrest.  They said they would arrest Me for obstructing a peace officer if I refused.  They just didn’t respect the law the way You have.”

He laughs.  “Okay.  Well the warrant was issued over eighty miles from here so I have no intention of bringing you in.  However, the warrant was issued by the criminal division and they have you listed as potentially dangerous.”

“Really?  Okay, that part is a surprise.”

“Unfortunately, I’m waiting to hear back from them.  If they tell me to bring you in, I’m going to have to.”

“I understand and I’m not afraid to face the charges, they won’t hold up in a court of law.  How long will it take, do you want me to just wait here until you hear back from them?”

“No, that’s okay, go get yourself settled.  If they want me to come get you, I know where to find you.”

“Okay, and once again, thank You so much.  Sure You don’t want to tell Me Your name?”

He smiles and passes Me a business card.  “Good luck with your father, I hope I won’t be back.”

“Thank You and take care.  I appreciate You.”

I set up My tent, got Kira some fresh food and water, found the fire-pit and began collecting kindling.  Soon My fire was roaring, potatoes and sausages were roasting and water was boiling for fresh coffee.  It turned out to be a wonderfully triumphant evening and I felt I deserved the celebration that much more.  I thanked the Universe for the wonderful day under a blanket of the brightest stars I’ve seen in years…  And I haven’t seen the sergeant since.

 

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