It’s 9:30 at night and I’m just hitting the campus, carrying a 6-pack of beer (discreetly hidden in a black bag). When this cop happens to be walking right towards me (uh oh). Heavy-set guy. Looks like he’s maybe half-black, half-latino.
“You have a good night, Mr. Labriola,” he said as he passed me.
“You too,” I said.
“Hey, how did you know who I am?” I said.
“I’ve had at least a half-dozen interactions with you,” he said. “You were always very polite.”
“Oh,” I said. “You’ve got a better memory than me.”
“Ha ha,” he said.
“Well have a good night, cool cat,” I said.
“You too,” he said.
And I headed off to find a discreet place to drink my beer.
You know how it is. Some of my late-night interactions tend to be a bit of a blur in my mind. But it made me wonder. I like to think I’m a pretty inconspicuous person. But maybe I’m not as inconspicuous as I like to think I am.
I’m not anti-cop or pro-cop, by the way. Being homeless, dealing with the cops is just like dealing with the rain. It’s just one more Force of Nature that you have to deal with. And it’s really nothing personal. Usually.
One of my Facebook friends suggested that maybe the cop was familiar with me from reading about my exploits on my Facebook page or the internet. But one of the great things about being known by a pseudonym; it’s unlikely the cops would ever make the connection between “Ace Backwords” and my real name, the real person they deal with. And likewise, nothing would pop up if they happened to run “Ace Backwords” over the wire.