“Anywhere America” by George Knox

America Picturesque, Scenes anywhere along the coast

America Picturesque, Scenes anywhere along the coast

The late afternoon sun had turned his inadequately cooled police cruiser into a child’s bake oven. On duty alone, monitoring pedestrian traffic in a late model black and white, the world around him had abruptly gone into late shift slow motion. Heat arising from cracked street pavement lifted skyward all around him, creating a misty mirage like oasis accentuated by the exhaust fumes of passing metropolitan buses. For the middle aged twenty plus years on the force police officer who never made detective, his attention span had long ago lost focus and at this point of third double shift this week, every movement in the car was accompanied with misplaced back tightness or a what next grimace. Reaching to turn the volume down on the cruiser radio he took a deep breath and thought about lunch. On the seat beside him a bagged lunch sat filled with puddings and soft sandwiches that had long ago lost their freshness and the thought of eating another chemically created chocolate pudding turned his stomach. The neighborhood this Friday was more alive this afternoon than it had been all day, yet he was not interested in getting involved in anything if he did not truly have to. Reaching into a side shirt pocket for his ear buds he sorted out ends and plugs and plugged into his iPod lying on the seat beside him. Finding the music app he dialed up, “ Oldies,” and pressed play. Credence Clearwater in one ear and a police radio in the other created a surreal city landscape bopping to the beat of the Bayou while at the same time, highlighted by an armed robbery and two men on foot heading in his direction. Removing the ear bud and sitting up straight in his seat, he became nervous.