Careful What You Look For



I am a born and bred New Yorker and a daily mass transit commuter. Part and parcel of this are the mornings when I may encounter a group of police officers performing random searches of bags. This happens at my local station several times a year, while I have witnessed others randomly selected to have their bags searched I myself had not been stopped before. Until the day I really, really should not have been. Oh, the deities do love to laugh at us mortals, no?

When the officer signaled me, my first instinct was to balk. I mean seriously? Of all days to be selected! Please note the situation: me – a fat black woman, clearly dressed for work, carrying a leather cross body bag with embossed skull adornment and a zipped leopard print shopping bag, certainly looks as though I am in possession of potential bomb making materials, to transport via the subway nonetheless- staring down several gun-toting NYPD officers who indeed looked friendly enough, but let’s not get it twisted, I am most certainly offering my bags for inspection. I huffed at the inconvenience of a missed train, but then I remembered exactly what I was carrying.

In my mind I could hear a Greek chorus of certain friends yelling “Rai BEHAVE!”

However, my ever-present demon did Olympic worthy somersaults on my shoulder as I bit down the urge to grin while I handed my bags over and took a step back from the table.

“But of course officers, here you go.”

Oh, this is going to be such FUN! 

A younger friend of mine, slowly coming into her sexuality, wanted to go “toy” shopping. As she was new to this, instead of randomly buying things online, I had suggested we go to a brick and mortar store where she can actually see and touch a few things.  Let’s just say that after an hour or so the end result was my friend, and a couple of others – who overheard me explaining certain things and wound up in our conversation, spent a lovely amount of dollars there and the salesgirls wanted to recruit me. Which was all well and good until I got home I realized I had her purchases with me because in spite of it all she was still too shy to be in the street carrying a bag with the store’s logo emblazoned on the side, announcing to the world where she’d been. We agreed to meet in the morning at a station downtown to drop it off. I placed the items in the leopard print bag to be nice to her. I now watched as an officer slowly unzipped the bag and took a peek inside.

I knew the first thing he saw was the brand spanking new dildo, still in its package sitting at the top. His mouth dropped as he gasped, turned all manner of persimmon and looked up at me.  Of course this got the attention of the three other officers working with him who naturally had to take a look. It seemed as almost one they all slowly looked from the bag to me in expressions ranging from What kind of shit is this? to Oh my God! to Well, hello there!

“That’s not mine. Would you believe, it’s for a friend?” I teased, Maxwell Smart coming to mind as I shrugged a shoulder, knowing damn well what they believed.

It took everything I had to keep a straight face as a different officer took a pen, moved the dildo over to look further into the bag only to remove his hand and look up at me anew. I suspect he saw the – well never mind what he saw.

“Now, that one is mine.” placidity was my name as I arched a brow at him. He grinned. It was lethal. It was beautiful. I reminded him he was married, to the amusement of his comrades as the first officer quickly zipped the leopard print bag and handed both bags back to me.

“Enjoy yourself.” Officer Smiley’s grin was divine as, per protocol, he held the emergency door open for me to go through as I earn a free train ride as payment for the inconvenience of being detained.

“You saw what was in the bag; you know I will.”  I purred as I went through. The officer’s laughter followed me as I went down the escalator.

I was on the train, pulling out my iPod, when it amused me to realize that in the surprise of the toys found in the leopard print bag, none of them actually checked my purse.

To paraphrase a classic: be careful what you seek, you might find something unexpected instead.


10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!DAY 2

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