I watched a man get arrested today. I was walking from my apartment to the coffee shop to grab a cup and read the paper. He was a shorter black man, scruffy, but not too scruffy. He had the classic “hands on top of your head, interlace your fingers” pose. He looked like he’d been there before. He was comfortable, definitely more comfortable than the cop.
It probably couldn’t have been anything too serious, because it took a long time to put him in the squad. I stood to watch along with the eclectic mix of the street; kids and punks, homeless and businessmen, we all made the cop nervous. Quick glances around and whispers into the shoulder radio. No doubt calling in a potential riot at the corner of NW 5th and Couch. I was waiting for someone to say something, to give the cop shit. To give the guy shit. To give each other shit, but no one seemed too interested. More like amused. Maybe they’d all been there before. Everyone but me and the cop.