When Nick saw the flashing lights in his rearview mirror, it took all the discipline he had not to simply swerve the car into oncoming traffic.
Great, he thought to himself, a ticket. It wasn’t enough that he hated his job, hated his apartment, and would die alone. Now he would die broke.
He pulled over, and was surprised by the police officer who exited the car. She was maybe five feet tall, and skipped to his car in a way that made Nick suspect that she hadn’t been able to sit still when she was a child.
“Hey,” she said, crossing her forearms on the window well of his car door and leaning slightly into the vehicle. “Don’t know why I stopped you, I bet.”
“Is the problem that I was speeding?” Nick asked.
“No!” she said, her voice a morning cup of coffee. “The problem is that you’re miserable. Did you not see that depression limit sign back there? The sign specifically said ‘kinda down.’ You’re damn near suicidal!”
Somehow, Nick could not scowl at her. She seemed to be looking for an excuse to reward him.
“Well,” said Nick, smiling in spite of himself, “I hate my job, hate my apartment, and hate being alone.”
“Ah,” the police officer said, “then we have a serious legal issue that we must address posthaste!”
She took his license, went her cruiser, and came back.
“Okay,” she said handing back his license, along with a sheet of paper. “I’ve run a check on you, so this numbered list I’ve given you should address these issues one by one. First: I’ve set up an interview with our local radio station. They’re looking for a midnight to six deejay, which, I believe, is the job you wish for in your quiet, desperate moments. Second: I’ve also been able to get you a beautiful rent controlled one bedroom for half the going rate. And finally, third: you don’t remember me, but I’ve had a crush on you since high school; make use of the phone number on that paper, young man. Seize the day.”
She walked back to her cruiser, but not before turning back, holding her right hand to her head with her thumb and pinky miming a telephone receiver, and mouthing the words “call me.”