That made me think of several occasions over the years where I’ve been in situations like that….especially during my teens I would have laughing fits about things that only I could see were funny, and thinking a bit further I thought “Why not make a short article about some of those occasions, now, that I’m fairly incapacitated when it comes to the more seriously research demanding stuff?”. And so I decided to do just that. I’ll tell the story about one situation that I can recall, where I had a serious laughing fit under circumstances and in a situation where not keeping your cool could’ve led to a very unfortunate ending for myself, and possibly for others as well – even though the latter is somewhat unlikely. Still, an unhappy outcome for me personally, whether or not others are having the same ill fate, has always been my without comparison Absolutely Worst Scenario, and that in itself makes it an issue of The Utmost Importance. I also have a feeling that this may not be all that unfamiliar to other people, but is in fact probably rather common. Here goes… :
I once witnessed a drug dealer – whom I knew pretty well from my excursions on the street – selling drugs that was too potent and in fact lethal. Within the first hour of his dealing this particular package, I saw one customer die about 15 yards from where he’d bought it, as he’d gone directly to a doorway immediately afterward to shoot up.
Not very long after this, somebody came and told the dealer that another customer apparently had died an hour or so before after having bought and injected the same drug.
Later on the same day I myself found a prey for what I at the time often used to earn some good cash: A non-local who needed supply and who wasn’t sure who they could trust, and who also weren’t very smart or experienced. I had him buy from this dealer, because it was the most stable dealer I knew of and who always gave me the best profit, and after the deal I took my prey to a cafeteria where he was to shoot up.
The agreement was that I would leave and come back 2 hours later where upon he’d take me to his hotel so we could talk over prospect future business deals. I had lots of ideas. – It was not only in this guy’s case, I always had lots of ideas.
I saw him go for the mens room in the cafeteria as I went for the exit.
I never came back, for the police arrested me as I was having lunch with a tourist in a neighboring part of town about an hour later – in a 4 star restaurant, no less.
They informed me I was under arrest and suspected for playing an active role in dealing drugs with lethal potential and I was taken to the police station where it soon became apparent that I had been seen leaving the cafeteria after first arriving together with my prey who less than 20 min later was found sprawled on the bathroom floor lying in a pool of puke and piss, dead from an overdose. He was nb. 5 victim.
They pushed me, they pressured me, they even suppressed themselves when they began to feel pity with me as it became more and more ‘apparent’ that I had been naive and had unknowingly played a role in distribution of lethal drugs – something I obviously was deeply remorseful and shaken about now, that they police has explained to me the repercussions and consequences my gullibility had help lead to.
– At least two of them were convinced I was just a homeless teen who’d had a rough deal from life and who hoped to earn some respect and thus some protection if I could show that I was tough and loyal to the community and that I could keep my mouth shut.
Then they spoke about taking me to the central street corner where the drug-dealing and trafficking took place, hoping I would either recognize the drug dealer in question or get some information from some of the others hanging around there. When I heard them say that, I jumped in and said: “Oh, but I actually heard him say to the customer at the cafeteria that he actually WOULD come there later on, since he hoped to sell more of the drug!” (I’d heard no such thing, of course).
That did it. They rushed me to a car and took me to the place.
Yet, this was a very serious case, and my problem with remembering how this drug dealer looked made it imperative they did their utmost to get my memory to come up with SOMETHING to help them solve this crime and fast before more died. So they had to be tough, and tough they were, and even tougher they became! And the tougher they became the more ‘remorseful’ I was.
But you can only get so remorseful. And at some point one of the policemen felt I didn’t keep up fast enough, and he became suspicious about my honesty. He said to one of the other cops: “I think we’re wasting our time. He’ll not help us!…”. He cast a glance back at me – at this point I didn’t show remorse or much else, but perhaps even a little pleasure, though I did try and make it look as an attempt on my part to ease the tension. But this one decided he didn’t buy it, so he continued: “I think he’s having us on. He doesn’t care about the victims, he’s going to lead us on a wild goose chase!”.
Of course I knew that now I had to react and show them what they needed to see in order to believe my sincerity – the triggering words being first of all “the victims who died and who may die because of him!” (‘him’ being me, Zhawq, of course). The other trigger was the hint that I was secretly helping the dealer, so I myself was perhaps also guilty.
So I put on the even more “very remorseful, worried and unhappy face”. – Yet, this still wasn’t enough for this cop. He kept at me, on and on, that way keeping me trapped with that ‘unhappy remorseful role’ and I began feeling annoyed, but there was nothing I could do.
A while later as my patience and inspiration was wearing thin (he kept on with the same things, there was no new ’emotions’ to show), and just as his “harassment” was nearing a peak, we arrived at the street corner where the dealers and traffickers gathered.
And the instant we stepped out of the car and onto the pavement, I saw the dealer standing at the corner, exactly where he’d been standing earlier.
That suddenly made it all seem so funny, so hilarious, and I was overwhelmed with an urge to laugh.
Yet the situation was too serious, my freedom was at jeopardy so I couldn’t afford to as much as give a weak smile, and here I was at the brink of laughing out loud.
The way I saved myself was to cover my face with my hands – the way many people do when they’re ashamed or about to cry – when turning myself slightly away from the policemen. To my luck the harassing one took that as another cue he was getting to me, so he kept on even harder, and that gave me the reason I needed to make myself seem like I was weeping.
And so, as my body began to slightly shake from laughter, I hit my face and made it sound – as much as I could – like I was weeping.
The policeman clearly had some sadistic tendency, because it just made him add more slander, like “He’s just a no-good little piece of shit, he’ll be in jail before you know it!” and so on, on and on.
So as my laughter became more uncontrollable, I in the end actually made it sound as if I was crying, …really crying!!
In the end, when I finally managed to get a grip on myself and the cops thought I’d seized crying, I went over tho the corner, talked to a few and then alerted the dealer without the police having any way of knowing it was the dealer I was talking to, nor of understanding the messages we exchanged.
The guy was never caught … at least not for this crime.
Somehow it seems to me that those cops can’t have been all that observant after all. If it had been me, I’d have noticed the lack of red and puffed eyes, or at least something that didn’t fit the picture I was giving of myself. But then, I guess it’s also to some degree a matter of seeing what you except to see, and of overlooking what you do not expect to see.