I would like to address the police officer who saw me today.
I was the person chasing a medium-sized black dog across the very busy Quivira Rd. at the intersection of 109th. I'm 100% certain this officer saw me, and the dog, as he/she paused to let the dog run around, and then swerved to drive around me.
This letter could take issue with the fact that this officer was driving what appeared to be a Chevy Yukon; I'm certain we aren't expecting any blizzards in the next several months, and the off-roading opportunities in the middle of suburban-sprawl Johnson County are few, so the use of this vehicle's 15 mpg seems to be quite an arrogant waste of taxpayer's money. But I'll proceed with more selfish issues, mainly myself and that dog.
The motorists in the intersection slowed down and pulled over, with some eventually stopping and offering their help, due to what was obviously my pursuit of that dog--yes, that dog wearing a collar with the frayed end of a recently-snapped leash, running away from the sweating, yelling, slightly pudgy and red-faced middle aged man who was holding what was the leash's other half. That man was me, and that dog is not mine but I was watching it.
Despite the helpful nature of the other Midwesterners who offered to help, the officer drove on, and left me and the damned dog to run in traffic on our own.
I do not know what the officer was doing at that moment. I can only offer two details: 1) This officer drove away at a rather leisurely pace, so presumably there was not a mission underway; and 2) This officer was headed south on Quivira, driving into what is one of the safest, lowest-crime areas anywhere in the metro area. My parents who live down the street once had a police officer knock on their door to remind them their garage door was open and it was getting dark. There isn't a lot keeping these officers busy. So I can only presume the officer who saw me, as is often the case in southern Overland Park, wasn't super-busy at that moment.
I don't make it a habit to run around in traffic in busy streets. However, even if I did partake in it for some particular reason, the sight that the officer drove past was certainly an abnormality, and he/she could have considered the catastrophe that could have unfolded, with cars swerving around each other, and around me, and around the damned dog that I will never offer to take on a walk ever again. So there's the public safety issue.
However, let's talk about decency. When strangers, who presumably have places to go that inspired them to get into their cars, pull over and offer to help, that's nice. When a police officer who obviously is going nowhere important--and God forbid I ask he/she gets out of the enormous truck to help, no way--could prevent iminent death by simply turning on his/her flashing lights, yet that officer instead drives around other motorists and around me and around an out-of-control dog, that officer is an asshole.
Please let that officer know that if he/she ever drops to the sidewalk with a heart attack, and I see it happen, I'll stop to help. Why? Because 1) I am in a professional role to be helpful in that situation, and 2) I'm not a dick.
Thanks for nothing. Enjoy my taxes. I'm glad the residents' garages are well-protected with you on patrol.
I don't miss living in Miami. I have a love/hate relationship with the city, much like an ex who drives you crazy but you still have a few fond memories. It's best it is over, but still, there were good times.
There are a few things I miss.
I miss the mango tree in my back yard, which had mangoes that popped off the pit like an avocado, none of this "how do you slice it?" nonsense of store-bought mangoes. And the taste...the best taste ever. I had to wake up at dawn to pick them off the ground or my neighbor Phyllis would go out and steal them all for herself.
I miss walking 6 blocks to the hotel strip and sneaking into the fancy hotels to use their gyms and pools. I also miss not having a need to buy a bottle of shampoo or a bar of soap for 7 years because I could just raid housekeeping carts. I never stole towels, however. Whenever I took a towel, I brought it back and left it by the pool for them to collect. No need to be rude.
I miss the filthy coffee place with the best café con leche, on Lincoln Road. And I miss pastelitos.
I miss driving to work or class in the morning, and listening to the morning shows on the salsa music radio stations. Everything was so optimistic and happy.
I miss the guy from Jamaica. I miss the guy from Colombia with the tattoo of the Colombian flag. I'm sure they don't miss me, but still...
I don't miss the beach. I rarely walked over there. But I do miss walking in Key Biscayne, through the mangrove trees. And I miss finding a private mini-beach in there when the tide was out. (...see item directly above this one.)
Finally I miss the smell in the air. The humidity had a very specific scent.