Cops Can Be Funny

Help! Police! / Teaching / Society / Social Order / NoHier / Cops / told stories galore, many featuring pk’s personal experiences. Some were put in the Personal section, as personal; others were gathered in the / Teaching / Society / NoHier / HierCon section: NoHier being a symbol for Against(Factitious, Imposed)Hierarchy / Imposed Hierarchies (Nazis, brown-shirts) versus the Christian ideal of a convivial society. I had several dozen cops stories in the social mis-order section, most nasty, but one funny.

The first girl I ever fell in love with I met when I was nineteen. She was twenty. Her college roommate in Boston took the following picture when she was around twenty-one. I’n she cute?

Jackie on Boston Pier, late 1950s

I had no pictures of Jackie until she sent them to me this past winter: 2009-10. I scanned some, retouching as I could, much of the data too indefinite to do much with; but she’s beautiful even in a faded pic. I’ve told Jackie that had told of the time we were raided by the cops. I repeat some of that version here: she knows she has editing rights.

Jackie in Greenwich Village, early 1960s
Adorable. So soulful.

Here’s the story as I told it at

I met Jackie at a party in a loft situated in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. Bird was on the phonograph. She said that something he played was “something else” and I was smitten. I maneuvered her toward the loft’s version of a terrace, breathed New York’s version of fresh air, and, screened from the mob, put my arms around her from behind. She didn’t just lean back: she stepped backwards till as lush a set of buttocks as I’d ever seen or felt enfolded my erection.

That summer I was running a Mexican art and artifacts gallery on Macdougal Street while taking a course or two at Columbia’s summer session. Jackie would visit the gallery, I’d close up, and we’d get hot and bothered on the couch in the back. The first couple of times, though still not a virgin, I still didn’t dip the wick. In fact one night, sore as hell but still unfulfilled, I get back uptown, stop in the West End for a night cap, and Jack Karouac’s “wife” Loretta asked if she could crash in my bed. “Sure,” I said, “but don’t expect anything but the bed: I’m red and raw.” “Oh, you are,” she said: and put Noxzema on it.

Thereafter, Jackie and I didn’t hold anything back. Too soon August was almost over and Jackie was going back to Boston College. One last dinner and she’d be gone. She came to pick me up at my place on W 112th Street. We had each other for an appetizer, for the bread, for the soup course, and so on. I fucked her every way but hanging from the ceiling: standing, seated, sunny side over … In between I’d change the record from Bird to Bud to Sinatra … However many orgasms she had, I had just finished number seven when the door bell rang. 11 PM? Who could that be? My roommate was gone for the month. During the school year the place was Grand Central Station, but for the summer the place was my hermitage. I walked naked to the door planning to just peek through the crack.

The next thing I know I’m pinned against the wall as something burly, badged, and uniformed brushes past the guy, also burly badged, and uniformed, who’s got me paralyzed and off my feet. “Jackie,” I called, “it’s cops.” Once his partner was inside, my guy let me back down but held me still. A minute later, the second cop reappears at the far end of the hall accompanied by Jackie, blushing and sheepish, her unbuttoned trench coat wrapped tight against her body by pressure from her arms. “They’re just kids,” the partner announced to my cop.

“Look,” my cop says. “We were young too. Not that long ago. I’m sorry we busted in on you, but we had to answer the complaints. Next time, couldn’t you just pull the shades down?”

“What?” I asked. “I had all the lights out.”

The cop tapped the 25 watt bulb at the front entrance where we were now all gathered. “It was like you were on a stage.”

Now the partner speaks up. “We waited as long as we could. We were over there” (indicating beyond the alley airspace beyond the living room) “for hours.”

It turned out that a family also in a rear apartment, back to back with us on 111th Street couldn’t get the kids to watch television or, finally, to go to bed. They wanted to keep watching the nooky. The mother had called the cops reporting a hooker. (Jackie was what we call “black,” so she had to be a whore, right?) The cop said they delayed, made excuses … “But you just wouldn’t stop.” His story invited me to guess who the complainer was: throughout the year we’d hear her screaming, whenever the windows were open — “Hey! You Kids! Shut up and watch television.”

Perhaps I should also explain: the apartment of the six-floor walk-up was laid out like a hook. There was the front door, solid wall on the right, a small bedroom on the left, followed by the bathroom, then the kitchen. After about thirty feet the hall ended in the living room. French doors closed off my room, and curtained beyond, the point of the “hook,” was a third bedroom. My room was the largest but also the least private: the door was curtained glass panes and the occupant of room three had to pass through to go anywhere. Perhaps I should explain further: we couldn’t close the curtains or pull the shades down: there weren’t any. This was a student apartment, rented “furnished,” but not completely furnished. Rent came to like $25 a month apiece. And why should we need curtains? We were guys. We were on the top floor. We couldn’t see anybody: who could see us? Even if I thought there might be a neighbor with a spy glass I didn’t imagine much light from the dim bulb by the door could illuminate the living room let alone my room to the side.

I can see why Hitler would need to spy into my bedroom window;
but I don’t see why I need to spy into his.

I’ll never know how many more pre-dinner “courses” Jackie and I would have had had we remained uninterrupted. But the mood had burst. She said, “Come on, I’ll buy you dinner.” Riker’s up on 115th was one of our few choices by that hour. She’d arrived at 6:30 or so. The cops came at 11:00. We had a midnight dinner and she walked me back to 112th Street, so then I walked her down to the subway at 110th. I’ll never forget how Jackie looked in her trench coat waving good-bye to me from the bottom of the steps of the Cathedral Parkway IRT station. Such a sweet face. The most luscious tint of red in hair otherwise ebon. In all the decades since, the person I’ve seen who comes closest to resembling her is Chanda Rubin, the tennis star. Good-bye, she waves. For who knows how long? Jackie would be lucky to be home in NJ by dawn.

The next time I saw her — up in Boston — is a different story altogether. All I’ll say about that episode is that she delighted me forever by calling me her “fountain.” Actually, her exact phrase was “my little fountain.” Can you blame me for wanting to forget the “little” part?

Now 2010 11 19 I see I never did get to comment on what I found appropriate and inappropriate in the cops’ behavior. I see nothing wrong in neighbors seeking ways to tell other neighbors what they find welcome and unwelcome in their behavior. The kids were watching us screw, we had no idea we were visible, the neighbor could have shouted across the alley, “Pull the shades down,” or “Come up for air why don’t you?” This neighbor chose to convey dissatisfaction via cops. OK: and the cops dragged their feet, not entirely cooperating in curtailing our amorous acrobatics. Once arrived at my door the cops did knock, but then they busted in once I answered! No, no, no: not in a convivial world. What would Jesus say?

I had to yell to warn Jackie that a stranger was intruding, the cop raced by in silence to grab her unprepared. No, no.

Should I have called my own set of cops to barge in at midnight on the complaining neighbor and tell her to mind her own fucking business?

I’m just reading Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons. Mountain girl goes off to the big college where the reader has already discovered that a roomie can walk into his suite in the coed dorm and find the other roomie humping a shaved pussy on the common room rug. There’s little point in complaining about culture, the river has already flowed elsewhere.

Hierarchy vs. Conviviality Stories

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in Conviviality, cops, pk Teaching, social order, society. Bookmark the permalink.

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