I was thinking about the cop who gave me the ticket 20 years ago.
How funny, you know, to run into someone like that, and without benefit of Facebook! My brother George says Facebook is like the afterlife, everyone in your life comes back. But this officer, he appeared without Facebook. In person.
How surreal to be talking with him!
Today I was telling my mom about it and one thing I remembered, when I got this ticket, my father was still around. And I told my father about it. About this ticket I got, and why I got it.
I remember telling my father that now that I had the job at the paper, and I had a paycheck, I could not assume the correct craven attitude toward the officer who stopped me, the attitude that I suspected had gotten me off the hook the (few, ahem) other times this sort of thing had happened. It was as if I were a new person. I was not the person I had been before.
My dad listened and he understood. And he quoted a poem to me. After all these years, I remembered two lines of it:
And if I should chance to run over some cad
I can pay for the damage, no matter how bad.
Only now did I think to Google it and find out what poem this was. Everything is at your fingertips, you know? If you just Google.
The verse came up right away. I found it here, to give credit where credit is due. The poem has a wonderful name. It is "Dipsychus." And the author has a wonderful name. It is Arthur Hugh Clough.
It is illuminating to see it, just as it was illuminating when someone came forward with a poem he said inspired Leonard Pennario's "Midnight on the Cliffs." But that is another story for another day.
For now ...
By Arthur Hugh Clough
(English poet and scholar, friend of Tennyson and Matthew Arnold, 1819–1861)