Tonight I returned home to London and had to pull into a gas station right away. I tried only to use the pump to pay, but before allowing me to purchase any gas, it kept asking me for an air miles cars card and giving me no option but canceling the transaction.
On the other side of the pump was an OPP car, the provincial police force not unlike state troopers. I had to go into the store to pay for gas, and on my way back out to pump it, a woman stopped me. She was in regular clothes, seemed cheery, completely normal looking until the gesture toward the gun on her hip.
“Hi! I need you to show me what’s underneath that blanket in your front seat, please.”
Erica had mentioned being cold (she was wearing a little denim skirt), so I had pulled a blanket up from the rear seat to cover her up. Having already dropped her off, the blanket was just sitting in the front, covering nothing.
After I checked out alright, the cop apologized and told me that there’s just a little bit of heightened awareness since the goings-on in Woodstock, and I guess I was fulfilling my duty by complying to her demand as much as she was doing hers by checking. All the same, I’ve never felt so close to an issue like a missing child before.
And then I got to wondering whether or not it was for the fact that Toronto is too big a place, or too narrow-sighted. I hope it’s the former over the latter, but also I hope this whole scenario never repeats itself so that I need never find out.