Something caught 

Stopped short in mid-flight

Daniel and I agree that a good way to get out of a speeding ticket would be to pretend you have something caught in your throat and then ask the police officer to kindly use his penis to help dislodge it. Lary says that would work if he were a police officer, but probably not if he were the perpetrator.

Like he should worry. Lary is almost immune to police. I couldn't even get the police to handcuff him when he was shooting at people running through the parking lot behind his back yard. Granted the runners were burglars Lary had caught in the act, but I don't see how the police could have known that at first. I figured I'd at least get to see a SWAT showdown before matters got sorted. But no, Lary says they told him not to miss next time, and to just drag the bodies from the parking lot onto his property, thereby reinforcing the self-defense scenario.

"What about the trail of blood?" Lary asked.

"We won't see it," Lary says they answered.

Daniel and I don't enjoy that privilege with the police, so we're basically law-abiding except for the occasional traffic ticket, and there wouldn't be those if not for Freedom Parkway. The police swarm like hornets around that stretch, which is an almost seamless offshoot from the freeway -- except for that 35 mph limit. When you exit onto it, it's practically impossible not to speed. You have to brake like a barricade, and most people don't bother. A lot get caught.

I got caught, and I hate that "caught" feeling. I hate it when you're flying along and something stops you cold, efficiently sucking all the fun out of everything. I'm not even talking about speeding tickets anymore. For example, the other day I was in New York on Canal Street, where I had intended to buy a truckload of handbags and other designer knockoffs that, to me, are the total ass-end of tacky, but evidently they're precious to image pussies too poor to afford the real thing. I thought I could cash in on that. I mean, what better way to make a buck than to bilk vain people? But while I was at the hotel asking the concierge for directions, a woman at the reception counter next to me casually mentioned that she personally "boycotts" Canal Street.

"Why?" I asked.

"Sweatshop labor," is all she needed to say.

Oh, Christ. Until then I'd had happy amnesia about the fact that those knockoffs are pumped out by sweatshop workers. I went anyway, though, thinking maybe the guilt would just dissipate as I happily packed up bag loads of the fake booty and fenced it back home. I could've made enough to buy one of Daniel's paintings, probably, since he's having his opening at the Marcia Wood Gallery in Buckhead this Friday. It's his first in years, since he figured out he had to stop pumping out fake shit and start creating the real thing, expressing what's really in his heart. Years ago, all his unexpressed creativity was caught in his chest like a big fishbone because he was too inhibited to let it loose. Today, let me tell you, he has let it loose.

So I thought about calling Daniel to see if he'd sanction profiting from the misery of immigrants and children, because he might just have shouted, "Crack the whip, honey!" You never know with him, he's capable of being quite salty sometimes. To this day he swears that Pearl, his goldfish, died accidentally when, let's face it, it's pretty hard to accidentally grind your goldfish up in the garbage disposal. And when he and his boyfriend Mitch decided to move in together, Daniel seriously suggested a good way to accommodate Mitch's cat would be to close her up miles away in a rented storage compartment.

On the other hand, Daniel spends a good portion of his week teaching art to emotionally damaged children at the Hillside Academy, sometimes coaxing them to uncover immense talents that might well have stayed stuck inside them forever, festering there under a crust of abuse and sadness. So I didn't call him after all.

Instead I headed empty-handed back to the subway station. It was a crowded platform, and in the center was a street performer belting out a song. It was one of those emotional country ballads, and the guy could really let loose with his voice. I stood there with the rest of the crowd, envying him. God, I wish I could do that, I thought. I wish so badly to be able to let loose with my voice. I wished it so strongly I even started to see it. Wow, look at me, I thought. Look at me singing, look at me dancing, look at me jumping, running, soaring. Look at me standing up and shouting out what's in my heart! Then I could feel it welling up, I swear I could feel it coming out! I could feel myself flying along!

Then the train came and I stopped myself cold. Shaking my head, I boarded it with the rest of the horde, having reverted back to my basic self, and that is how I remain to this day; with nothing in my hands but still carrying something caught in my heart.

Hollis Gillespie's commentaries can be

heard on NPR's "All Things Considered." To hear the latest, go to www.hollisgillespie.com.

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