Thursday, May 26, 2011

The lost license

We were in an abandoned building on Farish Street, an old commercial district in Jackson, Miss. that's in the process of being rejuvenated, to shoot author photos for the book my co-author, Michael Rejebian, and I have just finished. We’d chosen the location because the book itself is kind of gritty, and it seemed more appropriate than posing in some hermetic environment.

Anyway, as Michael was having his picture made, I poked around in the debris on the floor of the gutted building and came across a driver’s license. It belonged to a young blond woman whose name was something like Courtney Layne Holloman or Holcomb, of Hattiesburg. I figured her purse had been stolen, and decided that if I could get in touch with her she might want to know where it was, if only because it meant her ID wasn’t floating around, possibly being used.

Then, as I looked out the empty frame of a window, I saw a cop sitting in a car behind the JPD substation down the way. I figured it made more sense to give him the license, in case it was evidence of a crime.

I walked up to the cruiser cautiously because I was coming from a blind alley, and I’ve noticed that cops are typically a little skittish when being approached while they’re sitting in their cars. When he looked up I held up the license and gestured toward the empty building behind me. He rolled down his window and I told him about finding it.

He was polite, but it was almost like he wasn’t sure why I was telling him. He was listening to talk radio with the AC on. I said we’d been taking pictures in the abandoned building when I found the license. He said, “People take pictures there all the time,” like that was kind of curious to him, and I said, “Yeah, well, anyway, that’s how I found this license.”

I handed it to him. He read the woman’s name aloud, as if to jog his memory. Then he handed it back to me and said perhaps I should try to get in touch with her. Well, OK… But really, that didn't seem logical, so I told him I'd just as soon not have a stolen license in my possession if I could avoid it, and perhaps it made more sense for him to take it, unless he didn’t want it because it would require him to file a bunch of paperwork or something. He said, no, no, he’d take it, so I handed it back. He then tried to call directory assistance on his dark pink Razor, but he couldn’t get a connection. It was kind of strange. It was also very hot standing in the sun with the heat emanating from the cruiser’s engine, so I said I needed to get back to the photo shoot. I thanked him and he thanked me.

All of which is to say that if anyone knows a woman by that name, or something like it (I didn't write it down) perhaps they could let her know that the Jackson police have her lost license, for what it’s worth.

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