Biking over the bridge I heard honking. I didn't react because the bikeway is adjacent to the roadway and cars honk. The bikeway was a bleak waste of ice and uneven clumps of crystalline de-icing pebbles. The bridge swayed and vibrated as it always does, and my wheels went crunch, crunch, crunch. The honking came again, insistent reports, and I heard a small motor and an increased rate of crunching. I looked back over my shoulder and saw a golf cart cop in the bikeway approaching fast. I shouted,
"Jesus Fucking Christ!"
The cop slowed to match my pace, and I was stuck riding in a claustrophobically narrow corridor between a blue and white golf cart and the outer fence of the bike lane. He sized me up and shouted over his motor,
"What the fuck's your problem?"
"Sorry, officer, I was just surprised to see a vehicle in the bike lane." (Normally when I see a moped or any motorized vehicle in the bike lane I scream "Cheater!" I did not call this cop a cheater.) He continued to pace me for a fair stretch, looking right at me and not at the bikeway, until I said,
"Officer, please just go past me."
He pursed his lips, knit his brow and practically spat,
"You fucking asshole!" And tore off, churning the de-icing crystals into a cloud of irritating dust which immediately coated my throat and filled my eyes. To make things more bizarre, he got behind another biker before getting to the bottom of the bridge, whom he did not honk at or pass. Soon I was right behind him, effectively creating golf cart sandwich for the last hundred yards of the decline. I rode as close to the cart as possible, trying to make eye contact in his trembling rear-view mirror. I could see his eyes but they remained fixed ahead. I imagined he was heading to a blue-turfed golf course with red golf balls, uniformed cops at the putting green, having a smoke, ready to tee off. I pictured him taking the final turn too fast and flipping the cart, years in rehab, learning to walk again. I hoped he might pull too quickly onto Chrystie street and be flattened by an an illegal immigrant driver. I thought of all the reasons a cop might be relegated to such a humiliating vehicle, and hoped the degree to which he intimidated others was outweighed by his private misery. I thought, as he pulled safely into traffic and putted off, perhaps the whole affair could have been avoided if I'd simply pulled over to let him pass without saying a word.