A bang on the Ford van woke us up in the middle of the
night. Two policemen directed a glaring searchlight
at us. "Would you please step outside, sir?"
We had just been to visit David and Deborah, an American
couple we had met in the Blue Note Jazz Club in New
York. We had left them at half past eleven and had decided
to park at the nearest shopping mall. Before we went
to sleep we freshened up at the Waffle House, an establishment
which remains open for twenty-four hours. After that
we parked the Ford van at the back.
"Where are you from and are you musicians?"
I told him we were from the Netherlands and we were
too tired to drive any further. "We aren't musicians,
just teachers on a long holiday."
"If I were you, I wouldn't leave that keyboard
on the driver's seat because it looks too inviting."
I was in my tee-shirt and bare feet. I didn't dare to
move as I was afraid that the policemen would find that
"May I see your papers?" This was the moment
that I had to put my trainers on. Anita knew exactly
where her passport was but I had forgotten what I had
done with mine and this wasn't the time to go looking
for it. But my driver's licence was good enough. More
than thirty percent of Americans don't possess a passport,
so a drivers licence is often the document used for
identification. Everything was OK. "I'm responsible
for safety in this area, that's why we have to check."
I felt reassured, but Anita had the feeling we were
experiencing one of those 'David Crosby moments'
With a "Goodnight and be careful," the policemen