The Thoughts of a Cop Standing Alone at a DUI Checkpoint at 11:54pm on New Year's Eve

  1. 11:54. No one is out.
  2. Everyone is at their designated midnight spot.
  3. Just me.
  4. Alone.
  5. On New Hampshire Avenue.
  6. In about an hour, I'm going to have my hands full.
  7. But now?
  8. Silence.
  9. A car!
  10. Nope, that's the stoplight down the street changing to yellow.
  11. Now it's red.
  12. There is no one out.
  13. Hank, you signed up for this shift so you wouldn't have to work Christmas.
  14. It's fine. Being alone on New Year's is totally ok if you do it by choice.
  15. Hey, now the light is green again.
  16. 11:55.
  17. Time is just a construct anyway. Observing a completely made up specific time is insane.
  18. Hank, if you believe that then you can't celebrate your birthday.
  19. And you love your birthday.
  20. But New Year's is dumb. It's just an excuse for people to get drunk and act like everything is about to get better.
  21. Real novel opinion, Hank. Hating on New Year's is a SUPER bold stance to have.
  22. All the boys down at the precinct are probably at McGinty's with their girlfriends and wives. You'd love to be there. Don't pretend.
  23. But someone has got to stop drunk assholes.
  24. Uber surge charges are not an excuse.
  25. Even if they are ridiculous.
  26. 11:56.
  27. Four minutes till 2016.
  28. People are probably pairing up at parties across the country, getting ready for that midnight kiss.
  29. Hank, you've been to New Year's Parties. The midnight kiss is a myth.
  30. Only established couples do it.
  31. So stop secretly hoping a lonely sober young lady drives by and you guys have a midnight kiss.
  32. That would be tremendously unprofessional anyway.
  33. A squirrel emerged from the side of the woods.
  34. Bet he has no idea it's New Year's.
  35. Lucky.
  36. 11:57.
  37. 2016 is going to be a good year. You are going to take the detective test and should pass it. You have Rick's Bachelor Party in New Orleans coming up. That should be fun. Focus on all that.
  38. Just me and this squirrel ringing in the new year.
  39. Wait. Where is he going?
  40. Come back, squirrel.
  41. AS AN OFFICER OF THE LAW I DEMAND YOU STAY WITH ME TILL MIDNIGHT.
  42. I scared him and he ran away.
  43. 11:58pm.
  44. Should I play a song? I mean, it's just me alone on this road?
  45. What's a good alone at New Year's song that I have in my library?
  46. I need to just pony up and get Spotify Premium. It's definitely worth it.
  47. Why do I even have Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah."
  48. What if I listened to that and really just wallowed in this moment?
  49. Play.
  50. Well I heard there was a sacred chord-
  51. OH SHIT A CAR!
  52. A REAL LIVE CAR.
  53. 11:59!
  54. Flag it down, do the universal "roll down the windows sign," and let's do this.
  55. It's a guy.
  56. Don't be disappointed, Hank, you idiot.
  57. "Hello, just a routine checkpoint. Have you been drinking?"
  58. He just got off work. He seems totally fine.
  59. "Where are you headed?"
  60. His friends are at a bar, but work was rough so he may head right home.
  61. 11:59:31.
  62. "So, um."
  63. Just say it, Hank.
  64. "Do you want to ring in the New Year with me?"
  65. He smiled.
  66. He said sure.
  67. "Hurry, follow me."
  68. This is not something you're supposed to do.
  69. "Hop in the front of my cruiser and flick the sirens when I tell you."
  70. 11:59:53
  71. "Hurry! THAT SWITCH THERE."
  72. "FIVE. FOUR."
  73. "THREE. TWO."
  74. "ONE. FLICK IT."
  75. HAHAHAHA SIRENS ARE LOUD, AND THIS IS GREAT.
  76. DO WE HUG?! HE'S JUST AS CONFUSED AS I AM.
  77. WHY NOT? LET'S HUG!
  78. "HAPPY NEW YEAR! Get home safe, you hear?"
  79. Oh now it's awkward.
  80. Silence. No one is out.
  81. What's that sound?
  82. Oh no, my phone is totally still playing "Hallelujah."