I was thinking I’d gotten away

I was on Interstate 10 traveling back through Houston. It had been about forty-five minutes since I robbed the last bank on the west side of the city. I was now on the east side and feeling confident that I’d avoided detection by the blue meanies.

an outlaw’s sick sense of total freedom

I can’t tell you exactly what I was thinking by that time because I was so jacked up and ripped out from all of the pills that my mind wasn’t functioning.

This brings me to the point that I must remember for the rest of my life.

Here I was. My drug addiction fantasy had come true. I had a super abundance of pills, plenty of cash, and an outlaw’s sick sense of total freedom. But I had no feeling, no emotional affect, nothing that could be described as good or positive. I was not high or even slightly euphoric. On the contrary, I was low and dysphoric. The elation and sense of well being I’d been seeking from the pills were more elusive than ever. This is the end of the tape I still have to play out whenever I think about getting high or even taking a sip of beer. This is the inevitable conclusion, the dead end of the long road that this goose chase led to.

banks hide tracking devices in the currency they give to bank robbers

Now let’s get back to the chase, the chase that, thanks to the tracking device in my backpack with the loot, I didn’t even realize was a chase.

Maybe if I had done a little more thorough research in robbing banks, I would have known that banks now hide tracking devices in the currency they give to bank robbers. I knew about the dye-packs and the bait money (bills with recorded serial numbers) that are used as evidence to connect the robber to the robbery, but I was ignorant of tracking devices.

Anyway, I was thinking I’d gotten away. It had been more than forty-five minutes since the robbery, but I was still in Houston because it’s a huge city. Traffic is always congested.

So now we’re back for another episode of America’s Dumbest Criminals. I was hungry. I’ve got to eat sometime, right? Hey, there’s a Jack in the Box. Man, I really like their hamburgers. It’s lunch time anyway, so why not? Why not? You ask. How about the fact that you just robbed a bank?

C’mon, man, I reply in my drug-induced confidence. There are no cops behind me, and it’s been more than forty-five minutes. Besides I’ve done this several times now. I know what I am doing.

How can you even think about food in a time like this? You ask.

Think? Who said I was thinking? My prefrontal cortex had started malfunctioning days, no, weeks ago. I obviously didn’t like what I was doing and wanted no part of it.

the cop in one of the cars was aiming a shotgun right at me

See you later, my brain said. I’m taking a sabbatical. Mr. Id will look out for you now.

Well, Mr. Id was hungry, and he wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. Superego, where were you when I needed you? He must have been on hiatus, too.

Pull over, Mr. Id commanded. I’m hungry. I got us everything we wanted—pills, cash, and gun, this brand new Tahoe. I’ve been working hard and I’m ready to eat. Let’s go.

So I pulled into the drive-thru, placed my order, and waited for my turn at the window. As I sat there, I wondered where I could go when I left Houston. Maybe I could go back to New Orleans and chill out there. New Orleans would be a good place to hide out. I’d fit right into all the dirt, crime, hedonism, and all-round freakishness of that city. New Orleans is a good place for miscreants, cretins, villains, and rogues. It’s a real cesspool of humanity.

I was next in line at the pick-up window. Suddenly the parking lot was full of police cars with their sirens going. I must have had my attention on something inside the vehicle, because when I looked up I saw at least three police cars, and the cop in one of the cars was aiming a shotgun right at me.

hot lead ripped through metal

And just when you think this tale can’t get any more absurd and I can’t act anymore idiotic, it does and I do. When I got back into the stolen Tahoe after the last robbery, for some reason I placed the Magnum between the driver’s seat and the console. When I saw the shotgun pointing right at me, my gut reaction was to place my gun under my chin. When I tell this story now, I jokingly say I was trying to take myself hostage, but, well, I wasn’t really thinking anything. My response was more of a muscle contraction than anything else. Or maybe it was a contingency plan Mr. Id concocted without consulting me. I don’t know anymore. What I do know is that as soon as I raised my gun to my chin, at least three cops unloaded on me … right in the Jack in the Box drive-thru, where there was one car in front of me and several more behind me. Glass exploded all around me. The Tahoe shook as the tires blew out. Hot lead ripped through metal, plastic, fiberglass, leather, and my flesh. For some reason (divine intervention or whatever), I didn’t blow my head off. I just fell forward, unconscious, onto the steering wheel. Then I heard a voice.

He’s dead.

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