A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That was all The Van Man wanted. He sat in his van, parked in the lot by the coffee shop. Van Man ate the sandwich and washed it down with a bottle of water. He wiped down his sticky lips and the sticky knife, then tucked it safely away. Van Man eased. Then a flashlight shone into his eyes.
The Police Officer came into view, as he looked into the van. Van Man opened his side door to bridge the gap between himself and The Policeman.
"Hi, there. What are you doing?", The Officer politely asked.
"Oh, just finished eating a sandwich.", Van Man politely responded.
"Okay. I just saw you here. Wanted to see what you were up to."
"Oh. Yeah, I was just finishing up."
"You living in your van?", The Policeman asked with a look that Van Man identified as envy.
"No, huh? Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. I'm just asking you some questions."
"Cool.", replied Van Man.
"So, you're just eating in your van?"
"Yeah, I actually just bought some groceries and was about to grab a coffee, do some writing."
"You're a writer? What do you write?", asked The Policeman. Van Man thought about the blog.
"Well, I just wrote a play.", said Van Man.
"Really? What kind of play?"
"Uh, it's a surrealist play. About all the bad stuff that's been going on with the media. How they just keep pushing bad news on us. It's all you ever see." Van Man was glad he refrained from telling The Police Officer about the part of the play that dealt with a cop killing a black man.
"Yeah, I hate the media. Do you have any identification?"
"Oh, yeah, sure.", said Van Man.
"Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong.", The Policeman reassured.
Van Man found his wallet in the front pocket of his pullover and handed it over. He noticed the intensity in The Policeman's gaze as he fumbled with his hands in the pockets of the pullover. Van Man thought it best to keep his hands out of his pockets.
"You ever been arrested?", asked The Officer.
"You keep all your stuff in there?"
"Yeah, most of it. I just moved, like, last May. And I don't have my own room. I share a room."
"I see.", said The Officer as he noticed Van Man's last name on the license. "Any relation to--"
"No, no, I get that all the time. Yeah, they spell their name with a U and mine is with an I. Maybe we're all related way down the tree."
The Police Officer jotted down Van Man's name.
"That way we have a check on everyone. Here you go."
They both said their goodbyes and shook hands. The Van Man grabbed his coffee and thought about the exchange that had taken place. He appreciated how nice The Policeman had been. Van Man appreciated The Officer's inquisitive nature. He also appreciated that his marijuana was not sitting out in the open for The Police Officer to see.