Adventures at Traffic Court

When Todd got a ticket for supposedly running a red light this spring, I convinced him to fight it. So it was only fair that I meet him at the Denver City and County Building at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon to provide moral support. Only the scene in the picture below isn’t quite what confronted me as I rode the 0 bus toward Colfax and Broadway. A haze of smoke hung over Civic Center Park, and I couldn’t get Google Maps to work on my cell phone.Denver City and County  Building, Beth Partin's photos

Then I remembered: It’s 4/20. The day to smoke pot in public places. “Won’t they get arrested?” I asked the woman sitting next to me. “No,” she said, “there are too many of them, and they might have permits. I have a permit.” Maybe my question marks me as a goody two-shoes—except I never was such a thing. I was just oblivious to anything trendy.

At this point the bus driver announced, “For those of you who care, it’s officially 4:20.”

I got out and circled the park toward the City and County Building, grousing to myself that it was OK for a bunch of teenage stoners to use Civic Center Park (and even get a row of port-a-potties), but not Occupy Denver. It’s OK to smoke pot in the park, but it’s not OK to camp.

I found my way to Traffic Court, announced in a funny nasal voice by a small, skinny man wearing a red tie. I entered Room 105A, at one end of a long, marble-lined hallway, and saw Todd sitting in the back row. He told me I had to wait outside, and just at that moment one of the court officials announced that children were not allowed in traffic court. I went outside and waited on the same bench as a tattooed man with his black hair pulled back into a ponytail and then braided. Like many other people waiting on the benches for their friends and family in the court, he eventually got up to get a drink of water and lost his seat.

I followed his lead after a while and waited out in the long hallway until Todd came out. Today was his (and 95 other people’s) arraignment. He pleaded not guilty, and his court date is June 20. I told him I was sorry it had turned out to be such a hassle. I hope it’s worth it.

After I kissed Todd goodbye, I passed the guards’ desk on my way to the exit. I could have sworn I heard one of them say, “What is that weird woman still doing here?” Or maybe he just said “woman.” I was tempted to go back and flash him my scalp. (You think this wig is weird, officer? Well, feel my head!) But no. I’m too polite. And I really wanted something to eat.