For that the Gods of Memphis punish me by killing my phone. In search of a phone repair shop I’ve found in the directory, I overshoot my target and have to do a U-turn. I’ve mastered the driving in one direction part but the Escher-like machinations of this maneuver is a new challenge.
However I complete it safely and pull into a parking spot out the front. A police patrol car pulls in right next to me and an African-American female cop of approximately my own dimensions emerges and tells me that was a very dangerous place to do a U-turn. I look back at the flat road with no restriction signs and light traffic but I’m not about to argue. I apologise, promise to be more careful in future and stupidly tell her I’m not from around here. ‘You don’t say’ she says and gets back in the car and drives off. Only later do I realise that she never even asked to see my licence. I figure she was filling in time until the end of her shift.
I enter the large, busy shop and approach the counter. A young African-American man greets me with ‘You lost, sir?’ I look around the shop and notice I’m the only white guy in there, including all, the staff. I tell him I don’t think so and ask for his advice on whether my phone can be fixed. He looks at it briefly and says he doesn’t think so but calls over his manager for a second opinion. He also greets me with ‘Are you lost, sir?’ and conducts the rest of the conversation with his assistant. It is concluded that I am not lost but there is no hope for the phone. On leaving the shop I notice that all of the pedestrians are African-American and all the nearby stores appear to be run by African-Americans. No, I’m not lost, technically, but I have a definite sense of being in the wrong place and that my early departure would be appreciated. Perhaps that’s what the lady cop was trying to tell me. And I am sad about that.