I have told the story of the Tomb of the Unknown Child before…
I had to attend a Christmas party hosted by my ex-wife’s boss. She worked for a vice President of something surrounded by other vice Presidents of nothing. They were a bunch of Harvard and Yale grads, pretentious and inexperienced. I was not impressed by any of them.
At that time in my life you wouldn’t have liked me. I made decisions in 1/5 of a second and expected the rest of the World to do the same. I was moody, suffered from depression and had a mean streak. I spent my nights surrounded by pimps, thugs, hookers and thieves – everybody lied. I didn’t trust anyone but other Cops.
I had sunk to the lowest point of my life. Most have heard of Suicide by Cop, I was the reverse, I was a Cop looking for a shoot-out. I searched to find someone to put me out of my misery. I was first through the door, first to the bar fight, I quit wearing my bulletproof vest.
This was just before Christmas and like all good Cops I was working a second job for cash to give my kids a Christmas morning they would never forget.
I was sleep deprived and in a foul mood.
I put on my best Court suit (I owned 3 at that time) and tried to catch a nap in the car as my ex-wife drove us to the venue.
It was a stylish affair with a free bar filled with the best liquor. I took up a position near the door, with my back to the wall, and tried my best to avoid contact with anyone. I drank more than I should and watched.
In the very center of the room was a congregation of the pampered puppies. They were beginning careers with the fresh scent of their ivy league past hanging on them. I watched the loudest one as he hogged the conversation. I could just hear him bragging about his latest trip to Spain. I watched a chunky gold Rolex watch slip up and down his skinny wrist as he spoke. In that moment I realized that watch was worth more than my entire yearly pay and all the Christmas cash I was trying to raise for my kids. I bit my lip and growled under my breath.
The little Prick heard me and looked my way…
After he finished his vacation story he said to the other puppies, “Lets go talk to the Cop”.
They all approached and surrounded me. Their glasses clinking with ice and liquor. All with polished broad practiced fake smiles. My heart beat faster – Fight or Flight feelings rose up. I felt trapped and angry.
As they neared I leaned over and whispered into the ear of the Prick, “Don’t fuck with me”. He looked shocked but continued, “So Deputy Mike tell us what its like to be a Cop”.
I said loud enough for most in the room to hear me, “You want to know what its like to be a Cop do you? Well I’ll tell you what its like to be a Cop”.
For the first time I spoke of the child dying in my hands days before. As I told the story I drifted into a fog of reliving it. The words spilled from me. Instead of telling it like I’ve written earlier I told them of every broken bone, of every pool of blood, of the sounds, of everything I saw. I gave them the full gore version.
“AND that’s what it’s like to be a Cop”.
When I came back to the present children were crying and being dragged away from me by their mothers. The room then fell silent. Ex-wife looked at me with disgust. The party was over.
I stood up with clenched fists and looked at the Prick. “I told you not to fuck with me”, and I walked out of the room.
I was never invited back to another Christmas party
© 2015, Michael Fulcher. All rights reserved.