Thursday, November 19, 2009

After you've been an idiot

I drove the police car back to the office, and rode the cramped gray urine-scented elevator up to the fifth floor. My heels clicked on the hard tile floor as I walked back to the office.

When I sat down, there was a hand-sketched cartoon on top of my desk. Me, in my little business suit. My car, up on blocks with no wheels. The caption: "But they're really nice kids."


The lieutenant called. "Come see me," he said.

I walked back to his office, lingering in the doorway.

"Come in and sit down." The words of doom.

He stood up, closed the door behind me. Then he sat back down, and tipped his chair back a bit, putting his foot up on a drawer. He folded his hands across his chest.

"So," he said, drawing the word out for at least 36 seconds, "Tell me what happened."

I explained the events of the past two hours.

He watched me intently as I talked, saying nothing. Then, he passed a sheet of paper across the desk to me.

"This is a letter of reprimand for failing to control your police-issued vehicle. Read it and sign it. It's going to go in your file."

I could feel the tears behind my eyelids, hot and bulging. My mouth filled with spit, my throat tensed up. Don't cry! Don't you dare cry! I told myself.

I signed the paper and passed it back.

His face softened. "We all fuck up," he told me. "The good thing is that you'll never fuck up like this again, will you?"

"No, sir."

"Well," he said. "Nobody died. It's still a good day."

Then, he smiled, and said, "Why don't you take the rest of the day off? Spend some time with your own kids, and your husband."

"Thanks, LT."

I drove home. I stood in my family room, staring at the fireplace. I imagined the office the next day, when the guys were dishing shit to me, full force, and laughing their asses off at my stupidity. I thought about Cecelia and Flaca sleeping on concrete bunks in the DT.

I can't go back there, I thought.

And then I cried.


SciFi Dad said...

Welcome back. I hope we don't have to wait five months for the next installment.

I hope at some point you get into why you believe in these kids so much, because to read it now it seems like they mostly just abused you.

Love Bites said...

LMFAO. Well, every story has to start somewhere. And if we're honest about it, if it starts young enough, we're mostly idiots.

Love Bites said...

I don't really know why I haven't written here in five months, by the way. I kind of forgot about it, to tell you the truth, and the other part was, it's kind of draining to think about those years.

Mongoliangirl said...

When I worked in juvenile detention (a million years ago) there was one old crass officer that gave me continuous shit for caring so much. But she was SO glad I was there.

A Free Man said...

We all do fuck up, some of us more than others. I repeatedly fucked up in the same way, but then I'm dumber than the average bear.

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