Monday, October 19, 2009

How will you go?

One of the guys didn't show up for roll call. I figured he was caught in traffic or overslept so I called his cell phone. There was no answer. I left a message. I called his home number. No luck. Now I'm getting concerned. Is he still in bed with the phone turned off. Is he passed out on the floor drunk? Or is gasping his last breath from a stroke or heart attack and dying. (Coppers never think of sunshine and blue skies do they?)

The other sergeant and I decided to do a "check the well being" visit to his house. The boss sent the other guy on another caper so I went alone. His car was parked in front of his building. I sniffed the air for that telltale odor of death as I approached the door. So far so good, no stench of rotting flesh assailed my nostrils.

Peering into the window, I was startled by the door suddenly opening. The officer was grinning from ear to ear. "Hey Sarge, what's up?" I explained my concern for his health since he didn't show up for work. He laughed and asked, "didn't the el tee tell you? I RETIRED!"

A sudden burst of happiness quickly replaced my initial shock. I offered and received a strong handshake followed by a back slapping embrace. He happily displayed a "Retired" star and ID card.

"Nobody said anything." I remarked. "Why didn't you tell anyone?"

"I wanted to quietly walk away" was his response.

I congratulated him, told him he would be missed, and wished him well. Back in the car, I went on the air and informed the dispatcher. She broadcast the news to everyone and the well wishes began. It was heartwarming. The sad thing is that in a few months, coppers will say "remember that guy? I can see his face but I can't remember his name."

I drove away thinking of that day when I will not show up to work.

"Aw hell no," I said aloud.

I want to walk around the station bragging about how many days I have left. "Only ten more," I'll boast. "Get your party hats ready." "Five and a wake-up!" YES!

FANFARE! That's what I want. I don't care whether it's pizza, balloons and clowns or cheap booze, strippers and mariachi music. I won't, I refuse to go quietly.

For sacrificing a normal life to countless night shifts, working holidays, and witnessing the miseries of the street; I want a happy ending. For burying more brother officers than I can remember; I would like to be appreciated. For shedding blood as well as dignity to protect the uncaring masses; I think I deserve it.

I think we all deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. I plan the same thing. Party! God knows any cop that retires after decades on the job deserves it.



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