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.