The Officer

April 26, 2012

A brief section of a larger work:


The officer’s gloved hands wrapped around Adler’s neck like a spiked collar, releasing as the back latch of the van sliced unlock.  Officer Mutton twirled Adler through the door just as it split open.   His badge number, which normally dropped from his neck like a guillotine,  tucked into the cop’s shirt.  I’m sure it happens all the time, but this time was different.  Six other cops surrounded Adler with cocked batons as he stumbled out of the paddy wagon alone, hitting his nose on a young officer’s steel toed boot.  The young officer looked down with a wince resembling a long forgotten sense of sympathy.  If only he’d remember when his older sister, annoyed and frustrated with a diary-reading little monster, protected him from the violent swats of a father’s disciplinary measures; the young officer may have shielded cracked wrists and bleeding eyes from metal footprints scarring the body half to death.  If only he hadn’t listened to Officer Mutton’s commandments like a guilt-stricken nun tethering her fingertips together with rosary beads, begging for salvation.  Then maybe Adler wouldn’t have awoken to an IV pumping the good-ole and most certainly legal, stuff into veins as blue as the rings traveling around his wrists.

“How did I get here,” asked Adler to an empty room.  His vision cross and pixilated, it took a few moments before the swallowing realization engulfed the surrounding blank, bare walls–he closest thing to him.  A weak, but persistent surge pushed through the heart into his drugged bloodstream and kept those speckle-gray irises wandering about those bone-colored walls.

Like a newborn zebra anxiously learning what she already knew to outrun the slobbery tongue of a single, green-eyed lion, Adler began to panic.  Where was Jeanie?  She didn’t see the cops pounce the protesters helping Adler build a jagged but new tent.  She didn’t hear the screams of people rot their own teeth with oaths condemning violent reactions.  She didn’t see the occupiers assemble against Adler after escaping a puppet handed herd of brainless, robotic officers hiding behind the next person in costume sporting adulterated boy-scout badges.  She wasn’t there to stop what happened.

Maybe if the herd of baton twirling cattle-people were forced to learn about any humanities class, then patrollers might occasionally forget their rubber guns and pepper spray grenades in service cars, underneath warm blankets brought from their homes in hopes to keep stubborn people protected from a violent winter storm because a few homeowners carrying signs demanding higher wages didn’t think to invite the wretched homeless in, to sleep on fashionable Ikea couches after watching a favorite documentary shedding even more light on the already too hot Arctic slipping deeper into a blackened ocean full of polar bear corpses and bloody Coca-Cola bottles.  Then they might not catch the flu their insurance plan can’t afford because the cheaper plan leaves enough cash leftover for the plane tickets their daughters need to teach Chinese children English all while children in Afghanistan (or maybe Uzbekistan? You know, the Middle East) cover themselves in dirt to keep cool while waiting days to enter a refugee camp–the only place left with food after economic warfare took their parents, ravaged lands, and put guns in their hands.  Don’t worry though, I hear for every three boxtops collected, General Mills sends a portion of help.  And it only costs eighteen cents a day to save a child’s life so he too can wear Nikes.  Plus I hear troops are headed somewhere else in Africa, I bet it’s Somalia… it’s got to be Somalia, to bring peace, freedom, and democracy because some dictator or something is causing civil war and raping women.  And now, if we don’t have to worry about losing our own soldiers to thoughtless violence because we’ve learned to fly tactical airbombers with joysticks, then soldiers can bring clean water in the spaces where all the weapons would normally go.  I mean we just have to kill this one guy who probably uses tear gas to terrorize people.  All they want is the vote, to be like us, to have representatives telling… well I’m not sure who, but telling someone to give all students affordable educations, properly preparing them for a competitive job market by placing GPA and volunteer hours in manicured hands, proving themselves successful by attaining the coveted middle management 40-hour work week and a 30-year mortgage, easily forgotten about inside SUVs waiting in line for grand openings of timeshares built in hopes of attracting tourists back to a beach filled with the stores you see on interstates, after some disaster control agencies took toothbrushes and baby shampoo to the feathers of greasy pelicans, victim to the wrath of a big oil CEO trying to make a buck.  As one great philosopher once said, “let them eat cake,” two helpings made of cheese!  Liposuction and antacid tablets for all to forget about the pains of a burning heart.  Leave that to the dying poets and painters co-opted into commercials because they too save money for a rainy day, inside where they’ll catch themselves on comfortable couches drooling over the real world through the same flat screen broadcast to the cheesecake eaters, wondering if the infomercial really can make them skinny.  Certainly not as skinny as the black baby on television with a cleft lip, but skinny like the drunken sorority girls dancing on sticky floors to a song feeding already-inflated egos gobs of glitter-mash; attracting mates in a ritualistic manner only children of parents who pay to have friends understand.  Money meeting money must find hands to account for all the worth because I’m certain they’re not going to sacrifice time locked in stocks, waging deals securing a digitized income, bargaining for a freedom they most certainly already have.  A freedom to watch skinny girls dance and fuck all their life. Gyrating only partly explains how a girl like that remains so thin, at least until she marries a balding alcoholic who laughs at the word jugs.  Then dancing isn’t as fun as they jiggle.  Together the nights become identical no matter how much more exciting it is paying to watch a movie up front with a barrel of popcorn doused in a bowl of butter compared to the monthly sweat-pant charge it costs to have a night out on the couch watching America’s Next Top Models talk about issues which only concern us when they talk, telling them both the fantasies they want either way.  Hypnotic repetition gradually shortens attention spans to seek pleasure any other way than clicking the mouse, flipping the channel. Finding cartoon characters speaking to crazies believing throwing out money and pills solve problems.

Try telling that to the trembling boy coughing out a limited number of breathes, never knowing he wanted to save the world until it threw him into the silence found on a dark street, crushing made-for-dirt bone and muscle with naturally violent forces.

“Oh god!  Jeanie, save me.  Where are you?” Adler’s little, inexperienced voice met no other.  Alone in an empty space piercing open white eyes with too much light, Adler couldn’t stand to see a moment longer.



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