The greatest cop story….ever
Cops meet a lot of strange characters throughout their careers. Most are dreadful tales told and lived by the dregs of society.
The majority of these stories die out like the wind that cuts through that worn out police jacket most salty cops wear while walking a beat in some alley in Anytown, USA.
There is always that one event, that one story, that sticks to a cop like dried up bubble gum stuck in the crevasses of his boot that takes a few weeks to completely get rid of.
This story is one of them.
I often catch myself, after many years removed from that night, wondering how that pitiful life is making out these days.
I believe this story encapsulates the true essence of what it means to be a cop….
A moth flies into my patrol car while I’m taking a report. I ask the moth,“What’s the problem?”
The moth says, “Where do I begin officer? Every day I go to work for Gregory, and all day long I toil. But what is my work you ask? I’m a paper pusher. Every day I push papers back and forth and then back again.
“I no longer know why I do what I do and I fear that Gregory doesn’t either. He only knows that he has power over me, and this seems to bring him great joy. But where is my happiness officer?
“Sadly, it is when I awake in the morning and I know not who I am. In that single moment, I am happy. It is before the memory, in that single moment, before it strikes me like a whip.”
“And then I take to the streets and walk, in a malaise, here and then there and then back here again. Before long it is time for work again. Others have given up asking me what I do for a living long ago, for they know I will have no answer. They dare not look into my eyes, afraid of the melancholia that may ensnare them as it has me.”
“Sometimes officer, in the deepest dark of night, I awake in my bed and with horror I see some old lady I once loved lying next to me. This woman, whose flesh I once found splendor is now one of decay. She insults me with her very existence.”
“Days go by and my life continues to tumble into oblivion. I feel my life is a single strand of silk, with a deadly spider racing up it toward me. Sometimes I can feel his fangs plunging into my skin, devouring my life whole.”
“If things weren’t bad enough officer, my daughter, Alexandria, fell to the cold of last winter. The cold took her, as it did many of us. And so my family mourned. The sad part is I felt no grief for my dead daughter but only envy. And so I have only one child now, a boy, Stephen.”
“With great and deep shame officer, the terrible truth is that I no longer love him. When I look into his eyes, all I see is the same cowardice that keeps me living, keeps me masquerading a fake smile and this fake life.”
“I’m telling you officer, a coward is what defines me most. I only pray that this cowardice would abate long enough for me to reach over and take, on the night table beside my bed, the loaded and cocked pistol that lies there.”
“Then, and only then, could I end this ruse, this facade of a life that I can no longer endure. But no, the cowardice in me always takes over. It takes no breaks. It defines me, it frames my life, it is who I am. I will forever be resigned to this lonely companion as I walk here and there, without dreams, without hope, and without love.”
“Moth,” I say, “your tale has moved me but it is clear you need help, but it is help I cannot provide. You must see a psychiatrist and tell him of your troubles.”
“I’m curious, why would you come to me, a cop, just sitting in his patrol car writing a report?”
The moth says, “Because the light was on.”
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