Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Pink Moon

The suspect was wanted on two theft warrants out of Fort Worth. I was standing on his front porch with him, about to relate the bad news. We were meeting because his wife felt the need to call 911 after he bounced her head off of the refrigerator.

My back-up was walking up the sidewalk as I told him to turn around and put his hands behind his back. The suspect turned and in one motion ran right through the front screen door of the house…with me right behind him. He was running towards his kitchen and the back door to the house. I always hated standing around kitchens…too many knives and other sharp utensils. Yeah buddy, keep running!! We both crashed through the back door and were racing to a chain link fence on the west side of the suspect’s backyard.

You find out early on as a cop…chain link fences can hurt you! They have sharp points at the top that extend above the top bar. The suspect vaulted over the fence like Carl Lewis and then it was my turn.
My hands hit the top of the fence and the points entered my palms and I swung both legs …or at least that was the plan…over the top. I had seen the move on Starsky and Hutch, it looked like a good move. Starsky always had on jeans and sneakers though…I had on my full uniform, duty belt, and bullet proof vest with metal shock plate. My point being…..I didn’t bend well at all and my legs didn’t make it clear of the sharp pointy things at the top of the fence.

My pant leg caught and I heard an extremely loud rip as I fell on the other side of the fence. I felt instant pain in my palms and a slight breeze in the region of my crotch. My back-up had smartly ran around a neighbor’s house and was waiting to greet the suspect as he ran toward the adjacent street. I walked up to the other officer and assisted him in cuffing the guy. We were walking back to a patrol car when the other officer said, “is that pink flowers on those granny panties?”

I got the wise guy to take my prisoner and I was going to zip to the station to retrieve another pair of pants. I generally kept a second uniform in my locker at the station just in case. The need had arisen before, but it was usually when you got blood on your shirt or some drunk puked on you….this was my first pair of ripped pants.

I was working for a suburban department at the time and we usually were short-handed. The citizens would have been shocked if they knew just how few units were on the streets at any given point. We compensated by doing a lot of driving….to be seen by as many people as possible on your beat. This night was no different…before I could pull my unit into the department’s parking lot, the dispatcher was giving me another call. If it had not been urgent, I could have ran in and switched pants….but, you guessed it…the 911 operator dispatched me hot to a possible burglary in progress. The rip started on the inside of my left pant leg at about my knee and went all the way up north to…well….Canada.

Darkness was falling, but not fast enough for me. I was speeding towards a western wear store that was approximately 3 miles from the police department. The store was in a small strip shopping center that was nestled beside a residential area. I noticed 2 guys working on a car in a driveway as I pulled up and parked on a residential street about 200 feet from the shopping center and out of sight of anyone that might be in the western store.

It was about 8:00 pm and all the businesses in the strip center were closed…I was very relieved when I saw an empty parking lot. It was going to be a full moon that night, but not as full as the big pink moon that was hanging out the back side of my dark blue uniform.

I exited my unit and started to walk away from the driveway mechanics and toward the store. I heard a whistle and then the laughter came…I waived at the men. I probably gave them a story to tell to their buddies for a while. I checked the perimeter of the store, established it was a false alarm and asked the dispatcher if the owner had been notified. He had and was en-route to my location to reset his alarm, requesting that I stay to meet him.

The owner arrived and thanked me for my response. He unlocked the front door and I told him to wait as I checked the inside and motioned all clear. I turned to see the store owner blushing the same color as my ass. He said, “you know I can help you out.” I nodded in appreciation and soon after left the store wearing a new pair of Levi’s.

I finally did get back to the station that night to get my second pair of uniform pants. But for sometime after that I would catch people looking my way and pointing….giggling even. It was a small town and evidently the two mechanics had big mouths or lots of friends. And my fellow officers? Well, cops are the absolute worst with pranks and harassing other officers.

For seven days after “the rip heard round the town”….I had a different pair of pink granny panties tied to the radio antenna of my unit waiting on me. The moral of this story is: You will never be a bad-ass cop modeling your moves after a 1970s TV actor, especially while wearing panties your mother gave you for Christmas. And to answer your question: they are white, low rise, sport brief cut.

The Slippery Slope (part 2)

please read The Slippery Slope (part 1) before proceeding

Her name was Isabella, but everyone that knew her just called her Izzie. She had a girlfriend up until late last year, it didn’t end well. Izzie had other things to worry about now and had put her love life on the back-burner. She was graduating from high school in three days, the class of 2078. Being a teenager in the 70s had brought her many memories, she would hold them close as she walked the stage to collect her diploma. Growing up as an IP in America Izzie’s life was just beginning and she had vowed to make her life something special, to be somebody.

Her graduation gift from her parents was more than Izzie could have ever expected. She sat on her bed and sobbed. What a bittersweet gift to give your child, the gift of living a life of freedom. A gift her parents understood would mean saying goodbye to their daughter forever. Izzie’s parents, Rico and Babs, had been wading through a myriad of paperwork for six months to enable their IP daughter safe passage to live in New California. They had been saving money for the associated fees and bribes for Izzie’s passage since she turned 13 and was processed as an IP. They knew they did not want their daughter living in America as an Inferior Person for the rest of her life. It was a tremendous sacrifice on their part. Could a heart be full and broken at the same time?

Izzie had read about New California in school, a country established in 2035 after a great cultural war in the former United States of America. Former U.S. states California, Oregon, and Washington had seceded from the Union and had melded into a new country, a safe haven for all people deemed as Inferior People or IPs by the Americans. Most IPs born in America all had dreams of one day living in either New California or the other country of freedom on America’s eastern border, New Liberia. Some though, could not gather the money together to do it, or bare to part with friends and relatives. It was a trade-off at the highest level of human existence. The American government really didn’t care if the IP numbers went down, it made for a more homogenic society. They did though make the process very costly and time-consuming. Approximately 75 percent of IPs left America at some point in their lives. The remaining IPs that chose to stay accepted their fate and made the best of a life as a second-class citizen.

New Liberia, was named by its people and came from their belief that they were seeking a new kind of liberty, bearing no false prophets or leaders. The land mass that was now the new country extended from the tip of Maine, down to the northern border of North Carolina. New Liberia’s western border stopped at Lake Michigan. The line between New Liberia and America extended down from the lake to the northern border of Tennessee.

America now had its western border at Nevada and consisted of the remaining mid-west states and the deep south of the old republic, save for Texas. Texas had seceded and was now its own country. The rules and leadership of America had become too liberal for the Lone Star state. Taking a cue from its own history and realizing that they had the resources to truly stand-alone, the country of Texas was established in 2032. Texas was a “white only” country. The President of Texas was Prescott Herbert Bush III.

Izzie lived with her parents in Phoenix, Arizona. She chose New California over New Liberia for one reason, the Pacific Ocean. Izzie longed to live with a view of the ocean…and to be a first-class citizen. Both New California and New Liberia only opened up it’s borders to people that had been classified as an Inferior Person by the American Citizen Council. Allowing family members that standing alone, did not classify as an IP would result in an overwhelming population problem and shortages of food products. For four years Izzie’s parents had endured IP status too, but once Izzie was removed from the census as their child, they could re-claim their first-class citizenship once again. The fact that they had a gay child would be removed from their history, it would be as if she had never existed.

Izzie’s parents had set her down at the kitchen table yesterday and her mother nervously slid an information cell across the table towards her. They told her of a dream they had long ago of having a successful child…..a happy, free child. Rico told his daughter that her dreams and her life waited for her elsewhere, he started to weep. Izzie scanned the information cell which consisted of her exit papers from America and all the codes necessary to enter into her IP-pod to ensure herself a safe journey. The cell also contained all the American credits that her parents had managed to save, 100,000. Izzie could convert the credits to New California credits as soon as she crossed the border, the number would balloon to 250,000.
Izzie and her parents stood and embraced. She never wanted to let them go, but knew that she had to do it. Izzie felt she was destined to somehow make a difference and she could not do it in America.

Izzie stood there at the IP school auditorium, waiting for her name to be called. She had given all of her possessions to friends except for essentials that now filled her back-pack that was waiting hidden in the bushes at the front entrance to the school. She felt as if she may vomit. The speaker called out “Isabella Ann Parker” and her legs relunctantly started to carry her towards him in the starched blue robe with a pink triangle sewn on the left shoulder. She reached out and took the information cell containing her entire academic record and diploma from the IP Principal. Izzie turned to her left and glanced one last time at her beloved parents, the pain she felt was almost unbearable.

She retrieved her back-pack and tossed her robe into the nearest trash can. Soon, very soon she would rip all the pink triangles from her clothing. Izzie loaded her graduation cell into her IP-pod and walked toward the setting sun, not once turning around to look back at the school where she had spent the last 12 years. Vowing to make her parents proud, Izzie forged on…hoping to one day see their faces again.

My Mother’s Shoes

The genesis of this blog was all about mental catharsis. Readers will bear witness to my purging all types of thoughts right out of my head. I apologize, up front, if I get on a sad streak one week and get just darn silly the next. The blogs will flow as they flow, with minimal self-editing.

A psychologist once told me it was one of the best things you could do after a trauma…sit down and start writing it out. The blog is free, the shrink was $175.00 an hour….so here is my next blog entry.

Aristotle first used the word “catharsis” in his work, Poetics. He thought it applied to what would happen to the actors and audience after a tragic play production. The literal purging of emotion…catharsis.

One of the topics that might become repetitive to this blog is my relationship with my mother. You cannot create a blog about growing up and beyond without talking about your mother. Maternal relationships will abound as this blog also hopes to give birth to a book.

After my mother died, the family gathered at her house, after about two weeks, to divide up her personal property. I was her executor, I know at this point, she won’t mind my breach of attorney/client privilege.

There were no specific bequests in her Will, so we tried to go with conversations she had had with her kids about certain items going to this child or another. No blood was shed, although it was a day in which I felt as if I aged 10 years.

In the end, the house no longer resembled what I thought of as “home base.” The smell lingered though, that mix of Estee Lauder perfume and cornbread that identified Jewel’s domain to me.

I called my mother by her first name, Jewel. My siblings thought it was weird, but it was fine to my mother. She knew that as an adult, I looked at her differently. She was my best buddy and you called your buddies by their first name….she got it. I always thought it was funny to see my older siblings calling someone “mama”…maybe I am weird.

The sun was setting that day as the last truck pulled out of the driveway. We had done the dirty work, hugged and parted. I knew at that moment that Jewel’s seven kids would probably not be in the same room together ever again. That should have added to the grief, but let’s just say, it did not.

The trunk of my car was open and I stood there observing what I had chosen to take out of the house. There were no photographs, no brick-a-brack, and no appliances. There in the trunk sat one pair of white old lady shoes.

You know the type, Easy Spirit SAS lace ups? The shoes were well worn. Upon inspection, a piece of pink gum was stuck under the right one, with one blade of St. Augustine grass from her yard, in turn, stuck to it.

Jewel had called my house two weeks earlier, not feeling well, and asked me to come take her to the hospital. Don’t call an ambulance, she said, “I want you to drive me.” I picked her up and drove her to the ER entrance, she walked into the hospital and never walked out.

I stayed with her for two nights. We watched the 2004 Presidential debate and shared smuggled pizza. At one point, my mother “crashed” as they say, right in front of me. I was shaking her, holding her up, and struggling unsuccessfully to reach the panic button.

The nurse ran into the room, with help following. I asked her later on how she knew I needed her? I couldn’t reach the panic button. The nurse responded, “I could hear you shouting. You were yelling Mama, Mama!”

It seems in that pivotal moment, I called her something I had not uttered in 24 years. I was pleading not for my best friend to stay, but for my mama, my home base.

Her last steps were taken in those old lady shoes. She laced them up that day not knowing it was the last time. I think of that every day as I lace up my own. Carpe diem, right?

A white pair of old lady shoes sit on a shelf in my closet, amongst all of my sneakers…..a reminder of the wealth my mama left to me.

The Slippery Slope

The young girl with the loaf of bread and carton of milk stands patiently waiting for help. She watches the other patrons being checked out in the first aisle with expedient courtesy. She harbors no envy or anger as she waits in aisle two, for she is only 17 and knows no different world. She is standing under a sign with symbols in various colors and shapes. Since she was 13 and “processed” she has understood her place in society. You couldn’t tell by her outward appearance or by the clothes she wore…but the pink triangle sewn onto the left shoulder of her sweater did the trick. It told the world she was queer and a second-class citizen….she wore it proudly.

She couldn’t even imagine herself being an American, as the chosen ones were called. Even before she was processed her status had been in limbo as the local American Citizen council refused to give anyone their American papers until after they went through puberty. Unless of course your parents had been in prison, then you were made to wear a black letter “P” which signified a deviant gene-pool. Hispanics that had parents that were born in country were branded with a green patch that looked like a Poblano pepper. Hispanics that had parents that were born out of the country, but they themselves were born in country, wore a yellow patch that looked like the setting sun. They were usually sad people because they had been placed into orphanages as children after their parents were deported back to Mexico. The cashier still had not stepped over to aisle two, even though there were eight people now waiting in line behind her. They remained patient as the cashier finished chatting to an American and wished her a good day. She and the others were standing under a sign with 25 different symbols, they were standing on American soil.

She paid the cashier for the milk and bread and exited the store. Walking home she kept her head down and walked with determination….and did not dare make eye contact with an American. Queers always walked because they were not allowed a driver’s license. The Americans had passed a law that stated, in part, that if you had been identified as an “inferior person” or IP, you had very few rights. The IPs were composed of 25 distinguished groups. Not allowing them to drive had totally alleviated the congested traffic problems of years gone by and reduced pollution in a drastic fashion. The greater good of the Americans was reason enough to put any handicap on the IPs.

The SS officer was walking toward her and she instantly reached for the small device resembling a Blackberry in her pocket. The Security Service officers were stationed on every block and it was their job to make sure order was constantly maintained. They also had the duty to service the cameras that were positioned every 50 feet throughout the town. She did not look up but was now staring down at the shiny black leather boots of the officer. She handed him the device called an IP-pod (Inferior Person Papers on Demand) and remained silent. The officer entered his security code and posted that he had checked the papers of an IP Queer at 300 Main Street at 3pm. The officer thrust the IP-pod back in her face, she put it quickly into her pocket and continued on her walk back to her home.

She was a senior at the IP high school on 5th street and she had just two months until graduation. Her parents were so proud of her because she had received the top grade in her class for her senior thesis. She had taken over six weeks to write about a specific time in American history. Teachers and administrators at all the IP schools were also IPs so she had no fear of the subject matter of her paper. The paper was about April 23, 2010, a single day. People around the world marked that date as the day that lady liberty died, the day that the 21st century, Arizona governor signed the infamous immigration bill into law.

Once looked upon as the leader of the free world, America and that date was now looked upon as the flash-point for the hate-filled atrocities that had happened since. Like dominoes in a line, countries had fell in behind the new order rules of society that the Americans had layed down as law. The girl had written of how hatred and discrimination flowed much faster than anyone could imagine, faster than the fire of an atomic bomb. The world looked on as diversity and individual rights were snuffed out, they complied….the slippery slope.

The infamous date was not even a part of the history books of the Americans. Events and people who did not progress the greater good were simply omitted from existence. The local American school board had even omitted a past president of the United States, Obama. The American children could not fathom an IP of ever being their leader…that was illegal.

The girl arrived back at her home and was warmly greeted by her parents. The trip for bread and milk had only taken 2 hours, it was truly a good day.