His 20 years as a cop was over.
Never did he commit perjury, take or solicit a bribe, use excessive force to make an arrest or perform any other dishonest behavior. No shades of grey, that is the truth. Anyone who knew him (cops and perps) could attest to this fact. His integrity was never compromised.
This duality cop thing was never a problem for him. He had plenty of “iffy” opportunities, but he did not succumb to temptation. He was no goody-two-shoes, God-fearing Christian, he was just him.
He really took this cop shit seriously.
There was ONLY one exception: People who abuse children and victims of sexual abuse. Street Justice was always out of the question, but these situations tested his convictions.
All cops despise those people, as did he.
Street Justice, in case you don’t know: is you tune the motherfucker up; that is, a swift kick in the ass, a hard whack with a nightstick, or even a knee to the balls. Anything that insures some asshole who’s probably going to get away with a heinous crime gets some punishment and the victim gets some justice, albeit small.
After seeing a despicable act, he would get quiet, his face had an eerie look like he was teetering to the edge, but it would always dissipate. His moral challenge was met and overcome. Control. But there was probably an underlying dissatisfaction that never would disappear.
Where he got the ability to control himself, I’ll never know. To be sure, he had never, ever, under any condition, administered street justice, but those were the categories of policing that had tried and tempted his integrity. But again, he never broke.
Control probably came with an emotional cost. Who knows?
We are both retired now and we keep in touch. One day he opens up to me about what it means to be retired and how he has experienced what he calls “Quenchable Revenge, Finally!”
This is his story.
He landed some innocuous job just to keep himself busy. Of course, sooner or later, everyone found out he was once a cop. One day, he was approached by a coworker. She was a beautiful American-born Ghanian with dark soft swarthy skin and long black hair. She had a sultry voice, an infectious laugh and smiled with her eyes. They began a conversation that turned into a friendship over a short period of time.
She had two young daughters and they all lived with her boyfriend who was a musician supposedly working out of town. He suspected this guy was probably upstate doing time. It turns out he was right. She was embarrassed about it, so he let on like he didn’t know.
No, he was not bruising that muffin.
Months passed and one day over lunch, she confided him a story.
First, she copped that her old man was in the can for drug conspiracy. But that’s not her real problem. When she was a young girl, some older guy she knew in her neighborhood dragged her into an abandoned building and viciously raped her. Out of embarrassment and fearing the wrath of her family, she never told anyone or reported it to the cops.
Fast forward to last week. That creep was now back in the neighborhood. She found out he actually did time in jail for something else after he left the ‘hood years ago.
He had opened up some storefront bullshit church and was preaching on the street corner and wanted to start a youth group. Becoming very visible in the neighborhood, yes he was.
She now was in fear of walking the streets and was pissed that this perp had gotten away with what he did to her years ago. She was afraid he’d recognize her and stalk her. She remembered his evil smile and smirk after the dirty deed. She was losing sleep.
Now you probably think he told her he’d take care of it and be some sort of hero. Kick the skell’s ass.
He quietly listened and offered his emotional support and told her she should go to the cops and see what they say, although knowing nothing would come of that.
She said she can muster the strength carry on, and he told her she can do it, and suggested she seek professional counseling.
He then went into action. He checked out her story by investigating the asshole. This creep had been locked up for assorted major crimes over the past 20 years.
He decided that the asshole was now going to get what he deserved. Revenge now, street justice, quenchable. It was no longer a job, it was now his turn to do something that means something. He was no longer a cog in the system. He was free from the system. Fuck the system.
The planning began. The poor chump. Twenty years of frustration would fall on this one asshole. As they say on the street, “It be like that sometimes.”
Within the month, the asshole disappeared from the neighborhood: his locked storefront church, his apartment, his personal belongings, and his car all remained. The asshole was gone without a trace, yes he was.
At lunch one afternoon, she told him that the asshole disappeared last week and no one knows what happened to him. As usual, no one talked to the cops.
Their eyes meet as he proffers a small sly smile, he noticed the smile and returned to her eyes with a sigh of relief.
“Ain’t that some shit,” was his nonchalant response.
“How about some of this fresh squeezed lemonade?” he said, raising a glass as a toast. “It’s quite refreshing, yes it is. One might say it’s quenchable,” he said, after a sip.
She knows she now has no worries.
The asshole will be a long time dead, yes he will.