Monday, July 05, 2010


You stand and look at the work piled on your desk and know that at the end of the day the pile would not only not likely be any smaller, but twice as big. But, the smirk on your face also tells another story, one that said in just twelve short hours none of this would be any of your responsibility anymore. Last day in homicide, and it feels good.

As yours fellow detectives walk in for what will be your last shift among the mighty members of the 3rd district (highest clearance rate in the city don't you know), you take a deep inhale and slowly exhale as you prepare to catch up on your paperwork that has been dogging you now for this whole last month since your transfer went through. Go through it did.

And it is at that moment that you realize the reason you are leaving the homicide division is not because, as you fooled yourself into thinking, because of the mountains of paperwork on your desk, but because you just can't deal with it anymore. Can't deal with the suspects, who for the most part seem to be completely cold blooded and unable to be rehabilitated. Can't deal with the victims, who as the years go on, seem to be younger and younger. Can't deal with yourself at night when you can't close a case and at least put a victim's mother and father's mind to rest about their offspring.

Offspring. That's what you called them to separate yourself from the case. Make sure you had a clear, uncompromised view of the investigation. But at the end of the day it was someone's son or daughter, and as was the job, these things just couldn't be solved sometimes. These were now the cases that made it hard for you to wake up, face the day, and come to work to do your job. A job, that by all accounts, many people think, many people say, you were born to do.

You open the first file on his desk gingerly, knowing the picture of an eighteen year old girl with a bullet hole through the center of her skull awaited you. You would still never get over what it feels like to walk upon one of these bodies, knowing you are the deciding factor between someone going punished and someone going free for this horrible crime. You read your notes slowly to try and determine which pile this folder would go on. You stare at the photo, the blond hair lying dead inside the chalk outline around her body, wondering what kind of future was cut short by whoever committed this atrocity. Could it have been a future senator or representative? Was it a future president lying dead in the picture in her college sweatshirt and faded blue jeans.

You don't know, but you do know it wasn't your responsibility after today. You close the file and throw it on a pile marked "dead-enders".

It is at this point that you are to go get your last horrible cup of homicide department coffee. But what stops you, what happens next, will completely change the course of your day and your outlook on life.

Your phone rings.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


"Goddamn fucking stupid people."

These were the words of one Calvin "Catholic" Spires as he woke up that morning, not really conceiving of what had brought him here at this exact moment in time to this exact hotel room. Named Calvin (Cal to people whom considered him his close friends. He considered he had no friends at all really) after, well his parents never told him that, and nicknamed Catholic after his insane parents religious zealotry and Spires after god knows what the people of Ellis Island where thinking when his ancestors came over all those years ago, he was not blessed but cursed by two forgotten names and one name that connected him and his world forever with a tightly woven significance to a religion that he could not only care less about but not really ever want anything to do with at all because of its centuries of infamy and empty pageantry.

He sat on the side of the bed, legs draped over, cradling his forehead in the palms of his head. An anonymous blonde girl lay fast asleep next to him, naked and unarmed, her leather skirt and tube top scattered in a pile of passion on the floor. He looked at her make-up spread around her face like some twisted demented clown and thought,

"I thought whores supposed to leave after they've finished their jobs."

Whether that was an actual thought and maybe had slipped out between his lips into the empty stale air conditioned room remained to be seen as it was early and he was still wiping the sleep sand from the corners of his eyes.

He hadn't even had any coffee yet.

Cal was an asshole. With or without his coffee. Of this there was no doubt. Whether his fans, that he was hours from meeting, would believe or not, some people are just simply distempered. All day and all night. This distemper can be mistaken for genius at the write time and place, as it had been for years with Cal. Cal was one of these people. Brought up in a world of neglect and sarcasm, it's a matter his smart mouth didn't get him killed along the way (and it very nearly did on many an occasion.) The only thing that seemingly saved him was smarter (Pulitzer Prize winning in fact) mind and an extreme aversion to stay as far away from people in general as possible as he had grown later in life. The publication of his first novel made both of these things possible in spades.

A knock invited itself to Cal's door.

"Mr. Spires sir? Umm...ahh...sir...umm...ahh...we have to leave in approximately ninety minutes to get to the signing in time."

Cal bellowed at the door.


Saturday, July 03, 2010


I walk up the aisle, my hands are sweating, I don't know why...I'm not the sort to get nervous. My heart is racing and as I turn the corner, there he is. My hero. I'm in awe. He is surrounded by an entourage of people, a tall blonde women dressed in a business suit, a couple of tall bulky men with ear pieces. A red head in a short leather skirt stands of to his left next to the magazines. I don't believe she's with him. She looks like a hooker and she's simply thumbing through those rags they call entertainment news. Some kids run around recklessly in the children's section (obviously roped off from the rest of the store...They're mother really should be keeping better watch of them) not having any idea of the icon that sits just feet away from them.

"C'mon kid. Lots of people waiting." The tall bulky man with the earpiece startles me.

I walk up slowly, savoring every moment. Our eyes meet and I instantly know he understands. He understands and wants to help me in my quest to follow in his footsteps.

I walk up to the table thinking of so many things I want to say. The stabbing pain from my head is quelled by my shear excitement of this moment I have been waiting for so long to consummate. So many questions run to the top of my head.

What to ask first? What to ask first?

"Hello son."

I am frozen.


He grabs out for my book (in my left hand, my manuscript is under my right arm).

"So what should I write here?"


"Well son, we don't have all day. What would you like me to write?"

"Uh...uh...uh..So nice to meet you..uh me...uh well..uh...You see sir...What I wanted to say..."

"How about something short and sweet. Keep reaching for the stars, kid."

"Uh...Yeah...That's great...Thanks."

"Son, you have a great day now you hear?"

He smiles at me as he says this. He knows. He knows.

"Thanks sir. I appreciate uh...uh...You works."

"Thanks for coming out son. That's enough now move along."

I grab for his hand but the security guard stops me.

"Time to go kid. You had more than enough time. Go."

I stand shocked and in awe.

"Get out of here kid before we have one of these guys move you."

Snotty bookstore employee. What does he know.

I turn so as to not show him the tears coming out of my eyes. Tears not of happiness but of sheer embarrassment. Stupid stupid me. What was I thinking. I walk with a brisk pace, tears rolling off my cheeks, head faced down so no one can see. But they do see the tears falling on the ground. I know they do. What was I thinking. Stuttering like a fool.

"I appreciate your works?"

I'm a fake, I'm a phony. At this moment I am everything I dread and hate. I am all those people outside. And all those people are laughing at me. And the pain takes over my head. And I know the only thing, as I make my way home, that will make it better. Not the cold, crisp air that is now relieving itself of the sunny morning, or the animal cracker clouds I make from between my lips or walking away from all these fakes, these phonies.

No there's only one thing that will make the pain go away, as I walk down an back alley that leads to the back door of my apartment building. There's only one thing.

I close my eyes.

Friday, July 02, 2010


I stand here in the cool crisp morning air contemplating the words in mere minutes that will flow out of my mouth. As I exhale, the fog being created from between my lips forms into the silhouette of the animal crackers I used to eat as a child.

Head first. Always head first.

A smile begins to form across the fog bearing lips as I remember those good times I had as a child, playing with my imaginary friends, creating worlds in my head that could never be invaded by war or disease or famine. This is how I know I will be good at what I want to do.

You see, they've always said I have a good imagination. Impeccable in fact.

And that's why I now he'll love this thing in my hand right, help me get it published in fact.

Because it's not for nothing that I've been standing here in line since five this morning. That in conjunction with the confluence of people behind me that wouldn't know great literature if it opened itself up and stated reading itself to them, tells me that he'll see through the facade of all their "fakeness" and dismiss them as not worthy.

But me, he'll see it. That thing I have.

The sun is peeping out behind the tall buildings that surround the bookstore we are standing at. The velvet rope with a sign that reads, "Line starts here" keeps us in a vaguely organized mess outside the store. The sun enhances the outlines of the animal crackers that continue to make themselves known as they escape my mouth.

Most people wouldn't notice things like this. Most people aren't as aware.

It's 9:45. Fifteen minutes to go.

Suddenly a feel a restless push from behind me. The idiots at the source of the push are talking of things that don't interests me. Furthermore their obnoxious and boisterous behavior proves that they shouldn't be here in this line waiting, but somewhere else.

They're not worthy like I am. Fifteen years it's been. Fifteen years since his last public appearance, more than that if your talking about the last time he's actually come out to talk to fans.

The people behind me are proving exactly why. The din that comes from their mouths cause the never leaving headache that comes and goes in my head to reappear like an unwanted apparition. Sometimes I close my eyes and the pain subsides.

For a little while.

I turn back and look at the overanxious crowd and give the that glare. Lucinda, my neighbor says I give it ever so often. She says it's a look that would empty a room and it gives her chills when I do it and she really wishes I wouldn't.

So I give them a glare. One of them snidely grins back at me, sticking his tongue out.


I close my eyes as a sharp pain over takes my head. All I can seemingly hear at moments like this is pain. I can hear what pain sounds like. It's incredibly frightening but enlightening at the same time. Think of what the sound of a knife being stabbed into someone's chest should sound like. That's what I hear. I don't think many people have a concept of what this should sound like.

The pain subsides. I hear a conversation behind me. A grating accent that reeks of little to no education.

"I hear he's simply lived, holed up in his house up there for years. Him and a therapist. I hear he has everything delivered to him, he never leaves the house. Food, clothes, electronics. And he doesn't shower. He has this like powder stuff, kind of like delousing powder. And he has this chamber he sleeps in. Kind of like Michael Jackson but way more complex. And it also acts as an isolation chamber and that's where he gets his ideas from... "

Idiot. She obviously reads not enough literature and too much People magazine and National Enquirer.

I am about to correct her, and wait....Here it comes.

Finally, a bookstore employee has come outside.

"All right people, single file. No Pushing. He's only going to sign two things at most for you. You each have five minutes and don't get too close. There's a lot of people here today people and he only has a limited amount of time here, so please let's keep things moving along. "

All makes perfect sense. Oh so many things to say, so many things to discuss. But only five minutes. What to say. Well, I know he'll love me so I'll just introduce myself and instantly we'll have that connection and of course he'll recognize how I'm worthy of so much more of his time and of course he'll ask me to dinner and we can discuss....


Idiot. No need to embarrass me.