Today this lady was explaining to me that when she threatened to chop up the kid's cat and mail it to the Child Protection Services caseworker in pieces she wasn't saying that because she was off her meds and crazy, she said it because she was fucking pissed off.
But she admitted that it did sound a little crazy.
She was trying to get my help in recovering her child who had been taken from her eight years ago by the dad.
I asked her what dad was gonna say about it when I called him, she goes "Well, he's gonna say I'm crazy and I'm addicted to meth and I'm dangerous and a liar and a thief."
Me: "And is any of that true?"
Her: "Hell no it ain't! I mean, I had some problems the last few years, but I take my meds like I'm supposed to now, and I been clean from meth for a while and I never meant to stab him for real, I was just trying to, you know, make him jump a little bit. And it was Nelson, my other boyfriend that stole his car not me I was just gettin' a ride in it when the cops pulled me over for no reason and they pinned it on me like they always do those assholes."
Me: "And the cat thing?"
Her: "Fuck them bitches anyway. They take my kid from me and they want me to send her her fucking kitty cat because she won't stop whining? I shoulda chopped it up like I said I was gonna."
Yeah, it's funny. It sucks ass, too.
I listened to her for almost an hour. The litany of wrongs, the insults and injustices, the pain and fear and stupidity. Her life is just one fucked up thing after the next and it is never going to be any different and in a few years she will be dead from an overdose or her new husband will beat her to death or she'll smash her car into a tree or she'll just live forever getting madder and shittier and meaner and sadder and more pathetic and terrrible.
But you know what. I let her go until she ran out of steam and she thanked me and said that she knew I couldn't do nothing for her but it was the first time she ever felt like she got the chance to say her piece.
So that happened.
I gotta go out to the prison tomorrow, see if this guy wants to give up the arms dealer he was moving guns for. Probably a waste of time, but you never know. Lots of guys you'd think would tell you to go pound sand will talk to you in prison, just for something interesting to do for a couple of hours.
It can be a nice change of pace. They could get a soda or something out of it.
I was at this class last week, talking to these other detectives from all over the country, specialists in child murders, sex trafficking, stranger abductions.
I thought I had bad shit in my head.
I don't do a lot of murders. I always am working one or two, but just one or two at a time, and all year long I might get four or five. I don't kick down doors anymore hardly at all. I don't do hero stuff. I plod along and answer phones and threaten and beg and lie and coerce and ask questions and ask questions and ask questions and write down what everyone says and write reports and search warrants and go find people. Bring them to court or take them to jail or whatever. I try to make people do the right thing the right way. I listen to lies and work my way to a little bit better lie that is often as close to the truth as I can get to.
My job can be mind-numbingly boring and petty and stupid. Just like yours.
What I tend to talk about is a very highly edited part of the job. The part that interests me. The part that resonates inside like a dark bell ringing.
The stuff I pay a price for.
But that ain't what it's like all the time. It's mostly just a job.
So don't get the wrong idea.
My wife has run off to the city. She has gotten a Thai massage and eaten a big bowl of noodles and bought a truck full of scrap fabric and thrownaway stuff to make art with.
I hope she comes back.
I am a riddle to myself. Why can I figure everybody else out in two fucking seconds but be utterly unable to unfuck my own operating system?
You tell me.