Chapter Excerpt - Cardinal Points
On most mornings, I'm awake before the alarm clock sounds. Today is no different. The narrow beam of sunlight streaming through a tear in the window shade is a telltale sign we're in for another scorcher. This will be the eleventh day in a row the temperature climbs above the century mark.
If you're like me and believe everything the weather babe on channel three says, you know temperatures like that just aren't possible in the Bay area. You know who I'm talking about don't you? Sure you do, that friggin blonde knock-out, Jenna Towers. Those thirty-eight caliber knockers of her's can make any weather map look good. I don't remember what the hell her real name is, but that doesn't matter. It's all about those beautiful tits anyway!
About this weather. My money says this is all Al Gore's doing, him and his bullshit self-fulfilling global warming prophecy. Friggin dummycrat asshole! Pardon the rant, I'm a passionate guy!
With all the usual aches and pains, age appropriate, mind you, I sit upright in bed and dangle my feet over the side. For more than a decade now, the bottle of painkillers on the nightstand beside me is the first thing I reach for each morning.
Mechanically. Nah, that's not accurate. Out of necessity. Yeah, that's more like it. Out of necessity, I take the bottle and help myself to however many pills drop into my open palm on a single shake. Three, four, it doesn't matter, I can't do without the relief the little wonders pack. Oh, and those pills, baby aspirin. Anything stronger tears my stomach up something awful.
The splash of water left at the bottom of the cup on the nightstand is just enough to wash the small chewables down. The slight flood of moisture causes my parched throat to shudder, and I cough up an object akin to a soggy tumbleweed. Holding the empty cup to my chin, I hawk the grape-sized projectile from my gullet.
Getting a smoke going is next on my morning checklist. There's always a pack of Marlboro-Reds on the nightstand beside me, a lighter shoved in the void left by spent butts. On the stubborn side, the near empty pack won't give up the lighter without a fight. With a rip and tug, I prevail!
There's no doubt these friggin cigarettes are gonna kill me someday. It only makes sense I guess, purposely inhaling smoke can't be good for you! This will be my only burn of the day. I'm trying to quit, really, no bullshit!
Now that I'm medicated and have a tasty red trailing smoke beneath my nose, I can finally get my ass in gear. From my place on the bed, it's easy to see the entire room set out in front of me.
Less the clothes I tossed on the floor before hitting the sack, the place seems to have been recently cleaned, a definite sign she's been here. I'm talking about the woman I pay to clean up after my sloppy ass. If it weren't for her, the place would qualify for an episode of that TLC show, 'Hoarders Buried Alive!'
On my way to the bathroom, I take the time to kick articles of clothing to the left and right, clearing a path for my hopeful return to the bed. Hang on a minute, it's Monday, that's not gonna happen!
Halfway there, I stop and drop my briefs to the floor. Yeah, that's right, I wear briefs. There won't be any dangling around in boxers for my twig & berries. I like to keep my boys close.
My shiny new iPhone 6 waits for me on the desk beside the bathroom door. Third on my list of morning things-to-do is checking my Facebook. That's right, I have a friggin facebook, doesn't everybody?
With the phone in hand, I move into the bathroom where I stand over the toilet waiting patiently for the urine flow to commence. Give me a few sips of coffee, and it's off to the friggin races. Without it, I'm forced to wait on gravity or whatever the hell it is that causes a bladder to drain. Maybe it's the clap of thunder or the sound of running water. At this point it really doesn't matter, I'd just like to be able to piss on demand!
With the urine finally streaming with vigor from my stubborn bladder, I go about perusing overnight updates on my wall. Isn't that nice, my sixteen-year-old niece and that shit-for-brains sperm donor she plays hide the salami with, are parents. Wonderful, a future ward of the state. My God, that's one ugly little bastard, down right scary!
I'm sorry, how rude. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Becket, Sam Becket. I'm 54, the better part of forty pounds overweight, hobbled by two heart attacks and a lifetime of hard living. I've been married twice. The second time was enough to convince me the institution isn't meant for a guy like me.
I almost forgot. I'm a cop. Hang on, let me clarify that. I'm a cop until Friday and my fifty-fifth birthday when the department shit-cans my ass in the name of mandatory retirement. That's it, thirty year's service and you're gone, Sayonara!
There was once a time when a captain could stay on the job until age sixty. Not anymore! Budgetary constraints have forced changes across the entire city government. Police, fire, even sanitation workers are paying for the floundering economy.
Personally, I blame the president for the funk we're in. I'd say what I really think of him, but that's a story best told with my elbows up and a frosty cold beer in hand. In case you're utterly clueless, I'll give you a little hint. I don't think much of him or his socialist brand of share the wealth politics. It's shameful if you ask me! Once again, you'll pardon the rant.
Don't anyone worry about me, I'll survive just fine on my pension. Thirty years on the job pays 75% of base at retirement. I'm single and don't have any bills to speak of. I'll be ok. Sorry to say the woman that cleans up after me might be down a client, though. We'll have to wait and see how things go.
Anyway, you probably think that I am pissed by the whole retirement thing, but really, I'm ok with it! It's high-time I hung it up and let the youngsters run with the ball. I'm too old for the cops & robbers scene anyway! Believe me, I'm more than ready to have a seat on the sideline and spectate from a safe distance!
So we've got a group of mommies on the schedule this morning for a 9:30 chit-chat at the station. Seems they've been making noise downtown about the increase in panhandlers working the kiddy playground in the park. Friggin douchebag politicians decided they needed to create another damn task force to combat this latest scourge on society.
Guess who they picked to head up the first meeting with the group? No, not me, I'm retiring, remember! As much as I wanted the job, my replacement, a transfer from out east, is taking the meeting. When I'm gone, he'll take over command of the station as well.
They haven't told me who he is yet, but I'm sure he'll turn out to be well suited for the job, a first-rate crank. Ah hell, did I say that? Yeah, I guess I did, oh well. As you probably already guessed, I could give a rats-ass!
Enough about that, time to get my ass in gear. That woman I mentioned a while ago, she has a sense of humor it turns out and likes to move my friggin socks around the dresser. The damn things are never in the same place twice.
It's time I found someone else to clean up after me. I know, maybe I'll go out and get me a twenty-something to keep the place tidy. Nah, that's a really shitty idea, I ended up marrying the last woman I picked using that criterion. Screw that shit, whatshername can stay.
So back to the new guy. All I know so far is he's a jeep captain, a thirty-something I hear. Wait, I took a minute and did the math for you. Unless he quits or goes off and gets killed, the department could easily get another fifteen or twenty years out of the poor bastard. Like I said, I don't know his name yet.
I hear he's from Milwaukee. That's gotta count for something, but what, I'm not sure! Why the hell anybody would want to live there is beyond me. It's too cold for my taste and those mid-west oddballs, they talk funny. You ever heard them, it's friggin hilarious!
There is one good thing I can tell you about Milwaukee, they brew some damn fine beer, but what would I know about that, I don't drink anymore. I don't drink any less either, but it doesn't matter does it, neither of us is keeping track. Right? Besides, just like this cigarette, drinking isn't healthy. At least that's the line my doctor has been feeding me for years!
I heard a few stories about my replacement from an old Army buddy who's with the FBI's Chicago office. Seems the guy was up to his ass in a deep-cover op gone bad a few years back. They say he saved an agent’s life after she went off the reservation, making up the rules as she went, even getting her own sister killed.
Funny how Franky could tell me all that but couldn't remember the friggin guy's name. Ain't that some shit!
Damn it, where the hell is the remote? God knows I can't start my day without a healthy dose of weather-knockers. She's on now. Ah, there it is under the bed. Who the hell do you think put it there I wonder? That damn cleaning woman I bet! I told you she had a sense of humor. She's probably sitting at home right now laughing her fat ass off, knowing I have to get on my hands and knees to retrieve the friggin remote.
Oh yeah, there she is, and she's wearing my favorite outfit, a tight white blouse, navy blue pencil skirt, and heels. Fucking polyester wrapped perfection, you gotta love it! It's just a damn shame the morning weather segment is only three minutes. I could easily sit here gawking at that perfect rack all day!
A quick run through the shower and it's time to dress. In case you're wondering, the answer is yes. I still wear a uniform to the office. Granted, it doesn't fit nearly as well as it used to, but I wear it with the same pride I have for the past thirty years, necktie and all!
Funny, I actually broke down not too long ago and bought one last pair of shiny corfram shoes to make it to my final day on the job. Damn things aren't cheap either, forty-five friggin bucks on eBay. That's what I'd spend on a half-assed Friday night getting liquored up at the Elbo Room. Hang on, I'm checking the spelling of that. Yeah, that's right-Elbo!
The 'ER' is my all-time favorite watering hole. It’s been in the same spot since 1935 between 17th and 18th on the corner of Valencia and Sycamore, catty-corner to the station and stumbling distance to my bed.
Copyright 2014 - DBE