“Love.” A very wise mentor of mine once indirectly described this as “the other half of crime.” “Indirectly” isn’t even a good word for it, because unlike me by comparison, this guy was direct as Hell itself.
We’d left a crime scene I’ve already told you about in years past. We drove up around midnight as a woman was in her front yard swinging a steak knife back and forth in an uncoordinated frenzy, a male counterpart walking backwards with his arms raised, a defensive posture at its greatest.
She continued this as we parked, and as I unsnapped my seatbelt the actual knife flew from the handle, unbeknownst to her. As I opened the door, the male took keen notice of this change of events, stood erect and punched that rotten drunk bitch squarely in the forehead—and as my feet hit the ground, she staggered once, twice, looked stupidly at the empty handle in her hand, and proceeded to vomit from a standing position.
“That St. Ides is a bitch, ain’t it?!” I remember my smiling partner yelling.
That’s this week’s theme because it’s a freakin’ “holiday” regarding such. The other half of crime? Drugs, of course. And to that I give my mentor full credit, because to this day I’ve been unable to trace a crime I’ve dealt with to one or the other. (Relax, Rihanna’s of the world—you’ll still get beaten because you love him. I won’t unjustly accuse you of such because I’ve seen it throughout my career and believe that he’s “an artist under a great deal of pressure from politics and ... blah blah blah.” The world needs punching bags, so hang in there. Literally.)
I have funny stories about love, but really, what’s the point here? Funny or not, I only get to talk about it when love goes bad in my line of work.
Sure, I see it when I find two people (preferably, I admit, a man and a woman—don’t judge me) in the back of a U-Haul late at night, or sitting on dual milk crates on an exit ramp. But is my job about spreading mirth? No. (“NO!” I repeat for effect.)
It’s about spreading the story of us all, but in very tiny words and with little to no background. Kind of like a Nicholas Cage movie, but more sensible and with a better plot.
Love is wondering how Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey didn’t make it.
“They were real,” my partner explained to me once. “What do you believe in, you sick ass? ‘Rock of Love’ or something? You disgust me.” And he was right. (I did disgust him.)
Love is walking up on a domestic disorder and through a thin curtain seeing a man holding his wife at gunpoint, with you shooting him through the glass of that door, only to have her defend that man and make you the bad guy, because, “He was only just playing,” after three prior trips to jail for domestic assault.
Love is the glint in a homeless man’s eye as he takes a moment to hold up a pint of Sailor Jerry’s rum and let the amber light reflecting through it play out on his arm and chest before he takes that first warm sip and nary gags once.
Love is all of those things, but love was also watching that same homeless man share a can of tuna fish with his dog.
Love is waiting for your kid to get off the bus in the first few weeks of entering the grade school. And for that matter, love is acknowledging it is your kid in the first place, and attending those important meetings known to kids as “everyday life.”
It’s the other half of crime and the driving force for the craziest things we are driven to, but at least it’s real.
Happy Valentine’s Day. I almost mean it.
Columnist Alex Teach is a full-time police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/alex.teach.