It’s been my theory, for a long time, that officers are…human, which breaks the rules society

Underneath the Kevlar, lies an impeding unrest. The kind you get from hearing the cries of abused wives and children, holding the hand of the dying while they’re unable to be pulled from the wreck and the biting of tongues while being lashed by the public. The kind of stress most people will never understand, past what they “witness” in the movies. One person’s hell gilds an officer’s existence, encountering the worst of humanity through the eyes of the Badge. Not only do they breathe it, the weight of being a Saint is crowned upon their shoulders. A small crack, wherein a glint of humanity shines, is blinding to those who expect our officers to be living incarnates of St. Michael.

Coming home means being who they’re expected to be; not by the public, but by those who know them by their first name.

To leave the hell they’ve trudged in the hands of Cerberus, like a jacket they hang on a hook when they punch out by the gates.

It doesn’t work that way. Not always. Not really.

Entering the doors of their home means that the calls are perhaps done (unless…), though they can’t scrub clean the soot of the flames that crawled beneath their uniforms. Questions of how they’ll afford to keep this life in the budget (while their pay is often less than they could be making at the factory down the street or at a department store), ring so loudly that suddenly the pool of peace from which they draw to be a Peacemaker seems barren.

The ringing of this reality reminds them of the lack of blood they’d witness at the department store. Quickly, their inner calling sings of how it would never let them do anything but be a cop.

And, still, they smile. They help with homework. They love.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Tomorrow is a new day but, again, not really.

The determination of seeing justice served, and perhaps being the answer to hope, will bring them back to the gates tomorrow. Picking up their sword, and finding the courage to face the flames for one more day.

-B.G., 2016


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