Today’s stone is so large that it’s more accurate to call it a boulder. Apologies for breaking the rules…
I don’t write crime and have never had any desire to do so. Until now. Maybe.
I’ve been thinking about the strange encounters police officers experience in their day-to-day working lives. I’m not talking about the big stuff – murder, robberies, assault – but the little things.
Why? At 6.30am I awoke to the sound of GingerTwo calling me. It is unusual for him to wake up at such an ungodly hour, and it is doubtful I would have arisen with quite so much haste had I not thought I heard a single tap at the front door. Dazed and bleary-eyed, I stumbled downstairs, clutching GingerTwo’s sticky hand, wondering if I’d imagined it.
As we crossed the hall, it came again: a distinct rapping at the door. I peered through the window at the bottom of the stairs. Two police officers, one male, one female, shuffled on the doorstep. Without a second thought I flung open the door. A look of horrified bemusement washed over the young (yes, yes, I know…) man’s features; I was in a t-shirt and knickers. He spoke. But, realising the sight I presented, I did not hear the words and replied, ‘I’m half naked,’ before turning to climb the stairs in an attempt to retrieve another item of clothing.
As I went he said, ‘Are you *****’s mother?’ Perhaps he thought I looked too young to have a teenage child? Okay, okay, this is nonsense, but it was worth a try… When I replied that I was not, that ***** lived at number *, they both bumbled profuse apologies, and made their way to the correct house.
So all day I’ve been pondering. Like doctors, police officers encounter people at their most raw, sometime most guileless. They see us without our clothes on, both literally (in my case) and metaphorically. No wonder so many authors write about them.
The young person in question is perfectly safe, had come to no harm. I wish the same could be said for the young copper. I doubt his eyes stopped smarting all day.