Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This was written in 2006 for an early version of my fiction blog. It came back to mind last night after I watched a House episode centered on a deep cover cop...

I really, really want to live to get to my kid's first Christmas which is all I can think of right now. Five in the morning on December 22 and way too cold and the whole case I've been creating for six fucking weeks now, the whole thing, all the drug buys, all this time spent undercover when I just want to get off on being a new dad and on being young in New York at Christmas, all blown up cause the number two mark has gone nuts and killed five people and the A.D.A. announced "take him today," so I've got to do it. That means I might never get the main guy. It means that instead of piling up three or four more strings of evidence and drifting away while others make the busts I'm in the lead banging on this door cause I'm the only voice that might get us in. It means all the guys in the huge shock-plate equipped bulletproof vests, all the guys with the bulletproof shields and the big guns, all those guys are behind me, flat against the house front or hidden below the stoop, out of sight and, I know, the line of immediate fire. I'm in both, shivering in a borrowed little vest and a denim jacket desperately trying to keep my nine millimeter stable enough that I don't look that scared.

I knock. I knock again. I hear stirring. My mind runs. There's a white aluminum tree in there, lit with purple lights. There's Chilly. He's moving toward the door now, I'm certain, Pistons shorts and that monster .45 in his hand. There's that fucking dog too. "Yo," I yell, "yo, open up. I got to talk to you." The best street performance I can pull at the moment.

"White boy," I hear, "whatch'you doing here now?" "Let'me in," I answer, "let'me in, I need shit right now." Locks start to click. There's a deep rumbling instead of words from Chilly's throat, but he trusts me, I've worked hard at that, really hard, and what I hear is more frustration than anger. I'm on the right side of the door, the side that opens, the gun's in my left hand, down and hidden and now I swing it up as the door cracks.

It's so quick. I see Chilly's eyes. He's stunned as he sees the gun, my only advantage. Still, before I can react, or simply because I cannot react that way first, he brings the .45 up and then... then his chest explodes. I see that before I hear the rifle shot from behind me, even before I feel that round blow past me. It happens as he's in the middle of pulling his trigger and the huge automatic roars as a round passes my head going the other direction.

Everybody rushes past, on their way to Dingo in the back bedroom.

I don't go in. I stand there instead, looking at Chilly's body spilled on the green carpeting, at the tree, at the spacesuit looking silver stockings hung by an electric fire. I've spent a lot of time in here. Getting high, buying dope, talking about real feelings even if they came from a fake personality. The dead guy on the floor was the muscle behind a heroin dealer. That didn't make him a bad guy.

I slip the nine into the holster at my back. I pull the Velcro straps and toss off the vest. I think of going home but that doesn't seem possible. Instead I walk the six blocks over to the Five train and ride silently downtown. When dawn arrives it finds me in the Channel Gardens of Rockefeller Center. The giant tree rising above me. A golden Prometheus telling me of man's aspirations. The Christmas angels whispering of a savior come for my sins.

(c) 2006-2010 by Ira David Socol - all rights reserved

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