Okay, I swear I don’t want to make this place into some kind of confessional, oozy swamp of bad feelings and bad facts, but today was a bad day and I feel the urge to purge it.
I was already in a kind of thin-skinned mode with the Joseph Duncan murder/molest story and the general ugliness of a large part of humanity, when Detective __________ asked me to go with him to talk to a child molester who had just been released from prison. We like to do a kind of welcome wagon thing for them, let them know how we are going to be there for them, help them readjust to society, keep an eye on them, ensure that they get all of the attention and help they need, etc.
So I won’t go into details, but this guy’s crime was horrific. I guess each one seems horrific in its own right, but this one, well,
was bad. I mean, when I get bent out of shape about it, it’s not your run-of-the-mill abomination.
So Detective ________ and I are all chummy with this guy and, this happens sometimes, I just could not stand to be in the room with him. But I know that we are doing something important, something that just might make a tiny bit of difference.
Something that might keep this guy awake at night, hearing our voices, seeing our faces, and sort of re-evaluating the need to do something awful to another child- knowing personally who we are and how, well, enthusiastic we are about our jobs, and etc.
Some times your armor works and the shit bounces off of you. Some times the shit finds a little chink in the armor, and it penetrates. This time it did.
So this thing sucked, and Detective ________ and I really took a shine to this guy, I mean, we had a live one. One of the beautiful things about being a detective is that I work with guys who are super sharp, really incredible machines who sniff out and probe human weakness, ugliness, evil, and Detective ___________ and I were all in this guy’s shit. We knew the subtext of every excuse he offered, knew the truth behind the lies he told himself. We drew him out of his scared little shell and got to see a little bit of the real monster he is.
What is it they say about the banality of evil?
Any way, we did our job. We kept it civil, we kept our tone polite, we smiled, we commiserated, we showed our own flawed humanity….in the end we both agreed that we communicated very effectively with this person….
All I could think about the rest of the day was ….well.
And that was the morning, and the afternoon continued in the same vein. All day long I felt I was swimming in excrement,
and now all I want is a bath. Or a hundred martinis….
I love life, I love humanity, I love so much of this world. But some days you eat the tiger, and other days the tiger eats you.
Today the tiger ate me.