*

I buy into a certain kind of bullshit about being tough.

About packing the gear.

*

I don’t know what it is. Maybe growing up with a daddy that was a cop. Seeing him put on his badge and gun in the early morning hours and step out into his patrol car in the driveway. Hearing his stories. Seeing them on television. Seeing lots of shit on television and the movies. Men running into enemy fire. Men dying in the sand and in the jungle and on the streets. Men grimacing and holding their shoulders as fake blood ran down their arms.

*

My little brother joined the Marines.

I used to worry about him.

*

Now he’s a cop and I still do.

*

I seen death and killing. I know some about it. In its intimate details. Held things in my own hands, pieces of a man. Of a woman. A child.

I know enough to know better.

*

Still, it’s something in me that can’t learn. I’m off tomorrow to teach MP-5 submachine gun to the county Narcotics team. I can’t sleep almost. I want to infect them with a mindset. I want them to walk out of that range training with something hard in them that might keep them alive.

I want it for myself.

*

When you are a child you see these things men do and you want badly to do them although you have no understanding. When you are a man and you choose to do them there is some part of you that is still a child. Although you should have understanding by then.

But you do and you don’t.

*

You do and you don’t.

*

What is this thing within me that wants so badly to be fed?

Is this where my demons lie?

Is this my strength?

Or is this some other thing?

*

I have a great weakness within me.

I seek to expell it.

*

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