Not even sleep deprivation, sex offenders, violent crime, overtime, work-related holiday parties, drug overdose, autopsy and bureaucracy, can wreck my sense of holiday cheer. Nope. My Christmas spirit is indomitable.
This last week was something.
Our family, for all its chaotic zaniness, has always placed a premium on buying and decorating a tree together every year. Over the past couple of years, though, our tree-buying expeditions have gotten smaller, and I’ve missed the decorating once or twice as well. This year Hannah (our youngest) and I managed to get a tree while MizBubs and the Mad Seamstress were both at work. It was important to get the tree last Sunday afternoon, because I had to go out of town for a couple days to attend a seminar, and we didn’t want to wait much longer. So, we got the tree, bundled it into the back of the minivan, and got it home. We didn’t get time to put it up before I left on Monday. MizBubs did an admirable job of cutting it, getting it inside, and set up in our dining room while I was gone. It’s still there, undecorated. It’s been there all week like that, fresh and green and piney-smelling, but oddly naked.
I spent a couple days in
The class was informative and good, but two days of studying worst-case scenarios, gunshot wounds, lawsuits, police fatalities and the like left me a little drained and happy to get home. Then it was back to work, trying to catch up on some administrative crap and some cases I was working on to clear my desk for my 13-day holiday. Most of it was just routine—lots of forgeries and financial crimes, and the usual thefts and domestic batteries. I had one woman who believed someone else used her name during a 1985 arrest (she found out during a background check she had to undergo for a license she was applying for) and wanted her name cleared. The mug photo from 1985 was gone, the arresting officer long since retired. I got the original inked fingerprints from 1985, and submitted them as “unknown”; the results matched to the woman I was dealing with. According to the fingerprints, she was, in fact, the person arrested by our department back in 1985. I don’t see how someone could forget being arrested 20 years ago, but I guess it happens.
Then this weekend hit. An 18 year old girl died in her bed early Saturday morning. It looks like it was probably an overdose; I went to the autopsy Sunday morning and the medical examiner explained the telltale signs. We won't know for sure for at least 6 or 8 weeks, when the toxicology report comes back. What got me, and this is the first time something like this ever happened to me, was that the girl looked quite a bit like my oldest daughter. I tracked down her boyfriend, who I know as a burglar and junkie, ready to tear into him. Instead, I found myself faced with a 20 year old, on methadone for 6 months now after a 4-year addiction to heroin, who couldn’t stop crying because of his dead girlfriend. I did get an idea of where she might have scored before she died, but we might never know for sure.
That same weekend one of our officers caught a weenie-waver at the library. The freak was kneeling between the stacks, tugging away, and the officer grabbed him and handcuffed him so quickly the freak didn’t have time to get the, uh, offending part back in his pants. I talked to this guy for almost 2 hours, and found out that he loves visiting local libraries and masturbates in public or exposes himself almost every day. He also prefers looking at porn on the computers at the Chicago Public Libraries, because, he said “it’s easier.” Oh well. He had a stack of computer-printed photos, folded up and, eh..stuck together...with him when he got arrested. He printed them (thanks Chicago Public Library!) from a website that specializes in fully-clothed young women sitting on, and trampling, and rubbing their feet in the faces of passive, dopey-looking men.
I finally got to the end of the workday yesterday, and attended my final work-related party of the season. I bugged out early and got home to watch the second half of the Bears game. The best thing about yesterday turned out to be falling asleep during the post-game, snoozing happily in my knowledge of a Bears win with a belly full of holiday bourbon.
I’m cooking dinner for my family for the first time in over a week tonight: Cajun fish, sweet potatoes and greens. After dinner we’ll finally decorate our naked little Christmas tree, and all will be right with the world.
Oh, and I hope to have some more fun stuff posted later this week, before our trip to Indiana.