Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Earnest Hemingway was right

I am often commented to by people that find out I am a police officer “OMG I can’t imagine doing your job”.  Little do they know I think the same thing about theirs.  Most think it’s too dangerous or scary; some too gross or can’t imagine having to fight for your life in a lethal force encounter.  Some just don’t want the responsibility of the world on their shoulders.  Personally I can’t imagine doing anything else.  I have done lots of other jobs but this is without a doubt my calling in life.

When I tell people about near death experiences on the job or arresting genuine doers of evil, people are aghast that I enjoy it.  Little do they know I crave it.  I find so much joy and peace in seeking out those that do evil and bringing them to justice, that it’s hard to imagine that I get paid to do it.  Hemingway once said “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”  When I read that the first time I knew right away that he got it.  I posted this quote on my Facebook page and the response from some that don’t get it was “Yikes” from a few and those that get it and do it were like, “Hell Yeah”.  Those that say “Hell yeah” do so because it rings like a cord of truth to our soul.

It’s not that I don’t care for anything else thereafter but, it ranks pretty high on the list.  Like if I was in a foot pursuit chasing a guy and you threw a medium rare rib eye and mashed potatoes in front of me (my favorite meal) I wouldn’t stop chasing the suspect.  Well unless you threw it Uncle Rico style like in Napoleon Dynamite, then I would probably stop and punch you in the gullet for wasting a good steak, then continue chasing the suspect. 

Now understand that I don’t think there is anything wrong with the “Yikes” and the “Hell yeah” people.  I think that some people are predisposed to being a cop and some are not.  Certainly anyone can be trained to do the job; we have all seen that first hand.  But those that excel at it genuinely love hunting bad guys; I think that comes from within.  We have millions who have served in uniform who get it and understand it.  You don’t need to be a cop to get it and understand it. 

In my case I have three older brothers who either served in law enforcement or the military, so they got it. I suppose we got it from my dad.  He was in the Korean War and after worked at many things including seeking bad men.  On the up side he worked as a bounty hunter seeking those that needed to be brought back to justice.  I remember him picking me up from kindergarten one day with a bad guy handcuffed to the handle on the dash (we called them chicken bars growing up because you were chicken if you grabbed it)  My dad warned the guy to not to look at me.  The guy did in fact look at me and my dad backhanded him with a flashlight and split his face as blood splashed on the passenger side window.  I crawled into the back of the 1969 VW bug, and the guy did not look at me again.  On top of that my dad worked in a covert capacity for the US government seeking evil doers and dealing them death.  That’s all I will say about that.

One of my favorite movies is Act of Valor and in that there were many good quotes but this one rings true to me.  “War is a county or will; there is no room for sympathy.  If you’re not willing to give up everything you have already lost”.  Those that put on the badge or the uniform are at war with evil.  We will all battle in that war.  From it we will bring home scars and injuries.  Some physical and some emotional, we will all feel pain and loss.  We will all win battles and lose battles.  Unfortunately some will lose their life in those battles.  Some will lose their soul.  Deep down those of us that gets it, keep pushing on to hunt and catch that murder suspect.  And when we narrowly escape death or injury doing so, we will be glad, and those that do not feel the same ring of truth from Hemingway’s quote hear our stories, they will not understand why we do what we do.

So on the days where I wrestling some mostly or completely naked bloody suspect, I have to wonder if I should blame my dad for passing along the bug.