Jun 22, 2009

A commitment

His SWAT shirt sleeves were rolled up to show the tattoos. The were mean tattoos. Police tattoos. They were tribal tattoos twisted up his massive muscled arms, barbs and thorns and thrusting pricks meant to look scary when he kicked down your door.

He carried himself like a wrestler. He inhaled through his mouth, always tensed in his shoulders and knees. He flexed his chest when he breathed.

The duplex door was bent back. Busted open. One hinge was wrenched back, the metal twisted and discolored from the yank of the force of the big SWAT bust. The other hinge was ripped, screws sprung off and wood splintered, door jam stripped naked. Inside the carpet was dirty, rusty brown. The couch was sagging and gray and the blinds were broken and the walls were all dingy except for a spot where a picture wasn't hanging any more. The room was the color of a dirty leak. Six or seven kilos of saran-wrapped weed were sitting on a card table, each one looking lumpy, like a rectangle with tumors.

The SWAT kid stood guard. He had a semi-auto machine gun in his hands and a big belt, military style, with another gun and hand cuffs, a radio, ammo and a flash light that looked like an arm and a fist. He looked like a cop who liked to kick down doors, and you didn't get tattoos like that if you wanted to rise in the ranks and one day run the department. This was a commitment to muscle, a calling to be meat, to be brutish, big and brawling and SWAT forever. His head was shaved. His head was massive: He was massive, filling the broken duplex door as he breathed and flexed his chest.

"Captain" he said. He called it out. "Captain!" he said, and his voice was high and accented like silk, "did you see those puppies in back? What's gonna happen to them, Captain? Can I take one of them puppies?"