Lying isn’t one of the seven deadly sins, so I find myself doing it from time to time. I try not to tell big lies, it’s more on the scale of mischief or storytelling. If anything it’s to save me the tedium of retelling my origin to a stranger for the umpteenth time. Once at a party the first question a man asked of me was what I did. I told him I was an importer/exporter and by the end of the evening he was ready to give me a check for $20,000 to buy Sony Playstations directly from the manufacturer. Don’t worry I didn’t take the money, but I almost felt I earned it after an hour of having to keep my story straight.
Last weekend I was in the back patio of an art opening. There was the smell of marijuana in the air. “It reeks of weed.” I said.
My friend nodded to the girl behind me with a joint in her hand. “You guys aren’t cops, are you?” she said jokingly.
My friend pointed at me, “He’s an off duty officer.”
“Really?” She got all nervous. “You’re not going to bust me, are you?”
“Pot’s basically decriminalized. You do have a prescription for it? Otherwise I’ll have to confiscate it.”
“Oh yeah.” She pulled out her card and then she introduced herself.
I told her I was Officer Rolland. She quickly introduced me to all her friends as a cool cop. I corrected her and told her I was actually a detective. She asked if I knew her friend’s uncle named something Padilla.
“But isn’t he like the chief of police?’
“Oh, you mean Chief Padilla?”
“Yeah. What’s his first name again?”
“I forget. I just call him, Chief.”
She went into a long winded story about how she went to a seven eleven once and a cop was staring at her. She bought some chips and started eating them in her car. All of a sudden there was a tap at the window. She was intoxicated so she was scared of what trouble she might find herself in. But the cop started telling her his partner had a crush on her and wanted her phone number. She asked me, “Are cops allowed to do that?”
“No, that’s completely against regulation. Give me his name and I’ll report him.”
I soon grew exhausted by my lying. I excused myself, but a half hour later a bearded six foot six bruiser came up to me and said, “You’re the cop. I hate pigs.”
“You’re young.” I told him. ”You’re supposed to hate authority.”
“Why do you guys have to be such dicks?”
“Listen, I understand there’s bad seeds in every job. But if one of your loved ones winds up dead, I’m the one that’s called to find justice for you. I’m the one who loses sleep trying to find the killer. I’m the one who gets shot at if I open the wrong door.”
“You’re right, man. Thanks for your service to the community.”
“Any time, kid, any time.”