As you can see, I cracked open the firebox, I was right to have gone back. It’s her, in her own writing. A lot of it is just like the stuff I’ve posted along with these, thoughts or musings on what she was doing as a police officer, or at least they are at the beginning. Half way through it changes. The existential passages are still there but they’re couched between thoughts on cases she’s been on. There are names, details, her very thought process right here. This is what I really needed. A guide, long gone though she may be but a guide nonetheless to hold my hand through this tangled and tattered mess. My Virgil leading me through the darkness.
I have not had time enough to read through it all but, of what I have she seems lonely, lost in the profession of her choosing. Fated to boredom maybe. Let’s not fall into the trap of guesswork before necessary.
Here are the first few passages, I’ll post more after I get back up to Bangor, I don’t like staying down south anymore. Just in case her handwriting is hard to read on a screen, I quickly typed it up for you guys.
Our training finished last week. To say that it was the most difficult process I have ever gone through, may be an understatement. Six grueling weeks of PT, cold showers, meager meals and mountains of written work.
Of course, there were other details, consequences really, related to my joining the Highway Patrol. It would seem that being the first is no easy task. The kind ones simply ignored me while the rest enjoyed and exploited the pecking order and my place in it. There’d always be one waiting outside of the showers, ready to gawk or mock. In the canteen I was always sat alone and served last. I redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted. I showered alone, I dormed alone in a completely separate room on another floor, only listening to the others gossiping, through the floor, muffled laughs followed by the sharp rebukes.
The forced solitude allowed me ample time for studying, familiarizing myself with the pertinent laws an officer has need of knowing or the hierarchy of the Patrol or the proper dress of the uniform. I never spoke, my guard always up, no insult getting through nor emotion coming up, lest I be called womanly or hysterical.
Thankfully, all of that is over now. Patrolling on my own has been nerve racking. I have been told it is due to an odd number of recent graduates. The department simply has no one else to place me with. I am not surprised I was the last one counted.
Four graduating classes later & I have finally been paired with my first partner. I hate to judge without really getting to know him but, he feels wrong. I cannot help but wonder if they have dumped him on to me hoping that he will do something awful enough to warrant the dismissal of both of us.
Or, perhaps he has already done something heinous enough that no one else would have him. I would say that I just grin and bear it but, I have never any reason to grin.
He is a stocky Irishman, full of everything but kindness. With him at the wheel every negro is stopped, every passed woman cat-called & everyone else is similarly disparaged. He gropes the women and threatens the men. It is only a matter of time before he pulls his gun on someone & finds a justification to pull the trigger.
The shock of the promotion has mostly worn away, leaving me alone with the job & the partner they have thrown my way. It has been an unsteady relationship but, I am now given some space to work at the very least. Also, the work has improved, there is less need to crack skulls & more time to ask questions. In the role of detective there is less room for the macho chest beating & more need for communication skills.
Still, lately I have been questioning my reasons for doing this. I suppose that thought has always been there, even before any of this could have happened. Was it some part of myself that needed to explore this man’s world or was I pushed?
There is little doubt that Father wanted a son, someone to carry the name forward. Perhaps that desire & their sterility following my birth allowed him to embrace my less than normal pursuits. I know for a fact that I was not accepted in the academy on merit alone. To be sure, I pushed & fought for every test & assignment as well as the work that followed. What does it mean if it was all started on a lie, on some back room dealing had between Father & the Chief? The very definition of criminal.
I am the closest thing he has to a son but, I will never be the man to take his place.
Maybe I got this job because I was a tomboy & my father, himself was a cop with friends well placed, naturally pushed to what was familiar to him. Regardless of how I got the job is whether I should continue.
Yes, I have just been promoted. Detective Fionnbarra. However, I remain unhappy. I am constantly taunted & excluded. Apart from the very work itself I have never had a good day on the job. It has not gotten better with time either.
I like the puzzle.