We made our way to the back room where I knew our party would be waiting for us. We were late. He was tired. He had made it clear to me on the way over that he was too tired. But I had family in town. A sister. One of my closest and very best friends. Her husband and kids. We were having an adult dinner at a favorite restaurant and all the local family would also be present. The table was large and round. My favorite kind of restaurant table. You can actually converse with everyone versus only the folks directly next to or in front of you like a rectangular table offers. See, I think about these things. With as many siblings as I have, and such vibrant personalities that we've all been graced with, I never want to miss a beat.
CA Cop is the silent type. While generally comical in nature he usually keeps a low profile at the overwhelming family gatherings that tend to ensue with my side of the family.
We took our seats, placed our orders and the dialogue began. CA Cop was in the hot seat. Everyone wanting to know all the details. It really is a fascinating job. Its an intriguing job too. I looked at him, exhausted from the night shift, sun burnt from a softball tournament that he had played in that threw off his sleeping schedule, and weary of having to make his brain function enough to feed the curiosity of my family members.
On and on he went. Telling of his adventures and conquests thus far. Trying his best to answer the questions "on behalf of all cops".
Then they started. The "jerk" cop stories. He and I chuckled occasionally. CA Cop tried to give his best explanation as to why the officer may have handled the situation in that manner.
...And I thought about the fights with suspects, the bloody bodies robbed of life, the sobbing victims of domestic violence, the children he had seen living in tragic circumstances, the accident victims that he comforted as they bled on the pavement, and the ever present awareness of life and death that an officer is faced with each day.
I looked at my man, squeezed his hand under the table cloth, and took a deep breath as I fumbled to try and direct the conversation else where.