“Mornin’.” The deputy said. His son politely nodded at the waitress.
“Care for coffee this morning?”
“I’ll have the same with a little cream if you got it.”
“No thanks, ma’am.”
“I’ll be back in a hurry to get your order.”
“I often wonder how many times I been here in my lifetime.” The deputy said to his adult son.
“Care to take a guess?” The son asked.
“Hard to say. Damn near every day when I was first gettin’ started out as a junior deputy. Not so much anymore.”
“Ya? Why do you think that is, dad?”
“Your mom and I had you, and then your sister, and things got busy at work. After I was made Chief Deputy things sorta took off and next thing ya know I was 60.”
“Hold are ya now, dad?”
“You men ready to order then?” The waitress returned with a hot glass carafe and a tiny porcelain pitcher with cream. She stared at the deputy’s holstered gun at his waist as she poured their coffees.
“Uh let’s see...I’ll have two eggs, sunny side up with bacon and a piece a white toast, please”
“I’ll do the same but over easy. Thanks.” The son said.
The waitress smiled politely and grabbed their menus and walked away towards the kitchen.
“You ever get sick of that?” The son asked.
“It make you nervous?”
“No...I don’t think she meant anything by it. Probably didn’t even notice she was doing it. Hell half the time people carry on conversation while staring at my gun. Like they think it’s a damn rattlesnake, gonna jump out and bite ‘em. They forget it’s the man carryin’ the gun who controls it.”
The deputy’s son smiled.
“They forget that it’s my job to protect ‘em. People these days look at me and look at my gun like they’re in fear of me. Never used to be that way.”
“Alotta corruption now.”
“Ya I guess. I’ve worked with a lot of good men and most of ‘em still around. It’s a damn shame the good ones are gettin’ punished for the corrupt ones. It seems like the good policin’ can never outweigh the corruption. Damn shame is what it is.”
“But you stick it out. You always have, haven’t ya?”
“What choice do I got? Ain’t a drop of bad blood in my body. Always been that way, too.”
“Makes ya wonder if men are born bad and if so to what degree and even then can they change or be changed?” The son asked.
“Who am I to say. I don’t hardly know. But, I believe criminals and wrongdoers are born with a haze of darkness about them. Almost like a bad seed. It don’t matter if you water and nurture that seed, it’s bad and it ain’t gonna grow right. Some men’s fate is doomed from birth. Some men turn their lives around and if they do it’s a damn miracle. I think most men born with bad blood accept that’s the way their life is gonna be.”
“You’re gettin’ more pessimistic with age, dad.”
“Ain’t that the truth. I won’t deny it. It happens with age. It’ll happen to you too, you wait and see. It ain’t hardly bein’ pessimistic, though. I just have an easier time accepting the realities of life. Bad men will create crime and conflict. Some of it will be stopped by good men, but certainly not all of it. That’s the reason I joined the force. Same reason you became a lawyer. In this life you’re either part of the force that is bad and evil or you’re one of the good ones. That evil force always exists. It existed before man existed. It ain’t lookin’ to change either. All the suffering and hatred and crime and, well, pure madness sorta floats around you and me every day of our lives and their ain’t nothing we can do about that. We can try and control those who push that evil force forward, but it can’t be stopped. All the evil that exists in the world is like a new moon. You ever see a new moon? It’s there, we all know it’s there, ain’t no denying it. But you can’t see a new moon just like you can’t see the force of evil that exists. But you know it’s there. And just like a dark new moon’s pull on the ocean tides, you can see the strength of the invisible force of evil on a man.”
The waitress came over with two plates and set them on the table in front of the men.
“Anything else I can get ya, gentlemen?”
“No. We’re good, thanks.”
The men began to eat their breakfast in silence. It was early and the cafe was still quiet and mostly empty save a few elderly men gathered at a booth. A ceiling fan buzzed above their heads, the entire fixture slowly gyrating from it’s unequalness. Joe Cocker could be heard from the barely audible radio in the kitchen at the back of the cafe.
“So what do you intend to do about all this evil in the world, dad?”
“I intend to use my ability as chief deputy to counterbalance the evil in the world.”
“Oh ya? You’re just one man. How do you suggest you do that?” The son asked.
“I’ve got a great gang a law enforcement on my side. Some of the bravest men and women I ever seen. I intend to outweigh the evil with a little help from my friends.”
By Warren Woods