All the guys at the bar, Jimmy, all the girls; they don’t show up at your wake. Not because they don’t like you. But because, they never knew your last name. Then a month later, someone tells them, “Oh, Jimmy died.” “Jimmy who?” “Jimmy the Cop.” “Ohhh,” they say, “him”. And all the people on the job, all those people you spent all the hours in the radio cars with, the guys with their feet up on the desk, tellin’ stories, who shorted you on your food runs, who signed your overtime slips. In the end, they’re not gonna be there either. Family, that’s it. Family, and if you’re lucky, one or two friends who are the same as family. That’s all the best of us get. Everything else is just…

What can I say about the dearly departed? He was… the black sheep… the permanent pariah. He asked for no leeway with the bosses and none was given. He learned no lessons. He acknowledged no mistakes. He was as stubborn a Mic as ever stumbled out the north-east parishes to take a tomb as  a shield… He discarded authority, he did what he wanted to do, he said what he wanted to say, and in the end … he gave me the clearances … he’s natural police… yes he was… and I don’t say that about many people, even when we’re here on the field, I don’t give that one up unless it happens to be true… But Christ… …  what an asshole… … and I’m not talking about the ordinary gaping orifice which all of us possess, I mean, an all-encompassing, all-consuming, out-of-proportion-to-any-other-kind-of-humanity-chasm… But … despite his negligible Irish ancestry, his defects of personality, and his inconstant sobriety and hygiene … a true … murder police… Jimmy …  I say this to you seriously… If I was laying there dead on some Baltimore street corner, I’d want it to be you … standing over me…  catching the case. Because … brother… when you were good… you were the best we had.


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