Be sure to grab a copy of The Blue and White, on campus now. For this issue’s At Two Swords’ Length (ATSL), Editor-in-Chief Torsten Odland, CC ’15, and Senior Editor Luca Marzorati, CC ’15 may or may not be members of law enforcement.
Affirmative by Torsten Odland
You’re damn right I’m a cop! What makes you so curious huh? Got something to hide, buddy?
Heh! I’m just fuckin’ with you. Cause if you did have something to hide, you better believe I’d already be wrist-deep in your ass. No, you can always tell a perp: they sweat, make excuses, they don’t look you in the eye, they’re Mexican or black or something. Can’t fool me! They’ve got something in that ass they don’t want you to find. And I will find it, motherfucker—if I have to stick my whole head up there.
I look like a cop to you? Thanks, bud. You mean like a tough, authoritative, badass who deep down is a wiseguy/funnyman. That’s what a cop is supposed to look like. Trust me, I spend a lot of time with the assholes. That’s just the jargon of the force. My partner is an asshole, my lieutenant is an assface, all the other lazy sons-of-bitches in my unit deserve to get kicked in the ass. I love ’em, but that’s the way we talk, you know? That’s the way it is. And some days I just want to rip those assholes to pieces. I work a helluva lot harder than they do.
So I guess that means I’m a dedicated cop, right? Maybe idealistic—heh, I’ll plead to that. But good poh-leece. I’m in Vice. Been there three years, but everybody can tell I’m literally the best they’ve got. My partner has a nickname for me: “Ruthless Rod,” because Rod is my first name. The rest of my unit calls me the “Blunt Hound” because catching kids while they’re, ah, puffing up a blunt is sort of, ah, a specialty of mine.
Hell, I see blunts everywhere—back pockets, windowsills, the glove box where we keep the plant-blunts … I intuit them. Every day I wind up breaking down doors, kicking some punk in the face, finding that blunt and nailing their asses into the corkboard. Eight, maybe nine a day. Most of them kids! At the precinct, I’m the closest thing they’ve got to a Mozart. Where one guy sees a dutch, I see a dutch stuffed with crack rock. And who’s going to check? The judge? C’maaahn.
Maybe I sound arrogant. I am. In my line of work that’s a necessity. When you get entrusted with the legitimate authority to pound ass and fucking arrest people, you have to know you’re always right. If I go around doubting myself all the time, how am I supposed to tell this sixteen-year-old kid that I’m the authority, eh?
And, goddamn it, I believe in the force. We’re still a long way off from total security. I’m humble enough to admit that, right now, in this day and age, we don’t have good enough surveillance equipment to prevent all crime. But someday, with improved technology, we will live in peace. Our asses will finally be safe.
C’mon guy, sit with me for a while. I’ve got some fucked up stories I know you wanna hear.
I’m serious, buddy—sit back down. You’ve had what, one beer? If you’re thinking about exiting this bar and—oh, what’s that I think I hear? The jingle of car keys? (That’s on the record now.) Well, I’d have to protect you and the City of New York from yourself by tasing you in the ass. C’mon, sit down; I’ll buy you a drink. Or better yet, you’ll buy me a drink.
Negative by Luca Marzorati
Am I a cop? Fuck no, man! I thought I was your boy! A cop? You’ve got to be shitting me.
How can you be sure? Man, when’s the last time you’ve seen a cop do some of the crazy shit we’ve gotten into? Our lives these past few months have been like Training Day, except, well…you’re the cop! You’re the crazy one! I’m just along for the ride.
And, think of it, we’ve done our fair share of—how do you want to put it?—criminal activity. I mean, remember when we first met, your boy Nelson introduced me to you, first thing we did—POW!—hijack this old lady’s car! Man, that feels like forever ago! September 31st!
Think about it, man. If I was a cop, you think I’d be down for all of this? Drug trafficking? Extortion? Arson? I’m no expert in the criminal justice system, but you’d think you’d be looking at a bunch of counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree…that’s, like, 40 to life in prison, depending on the quality of your defense attorney.
How do I know all that? Ha!…maybe because I’m a criminal? I know you looked it up and it said I didn’t have a record, but that’s wrong man—they just don’t publish the stats. I’ve run away from jail so many times that the damn bureaucrats don’t want to embarrass themselves.
I mean, you know me. I’m streets, I’m tough, I work! Yeah, so what? I look like any other shmuck who takes the Long Island Rail Road to his shitty nine-to-five job. And, yeah, I’m a 42 year-old white man, but, hey, looks can be deceptive! As they say, don’t judge a cover by its looks.
And, truly, I owe you big time—you’ve taught me everything about the game. I know you always tell me, curiosity is my best quality. That’s why I ask you about everything—how your organization works, everyone’s names, family, where they live, their Social Security Numbers, where they usually are at about six in the morning—because I want to learn!
That’s why I’m so happy you let me install that recording system in your car and let me put that chip in your phone—this way, you won’t even have to fill me in! Every morning, I wake up a few hours early, and listen to the tapes, and I learn—what would you do in situation x, situation y, how would you handle this, how would you deal with that … I’m learning so much!
I keep those tapes organized, man. You know, back at my place. Sometimes, I look back on our best jobs—those are like the Eagles’ greatest hits albums! What, you don’t know the Eagles? Fuck it, it doesn’t matter.
Anyway…think how good I am with cops! When’s the last time you’ve seen a cop drive by, or seen one of those damn NYPD RVs with the command center inside? They never come around here anymore. I think it’s because they know I’m bad, man, real bad. Remember that time that the fucking State Police pulled us over on 95? Who’s the one that talked them out of it? Me man! I’m the bad motherfucker!
Shit, though. Imagine if I was a cop. You’d be fucked.