Friday, 12 October 2012

'A Little Perspective' by Ruth Long

“It gets better, you know,” Goldberg says, getting into the car “That’s what they say in these stupid classes, but it’s a lie. Eat right, exercise and join a support group, they say. What’s the point? We're all dying and anybody who says different is selling something.”
Carlson noses the cruiser into traffic. “I don't think you appreciate the gravity of your situation.”

Goldberg looks out the window. “You want gravity? How about this. I am thirty-nine years old, I have a brain tumor that will probably kill me the next time I look twice at a curvaceous woman and I got no next of kin. That grave enough for you, partner?”


“Look, can you be serious for a minute? I don’t think you should submit that medical leave just yet. This job is the only thing you have to live for and if they take that away, what do you have left?”


“I been doing a little thinking about that, and here’s what I come up with. I’m gonna ask that sweet little firecracker down in the evidence locker if she wants to get a drink or something after work.”


Carlson downs the rest of his coffee before asking, “Are you going to tell her?”


“Tell her what, Joe? That I been fantasizing about her for six months but was too ambivalent to do anything about it until now? Nah, you want to know if I’m going to tell her I got a time bomb lodged in my skull, don't you? Nope. I’m not gonna tell her on account of if I want a second date, I don’t want it to be out of pity. I want it to be because she can’t stop thinking about me. About how I brought her flowers and held the door for her and made her laugh. About how I kissed her goodnight on the cheek and called her the next day just like I said I would.”


“Sounds like you have it all planned out,” says Carlson, eying a motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic.


“Yep. I marked the ‘cremation’ checkbox soon as I got to class this morning and that gave me forty-four minutes to daydream."


The dispatch radio crackles to life. “Possible two eleven at Parker’s Liquor. Suspect driving a red motorcycle.”

Carlson looks at Goldberg. “I’m not going to respond until I have your word you won’t do something crazy like try to take a bullet for me like you did last week.”

“Fine. You have my word. Got my priorities straightened out. See, I’m not gonna croak until I find out firsthand whether that strawberry lipgloss tastes as good as it looks.”


Carlon chuckles. “Whatever gets you though the day, partner.”


“Hey, want to grab a bite after we catch this idiot? The meds should have tapered off by then and I’ll have an appetite. But let’s eat something healthy. I wanna look nice and fit for Miss July.”

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