The Weight of a Life (cont)

Here is a second excerpt from "The Weight of a Life".  Please see the post before this to catch up. 

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Weeks later, as I reluctantly returned to work, I understood just how much my view of this role contradicted the many scenarios I witnessed each day.  In my line of work, it is not difficult to find destructive cycles in parenting.  I became a cop in 1991 and in the years before I would have my own children, I met people.  I came into their lives unannounced, uninvited at times and through authoritative persuasion or probable cause, learned of their choices, saw the results and got to know mothers like “Margaret” and the children she would fail.  This gave me rare insight into the very complicated cause and effect of mothering.  

Margaret put out her cigarette and stuffed the twenty dollar bill in her bra, slack and gray beneath her red tank top.  Her hand rested on a stiff vinyl tear in the passenger seat and for the first time she took in the scattered mess of the inside of the car, cans, mail, various store bags and soiled work clothes.  Searching for a distraction she began picking chipped polish from her nail.  The layers of the red paint fell away like the flesh on her bones each hour she spent in this life.  Her sun baked skin creased and well worn, was testament to her life choices.
 “I’ll see you tomorrow maybe?  I’m over here most nights but only after about 10…  Got too many others trying to get in on my area.”  Margaret hesitated trying to seal the deal for what could be a potential repeat customer.  Her words, a weak attempt to present herself as model pretty came out desperate and cheap. 
“You know I’ll give you the best deal, a nice time.”  She opened the passenger door.  The man sat in the driver’s seat, filling up the space with his oversized body, smelling of gasoline and sweat.  His large hands with thick stained fingers, worked to stuff the too small work shirt back down his pants.  He sucked in, hooked his belt quickly and maneuvered the steering wheel back to position with a loud click.  He glanced quickly in Margaret’s direction outside the passenger door, his eyes downcast to the floorboard then returned back to the windshield.  He rumbled to life along with the engine and spoke to her for only the second time in the short few minutes during their encounter, “Yea, later,” he said, leaving Margaret to retreat her grasp from the handle just before the car lurched forward.  The patchy gray Lincoln squealed a retreat, made a U-turn and headed toward the drive.   The front headlights clicked on just as the back tires whipped around and headed south on the access road.   Margaret clutched the left side of her chest verifying her night’s wages remained intact.  The bill lay stuck against her skin, suspended as if held by magic.  She gave a slight chuckle in spite of herself, peeled the bill away and pushed it further into the void against her breast.   

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.