ANTHOLOGY COMPLEX


THE BROOKLYN TOWER (1:1:5:42)


I put one of the pins down on a specific part of the map. I tell my partner that we'll wait on that side of the street until he comes out of the house and starts his day. We had been following a law enforcement officer around because we were positive that he was crooked. Corrupted. He played the role of a detective for the local police department, but he was much more than that.

"We know that he walks his dog over to the newspaper stand every morning, but we can't risk taking him then because of the noise that damn dog might make." So instead my partner says we wait until he goes in for work. "But what if he's off that day?" My partner says that we keep sitting on his house until the day he has work.

What we realized after the first few days of following him was that the police department isn't necessarily where he works. Because he works in the homicide department, the entire city is potentially his work location, and because the entire city may be his work location, we found ourselves following a man who has no pattern. There were some nights when he didn't even go home to his wife and kid.

"We will have to take him at night when he is in a place where there is no one around. Probably a crime scene that he is revisiting." My partner looks at the map and says, "Let's hope the crime scene he is revisiting was a good enough place to commit a crime."

The alarm clock strikes four a.m. and I tell him it's almost time to go, to make sure he knows where his mask is. We drive out to where the law enforcement officer lives and wait on the side of the street we agreed on.

There are probably more good people in the world than there are bad, but these good people may only be good because they fear the consequences of being bad. If the consequences to our actions were nonexistent, how many people do you think would still be considered good people? All that is left is the idea of decency. That anyone who still does good and refuses to do bad is doing so because the instinct to be a decent person still lives with them. The question is, seeing as how we are human beings, while you are still a good person and every one else is now running around being bad, who wins in the end? You for having morals, or them for taking advantage. Is there even a winner, or do we all just lose regardless.

What if you can't tell if the law enforcement officer is good or bad even after you've questioned him for just a little over two hours? That even after you've threatened to throw him off the tower he still implies that he is a good man.

So many times in life we get it wrong. We can find disgust in someone we've never even met, or someone we don't even truly know. In tales of fiction there are always purpose characters who are meant to make you feel a certain way. They may only appear when they need to serve their purpose in the tale, but what if the person telling you the tale is wrong about them. What if they aren't as bad as you are told, or what if they aren't as good.

We end up leaving the law enforcement officer alive at the top of the tower, but we leave behind much more than that. We attempted to take him during the night while he was walking away from someone's house. We assume he was questioning a witness of a recent double homicide he was assigned.

As we grab him, a vehicle drives up and two men get out demanding us to let him go. It appears as though we weren't the only ones watching this officer.

Shots are fired, the two unidentified men are killed, and we drive away with the law enforcement officer. In the pursuit of a man who we now have found innocent, we had killed two men we didn't know. Two men who may have been officers of the law, who may have also been some of the few remaining good. On the drive back I ponder what side of the line I fall on.

"As soon as we grabbed him, they started firing shots at us." "No, we grabbed him, then they drove up and told us to let him go. Then you started firing like an idiot." "I only unloaded because they were shooting at me." "Did you even see where they came from?" "They were either watching us, or they were watching him, but either way they were already there." "Did you see anything that identified them as police officers?" "No, and they sure as hell didn't say anything about it either." "I would feel a lot better knowing we just killed two guys who were maybe going to kill a police officer." "Yeah well we won't know until tomorrow."

I didn't say that was a dream because of the events that took place and the characters that were mentioned. Knowing these things always helped me separate reality from fiction when it was hard to tell the difference. When dissecting a memory and trying to figure out if it happened in this world or another.

Often times I have dreams of Maria coming back, but I wake up to find that it was a dream. If one day she does really come back, I won't know if I'm awake or if I'm asleep. Things like this are what make you go crazy. She comes back, and even after days I'll still be questioning if I'm dreaming or not. As for right now I know that I am awake because I've never been so irritated in my life. There is a bug flying around in my apartment and I've been chasing it for the past ten minutes.

I'm wrestling with it now in my bedroom, and I close the door shut behind me so it has less places to go. "Spray spray," says the can of bug-spray, but I miss both times. I lose the bug, so I stand still and wait for it to make its next move. When it does it goes for the window ledge, the ledge of the window that I opened earlier to let fresh air in. I probably should have kept it open, but then I would be risking more bugs flying in.

I slowly walk up to it, and I spray again but I miss again. It starts to fly now, and I spray once more and I hit it. The impact of the spray causes it to fly backwards into the glass of the window, and then I spray it again and it falls back down on that ledge. I spray it two more times, and now it's on its back and is incapable of flipping itself over. I keep spraying it over and over again until it appears to be caught in some kind of web because of all the spray. For about ten seconds, after I stop spraying, all I can see is it kicking its feet, trying to get out. Each kick is weaker than the last, until it stops kicking completely. That's when the noise coming from the living room becomes more noticeable to me.

Soft knocking on my door that seems to belong to Lynne, except it's not Lynne. It's her sister, Claire, who as soon as I open the door makes her way in. It reminds me of Tao.

We are both sitting down on the couch, and she is trying to convince me to tell Lynne that she is making a mistake. That Silvio is a bad person. Not in those words.

It looks like Silvio's hold on Claire has worn out, and she has opened her eyes, but unfortunately he has his hold on Lynne now. For the second time. I ask Claire why she came to me of all people, that Lynne and I don't even really know each other that well. Claire says that when her and Lynne were on speaking terms, all Lynne would ever talk about was me. I tell her that even so, I wouldn't want to intrude on something I'm not welcomed to intrude on. The way Claire looks at me after I say that makes me think that this is Lynne's cry for help to me. That she wants me to come and save her, but I'm not a superhero.

I ask Claire why she doesn't ask some of Lynne's friends, and she laughs. She's not laughing at me, she's laughing at what I said. She tells me that Lynne isn't exactly the type of person who has many friends. How about some? Some maybe, if she's doing good. Doing good? "It's not something I can explain in words," Claire says.

Claire tells me about how Lynne just moved here from the inner city and probably hasn't made any friends. She tells me about how Lynne isn't the weirdest person, but also isn't the most sociable. She will dress up all pretty and nice so that she is noticed, but when someone finally notices her she will push them away. One of her social fragments.

Claire asks me one last time to talk to her, and I say I'll think about it. That's a lie. Then she leaves through the back door. As I show Claire the door, I see Mary throwing out her garbage. She still looks sick. I think to myself that I hadn't seen her around this much since she first moved in. Maybe she's dying. That would certainly get her to put her priorities in order.