Midnight on the beat, and I could tell this city has an old heart. Homicide watch wasn't an exciting job—murder stopped becoming a punchline for me long ago—but it kept me on the streets, and that's where you go if you want both a lesson in personality and how to avoid a fender-bender when the garbage man's drunk again.
Me? I came from some spitball of a town further upstate. Figured I'd join the force. Make a difference. Honor, valor, and all that. Everyone I met then were total strangers. Funny—they still seem like strangers now.
This place runs and breathes on oil drills, both a paradise for a man with black blood in his veins and a curse for the schmuck with blood painted on his face. Things were a mess for the longest time. The outside world felt like it didn't exist (opens in new tab) sometimes, and the city's own problems almost drove the boys and girls down at city hall into a panic. I guess it got to me—I came here for the big-time life, not a tug of war with reality (opens in new tab) .
I remember a buddy of mine, Calvin Chan (opens in new tab) , telling me to just "slow it down and look closer to see the more beautiful things in life." It's been a good anchor during dark times. It's a city with warts, after all—but it's my city.