When what you do for others is not returned in kind or reciprocated, it is considered unrequited. Not a day goes by nor a crime scene worked where this does not apply to what I see.
Occasionally, I’ve had to listen to a few suspects. If an investigation goes to trial, a suspect becomes known as the perpetrator or “perp”. Somewhere between drivel and well thought-out scenario is a thread of unrequited emotions and actions that I just can’t seem to understand.
Some time ago, I began to excise toxic people from my life. Most people understand this as keeping their boundaries intact. Many children are never taught that it’s okay to say “no” to those who violate their sense of security or body. They grow up, not mature, into someone who figures it’s their turn to violate the boundaries of others. In the midst of their quest to grow up, they falsely latch on to the idea of gaining respect no matter who pays.
In the deeper section of the southern-most division of LAPD, I took a call for a 187. That’s code for murder. A 664 / 187 is attempted murder. It can get a little weird when an “ADW” gets thrown in. That would be code for assault with a deadly weapon.
Keep your sharpened pencil to paper my fellow psychotic writers. Sorry for the flourish and divergence, but according to a study conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, writers are highly likely to become unhinged. And here I thought I was immersed in beneficial therapy.
Gangs are organized in somewhat of a military fashion. They have a command structure that tapers down in rank, ending with foot soldiers. Two of these foot soldiers were having an argument about whose gang was better. Both gangs were designated by the street numbers they were formed on. Only a few numbers separated them; their blocks of origin within walking distance.
I took overalls in a small apartment with some close-ups of a blood soaked couch on one end. After I had completed the ‘hurry up’ aspect, it was now time for me to wait. In this job, I spend a lot of time waiting. Gang detectives arrived from another division and soon began to discuss, at length, the birth, relationships, and now death of the gang member who sat on the shabby couch and verbally violated the boundaries of another.
If reputation is life and death, then it had been considered justice in the eyes of the shooter. I’ve learned to let a lot of things go in my life, including excoriation later exonerated. Yes, I allow a person who lies about me to get their comeuppance when their time is due. This young man could not. Barely in his early teens, he shot dead his teen cousin for something he said.
I try to place things into perspective when it comes to wants. I’ve seen enough people in their last weeks and days of life to know one thing. When you are lying at death’s doorstep, the thought of that fast car you never bought or the big house you could never afford isn’t one you contemplate.
Life is much shorter than we think. I know that much. If I am fortunate enough to go gently into that dark night, I will be grateful for holding on to the same thoughts and values that were as important in my life as they were in my death. Needless to say, I do my best to let ‘unrequited’ go.