At age 14 I babysat a neighborhood RCMP member’s daughter. This was the early 70’s in Virden, Manitoba and this night really rocked my world.
I wanted to be a cop soo bad.
Just one cop, arresting bad guys and turning them around. Just like I was forced to do with my younger brothers and sister. Just turnin’ them around…
That dream sloshed all over the inside of my cranium when I saw Corporal O’Connell’s RCMP duty jacket hanging in the entrance closet of his house.
His pretty wife Viola invited me inside saying that Rob wasn’t home yet but she expected him any minute. He was running late, she said.
Near the end of Viola’s usual babysitting instructions, we heard a vehicle come into the driveway. A car door slammed. Really hard. Then another…
Viola glanced nervously at me and said for me to wait in the living room while she let Rob in.
THOSE MOTHERFUCKING INDIANS! Rob hollered as Viola opened their door.
Fucking cocksuckers! We fucking got ’em good tonight though!
I could hear Viola trying to interject but Rob was pissed and continued venting.
Stan and I shook those motherfuckers all the way back from Pipestone! Side to side, back and forth. Motherfuckers weren’t so ready to scrap by the time we got back!
Fucking paiutes! What?!
The babysitter is here…
Rob comes into the front room. Shoulder strap ripped off his shirt. Face carpet burn red.
Big scrape on his neck. Knuckles bleeding. Black smudge on his brilliant yellow pant leg stripe.
Hey, sorry ’bout that sport! What’s up, Barry?
I liked indians.
I was one of the only white kids who had indian friends in school.
Now my hero Rob’s beating the fuck outa them with a police van.
Maybe one cop can’t change the world, I remember thinking.
But the world sure needed changing.
That much I knew.
Thank you, friend.
Course, I’ve changed all the names cept mine.
Now, let’s bow our heads please.