For the first time in who knows how long, I actually woke up all by myself. I couldn’t remember the last time I did that without assistance from an alarm clock or a telephone call with something urgent to kick my sorry ass out of bed. I woke up this morning because my body simply felt like doing it. The batteries were charged and it was time to get up and do something. While I still felt a little tired, I consulted my cell phone which sat silently on the dresser beside my bed. It was all the motivation I needed to get up and get my pitiful butt in the shower. I wasn’t used to waking up at eleven in the morning. There was a point where I actually started to think there was a law against letting me sleep past eight. I have the day off, which is not abnormal for my particular situation. Thanks to an agreement with my station, I always got every other Friday off. It took a lot of arm twisting and even a few bribes to get what I wanted but I was willing to do anything to get my ex-wife’s lawyer off my ass. Picking up the kids after school was a priority because I didn’t want to pick them up at their mother’s place. We put on a good front for the children but they’re the only reason we even share a single word with one another. If Beth and I didn’t have any kids, we wouldn’t even share the same air let alone meet once every two weeks when I drop them off on Sunday nights. The divorce had been hard on everyone and despite the bad feelings, things were actually moving along a little better than expected. Beth didn’t want this to drag out any longer than it had to and I didn’t fight her on most of her requests. The children were old enough to know what was going on but we both agreed to keep the vital details to ourselves out of fear that some of the kids might use it as ammunition to get out of trouble. Kind of like a get out of jail free card. Not on our watch.
Once out of bed I went into the bathroom to clear my throat, hocking up some phlegm and brushing my teeth just before taking my morning piss. I know it will sound disgusting but I enjoy the simple things in life, like breathing. I shaved with an electric razor almost out of habit since it’s the way I usually get ready for work and even though I wasn’t going in today, I wanted to look good for the girls. Beth and I have three children and while our oldest was in college and out of the nest, we still had two that were in high school and they are a pain in the ass sometimes almost as much as their mother was on her best days. Abbey and Sandy were fifteen and thirteen respectively and thanks to my compromised scheduling arrangement, I was able to pick them up after school which allowed me to avoid talking the shrew that is their mother. I never said that in front of the girls, something that I only kept to myself and to my brother whenever I spoke with him alone. It felt good to have at least one person in my life with who I could share those little joys with. Clive was always there whenever I needed him, and I always did my best to make sure I was there whenever he got into trouble or needed a little something extra to prevent that trouble from occurring. Having an older brother on the police force didn’t hurt much either. I was never asked to do anything illegal, at least not yet, but I did whatever I could to help Clive because he would always do the same for me. My work had a habit of getting in the way and he would always have my back, so I always did the best to make sure I had his.
After cleaning up in the bathroom I dressed rather casually, tossing on a pair of blue jeans, a black t-shirt and some sneakers. Attire I wouldn’t caught dead wearing at work but I made an effort to try to look like I would be around all weekend by not showing up to pick them up in something closely resembling my work attire. After dressing for the day, I strolled into the kitchen and started to clean up. Friday morning was always clean up day at my place. For some reason it was hard for me to continuously clean up my place a little at a time rather than do everything in one morning. It’s not that I never wanted to do it, but things just seemed easier when Beth was there to kick my ass and keep me on track. Now that I had my own place by the time I found a moment away from work to do something about it, a hand grenade would actually improve things around here. While sweeping up the floors and doing the Mount Everest of dishes that built up since the last time the girls visited, I put a few slices of toast on and nuked a few slices of bacon in the microwave to go with them. I didn’t make any coffee because there was no milk. There wasn’t any food for that matter and suddenly I had another thing to do before the girls got here. Grocery shopping was yet another thing that I rarely tended to, considering the kind of work I do for the city. Fast food and especially the hot dog cart outside the station made up the bulk of my diet. The sauerkraut I put on my sausages was likely the only thing closely resembling a vegetable that I ate in any given week. If it wasn’t for the gym and the constant walking I did outside the station, I could possibly be as fat as a few of the other detectives. Not an image I wanted to think of. I did my best to eat well but when on the fly and with a lot of work to do; beggars couldn’t be choosers. If a slab of pizza came into the station, you didn’t question how many calories or carbs it had, you took a few slices while you could and took them to your desk to chew on while trying to keep ahead of the paperwork that you’re always being swapped in. The fact that I didn’t weigh four hundred pounds was a miracle. I was a little husky, clocking in around two hundred and seventy but I used that weight to push around people to get what I wanted. It helped increase my intimidation factor, one thing you could never have too much of in my profession.