Private Security

He waited impatiently for his mother to finish, visualizing the pained expression on her face, her fragile voice barely sounding audible through the phone, as she said: “Stop living on borrowed money, Rob. You’re getting in too deep. Drop out of school, get a job. Do it for a year, however long it takes. Pay off these credit card debts.” And then he said: “I’ve got it taken care of, mom. According to the army recruiter on campus, they’ll give me an immediate cash bonus to pay down my debt, they’ll help me financially with my education later, and they’ll give me valuable job related skills.” Graduation from college remained his long term goal, he promised her; but once he signed the enlistment papers, the serious nature of that commitment moved front and center in his life.

During boot camp, he felt like a kid again, playing war games with his buddies. He had no worries about making money, choosing what cloths to wear, or finding a date. It was all about toughness, getting into shape. He loved it. When the time came to apply for a technical school, he decided to stay with a combat unit instead and his drill sergeant recommended him for special forces training.

Near the end of his four year enlistment, while on a mission one night with an interdiction team, climbing down a steep path in the northeast mountains along the Afghanistan border with Pakistan, a sniper’s bullet grazed his leg. Pain medication turned the surrounding area into a dreamscape as he dressed the wound with a large bandage from his medical kit. His team leader decided they should stop there and wait until after sunrise before entering an ancient village below them. When sunlight burst from behind the mountains, his heart filled with agony at the sight of death and destruction where the village once stood.

The memory of this incident haunted him and the overall futility of their attempted military solutions disheartened him. With his tour of active duty completed, he decided to give college another try. Yet his conception of life and his overall expectations had changed. Few students on campus shared his level of urgency about world conditions. Even the professors seemed out of touch. Instead of going to school, he acquired a job through a relative, installing security systems.

He learned the business quickly and then went out on his own in a neighborhood where burglaries and robberies were frequent. A private police force, offering continuous neighborhood patrols, became a logical direction for his business to expand. He embraced the metaphor of all out warfare against an elusive enemy. As crime decreased in his district it increased in other parts of the city and the police department proved incapable of making an adjustment. The mayor questioned the security company’s legality and scheduled Rob to appear before the city council in his company’s defense.

Stepping to the podium at the appointed time, Rob introduced himself.

The council president, while leafing through his notes, said: “Tell us, sir, tell us why you think you should be allowed to operate like you owned the city. You’re interfering with some very important ongoing criminal investigations, according to my notes. We need to get your company under control, in my view. So, before we go any further, let’s hear from you.”

Visualizing his prepared statement, Rob said: “It’s time to end kick backs, graft, and corruption in this city’s government. It’s time to privatize city services. Allowing markets to decide. Beginning with security. Everything else will follow. I’m a businessman, a supplier of products and services. People want more security. And I guarantee it, at a reasonable price.”

The expressions on the council member’s faces said it all, Rob thought: a legitimate argument with which to refute him did not exist and they knew it. He bit his lower lip to keep from laughing. They had no way of stopping him, he felt, or of even knowing how far he had already progressed.

“The federal government may have something to say about this,” the council president sternly interjected: “I’m referring your activities to the department homeland security. Meanwhile, we will be continuing our own investigation, and I’ll see you in court.”

Rob started to laugh but he lowered his eyes instead and walked away. If they were to meet in court, he vowed, the council president would be the defendant.

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3 Comments on “Private Security”

  1. beautydeep Says:

    Your stories are great! I just read this one and dream girl. You definitely have a talent.

    I’m sorry I ever had the chance to take a look at your blog before when you commented on a post of mine, but I’m glad I have now. Keep up the writing, you’re brilliant to say the least. (:

    • Hi, beautydeep. Thanks for reading some of my stories and commenting. I’m really happy to know that you like them. I found in my files that earlier comment I made to your wordpress blog about liking your stream of consciousness writing and I’ve checked out your recent blogs and your twitter page. And you are a good writer. And I like the topics upon which you focus your attention. You seem like a strong person inside even as you express your outward vulnerabilities. I like the way you handled marriagecoach1in your responses to “If you really knew me.” I agree with your attitude about not taking anti-depressants or any other medications. Having faith in yourself, the purpose of your existence, your music, and your art, are stronger healing force.

      Here’s an interesting quote that relates to your “I Want It Too Much” blog entry. Responding to the assertion that marketable fiction requires someone to root for, Betsy Lerner at The Forest For The Trees, writes:

      “Aren’t the greatest characters of all time deeply flawed, morally compromised, tragically poised, and often irredeemable? … I want you tortured, disturbed, diminished, and drunk. I want you abandoned, lonely, jealous, and alone. I want characters who suck all the air out of a room, who you run from at a party, who always ring twice. I want it messy, hysterical, certifiable. I want too much or not enough … Unsympathetic, undeserving, unapologetic, unrootable. These are my people.”

      I found the quote here (a very interesting website):

      • beautydeep Says:

        Hey (: Oh not a problem, I loved reading them and I’m going to subscribe.

        Thank you, I’m glad you think that. It means a lot seeing english is my 4th language. I’m glad you agree! Oh gosh, that was so difficult replying to him. He wouldn’t drop it, as well as other things..haha. I agree whole heartedly.

        I love that! Thank you for sharing that with me, it’s the perfect quote.

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