Mementos from Sufrida Street: One Honest Cop

This city is rotten. A congregation of rats eating one another while rolling on their own feces and calling it life. What a crock of shit. But bad as most of this dump is, Sufrida is probably the worst bit. Our own road to Hell, and everyone who makes a living on it is already damned. They just don’t know it yet.

Who am I? Just another sucker trying to earn a few measly dollars that won’t end up in a hooker’s cooch, at the tip of a syringe or at the bottom of a glass of stale, cheap beer. If I’m lucky it’ll end up divvied up among my co-workers, after they (or someone else) finally get tired of me and kill me. My name’s John Sanchez, 47 years old, and I’m probably the one honest cop left in this place. Fuck me, right?

I was born and raised in one of the fringe neighborhoods of the city, a few blocks from Sufrida street, back when it had another, less harrowing, name. With working class parents that slaved from dawn ’till dusk, had to take care of myself most of the time. My daily routine involved avoiding the local pimps, junkies and hoodlums. I won’t lie, I got my sorry ass kicked more than once. Yet I was always determined that one day I’d clean the streets when I got older.

Times were tough, but I survived and grew up (what doesn’t kill you gives you scars, a good story or two, and makes you a hard sumbitch). When I was old enough I applied for the city’s police academy, believing I could help make a difference. Made sense at the time, get paid to put these assholes away, clean up the streets. Only problem was that the city was full of them, and the worst lot were the ones dressed in blue.

This city has always liked to be dirty; joining the force just showed me how filthy things were. The streets have always been dangerous (I gave up the illusion of reaching retirement age years ago), but after refusing one too many times to look the other way the precinct captain took matters into his own hands; I got transferred to the night shift at Sufrida street.

Perhaps they thought I would die rather quickly or change my mind as to being on the take. 15 years later I still walk the beat, alive and my conscience is still clean. Can’t say the same for my dreams, half the time I get nightmares; years of witnessing the crazy shit people do to one another.

Sometimes a rookie cop back at the station will actually ask me that one question, “Why not quit?”. The answer’s still the same: because everyone can kiss my ass; I don’t bend nor break for anyone.

This city may be rotten to the core, but it’s home; someone has to take care of it. So I keep walking my beat among the damned. It’s a living.


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