a story

by uzwi

X worked as a trainee teacher at a local school. His bicycle was stolen from the school racks. At lunchtime he went to the nearby police station to report the theft. The detective behind the desk listened sympathetically, took notes, then smiled & said, “Wait here just a moment.” X waited. Four or five minutes later the detective came back with another man, to whom he said, while pointing at X, “This is what’s teaching your little girl.” Telling the story many years later, X still seems ruefully amused. “I promise you,” he assures me, “my hair was at least an inch above my collar. I was wearing a tweed jacket. I was young for nineteen. I had no idea then what he saw when he looked at me & I’m not even sure now. But that detective was a better futurologist than me. He understood that for the next few years a major element of policing would be social policing. & that was the way it turned out.” I say, “But within ten years they lost that struggle & we had the beginnings of the world we have now.” X smiles. “Yes, the one in which we police ourselves.”