All My Yesterdays,
By Dorisann Anderson.
Officer David Johnson sat in his patrol car, trying hard to remember the reason he had pulled the light blue Ford LTD over. Concern showed clearly in his dark brown eyes. He ran his hand through his black hair, something he did often when upset. Getting out of the car David slowly walked over to the driver's window, still unsure why he had pulled the car over.
After having just fixed a flat tire Jay's dirty blond hair was wet with sweat. His light blue eyes hurt from the sun's bright light. His back hurt from working on the tire. Smoking pot for many years and heavy drinking left him thin. His five feet eight inches height along with his underweight made Jay look unhealthy. He talked to himself as he began walking back to the driver's side of the car.
"I'm going to have a long talk with my cousin Bill, asking me to pick up a dozen ten pound bags of pot for him. Family or not this is the last time I do this for him."
"What more could go wrong"? Sue said as Jay passed the back seat window. "First we get chased by two motor cops that just won't quit. Then we get a flat tire. It's 99 degrees outside and that's if you're in the shade."
Sue's red hair was now glistened with perspiration. Even with the windows down there was little comfort from the day's heat. "Well one good thing we got one bag of pot. With the rest in the trunk for your cousin we will party tonight."
Looking at her reflection in the rear view mirror, Sue could still remember how once people would tell her how she should be a model. Standing five foot six, with her red hair and light green eyes and perfect complexion but all that changed when she started to run around with Jay. Setting once again in the driver's seat, Jay watched as the cop pulled in behind him.
"Man that's just our luck. If we hadn't had the flat tire we would be long gone. Now we have a cop coming up to us."
"Don't worry Jay, I got the bag in a safe place. Just tell him I'm pregnant." Sue laid down in the back seat, holding her stomach and acting as if she was in severe pain.
Jay watched as the cop approached his car.
"Officer, let me explain. See, my wife in the back seat is having our baby, and on the way to the hospital we had a flat. But now, I need to get to the hospital as soon as I can."
Looking into the back seat David noticed the young lady, holding her out of shape belly and hearing her moans.
"Ok well I'll let you go. But for your family's safety drive the speed limit. You can take Exit 19 to Maple Road and left on to Old Town Road. It will take you to the hospital quicker."
"Yes officer, I will. Thank you." Jay smiled as he turned onto the interstate once again. With his day gone so bad, Jay did as the officer said and drove the speed limit.
"Hey Sue, How's the baby doing?"
Sue laughed as she patted her stomach. "Oh, baby Jane is fine".
Parking their bikes behind David's cruiser, Jon and Ponch sat a few minutes trying to get their own thoughts together.
"Jon, didn't David radio that he had pulled over the light blue LTD
Thought to be our subjects?"
Looking over at Ponch, Jon couldn't help but remember another officer and friend that had been acting confused and making mistakes.
With sadness in his blue eyes Jon also remembered the day his co-worker was killed.
"Yeah Ponch, he did. I don't know why but there has to be something wrong with David."
Getting off his bike, Ponch walked slowly up to David. "David, man, what are you doing?"
Ponch watched as the older officer stood beside his car, not really noticing or hearing Ponch come up to him.
"David, did you hear me? What did you do? That was the Ford LTD we been chasing all morning. We believe they were running drugs. Didn't you hear all our calls? Man, we lost them a few times, they were driving so fast down town we backed off fearing they would kill someone if we didn't. Didn't you get the calls on your radio? Wasn't it you who said you had them pulled over?"
"Sorry Jon, but that was not your car. They were just a young couple on their way to the hospital to have a baby."
"David, I'm Ponch. That's Jon" Ponch pointed to Jon sitting on his bike behind the cruiser.
"Look, I got to get back to the station to do some paperwork. Thanks for all your help."
Getting back into his car David left Ponch standing by the road side. Ponch walked back to his motor shaking his head and speaking to no one.
"Maybe it's stress, or he has a hearing problem, or maybe he just needs some time off." Looking over to Jon as he got on his bike. "Jon have you noticed any thing odd about David lately?"
"I have. We all have. Maybe it's just stress, I don't know. But I'm sure that was our subject he let go."
"I agree, Jon. But how are we going to write this one up?"
Jon whispered, 'I'm not sure if we will."
Driving around for what seemed like hours, David soon stopped in the Wal-Mart parking lot Turning off the car, David took a deep breath. He thought as he laid his head back against the car seat.
'What am I doing here? I need to go back to Central but how? Maybe if I took Maple Road to Court Street then turn right on River Road. No, what am I thinking? That wouldn't take me to Central. I'll drive around some more and maybe I'll remember the right way.'
Getting back onto the road David soon passed the Taco Bell where he saw another CHP cruiser. Parking beside the cruiser, David wondered who it might be.
'I saw Bonnie and Bear at the morning briefing.'
David didn't want to make who ever it was angry by not saying their right name. 'Seems like more people are getting mad at me cause I got their name wrong, but at times I know I said the right name.'
Sitting outside on the last table Bear was enjoying the peace and quiet. Seeing David walking up towards him, Bear thought, 'Good. Now maybe I can get someone to eat all these Tacos I got for Jon and Ponch.'
"Hi David. Hey man, if you're wanting some tacos, I got some. I thought Jon and Ponch would be here soon, but I guess they got tied up with a traffic accident. I told them I would buy them lunch today for helping me paint my dad's office building."
Sitting down at the table, David laughed. "Well they do look good, I'm sure Jon would have loved to have one. Too bad he is busy."
David ate hoping Bear would say if he was going back to central.
Bear decided not to tell David it was Ponch who loved tacos not Jon. Bear thought back to a few weeks ago, when he tried to tell David that Bonnie was a CHP officer not a LAPD officer. He recalled seeing the anger in his eyes and watching him storm out of the break room.
Arriving back at Central David went to Sergeant Getraer's office.
"Sergeant Getraer, I wonder if I could take this afternoon off. I have a bad headache, and I'm not feeling too well."
Looking up from his stack of files Joe cleared his throat. "Yeah David I have someone coming in early today for the afternoon. You want to tell me what happened with the light blue LTD?"
"It wasn't the right car, just a young couple on the way to the hospital."
"Ok go ahead and take the afternoon off,'
Getting into his black pickup David left Central's parking lot. Not feeling as if he wanted to go home. He decided to go where he felt safe, a place he would be comfortable, some place to think. Driving out of the city into the country David went to his father's old farm, the land had been divided among his brothers and sisters.
He sat beside the small creek watching the water as it slowly flowed downstream. Sitting on the creek's bank with the smell of wild flowers in the air .The afternoon sun seem cooler there. Taking out the note book and green pen he always kept in his car David begin to write.
Jon, blonde blue eyes tall. Ponch, black hair brown eyes, Hispanic. Bear, tallest one dark brown hair, Bonnie, lady blond sweet smile. Grossie overweight talks a lot. Sergeant Getraer, older thinning hair, boss.
Taking stones and throwing them into the creek he watched as they made a ripple in the water. 'Why didn't I know how to get back to work?' Throwing another stone into the water as he spoke to himself 'I have only worked there for twenty years.'
Being on the farm land brought back memories of his childhood. Watching his dad plant corn, running in the fields, swimming in the creek with his brother and sister. David could remember the day his dad gave each of them a part of the land.
"David, come in here for a minute.'
"Yeah Dad you wanted me?" David said as he walked into the living room.
"I know you have plans to go to the movies with your friends. But now that you have turned eighteen, I wanted to give you the deed to the land I want you to have. As you know I gave your brother and sister some land when they turned eighteen, now it's your turn. The lot you're to get is by the creek and. has the big oak tree on it."
"Thanks for the land dad, but I want to go to L.A. I want to be a CHP officer."
"Well then son we will see what we need to do for your dream to come true.
Walking back to his truck David once again looked over his lot. 'Will I forget this too?'
Stopping on the way home at the gas station just before reaching the end to city David looked around for a map of Los Angeles. Finding what he was looking for he quickly went to his truck. There he marked when Central was. 'Now I'm ready to go to work tomorrow.'
Betty stood at the window watching as David drove up the driveway. Her brown eyes seemed to shine the brightest when she was looking at the only man she had ever loved. Her worrying showed on her round small face.
'I'll never stop worrying when he is late getting home even after all these years of him being a CHP officer, and now that he isn't acting like himself I know it was his job that gave me this gray hair.'
Betty's thoughts were interrupted as David walked up beside her.
"Hi Dear. Sorry I'm late. I didn't mean to worry you. I just had something I had to do before coming home."
Turning around Betty gave David a kiss on the cheek. "I'm glad you're home. Dinner's ready if you're hungry."
The next morning Betty woke up to the smells of breakfast being cooked, the smell of bacon filled the house.
"David, what are you doing? I thought you would be sleeping in today since it's your day off." Looking around at the amount of bacon and eggs he had fixed. "Why did you make so much food dear?"
Standing in the kitchen eating some of the bacon he had just fried up, he said, "I made enough for you and the boys. Are you sure I'm off today?"
"Honey, the boys are grown up now and living on their own. Yes, I have your days off posted on the calendar. You remember we are going to your brother's for dinner tonight?"
That evening, Betty noticed all seemed fine with David. He acted more like his old self than he had in months. But deep down in her heart, Betty knew all was not well with her beloved husband.
Jon sat on the overpass waiting for his partner to show up. The morning sky had the treat of rain in it. Jon heard the motor pull up. Looking at his watch, he laughed.
"Well partner, you're getting better. You're only five minutes late today."
"I was busy trying to get things in order for my trip. I want to get this day over with. I have my bags packed, I have my trip all planned out. This time tomorrow morning, I'll be on my way to San Francisco."
With a smile on his handsome face, Jon looked over at Ponch. "I remember the last time you had planned to go to San Francisco."
Shaking his head and laughing, "Oh, don't remind me partner."
Riding to Central Ponch and Jon couldn't help but notice the sky getting darker. As they pulled into Central's parking lot the sky opened up. The downpour sent the two officers running for the door. Standing just inside the door Jon and Ponch stood dripping wet, their shirts clinging to their skin.
"Hi guys. I saw you pull up. I thought you might need these towels."
From the dispatch room Sally saw Jon and Ponch running for the door. Having just finished high school, Sally was central's youngest dispatcher.
Jon took the towel from Sally, noticing how she looked at him with her big brown eyes and the sweet smile on her face. Jon know she had a big crush on him.
"Hey, do you know if Joe has started the morning's briefing?"
Ponch asked, hoping he may be tied up and not yet in the briefing room.
"Yeah. Sorry Ponch, I saw all of the officers and Joe go in about fifteen minutes ago."
"Thanks Sally." Walking down the hall, Ponch stopped turning towards Jon with a smile. "I know what to do about Sally. Let's get Wesley and Sally together. I bet they would really go for one another."
Jon shook his head, rolling his eyes. "Always the matchmaker."
But deep down Jon thought it might be a good idea after all.
Walking around to the back entrance to the room, Jon and Ponch quickly went to the back seat, hoping they had not been seen. Their entrance was not missed by Sergeant Getraer.
"Frank and Baker, nice for you to join us. Now, had you been on time, you would have missed this downpour. All motor officers will be in cars till the rain stops."
Hearing grows from the motor officers, Getraer smiled. "Let's get on the road. Besafe and have a nice day."
"Seven Mary three and four in pursuit of a red Chevrolet van. License number delta gamma kilo 3 roger tango possible DUI."
Ponch watched as the van exited the highway. "Seven Mary three and four, subject now exiting off interstate 409, exit 19 going down town on East Hill Road."
Tom looked back to see the officers were still on his tail.
"Larry, I thought you said the CHP wouldn't pull someone over in the rain."
"I didn't think they would. Maybe I should have driven. You're not staying in between the lines too well, Tom."
Laughter came from the back of the van as six more young college students were still drinking, not even realizing they were being chased by the cops. The red van suddenly ran off the road and into the ditch. It came to a rest by a big oak tree.
"Seven Mary three and four request back up on East Hill Road."
Walking up to the driver's window, Ponch stood and seeing how drunk the driver was, he shook his head. He thought to himself, 'It's a wonder you didn't kill someone.'
"I need to see your driver's license. How much have you had to drink, sir?"
Tom handed his license over to Ponch with a frown on his face his eyes showed his anger. "Not enough officer. Not enough."
"Step out of the car, sir."
Jon went to the passenger side, realizing that the passenger was passed out. He looked in the back of the van, and seeing the rest of the group, Jon walked over to Ponch.
"We're going to need that back up. There's six more in the back."
David picked up his radio mic. '9 Adam able to back up Seven Mary three and four 10 -97 in fifteen minutes."
David pulled his cruiser over to the side of the road, taking his map out. He began to search for the best way to get to East Hill Road.
Meanwhile, Tom stood beside his van. His short black hair getting wet from the rain, his speech was just above a whisper.
"I'll someday soon have a business degree and will out make your pay. I'll have sports cars and be able to travel. Because smart people go to business college."
Ponch laughed. "Oh yeah? Well I guess you're not too smart then, out here in the pouring rain driving drunk."
Ponch put hand cuffs on him and walked him to the cruiser, putting him into the back seat. Both Jon and Ponch had to help walk the passenger to their car.
Pulling in behind Jon's car Bear laughed at the sight of the two officer's having to walk the young man to their car.
"Hey guys, do you have more in the van?"
"Yeah Bear. There's six more. I think most of them can still walk, I hope," Jon said with a laugh.
"Have you guys seen David? He radioed he was coming to back you guys up."
"No, haven't seen him." Ponch looked worried as he noticed David making more and more mistakes.
"Well, it's raining hard. Maybe he is avoiding some flooded roads."
The sound of sirens going told them another cruiser was on its way to them. Grossie pulled in behind Bear.
"What have you got, Jon?"
"Okay Grossie, you take two of the smart kids in your car. Bear has two and we'll wait here till David comes. He can take the last two," Ponch said with a smile on his handsome face.
Ten minutes later David showed up. Jon and Ponch walked the last two drunken students over to David.
"We're taking them to the jail downtown."
Ponch helped put the last kid into the back seat. Suddenly he noticed the map in the front seat of David's cruiser but didn't say anything about it.
The next morning Jon stood at his locker when David came up to him.
"Hey,'' David stopped to think, 'blonde, blue eyes.' "Jon, so where's your partner today?"
"He's taken a week off. You know we both have half days today. I was going to go fishing after work. You want to come with me?"
"Sure Jon. I'll call Marcia to let her know. She worries about me so I haven't gone fishing in a long time."
Jon looked worried as he thought to himself 'I thought his wife's name was Betty.'
The blue sky was a welcome sight after yesterday's rain. The sun shone bright as Jon and David sat in the boat, feeling the gentle breeze as they fished, making for a relaxing day.
"Jon, is Ponch sick? I didn't see him today."
"No David. He took a few days off."
"I can remember taking my boys fishing. They loved being out on the lake and trying to get a bigger fish than their dad. My oldest boy went deep sea fishing a few years back and sent me a picture of the tuna he had caught. He wrote under the picture, 'It took me many years but I finally got one bigger than you."
Jon's laughter filled the air. Today David seem to be his old self. 'Maybe it is stress after all.'
"Did Ponch get hurt again I haven't seen him around today. Is he okay?"
"No, he's just on vacation." Jon was now beginning to realize there was more then stress wrong with David.
Sergeant Getraer looked over the files on his desk. The many complaints about officer David Johnson had been piling up for weeks now. Looking at his watch Joe, decided to have a meeting after the mornings briefing. Standing in front of his officers Joe was surprised to see Ponch and Jon were there on time.
"I want to see Ponch, Jon, Bear, Bonnie, and Grossie in my office in five minutes. The rest of you hit the streets."
Soon the officers Joe had called out came into his office. Joe watched as the officers stood, wondering what they had done to be called into the office. While Jon seemed to have a nervous shifting of weight, Bear stood cracking his knuckles. Ponch was relaxed, knowing this was his first day back from a week's vacation.
"I want to ask you all a question and I want answers." Joe's voice was full of anger. "Have you noticed David acting strange? Making silly mistakes or not acting in a way an officer should act?
Looking around the room Joe saw something in the eyes of his officers. Ponch didn't look so relaxed shifting from one foot to the other. Bonnie's eyes were downcast, Bear leaned against the wall. And Grossie turned to look out the window. Jon looked as if he had something to say but the words just wouldn't come out. Joe knew his officers were a loyal bunch. But their body language told him what his officers didn't want to say.
"Look, if he is making mistakes or not himself I need to know before he becomes a danger to himself and to the public. If you should see him do anything wrong, I want to know. You're to tell me and that's an order."
"Seven Mary three and four 9 adam report to the L.A. Hills off Old Country Road. Reports of guns firing."
Being the first officer to arrive to the call, David saw a young man with a gun pointed at him.
"11-99, shots fired."
Seeing the cop get out of his car with his gun drawn, the young man ran into the woods.
"What do you have?" Jon asked as he joined David.
"A young man in his early twenties just ran into the woods. He may be trying to the back road. He is armed. He has short blonde hair wearing light blue jeans and a dark blue shirt."
"I'll go around to the old dirt road and see if I find anything."
Ponch took off to the old dirt road, having an uneasy feeling about being in the woods with his motor and being so open to a gun. Suddenly something caught his eye.
"Come out of the bushes with your hands up."
Ponch stood surprised when he saw what came out from the bush.
"Son, how old are you?"
There before him stood a young boy with light blue jeans and a dark blue shirt. In his hands was a BB gun.
"I'm thirteen, officer. That other officer was going to shoot me."
"Son, did you shot at the officer's car?"
"No Sir. I was shooting at a rabbit when he pulled up."
Jon pulled up with his motor with David right behind him.
Looking over to David, Ponch had to soften his voice. His anger showed clearly in his eyes.
"This is your twenty year old man with a gun? He's only thirteen and this is only a BB gun. You had the poor boy scared to death that you were going to shoot him."
Walking over to the boy, Jon took the child away from the two now angry officers.
"Son, do you know you're not supposed to be shooting that BB gun at anything here by the road? You could hit someone walking down the road or coming by in a car."
"Yes officer. I promise not to do it again."
"Okay son, you can go home."
Standing in Joe's office, Ponch could not hide the fury in his voice.
"Joe, he was only a thirteen year old kid with a BB gun. David drew his gun on a kid." Ponch could look the other way for a lot of things but not endangering a child's life.
"Send David in and you take a break and cool off Ponch."
David stood before Joe. It had been many years since he had been called into the sergeant's office."
In Joe's hands he had a stack of papers.
"These are all complaints about you David. Some say you pulled them over saying they had failed to stop at the stop sign, and there was no stop sign on that road. Some say you said they failed to stop at the traffic light, but they say the light was green when they went through. Now this. You drew your gun on a kid. I want you to see the company's doctor. You're off work till I get a note from the doctor saying you're able to come back to work."
Two days later Betty and David walked into Central. David walked around seeing his co-workers and friends saying goodbye to each one before walking into Joe's office.
Standing along side her husband Betty spoke with tears in her eyes and fear in her voice.
"Joe, the doctor said David has the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease."
David handed Joe his badge and his gun. "All my yesterdays are gone."
Saying all he wanted to say David walked out off the office and out side to the truck he could no longer drive.