I once joked about being in the Make-A-Wish foundation. Now, being in the foundation or being terminally ill isn’t funny in the slightest but my conversation was. If I had the ability to make one wish — any wish! — and have it come true, my choice would be easy.
It would be a hot summer day, in the greasy, dirty streets of L.A. Not just any typical Los Angeles community would I be in. Oh no, I would be venturing into the dangerous territory of the Farmington District. That name might not be familiar to (all of) you. That’s because it’s not a real part of L.A. It’s a fictitious community in FX’s brilliant show The Shield. You see, in my dream I would want to spend a day with the cast of the show. Michael Chiklis, C.C.H. Pounder, Jay Karnes, all of them! But they wouldn’t be actors on this chosen day. They would have to be in character, allowing me to tag along with them as they do their daily tasks: arguing with their ex-wives, fighting with the superiors who make their lives horrible, and trying not to get their feet cut off by the Armenian mob.
It would be glorious. We’d kick in doors, tackle drug dealers, throw prostitutes into the back of squad cars (unless they gave up the locations of their powerful pimps).
“Hey Brandon,” Vic Mackey would say to me, those intense eyes staring down behind his classic shades. “Do you mind sitting in the car here while I go bust this Byz Lat in the face?”
“How about this,” I would say calmly. “Let me come with you.”
He’d smile. “You’ve got yourself a goddamn deal, kid.”
And into the battle we’d run. Now, I don’t know who would be playing the Byz Lats on my day. That’s up to Central Casting. But I want real talented folks! They’ve got to move with my punches, curse at me in Spanish, hold their AK’s like they mean it. This has to be real official. It’s my special day.
At the end of the shift, we’d all head back to The Barn and sit around shooting the shit. Me and Dutchboy would talk about our cats, David Aceveda would stand in the corner, looking suspicious and condescending. That wouldn’t bother me, I’m hanging with the boys. We’re the Strike Team and nothing can stop us! Claudette would approach and tell us all to get back to work.
“‘ey Claudette,” I’d yell. “Go suck an egg!”
All the guys would bust up laughing. They’d pat me on the back, grab me another soda, and slowly get to work.
“You’re a real great kid,” Vic would say to me. “Too bad you have terminal cancer.”
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