(I know. "Gotham" hasn't even come out yet. So, it's kinda silly to write fan fiction. But, I'm kinda tired and I've missed writing lately and I enjoy being creative and Miss Pinelou keeps posting pictures taken by people in NYC who are happening across the shooting of that much-anticipated show. So, I just felt like writing some fan fiction.)
Protagonist: Annie. Middle-aged widow and mom of two young adult children who have graduated from college and gone on to greener pastures. Long-time resident of Gotham City. Diner waitress.
Two o'clock in the morning, iPhone screen says. Hmmm... If I can afford this iPhone, why am I living in this rather questionable apartment building? Well, it's clean. No cockroaches, anyway. Simple and clean. And Roy -- my late husband's best friend -- he does give me a good deal on the rent. A little bit of a discount, for friendship's sake. Not a huge discount, mind you. But -- ha! -- enough to pay for this iPhone. And he doesn't expect anything in return, if you know what I mean. Not that any guy in his right mind would. In fact, most guys would probably pay me to keep my clothes on. Oh, well. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. After all, when I take that pretty, but neglected, negligee out of the back of my bottom dresser drawer every once in a while and put it on, what looks back at me from the full-length mirror isn't so bad, I guess. Not for a fifty-year-old, anyway. It's a lovely negligee. And a lovely mirror. My husband -- God rest him -- enjoyed surrounding me with loveliness, even though he really couldn't afford it, not on his sergeant's salary.
Yes. My husband was a cop. And that's what killed him. No. He wasn't killed on the job. He wasn't shot or stabbed or beaten or run over by a "bad guy." So, how was he killed by his work? Heart attack. A heart attack brought on by what he saw happening in this city. There has been an evil growing -- growing for a long time now. Barely discernible at first, it now penetrates and is choking the life out of all that was good about this once beautiful place. And it was such a beautiful place -- for a family, to be a cop, to be a wife and mom. My husband saw the evil from the beginning. He tried to warn people -- the other cops, our pastor, our friends. But, they just laughed at him. Called him paranoid. But, he was perceptive and he was right. And by the time others noticed what he had been seeing for a long while, it was too late. And it broke his heart.
It made me angry, really. I was angry with him for dying, for leaving me and our daughters. Our bright, beautiful daughters. I felt like he loved the city more than he loved us. Why couldn't we have just left, moved away? It would have been hard, but not impossible. He was stubborn, though. He felt a duty to the city. And the city took him from me, from our kids. It made me so angry. I'm okay now, though. Because -- in the end -- I understood. We weren't raised here, in this city. But, it did become our home. We somehow came to belong to it and it to us. After all, I'm still here, aren't I? Here in this rather questionable apartment that I moved into after selling my house. My daughters had already gone away to college when they lost their father, and our neighborhood was becoming less-than-safe. So, I sold the house. It was a good move. It was paid for and I made a decent profit. I think it's a rental now.
Yes, I really could move away. Between the money I made selling the house and my husband's life insurance and pension, I really could move away. But, I stay. Like my beloved stayed. So, how can I be angry with him?
You might think I'm rolling in dough, but I'm not. My house wasn't worth that much -- not in this housing market, in this deteriorating city. I've invested the money, though, along with the life insurance, in relatively "safe" investments. Have you checked the returns on "safe" investments lately? And the pension and social security payments are modest, as my husband was young when he died. So, I work. I'm a diner waitress. It's only part-time, but it's adequate for now, and I like it. And it, too, was a lucky break -- a gift bestowed on me by the manager, who was a buddy of my husband. Cops love diners, and my husband frequented this one for years. So, when he died, Johnny offered me the job. He knew I needed one. And -- frankly -- I think I'm pretty good at it. I enjoy the banter and wielding that coffee-pot. Those who make the coffee rule the world, when you think about it.
Another reason I love my job is it gives me the opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse of this city. A never-ending stream of cops comes into and out of that diner, along with every other kind of character this city holds. And though that pulse has been weakening for some time, as the evil my husband warned about years and years ago continues to grow, seemingly unabated, I heard something the other day that gives me a bit of hope. It seems there's a new kid coming to town. A relatively young man named Jim Gordon has just been hired as a detective. Actually, he's not technically a "new kid." He grew up here, apparently, although we've never met. And I'm hearing he's a good man, a strong man. Some of the cops I know -- the ones not really worthy of the badge -- they're a little nervous about Jim Gordon. Although, they try to hide it with bravado and dark humor about "putting him in his place." But, the good cops I know -- and those are few and far between -- are actually excited about the guy. Apparently, some of them knew him growing up. Or knew of him. There seems to be something about this guy, something a little out-of-the-ordinary, something a little inspiring. We'll see. I've learned by now not to get my hopes up about so-called "good news" in this city.
And I think about my husband, my Tommy. He was good, too. He was strong. He was special. And the evil in this city just chewed him up and spit him out. So, God help this Jim Gordon, if what I'm hearing about him is even halfway true.