If you have ever had anything to do with them, you will forever instantly recognize police when you see them. They just have this look about them, whatever their appearance, however they are dressed, this expression that says, “I’m here to ruin your life, then expect you to help me earn brownie points in my career.”
I got home from work last night after a particularly lovely, relaxed day in which I’d ended up playing tick tack toe in chalk on the sidewalk next to the kayak jetty most of the afternoon, to find two plain-clothed officers in my kitchen with the Viking. He smiled when he saw me, though I could see the tension in his eyes and shoulders, and instantly felt protective. The woman – middle eastern and wearing a hijab with a business suit – stood up and (I gathered) introduced herself in Swedish. The Viking said, “Regan is American, she speaks English,” and the woman nodded like this was interesting to her, and exchanged a look with the guy, who was über Swedish: white-blonde, tanned, with crinkly eyes that made me think he sails in bright sunlight a lot. She repeated her introduction in English, and I was like, “hi,” with a loud, unspoken, “what do you want, get out my kitchen.”
The Viking stood up, a clear indication that he was done with the conversation, and the woman smiled at me and said they were just leaving. I nodded. They left.
I went into the main room while the Viking said good bye to them, then he came and sat by me on the sofa, and put his head in his hands, and asked me to please not be too mad. I scooched over, rubbed his back and promised him that whatever it was, I was on his side and we would figure it out. He was out the night before with Asterix and some other guy buddies who all support the same soccer team. He told me that there had been some kind of confrontation with some fans of another team, and, as everyone involved was drunk, stupid and hot headed, things had gotten violent, and the police were following up with everyone involved.
I rolled my eyes and called him a moron. He grinned sheepishly and said he already knew that. I pointed out that he didn’t have any bruises or cuts so he couldn’t have even been all that involved. He said that yeah, he had pretty much been a bystander but Stockholm police have a reputation for being zero tolerance to the point of over zealous when it comes to football violence as it has been bad in the past. I kissed him and told him not to worry about me being mad, I thought the whole thing sounded pretty stupid and a waste of the police’s time.
In fact, though I didn’t think of this until writing this morning, it pretty much knocks out Hockey Girl’s opinion of the Viking’s supposed wild temper: if he was on the edges of a fight and stayed there, he is clearly not exactly an uncontrollable madman 😉 Which isn’t news to me, of course, and a little part of me feels satisfied, again, about knowing him that little bit better. The poor guy was so cut up and worried about how I would react, it’s also making me wonder if a certain ex couldn’t handle the soccer hooligan-lite side of him. Don’t get me wrong, if he had actually gotten into a fight I wouldn’t have been thrilled; but he has a emotionally challenging job and he internalizes a lot of stress, so if he needs to kick back in the kind of dive where morons might start brawls, I think I’m just fine with that. I told him I wanted to go to his team’s next home game to see what all the fuss was about, and he was pretty psyched.
One last thought: I guess it’s a good thing that the police of the biggest city in the country follow up with a bunch of idiots who got in a drunken punch up over soccer – I can’t imagine Chicago or LA PD have the time.