It Hurts

By: Doggy J


This Story wrote itself. It used a lot of bad language; so if you’re offended by that, get your bleeper machine all warmed up. I’m talking a strong R here. Also, Story wrote in like first person or stream of consciousness or something like that, something I’m not used to doing. Story says it knows that the characters all belong to someone else, actually, a lot of someone elses, but it doesn’t care. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely wishful thinking on my part. Story made me say that. And since Story is, well, a story, just an idea put down on paper, it says not to bother suing because it has no tangible existence. Don’t sue me either, please. I’m just the conduit. Story says shut up now and get on to it.



It hurts.

Damn, it hurts! Hey, you know those movies and TV shows and everything? Where the good guy gets the crap beat out of him then hops up and finishes the bad guy off? Bullshit! That’s so much crap. It hurts. It hurts like a sonovabitch; not that I know what a sonovabitch hurts like, but it must hurt a lot. Because I do.

What? What hurts? Everything, man, everything. My left wrist is broken, and so is the little finger on my left hand. That hurts. My face is all blue and purple and my right eye is swollen shut, I got a couple of teeth loose, and my nose is broken. Now, that really hurts. Three ribs are cracked and my back and sides look like a road map to a third world country with a lot of lakes. And mountains. And other shit. And all of them hurt.

Yeah, you talk big, but wait until you get pummeled into a pulp. Pummeled – I like that word. I think it first came to my attention in the B.C. comics, you know, the one where the guy finds out clams got legs, and they all jump on him and pummel him. And that’s when he finds out clams got arms, too.

Drugs? Oh, yeah, the drugs are good. The drugs are great. But it still hurts. My kidney’s bruised so bad I’m peeing blood. I read somewhere that blood is really irritating. Like when you have internal injuries, or blood’s leaking into your bladder from your bruised kidneys, the blood irritates those tissues and causes pain. No shit! It hurts!

My ass has a boot print on it, in neon purple. I got deep muscle bruises all along my thighs where I got kicked about a gazillion times, and I know at least one guy got me in the balls. That hurts. That hurts big time. That hurts almost worse than all the other hurts put together. But the drugs are good, man.

And I’ll tell you another thing that’s crap. All those shows and stories and shit where the guy gets hurt and his buddy stays by his side at the hospital until he’s all better, holding his hand and shit. Don’t touch my hand, it hurts! That hand hurts, too. I did try to fight back, you know. Tore that fingernail right off. It hurts. Oh, yeah, and I broke one of my toes, trying to kick another guy’s face in. Hope I succeeded.

I hurt. I’m tired, ‘cause all the nurses and everybody keep coming in here and waking me up, so I’m cranky, too. And the medicine that makes everything not hurt quite so bad is doing back flips in my stomach. Or maybe that’s the concussion. Yep, got one of those, too. My whole head hurts. So, while I appreciate the sentiment, and I’m really glad you came by and all, get the fuck out and leave me alone!

I’m sleepy and grumpy and – hey, that’s two of the dwarves right there. I’m Dopey, too, ha ha! I’m three dwarves, all rolled into one. Let’s see, who else? Definitely not Happy, nope, no way, no happy here, I don’t care how many drugs they give me. Sneezy – god, no, if I sneezed right now I think it would kill me. How about Bashful? You ever been in one of these hospital gowns? Bashful don’t even come close. How ‘bout downright obscene? Who does that leave? Let’s see: Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey, Happy, Sneezy, and Bashful. That’s six, there’s seven, aren’t there? Doc! Shit, how could I forget Doc? This damn place is crawlin’ with Docs. So no. No more Docs. I don’t wanna be Doc. I wanna go home. Can I go home?

Then get out and leave me alone. I just want to go to sleep. How am I supposed to sleep with you staring at me like that? Leave my hair alone, it hurts! I don’t care if it’s in my eyes, they’re swollen shut anyway. Who gives a shit?

And this isn’t even my fault! That’s what really sucks. So, okay, there I was, hanging out on that street corner… No, it was my job, that’s why! Yeah, I became a cop, so what? What else was I gonna do? Anyway, I was spending more time hanging out at the police station than at the university anyway, so why not get paid for it?

Sure, I hated the idea of even the possibility of ever having to use a gun. But Jim put it this way: Chief, he said, you show me a cop that likes the idea of using a gun and I’ll show you a shitload of trouble just waiting to happen. And if the idea of shooting someone doesn’t scare you, think about the paperwork involved.

Oh, yeah, that got me. I think I spent about half my time as an observer with him watching him fill out ‘Use of Deadly Force’ forms. Think the IRS is picky? Think again. So I had a panic attack or about fifteen, then went to see the recruiter.

I don’t care who you know, what you did before, or where you were a cop for half your life. If you’re gonna be a cop for Cascade, you see the recruiter. And the recruiter is Marjorie Haskins. Marjorie is about sixty years old. She was one of the first women on the Cascade police force. She was the first female lieutenant, then the first female captain. There’s nothing Marjorie doesn’t know about being a cop. So, when she retired, the city hired her back as a civilian recruiter.

So I went to see Marjorie. I thought about cutting my hair before I went in, but then thought, fuck it. If they want me to cut my hair, they’re going to have to tell me that to my face. I walked into Marjorie’s office and she shot out of her chair and grabbed me about the waist, and started chanting, ‘thank god, thank god’.

Now, Marjorie is about five foot five, and weighs maybe a hundred and twenty. Did I mention she’s almost sixty? Even so, I bet she could put Jim Ellison down in less than a minute. So when Marjorie grabs you, you know you’ve been grabbed!

I finally pried her off me and asked her what was going on. She said, "Thank god you didn’t cut your hair yet. Don’t. I hear undercover screaming your name in my head."

"But, what about…" I started.

"Don’t worry about him. I’ll handle him." Well, I was going to say ‘the rules’ and I had no clue what ‘him’ she was talking about. But whoever he was, I felt sure she would definitely handle him.

And I guess she did, because before I knew it, I was testing out of the academic portion of the police academy. Then all I had to do what the hand-to-hand and physical agility, and qualify with a gun. Now I know everyone thinks I hate guns. I don’t. I hate what people do with guns. But, matter of fact, I’m a really good shot. Since I started riding with Jim, he started taking me to the range with him to practice. He taught me practically everything I needed to know about safety and shooting.

Oh, yeah, and cleaning the guns afterward. Said the solvent irritated his nose. Sure. Speaking of irritated – OH SHIT! THAT HURT! Remember what I said earlier about sneezing? Well, guess what? I was right.

But back to my story. Next thing I know, I’m on the fast track to Major Crimes and then out on the street as a homeless guy, waiting for some drug dealer to try to get me to make a delivery for him. Why does everyone always think I’m the perfect choice for the homeless guy? Just ‘cause of my hair? Hey, you ever seen Jim after a long weekend without shaving? Gives ‘scruffy’ a whole new meaning.

So there I am, waiting for a drug dealer, when these guys come along who think ‘I’m’ a drug dealer, one who ripped ‘em off a couple weeks ago. So without so much as a how-do-you-do or eat-shit-and-die, they jump all over me.

I read one time – yeah, I read a lot, so what? - that the human mind can stand only so much pain, then when you can’t bear it any more, the mind shuts down and you pass out. Bullshit, again. And adrenalin dump as a pain killer? Crap! All adrenalin does is keep you so scared and awake that you feel every fuckin’ blow, every kick, every snap as your bones break. And it hurts!

Then when your buddy gets to you, and lifts you up so prosaically to rest across his knees – that hurts! And when the ambulance people get there and start turning you this way and that and pulling on stuff that you keep telling them is broken; it hurts! Don’t even get me started on radiology.

So, it hurts. Have we established that? And I don’t like it when it hurts. Puts me in a bad mood. So go home. Take a shower. Don’t think about me, stuck in this bed, where I can’t even wash the blood away. Just go on. Get something to eat. I gotta wait for the dentist to come look at my teeth here before I can eat. Oh, right, oral surgeon, whatever.

Great, another one. Yeah, man, glad you came by and all that. Oh, don’t even ask me how I’m feeling! How the fuck do you think I’m feeling? Have you looked at me? I hurt, okay? Do I need anything? I need for all you assholes to get the hell out of my room and leave me alone!

Jim? Where you going, man? You coming back? Oh, yeah, okay. Yeah, that’s good. Thanks. No, that doesn’t hurt. You can leave your hand there. Yeah, that’s fine.