Every reporter will have a day that will make him or her want to quit this job.
In fact, for those of us who stay in this business long enough, those days add up to about nearly a month - if we’re lucky enough.
I’d be lying if I never told you I felt like Floyd from the movie “Waiting” on more than a few occasions.
I’d also be lying if told you this occupation doesn’t get to you.
Actually, it’s not a lie. It’s not SUPPOSED to get to you. You’re supposed to compartmentalize, put everything aside and take even the darkest of situations dispassionately.
I’m pretty good at that. I was trained by the world’s best: the United States Marine Corps during an era where the mere sight of tears made one a target for termination with extreme prejudice.
In fact, I show emotion so little during dark times, both sides will probably wonder if I even have a soul left to save when my time comes.
So when the events of Oct. 18 came across the disaster known as my desk, I just took it as another probable cause statement. Another accident, another crime on another day.
But it wasn’t. Nowhere freaking close.
As most of you know, I have no children. I made the choice to sacrifice the chance to have a family for my career many years ago.
Non, je ne regrette rien!
When I saw the accident involved an infant, of course my heart was broken, like everyone else was. However, unlike everyone else, I’m not allowed to get emotionally invested, or at least, I shouldn’t.
But at least the child was in critical condition with a chance to make it - and the “mother” was going to be arraigned soon - so it was time to move on, right?
What a horrible world we live in, don’t we?
(For the purpose of this column, I’m only going to call the “mother” the “suspect” from here on out)
All babies are precious to me - and this precious one died a few days later in a St. Louis hospital. And somehow, the suspect was able to walk out of another local hospital before she was arraigned.
Hopefully, she is custody by the time this column is in print, but if she isn’t, it is only another extraordinary example of what seemed to be a failure in communication between jurisdictions.
When the suspect ended up in the car crash that killed her child, she was reportedly on the run from Minnesota after pleading guilty to child endangerment charges involving her four other children. There are even more maddening details that, after digging deeper, makes one see nothing but failure across the board.
None of this had to happen.
You won’t get tears from me, because I honestly don’t know how to cry. I’ve programmed myself not to do it.
You will get anger to the point of near-convulsions, however.
Like every other reporter with my amount of time in this business, you come across a story, a case, that questions everything you know, everything you believe - and has you wanting to take a few steps back.
Or stepping out permanently!
That almost happened here, and it’ll happen again, unfortunately.
“Carpe (expletive deleted)”
Just like Floyd from “Waiting” said.
Sometimes it really freaking sucks!