★ ★ ★ ★


By Irena Ioannou

I love watching crime series, snuggled on the couch. Decades-old series whose larger than life characters come together in varying forms, scenarios and situations. The too-hard-to-die detective smokes his cigar over a dead body and promises the grieving mother that he will find who did this, he swears to God. Behind him, his blonde colleague flashes suits with shoulder pads and strives to be taken seriously; she is not just a beautiful face. He’s tough, she looks tough, they hide their feelings from themselves. They think they’re not each other’s type. Besides, they don’t have time for that.

Or, he’s the office pariah—with his wife having been killed by a bad guy, he has resorted to the bottle. He blames himself. He finds pleasure in punching his superiors, and his partners all end up dead. He is a loose canon. She offers a steady hand. Her skin reminds him of a feeling long forgotten. She wears Chanel and smells of jasmine and her hair brushes his shoulder. His heart flutters. He doesn’t dare dream.

Or, her father wore a uniform, a tough guy, shot in the line of duty. She has sworn revenge. She’s blinded, looking for something she can’t find. He also returns to an empty apartment. He doesn’t leave puppies alone in the streets. He stays in her shadow, has her back, the clock ticking. The days, the months, the years. At some point her rage will subside, and she’s bound to look over her shoulder and notice him, won’t she?

Or, he is young, ambitious, confident. The police force is more like a hobby, he has other things to do. This is temporary, a taste of something he didn’t know he lacked. She makes fun of him. Laughs at his cufflinks. She thinks he’ll be gone any morning now. He’ll prove her wrong. There’s nowhere he’d rather be, really. But, she is annoying. And he can’t keep away from her. 

Or, they’re happy, they think, normal, functional, each with a partner back home calling to ask if they’ll be home for dinner. His partner is a kindergarten teacher, hers, in construction. Nobody breaks up with thoughtful people with steady jobs. Every now and then, though, they look into each other’s eyes, a little longer than expected. At some points, the danger brings them closer. The whole world shooting at them, they praise their luck. If only they could stay in that run-down place, bullets blazing, glued to each other for life. 

Or, she is invisible, stuck behind a computer, writing reports or watching crime scene footage while he storms into buildings brandishing a gun. All his female bosses want him and show it, he can pick and choose. She hides behind her glasses, and reads Harlequins in bed, about princes on white horses. He knows who she is. He tries to meet her eye every morning on his way in. When she sees him approach, she lowers her head. 

Or, they were married once, and no one knows what happened, perhaps the job, or other people, perhaps he wouldn’t grow up, maybe she wanted different things. They have moved on since, they think, it’s better this way, no surprises, no ships drifting at sea. They don’t smile much. She just got a marriage proposal from someone nice. She hesitates. Something is keeping her from saying yes. It’s infuriating. He seems oblivious to her presence. He practically lives in the office now, going about his business. Keeping his mind busy.

Or, they haven’t met yet. The rest of the world doesn’t get it. They advise them to slow down, stop trying so much. They can’t save the world on their own. There are more things to life than justice. The bad guys aren’t going anywhere.  They twist their mouths in determination and keep going. Sometimes they feel alone in the universe. They don’t stop though. There must be something more out there. There must be. 

I love watching old crime series. No blood, no violence. Not too much technology either, no machines saving the day. No serial killers, psychopaths, or sickness dressed in wealth. Just plain old love, and respect. For the dead people. For their relatives. For the women with the padded shoulders who cry in the bathroom, and the girls behind the computers who daydream. For the lost causes, and the loners who carry the world on their shoulders. For the sensitive people who do not compromise. For the ones who keep walking. For the people who don’t give up. On love.

Irena Ioannou writes from Crete, Greece and her work has recently appeared in Crannóg and Betty Fedora. She is currently working on her first novel. She is a mother of five.

1 Comment

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.