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Learn As You Longo

Ohmigosh! Guess what?! I had a meeting with the Charlottesville Chief of Police, Timothy J. Longo, Sr. Mmhmm… I did. whOOt! Wanna guess what’s even better?! He initiated it. HooYah!

Okay; enough pretentious drama.

I did get together with Mr. Longo per his request. The way he went about asking was at the least odd and at the most humorous -- and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

It’s in my interest to talk with anyone even remotely connected to the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force so when I heard the top CoP wanted to speak to me face-to-face about it and its members, naturally, I was all for it.

I reckon the Police Chief is obligated to look after his boys, especially once his boys have failed to look after themselves. I can almost hear the vociferous voices of the JADE officers: She’s pickin’ on us! Do. Something. The thing is, the way I see it, if Mr. Longo -- busy man that he is -- is saying he’d like to sit down and have a word with me, what he’s basically saying is there’s nothing, really, he can do. Hey I was already aware of that fact but it was nice to know he now was too.

I didn’t meet him at his office. Normally I wouldn’t have been opposed to a trip to the Police Department -- the amount of valuable things one can learn at such a place is infinite -- but, considering the circumstances, I thought that by being seen there I’d be greatly impeding potential future activities of mine. As an alternative I’d agreed to show up at a café near the station.

I arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the area a few hours prior to the scheduled meeting. Obviously I checked out the JADE office. There’s one single itty tiny bitty teeny thing I’ve been trying to do at that place for I don’t know how long. What should’ve been a nothing chore has become an impossible task -- it’s comically tormenting. That morning was, as I gathered in seconds, no exception; I’d have to postpone it yet again.

In the lot I noted the vehicles of a couple of JADErs who mostly work late-afternoon-to-night hours. Being that it was nice and early AM, I speculated court proceedings or unique condition type warrants had brought them in sooner than usual. Guessing was satisfying enough; I wasn’t inclined to find out the real reasons right then.

I’d run some errands, bought a newspaper, and arrived at C’Ville Coffee about an hour ahead of the set time. I sat at a large table in a corner, with a fake-looking palm tree at my back, where the maximum amount of entrances/exits were not just visible but accessible. The only door I couldn’t see or get to easily from my position was the main one but I could view the one everybody had to pass through to go from the front room to the section I was in, therefore I was content with my selection.

I sipped a hot chocolate, worked a crossword puzzle, and kept my mind spinning with both previous and newly forming predictions vis-à-vis how the about to occur powwow would go. I wasn’t expecting to be slapped with a pair of handcuffs or anything, although, due to former events that involved a sneaky JADE detective and subpoenas, I one hundred per cent. counted on being handed some kind of nasty paperwork.

I anticipated Mr. Longo would be precisely punctual. Wow, he didn’t just show up early, he was there nearly twenty minutes sooner than he had to be. I tossed around many possibilities for why and settled on it being a matter of him, without nefarious motives, wanting to control where we sat, something he couldn’t do unless he got there before me. I had a feeling we wouldn’t have wound up in any other chairs, albeit, if given first choice, he’d probably be occupying the seat I’d taken.

I figured he would be pleasant and he was, throughout the entire discussion. I mulled over the likelihood that he’d been smart enough to figure out beforehand niceness is by and large the method I’m most malleable with. He did after all have an agenda.

Shortly after introductions and a solid handshake, Mr. Longo plunged into the purpose of our get-together by giving me a laconic speech; it was less than three minutes long. In a nutshell, he said that I was a nuisance to the Task Force and I should back off. I felt unaffected by his monologue. He pulled out an envelope and told me he’d put what he’d spoken in writing. See? I knew there’d be paperwork! Not as nasty as I’d expected it to be, but not nice either.

I briefly scrutinized the outside of the packet he’d dropped down on the table, then opened it and fished out the sheets; there were two. The second one had “Page 2-” typed on it -- fortunate, because had it not been for that I might’ve caused a scene by holding a page in each hand and repeatedly shrieking in angst “which one do I start with?!” until I passed out.

Once I’d discerned it wasn’t a writ or similar, I didn’t bother reading it word for word (until later). In the presence of Mr. Longo I simply scanned it. Right off the bat the editor in me caught its heavy repetition -- what it contained could’ve been trimmed to fit on a single page, two paragraphs at most, but perhaps everyone who laid eyes on it before me incorrectly thought redundancy equals emphasis.

I also realized immediately that what was in print didn’t quite match what the man sitting in front of me was articulating. The letter was very harsh in comparison. Listening to the Chief, you’d think I’d scarcely risen to the level of being a pain in the neck or pest to be swatted away. Judging by the document, you’d think people were on pins and needles, some of them traumatically anticipating a slug to the heart was coming at any second because of my “behavior.”

I fluttered the stationary in the air and said to Mr. Longo “you know this is going up on the website, don’t you?” and he, with his unwavering smile, replied “it is what it is.” I refolded the papers and returned them to their holder.

Business was over -- he’d said his piece and I’d… not walked out on him -- before, I believe, the clock had even struck the time we’d planned to convene. The Chief stated he’d fulfilled his duty then announced his expensive beverage was nowhere near empty and invited himself to stay and finish it. Not sure what possessed him to do so but he remained for a significant period and chatted with me.

I’d already noticed rather quickly his amiable demeanor didn’t seem to fluctuate. Not an iota. I found his ostensible lack of emotional variation curious, even slightly disconcerting at times, and ruminated the cause of his conduct. Was it learned diplomacy -- a product of his position? Genetic? I wondered if there was anything I could say to crack it or shake him.

Over the course of our conversation, Mr. Longo inadvertently provided further conflicting tidbits in regards to what extent my actions had truly impacted them. I continued to, as if they were fictitious flowers, mentally pluck the parapraxes as they sprung up and stick them in an imaginary basket, to be arranged afterwards. Maybe someday I’ll be able to show the bouquet it made, here, on iHeArTEjade.

In sixty one minutes -- the total amount of time we were together -- I learned a great deal from, and about, Mr. Longo. But since this account of our meeting is already far lengthier than I intended, I’ll avoid adding to it the whole slew of the neo-noesis I believe I gained from the encounter. To finalize this piece, a meager three comments:

I have an idea of what to expect if I don’t comply with his appeal. I’ve had a psychic vision of how they’ll go about it and how I’ll thwart them. Kidding. Seriously, I don’t think I could prevent them from doing what they likely would do but I could definitely stop them from being successful with it.

I was forced to sacrifice my SWAT-stalking fun but I discovered, as excellent as he is at maintaining his steady poise, the Chief can be visibly fazed. He’s also genuinely likeable.

All it takes to completely disrupt an entire badass Task Force is one skinny little White girl. I wouldn’t let that get out if I were them. Oops! Too late.