In the "Dread Locks" freewrite portion of The Posture of Innocence, Commissioner Scott finds himself on a journey he didn't expect after his big press conference -- in the midst of saving his department, he finds himself in a process of coming to terms with his own beliefs, the history of Lofton County and why its Black people are taking power suddenly, and of reaching out to Captain Lee and others further along in the same journey...
To get totally caught up on The Posture of Innocence, here are the prologue, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 3.5, day 4, day 4.5, day 5, day 5.5, day 6, day 7, and day 7.5, day 8, day 9, day 9.5, day 10, day 10.5, day 11, day 11.5, day 12, day 12.5, day 13, day 13.5, day 14, day 15, and day 16!
Commissioner Scott's head was spinning when he started the climb to his office, and then gave up and decided to go to the elevator. He was so glad to see that Ms. Thornton had stayed and was coordinating the end of the day so well. The kind of woman who could stay on point through all the crises there had been – a valuable asset to the department.
“You know, you deserve another raise,” he said as he walked by her desk.
“I'll gladly receive it,” she said, and smiled.
“One more thing, and then get out of here and enjoy your evening. Call Captain Lee for me, and ask him to step up before he leaves.”
Ms. Thornton made the call, and took the moment to freshen her hair and adjust her non-officer uniform just a little before the even step of Captain Lee was heard on the stairs... still in his golfing outfit, a modern take on the old-style Southern summer suit. He looked like he had just come from a whole course of holes-in-one … just glorious in the evening light.
“Good evening, Ms. Thornton,” he said in his soft, full voice.
“Good evening, Captain Lee. So glad you're back safe.”
“Thank you, Ms. Thornton.”
He covered her with his smile as he passed, and Ms. Thornton blew kisses at his back.
Commissioner Scott was pacing the floor when the captain arrived. He asked for the captain's report and received it.
“You handled that very, very well – thank you, Captain. Good move letting Anderson do the hurting part.”
“I did take to mind what you said, Commissioner. Certainly we do not wish to inadvertently create situations that will cause difficulty, and I wish you to know that on the rare occasions I must be in the field, I will honor the trust you have placed in me.”
The commissioner felt himself relaxing and didn't even understand why, given that the man before him had destroyed five of his predecessors. There was something about Captain Lee … he was intensely powerful but unselfish, and if he respected you, he gave you power, willingly.
That gave Commissioner Scott another insight. The Lofton County Free Voice, and the community it represented, had taken power. Since it had never been respected, that had been the only way – 39 percent of the county, once enslaved, then sharecropped under Jim Crow, then targeted for importation of certain drugs and guns and then taken out to feed prisons. Their needs and aspirations had been ignored by by the better part of 61 percent of the county for 400 years.
Yet, perhaps there was another way …
“Thank you for your report, Captain Lee. Do you suppose Captain Hamilton of Tinyville has time to talk with me? His department now has great tranquility in Tinyville with the press and all of the the people, and I'd really like to know how he has done it, today rather than tomorrow.”
“Captain Hamilton is quite predictable; he goes home to be with his family on Wednesdays, and there is always extra room for guests.”
“Can you get me in?”
“Change into plain clothes and meet me here at 6:30, and I will drive you down.”