Alberton Sheriff Sage Sanders figured today was as good enough a day as any. Like each before it, it had passed with its own little mountains of difficulty and reward, surprisingly indistinguishable from each other. The Sheriff had always had a strong feeling for this little turn-off, a loose gravel half-circle jutting out from the old highway that one could take for hours without seeing another vehicle. It looked out over a small knoll and into the sharp mountainous geography that the Sheriff liked to call “wickedly wild”. A river with four names (and only about 4 feet wide at this junction) wandered like a drunken surgeon’s blade next to the old highway, with a plethora of fern’s, proud old pines, occasional oaks and other shrubbery sprouting in its wake. He stood with his knee’s resting against the guardrail, doing a sort of balancing act and staring out into the wickedly wild. His father had spent years wandering places like this, tirelessly searching the Pacific Northwest for signs of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, leaving for months at a time with nothing but a motorcycle and a thermal scanner. But that’s neither here nor there. The sheriff was running through the struggles of his day, his mouth twitching like a dog having a particularly good dream.
His daughter was his first problem. Not really having a father himself, Sage knew little enough about raising a kid, and the fact god made it a woman on him just seemed a cruel joke. Amanda Sanders, his 17-year old center of confusion. Her mother had run off long enough ago (and early enough in Amanda’s life) that neither of them missed her, they got along by each adhering to their own perspective roles. These day’s that just meant the sheriff knocked on the door before entering and left out a couple twenty dollar bills on the counter every Friday and Saturday night.
She had always been a weird kid. Never managed to go to a full sleepover. Burned through friends quicker than she did her allowance. Never got into sports, or Taylor Swift, or any of the things the other girls her age did. One time the Sheriff had chaperoned a middle school dance, and Amanda, who had begged to go in this skimpy little black outfit that looked like it belonged at a hookers funeral, just stood smack dab between one of the speaker stacks and the open door that was an exit. She didn’t dance, didn’t have no boys approach her, nothing. Just stood there, looking like a deer in headlights. What had the sheriff in a spat with her now was this list he found in her room. Her room was covered in pictures of this bearded buffoon, some singer boy who warbled about religion and sex. She might not have been listening to dubstep and getting into ecstasy (which had seen a 4% increase in usage in Alberton, the Sheriff noted) but as he saw it, one youngster’s hip scene was about the same as the next. The whole purpose of joining up with some consumer group to party and celebrate individuality didn’t seem to have the joyous effects on the sheriff it does most modern peoples.
The sheriff had found the list taped to the top of her desktop computer, and it had presented him with something of a parenting dilemma. It read as follows,
“Why I, Amanda Sanders, Deserve to Suck Josh Tillman’s Cock”
- Maybe an introduction should be in place before we dive into this Josh. My name is obviously Amanda Sanders, I’m a 17-year old from Alberton, and I love you in a fashion that hasn’t existed on this planet in centuries. Narcissus loved his pool this way. Sisyphus loved his rock this way.
- I know you’re married, but I want to help you get around this fact. You see, as evident in your second album as Father John Misty, you carved out a portion of your heart and turned it into audio. The implication is that this woman is in fact a muse, your very own Euterpe or Melpomene or Polyhymnia, and you have made the ultimate mistake in putting yourself and your work in the actual hands of this woman. You must constantly be chasing her, desiring her, wanting her, if your work will continue to maintain its current level of quality. You of all people should already know that wanting something is so much better than having it, giving it your own meaning, sharpening your desire into the pinnacle of love. you don’t need a teenager to tell you that.
- So you’re married and I’m a teenager, how do we get around this? I can’t make you break up with your wife, but the solution to both these problems is simple. We tell no one. I can keep a secret if you can beautiful. (I know men don’t like being called beautiful but its 2015 for christ sake lets get over this.)
- I have amazing dick-sucking capabilities. I can get you letters of recommendation.
- I know all your songs by heart, and it would mean so much to me to make you happy.
The sheriff loosely knew that this letter wasn’t being mailed, as it was hand-written and stuck to her computer. He also knew enough from her wall decorations that Josh Tillman was at least slightly famous. Yet despite his aloof style of parenting, he still knew this was a point of concern. Like her razor blade collection, her love of UFC fighting because of the cheerleaders, and her ability to get three tattoo’s to-date without his knowing, Amanda was a expert at leaving breadcrumbs leading to a billboard that screamed I’m in trouble!
If his mind was free to just wade into the waters of parenthood the sheriff might have been able to solve this problem, but he had the whole town’s problem sans kitchen sink. There was the person graffiti-ing the water tower (it was actually very interesting art in the sheriff’s view), six missing purses from Ralph’s Back Room Bar, a slew of rather aggressive teenage partying, mostly near Trinity Halboon’s house, drunk driving was on the rise, and there was that spat of domestic violence that no small town can ever stamp out. These were just normal daily workings however, some people have office gossip and shitty copy machines and bosses wanting to replace them with computers, the sheriff and others of his ilk get the other problems. Its part of the job.
No, what was really ruining the Sheriff’s day, what had crept into his head and caused him to drive out to his favorite turn out was the Canine Patrol. The city council had been the first to bring the subject to his desk. Before he knew what was actually going on, someone had armed anyone who signed a petition and also happened to walk a dog. Now, his dispatch officers had to answer a special red phone that had been set up in the center, which receive special calls from this dog walking armada. Essentially, the sheriff was watching as every elderly woman (widow’s mainly), every grandma Alberton held took it upon themselves to call in (and make a response mandatory) each and every misdemeanor they see or want to see or think they see. The calls started coming in around 10 o’clock, and were over around 5 pm. Some elderly good Samaritans would make a two call minimum per day. These Rush Limbaugh, milquetoast canine Gestapo grandma’s were driving the Sheriff’s men up the wall. 90% of the calls ended with the canine patrol not remembering what exactly it was they were even reports. 68% of the time it was to report someone of a different ethnicity. It was an utter waste of taxpayer money and deputy time, and the sheriff could do nothing to get it to stop.
Straightening his legs, the sheriff rose to full height and looked deeper into the wickedly wild. No solutions came out of this pit stop in the woods, all the sheriff’s problems continued turning methodically through his head. They all seemed solvable, yet allusive, much like his fathers woodland beast. Maybe that was his familial curse, constantly knowing what one wanted and also knowing they could never have it. The sheriff pulled the coin out of his pocket, flipped it, and caught it, rubbing his calloused thumb over the raised head. He threw the coin into the wickedly wild to join its brethren, put the safety back on his nine-millimeter, and drove back into Alberton, to attempt to deal with some problem.