ABSENCE OF COLOR – Chapter 2: BLUE (CH 1-6)
Jay Cobalt grew up in the north end of Calgary in a modest, three-bedroom bungalow. He and his brother went to a school within walking distance of their home and they played sports in nearby a park that had baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, a basketball court, and outdoor rinks.
The boys’ father was a policeman who came from generations of cops, detectives, a few lawyers (they were given a hard time), and there was even a judge (his grandfather) in the family. After thirteen years of marriage their mother finally cracked under the long hours of nail biting waiting for their father to come home or anticipating a knock on the door by the captain delivering devastating news so she asked for a divorce. The very day she was packing Jay’s father was killed when he was off duty at a corner store robbery. It shattered their mother’s already fragile state and she had a mental breakdown and was put into a psychiatric hospital and committed suicide within the year so the boys were taken care of by their aunt and uncle while attending high school.
Saying Jay’s childhood was unhappy was an understatement he was good student with a B average but had a sadness about him that people around him could sense and even though for a little while he could come out of depression it didn’t take long for memories of his parents to spiral him back down into melancholy. He tried to take care of his younger brother but he had become even more closed off than Jay since their mother’s death. His brother didn’t appear downcast instead he was bitter and angry at the world. Chris was scraping by classes with a D average and he hung out with stoners until he was caught buying weed from an undercover cop in the school parking lot and it landed him in juvenile hall for six months in addition to having to take a drug rehab program at the same time.
When he finished high school Jay applied to his local police force and due to his family connections was hired on the spot, the entrance tests were just a formality for him and he was quickly sent to Regina, Saskatchewan to the Saskatchewan Police College at the University of Regina for a 18-week Recruit Training Program that taught and tested three elements: physical fitness and healthy lifestyle including defensive tactics, drill, and tactical training, also academic courses in Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, and Human Behavior, and then practical exercises in note taking, report writing, problem solving, and crisis intervention. It was the most educational, invigorating, camaraderie, blissful 18-weeks in Jay’s life so far, he would never forget it. He was hired onto the Calgary Police force immediately and moved into a small apartment.
Jay made more trips to his bank then was necessary because Daisy melted the stress and made him smile yet in a way she also made him blue because although he wanted to ask her out on a date he held back. His mother’s unhappiness and worry made him wonder how could he put Daisy through all that? But did that mean he could never date, never get married, never have children? Other cops had families and when he talked to them they said it was just a chance you had to take. But Daisy was always so upbeat maybe she could weather the storm or would it wear her down like it did his mother, she used to be cheerful too.
Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson
He climbed into his blue truck taking in a deep breath to relax as his eyes glanced up at the clear blue sky before going home to his one-bedroom apartment, thoughts of Daisy were still brewing in his head. He was so depressed, so blue, so conflicted these days that as soon as he got home he grabbed one of his old blues records to play and made a Blue Curacao Cocktail. After treating himself to a blue ribbon steak for supper, Jay dutifully emptied the blue recycle bin, his part in helping the environment, and all that. He fed his blue lizard Indigo a few flies and stumbled to bed, pulled his large blue comforter all around him. The next morning it was his day off and he pulled out a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt from his perfectly organized closet which on one half was occupied with his blue uniforms and the other with his civilian attire, mostly blue no big surprise. For breakfast Jay was hungry enough to eat three large blueberry pancakes with extra blueberries and whipped cream on top.
Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson