Interview with Officer Michael Truax
I took Officer Michael Truax, Officer Helmet, the kids call him, by the arm and led him to a spot in the skate park I thought would be good for a photograph of the two of us.
“I’m sorry I’m late Officer,” I said.
“That’s fine, Miss…”
“Sloane,” I told him. “Call me Sloane. ‘Miss Mayfield’ is my older sister the kindergarten teacher.” I gave him that smile, the one I use on camera but he seemed unfazed by it.
Together we paused while Dave, my photographer, snapped a dozen photographs in quick succession. He gave me a thumbs up, and I returned my attention to Truax.
“Okay, I have a list of questions to ask you,” I said, shuffling through my cards, and we’ll tape your answers.” I indicated where Dave should set up the cameras. “Let’s just go over there and do this. Remember, it’s only for cable, just act natural.”
“Sure,” he said. He followed along, and I got the feeling that nothing much ruffled Officer Truax. He seemed pretty easy going. As we walked, about half the kids called him by name, either Officer Mike or Officer Helmet.
“So,” I said, as soon as Dave had the cameras rolling. “Today we’re here with Officer Michael Truax, also known by the locals as Officer Helmet, and we’re going to talk to him about… Stop rolling… what is that sound?”
“Sorry, Sloane,” Officer Truax fumbled for his cell phone. “I have a text message coming in.” I waited while he read it. He tried to keep from smiling, but the serious expression wouldn’t stay on his face. It was then that I noticed how really, really blue his eyes were.
“Something you’d care to share?” I asked him, as he thumbed his answer into his phone’s keyboard.
“Oh, hell no,” he said, concentrating hard. “Although if we could make this quick, I have a lunch—”
“Okay,” I said, “How about you turn off your cell, and we can get through it all that much quicker.” He frowned.
“I’m sorry, I need to keep it on.”
“All right, well.” I said. “What is it that first made you interested in making sure that all the these children wear their helmets?”
Officer Truax looked over my head at some of the kids. “It’s my job. I don’t like to see people get hurt. And it really is easy, what I would call a no-brainer, to just slap on a helmet. Much better than the other kind of no-brainer, where your head cracks open and your brains fall out. I hate that.”
“I see.” I smiled. This was going to be so boring, even though he was as hot a man as I’d seen in months. Go figure. “Tell me,” I tried a different tack. “And the ladies who are watching. Is there a Mrs. Truax?”
“No, well. Except for my mother, you know.” Was he blushing? I hoped the cameras caught the twin spots of color on his cheeks.
“Well, maybe we could help you out? What do you look for in a woman, Officer Truax?” Time for eye contact with the camera. “I’m sure our viewers would like to know?”
He stared at me, sort of stunned. “I’m sure they’d rather hear about current bicycle safety laws,” he murmured.
“And I’m equally certain we have time for both, the business and the personal side of Officer Michael Truax in this segment,” I assured him.
“No. Well I don’t have time. I’m sorry.” Moments later, he had another text message and laughed harder.
“Everything all right?”
“Fine,” he said, smiling. “As long as I can get away fairly soon.”
“Ah, so this is a hot date,” I remarked.
“Well, it’s kind of a new thing,” he blushed again, and I thought if the cameras weren’t picking up on this, they’d be the only ones. You could see his ruddy cheeks from space.
“Seriously,” He cleared his throat and returned to the subject at hand. “If you’re going to do skate sports, such as inline skating or skate boarding it’s best to purchase a helmet like this,” he held up a photograph of a ProTec skateboard helmet. “If professional skaters wear these then I think it’s safe to say they should be worn by amateurs as well.”
Officer Truax’s phone chimed again. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t just turn the damned thing off. “Officer,” I began, but he cut me off.
“Ordinarily I could give you as much time as you need.” He smiled at me politely. “But I’m late for a lunch engagement, and we didn’t, after all, get started when we agreed.”
“Yes, I know,” I said. That’s my fault. I’m sorry I was late. I—”
Just then, Officer Truax looked beyond me, to a place in the center of the skate park where a young man with long coppery red hair was doing tricks on a skateboard. He executed a number of kick flips and a three-sixty, following it up by grinding along a metal pipe set low into the ground.
The boy’s helmetless head was covered in the most stunning red hair, which flew in the sunlight, streaming behind him. He was older than most of the kids there, maybe college age, and dressed in low slung drawstring khaki pants and a tight tee shirt that didn’t quite meet them. He wore a pair of loud scruffy shoes. He was beautiful. Breathtaking. Every eye was on him. He was like a flame, spinning out of control.
“Hey!” The boy stopped suddenly. Officer Truax cursed under his breath, but smiled a predatory kind of smile. “Hey you, Officer Helmet! Think you can catch me today?” The boy kicked his skateboard up into his hand and took off running.
“Shit.” Officer Truax hissed. He looked determined, but there was something else–something indefinably happy–in his blue eyes as he took off running after that kid. I lost sight of the pair of them as first the redhead, and then Officer Truax rounded the corner out of sight behind the restrooms and out into the neighborhood beyond.
“That a wrap Miss Mayfield?” asked Dave.
“Unless you’re planning on running after them,” I said, disgusted.
When I gave my mike to the assistant, Rose. I was already trying to decide how best to cut the interview, such as it was, to fill my segment. Damn community cable.
Dave yelled, loud enough for everyone in the skate park to hear it, “That’s a wrap!”