This series is a form of creative writing known as fan fiction. Detective Robert Goren is a regular character on the Dick Wolf television show Law & Order: Criminal Intent. What follows is one longtime viewer’s breath of life into an already popular character.
All week long I’ve been wide awake by 1 a.m. Not a calm rousing, but startled awake to the sound of my own heart racing. I can’t lay there so I get up and wander through my apartment. Walking off the physical uneasiness, talking myself down from the internal panic. I know exactly what is going on with me. Every few months I go through this kind of insomniac phase. I spend so much of my waking day keeping everything in check. Emotions stable, focus on my job. I spend a lot of time pushing my own feelings and personal thoughts out of the way until they are shoved to the farthest corners of my mind.
My mother. My father. Failed attempts at love. Crime scenes like the one where an old couple was gunned down and died hand in hand on the sidewalk. Nicole. Things that I’ve done wrong, private guilt that just eats away at me.
Someone suggested that I try listing the good things in my life, that maybe it will shift my mood. So, here goes.
Things I’m thankful for right at this very moment:
- The coffee that wakes, warms and soothes me several times a day. It is a food group.
- Eames. As a partner, I couldn’t ask for better. I adore her cynicism, quick wit and ballsiness. As a friend, she is a rarity, never letting her sarcastic tone outweigh her huge heart. As a woman she has earned her spot in the middle of a big boys club. She has earned everyone’s respect and in return she takes care of us. Deakin’s calls her “The Den Mother” and in many ways she is just that.
- Logan. Yep, we spar. Forget verbal ballet, it’s more like verbal Irish Step Dancing. It’s all in good fun though. I have a great deal of respect for him. He was banished to Staten Island for years. Most cops would have quit but he stuck it out, waiting for his chance to get back to real cases. He loves his job and does it for the right reasons, otherwise he would have quit while ticketing golf carts. He’s a younger Lennie Briscoe and it’s refreshing. I think we work well together and I hope to do so more often.
- Barek. She’s nice in a streetwise kind of way. A bit eccentric which I like a lot. The best thing, I get to listen in on Barek and Eames’ gossipy girltalk.
- I’m thankful for being able to view my mother as she really is. That has allowed me to let go of anger towards her that was undeserved. I’m grateful for the good memories and can care for her without resentment.
- I’m grateful for the nurses that care for my mom every day. They care for her physical needs and take the time to make her feel special.
- This will sound insane, but I’m very thankful for Nicole. While it is painful to care so much for someone who is so unhealthy for me, I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I now know the amount of love that I can feel for a woman and to settle for a relationship that makes me feel any less — I couldn’t do it. I want to feel like this again but with someone that I can accept love from as well. I now know just how deeply connected I can be to a woman without physical intimacy. Souls can be connected even when bodies aren’t. This has reinforced my belief that you cannot control who you love. Souls are intertwined, hearts are entangled, intellect is matched and it just happens. If these things occur with two people that cannot be together then I have to believe that the opposite happens as well. All of those pieces interlock and beautiful couples are born. Those little old couples you see walking hand in hand in slow motion. They’ve been together for 40 years and the man still opens doors for her, still beams at her like a college boy. An all-encompassing, unconditional yet uniquely flawed love. It does exist and I think I understand the power of it just a bit better. Enough to want to find it.