It was still early on the cold Sunday morning, and the denizens of the neighborhood were still fast asleep as he walked through the streets of his childhood. He passed the bodega he used to frequent as a youth, with the magazine rack still tantalizingly close to the door. The back alley behind the brick apartment building still had marks on the walls from the football games they played after school on chilly autumn days. Things hadnít changed much from what he remembered, save for the silence he now heard, since he was never up this early as a child. In the wintry mist, huddling by the lamppost on the street corner ahead was a figure. As he approached, he recognized the figure as his old buddy from his days walking a beat, Max Greevey, chomping on an unlit cigar. Max saw him and grinned.
"Hey, Lennie! Welcome!"
Lennie regarded Max suspiciously. "I thought..."
"There's a special place in Heaven for cops. Unless you're a crooked cop, then there's a special place somewhere else for you."
Lennie had reached the lamppost where his friend was leaning, and reached out his hand. Max took it and shook it firmly, removing the cigar from his mouth as he grinned again.
"Good to see you, Lennie."
"Seems a little strange to be here, considering all the things I did to myself."
"Eh, Lennie, you were a cop. Every day you strapped on a gun and a badge and were willing to take a bullet for a stranger you'd probably never see again. I thought it was strange for me, too, at first. It's great though. You gotta see this bistro. It's full of just NYPD cops."
"What about Cathy?" Lennie asked nervously.
"Oh yeah, she's here, too. See, there's a special place for nurses, too, right next to the cops. You'll see her soon. Come on." He reached his arm around Lennie's shoulder and tucked the cigar back in the side of his mouth. "And the pool hall... You're gonna love the pool hall..."
They walked on, passing through the mist rising from a steam pipe under the sidewalk. When they reached the other side, they could no longer be seen.