The early 70’s were a little less forgiving than today. Then, those involved in a “non-traditional” marriage found very few places to live. Gay couples were often forced to rent in the less desirable areas and usually had to suffer severe restrictions.
This was one of those areas. It was a small block with 3 or 4 apartment buildings clustered together. All the units were rented by same sex couples and the area beat-men had some rather off color, and very un-pc, names for each building and its occupants.
The call was a “Domestic Dispute”, but upon hearing the address I knew what I would probably find, Gay couples were known for violence and brutality with each other. Remember, this was the 70’s.
The apartment was no bigger than a sub-divided broom closet. One of those places you go outside to get enough room to change your mind. It was small.
But it was the decoration that caught my eye. There was blood on the walls, on the floor, and even on the ceiling. I got there just behind the EMT’s. My beat partner was already getting the story, a pretty simple one. Bob and Ted lived as man and wife. Tonight Bob came home late while Ted was doing the cleaning, the cooking and the ironing.
Ted said something about Bob being late.
Bob said something about Ted minding his own business for a change.
Ted said something about Bob’s lack of concern.
Bob said something about Ted’s cooking.
Ted said something about Bob’s masculinity.
Bob slapped Ted.
Ted hit Bob, with the steam iron, several times.
Not much of a story but one we had become familiar with when working the area. The EMT’s had Bob’s head wrapped up and were getting ready to transport him to the hospital. Ted was walking alongside the gurney holding Bob’s hand, actually patting it, and telling him not to worry, he would not let anyone hurt him.
The officer handling the case took Ted aside and put the cuffs on him and led him off.
As I gazed at the blood spattered walls the EMT pushing the gurney turned his head, and said softly, “Ain’t love grand?”