The Chronicles of a Sentinel and His Guide
They're not mine - but I sure wish they were. Pet Fly and Paramount
own 'em but should they ever decide to get rid of them - I'll gladly adopt....
I am sitting here, like a dumbass, staring at my shoes. I hate this crap worse
than anything, but there is not a damned thing I can do about it. This started
happening to me after I died. Yeah, I said after I cashed it in, man. Bought the
farm, kicked the frickin bucket, there are a million euphemisms for what
happened to me. I prefer to just say that I died. That drives Jim crazy of course,
but I am the one that experienced it ...and I dont feel like mincing words
So here I sit looking at my feet. Most guys would be planning
the next move. In fact, it was not long ago that I would already have been making
that move. I am an expert in some of these things you know.... no brag, just fact.
To make matters worse, she is simply magnificent. I know that sounds like *so*
chauvinistic, but I dont know how else to describe her. She is beautiful,
funny, kind, intelligent. In fact, she has all the qualities anyone would love
for their *girl* to possess.
So whats the deal, then? Well the *deal*
my friend is.... I cant do this anymore. Everything is so important now...
every feeling, every conversation, every person, every moment. How do you explain
that to someone you meet? Hell, I cant even explain it to Jim, and he knows
me better than anyone... better than my own mother. I cant even make him
understand. So, here we go again.
That beautiful woman is off in the kitchen
getting wine and glasses. I know what she expects. She is a person accustomed
to the dating game. She thinks she has it figured out. I am getting ready to blow
her image of all that sky high as well as her perceptions of me, but that is what
I have to do. There is no way in hell I will hurt her. So it ends now.
question is... how? How do I get out of here without looking like a complete jerk?
I should have known better, I realize this. I always manage to figure it out again
at about this point. Someday, I will just take my new life a little more seriously
and quit putting myself and others through this torture. Someday, I will face
my fears and work on all those things that I need to work on so I can move beyond
this. That day is NOT today, man. I gotta think of a way to get out of here. I
know I cant be what this woman wants me to be. Not now. It stops right here.
guess its my desperation or maybe its my complete nervous turmoil
that brings the phone call. I no longer believe in coincidence. It has to be something
else. The thought that *it* is the thread of the bond he has with me jolting him
into action scares me, as it always does. The cell phone rings several times before
I can gather my wits enough to answer the damned thing.
As I hang up the
phone I look up into her amazing eyes. I feel like seven kinds of an idiot, but
I know I am doing us both a huge favor. I want to tell her to wait for me, to
give me time in my new skin. I want to tell her that I am so overwhelmed with
what I have become that I could not be the kind of person she needs, not now anyway.
If she would just hold on...if she *could* wait for me. These thoughts are holding
court in my head, but what is coming out of my mouth is totally different.
it was my partner. Right... the detective."
"He needs me to come
by the station. Theres been a break in a case."
"I had a
great time... and I am *really* sorry about this... ummm... maybe I can see you
next weekend? Uhhh, well how about... nah... I understand, I tell ya what, can
I give you a call sometime?"
So it goes.
The night air is crisp
and it awakens my logical mind a bit. As I slide into the Volvo, the notions that
I have failed at my attempts at a normal life threaten to overwhelm me. I start
feeling that a shroud of depression descending. It has become a familiar sensation
and I let it envelop me completely as I mourn the life that was once mine and
can no longer be.
I drive to the precinct in this blue funk. I am aware
that I need to get in control of myself. I take my role as guide and shaman very
seriously and I would never want Jim to think I had regrets. I know in my heart
that there are none, but I do need time to grieve. I am not sure that Jim is cognizant
of such a concept, but I know for me, its a reality. I park the Volvo and
mentally gather the strength I need to enter the building. You know, its
just like that now.
As I exit the elevator, I am completely absorbed in
my thoughts...so much so that I gasp when I suddenly encounter a large immovable
object directly in front of me. That object has hands, apparently, because one
of them grabs my arm and propels me to the break room. Just before I have the
coronary I realize it is Jim. Man, I am not ready for this right now. My insecurities
and inadequacies are in full bloom. I keep my head down and wait for him to launch
into me for some failed duty or perceived affront. I am not up to defending myself
and I prepare for whatever penance will be acceptable and will make things right
You can imagine my shock when all he does is take my chin in his
hand and move my head so that I have to look into those crystal blue eyes. I dont
resist and I meet his gaze. I am ready for the questions and, God forbid, the
accusations... if that is where this must go. Instead, he surprises me again.
He reaches his other hand up and pushes the stray curls from my forehead and then
moves it back into my hair, slowly rubbing my head. His eyes are soft and inquisitive.
you okay, Chief?"
I swallow and attempt an answer, but when I start
to speak my voice cracks and then that, of course, is the end of that. I feel
the tear at the corner of my eye before I have a chance to recover. It traces
a hot trail down my cheek and I feel his thumb slowly smudge it away. I am falling
apart here, man. I try to look off... to rescue what little self-respect I have
left on this night, but his hand holds me firmly. I force a smile and make a crack,
"I guess you can tell my night *has* been one of my dreams, huh? The nightmare
He looks at me and shakes his head. A slow smile spreads
over his face and his eyes begin to sparkle. He moves his hands to my shoulders
and squeezes them as he remarks, "Buddy, someday you are going to start learning
how to be a little easier on yourself. You *are* going to be all right. I know
it isnt easy, and I know I can be less than understanding. It might take
some time, hell, it might even take a lot of time. Either way I am here. So get
this through your thick head, you are *really * going to be okay. I wont
let you be anything less." Gently, he folds me into his arms in a warm embrace.
All the cares of the evening vanish as I remember who I am and who he is. I realize
right here, right now, I cannot ask for more.