Detective Army on the Beat

I recently promoted myself from gumshoe to professional investigator (the peeps in our community are no longer hip to the busted moniker of private investigator). My comeupance was all due to my crack skills of sleuthing, observation, intuition, and a little thing I like to call artistic integrity. That's right, I am otherwise proficient in the clandestine arts.

I reported in a previous post about this epic dream my brain conjured one night. In it, I mentioned a particular mystery perplexing my home - I had been finding empty peanut shells all over my property. Not enough for an epidemic, few enough to evade notice at first. Once detected, I found them on my driveway, in my yard, in the back, in the front, on the side. Did I have a resident squirrel with a housekeeping problem? Was there an elephant in the room I wasn't noticing? Could it be a litterbug? I donned my Sherlock Holmes hat, lit my drop style pipe, and positioned my magnifying glass before my right eye. I was on the case.

At first, it was all red herrings and dead ends. I balked at my TV peers Angela, Columbo, and Perry. I couldn't wrap up this mystery in 44 minutes with commercial breaks. My thinking started to cloud. Everything became a clue to me. Everyone had a motive - the postman, the garbage haulers, the woman waiting for the bus. And they were all in cahoots. Suspicion became my shadow, following me around, always begging more questions and pointing fingers. I was in search of justice in an imperfect world. The case consumed my life. I had to crack the mystery soon, or I would become empty inside, like those broken peanut hulls.

I had decided to rake my yard to get my mind off of things. An idle mind wanders. I had to involve myself in some absorbing errand. During my respite, the neighbor behind me stepped out of his front door. He is an elderly gentleman who takes walks regularly around the block. He has this wheeled walker he uses to remain stablized. As he approached me, we started chatting about leaves, allergies, and weather. It was a pleasant conversation. He was so disarming, I let my guard down. The case took retreat from my mind. It was a mistake. Once your vigilance weakens, the criminal evades your gaze, slips into a shadow, retreating into the night, disappearing with abbra-cadabbra.

Perched within the confines of the neighbor's walking machine, I found the smoking gun. The nexus of my nightmares, the origin of the case. The beginning and the end. Peanuts. Shells and all. I had ignored the gentle "elephant" in the room. Any good detective will tell you that no one is above suspicion. I had overlooked Mr. Walker. With such a critical error, I called my own ability into question.

The case was solved, but the resolution was bittersweet. After I finished raking my leaves, I went inside to hang up my detective gear. Justice was restored, but at what cost? I'm not sure when I'll be ready to return to the beat. Perhaps I wouldn't. But deep down, I knew the call of the mystery would eventually bring me back. It was in my blood. For now, it lay dormant, waiting for soul searching, for an innter redemption of my resolve.


Allie D. said...

All that's missing is the beautiful dame... ;)

Robert said...

Did you confront Mr. Walker and explain how he planned to steal the Maltese Falcon by framing the Elephant Man?
"Yar. I did it. And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling kids and their dog".

Mom said...

Well, you always WERE good at Clue...AND finding your Christmas presents...