So, when exactly did my life become a damn soap? That's what I've been wondering these past few days as we wait yet again for Blair to regain consciousness after another one of my best team's crazy kamikaze adventures. Honestly, with as many knocks to the head as that boy's taken over the years, I can't understand how he's managed to avoid some serious brain damage but even now the doctors are confident that he is going to make a full recovery.
Of course, as I've learned in recent years, hospital waiting rooms can be wonderful places in which to take a step back and consider the world around you and that's what I've been doing as I babysit a worried sentinel and I do my best to make sure that he eats, gets some sleep and doesn't zone... something that really amounts to a full time job under the current circumstances.
The thing is that up until a certain curly headed anthropologist waltzed his way into our lives my men --and women... no, wait, that doesn't sound right-- used to know the rules. In fact they used to know that rule number one was 'check your emotions at the door' and that most definitely did include their personal problems. Sure, we supported each other as best we could in times of crisis but even my own divorce from Joan never did spill into my work, but now... now I don't have to deal just with Jim and Sandburg --and their particular brand of insanity-- but also with Naomi and with Steven and William Ellison.
It's got to be Sandburg's fault somehow, that's the only logical explanation. Trouble seems to follow that kid around like a puppy and let's not get into the unavoidable fallout from each and every one of hurricane Naomi's visits, but the thing is that I can deal with that... if it were just that. The problem is that it doesn't end there, no sir. Since Sandburg sort of joined major crimes we've had one murder pinned --mistakenly-- on Steven Ellison and a wacko with a grudge against Jim targeting William Ellison... how the kid managed that I'll never know, but there's no question in my mind that he is to blame, he has to be.
I think it's all because of his new age mentality and his damn insistence that we get in touch with our inner child or self or whatever the catch phrase of the week happens to be. In the past I used to have to drag my men kicking and screaming to their mandatory appointments with the staff psychologist if they ever had to shoot someone in the line of duty. I'm not saying that they now go eagerly to their appointments with our resident shrink, far from it, but --unfortunately-- that reluctance no longer extends to sharing their feelings in my bull pen, and the worst part is that I can't even figure out how I feel about the whole thing.
On the one hand I can't deny that my men are far more productive than they've ever been before, they are happy and they are taking fewer sick days which has also served to bring the average caseload down. Without an official increase in personnel we have accomplished something that still amounts to more detectives working on an average day and that translates into fewer cases per detective. We also have the best close ratio in the state's history and teamwork has improved tremendously. Those are good things but on the other hand the touchy feely stuff still gives me the creeps... and don't even get me started on the whole Sentinel mess. It's been years since Sandburg first started working with Jim but it doesn't really matter, I'm still trying to come to terms with the whole thing.
I may be a captain now but I used to be a detective... and a damn good one, if I say so myself. That means that I don't like unsolved mysteries, I like to be able to come up with nice, rational explanations to account for the facts. Up until Sandburg barged into my life, my world was a fairly orderly place. Back then mysteries could be solved in a rational fashion and those explanations actually made sense... unfortunately that is no longer the case. No matter how I look at it, sentinels and guides just don't fit into my old perceptions.
The problem is that I can't just dismiss it, in fact I know there is no trick, I know what a sentinel can do but that doesn't solve the problem... it doesn't make it any easier for me to come to terms with any of it. I mean, Jim's always been a great cop, a natural at what he does, but --spirit animals, spiritual crap and miraculous resurrections aside-- what I've seen him do since he teamed up with the kid has been nothing short of amazing. In a way it is more than a little odd that his success has been the source of some of my worst headaches.
The fact is that Jim's extreme devotion to what he does has caused a bit of a problem in a couple of cases but I have no regrets in that regard. The problem is that while he usually does get his guy, we've already had a few cases in which our suspects were able to walk on a technicality because --when we are dealing with a live victim, as is the case in a kidnapping investigation-- it is not uncommon for Jim to follow a trail of evidence that can't really be documented. I understand it and I most definitely share his position in that regard, but if I have to hear another rant from the DA about the need to follow proper procedure in a case involving a sentinel I swear I'm going to shoot that woman.
The thing is that my life used to be nice and orderly... maybe it wasn't exactly happy or perfect but it was familiar to me and I used to know what to expect when I woke up in the morning. Needless to say that that's no longer the case, not by a long shot. Now I'm surrounded by a constant sense of chaos, going from one impossible crisis to the next and I can't help but wonder when did I lose control... and the answer to that question always comes back to the day in which a certain curly headed anthropologist waltzed into my life.