By Ellisonbabe

They say you can tell a mans soul through his eyes. If that's the case, mine must be going through hell by now.
Every time I look in the mirror, my eyes seem duller; my soul receding further and further away from the surface.
It's not the job. It never has been. It's me. I know that now.
For years I tried to blame it on my mom for leaving us the way she did.
For years I tried to blame it on my father.
For years I tried to blame it on the Rangers.
For years I've run away from the truth.
Run away from everyone.
Everyone who loved me and wanted to look after me.
I pushed everyone away. I thought I was protecting them. I thought I was protecting myself.
But all the while I was making things worse.

In prison you have time to think.
To go over and over events in your life, some of which you have no control over.
I saw the day my mom left. I saw it over and over again. I saw my pop standing with us, we were all crying, pleading with her not to go.
Begging her to stay with us. Not to leave her boys. But she went anyway.
Do you know how sad that makes me feel now? How abandoned I still feel??
No of course not.

I never allow it to show.

I look into the mirror; another piece of my soul has disappeared.

I lost seven men in Peru. Seven good men, all my friends. I lost them.
I buried them; tried to give them the respect and dignity they deserved.
I didn't grieve for them. No Sir. A good soldier gets on with it. Buries the memories with the bodies. Gets straight back up and fights for what's right.

Only, after so long, the memories slowly, silently float back. To haunt you. Only by this time, too much time as passed and you just keep it to yourself. Keep all that pain and rage and hurt buried deep inside. I see their faces occasionally in the crowd, or in some crook I arrest. Something will remind me of them and then I'm right back in Peru. Digging those damn graves. Over and over. Till I can feel the soil under my hands. Smell the wet vegetation around me. As if it was yesterday.

I look into the mirror; another piece of my soul has disappeared.

I see the looks that I still get at work. I hear the whispers. I'm a loose cannon. I work and play by my own rules. So what? I get results. So what if I worked alone for all those years. I didn't need anyone to back my ass up. I didn't need anyone to get in the way. I still don't.

But I do. I DO. I need Sandburg. I need help. But I will not admit it. Not to anyone. And especially not to the shrink Simon made me see.

I lie to myself and it's even easier to lie to other people.

I look into the mirror; another piece of my soul has disappeared.

I see myself pushing Sandburg further and further away. I'm hurting him. I'm hurting myself. But I can't stop.

I want to stop but if I do, everyone will see who I really am and that scares me. Scares me more than any of the bad shit I've seen through the years. I know why it scares me.

I don't know who the real me is.

I look into the mirror; a face looks back at me.

A face I don't know.

The real me.

Not the detective.

Not the Sentinel.

The real Jim Ellison.


Send feedback to Ellisonbabe

Go back to Story Page

Go back to Home Page