The man stood shivering out in the woods alone in his underwear having been chased there. Or so it seemed in the emotional sense of same. In point of fact it was his job to patiently pass his time watching others who were unawares of his presence. People that might one day hear his last name in passing but would not know much more about who he was or why he mentioned the things about their lives that he ultimately did. A leper? An outcast? Someone with an axe to grind upon the stone of misanthropy? The P.I. was but a substantiation for the alternative titled of sentinel. What was it about anyhow? Watching for activity and making a report. The context of the usable reality fashioned like a blacksmith to properly fit the right hoof of a left-handed horse of a different color. The profession taking a certain amount of nose for danger and intuition to stay clear of it as when it arrived it generally caught one unawares. You could name all the things you could do standing silent and unmoving in an ever recycling mantra. “Cigars, cigarettes,Tiparillo!s” If you had been on the job for a while you had to notice little things like wind direction and the disposition of weather. And yes, the effect of boredom and the most lingering of thoughts that left one restless and unable to find an answer to those age old questions of why if you thought you were not the right track without he girl you had married so long ago had it gone so awry? How could that matter to the larger scheme of human existence? That fickle beast made up of at best well-meaning sponger’s obsessed primarily with their own sense of self-survival that saw others as potentially lethal to their own sense of well-being. One could convince themselves in the these empty times that any conclusion was inevitable. Unwind one’s self from the tangle of the Gorgon’s hair taken on in fitful sleep washed up from the ocean of night. The situation was irresolvable in even more specific details.
“Subject arrives 10:23 PM, silver gray Lexus carrying package intuit he premises at 687 Philborn Court. He returned to the vehicle two more time over the course of the next ten minutes removing several more shopping bag sized parcels from its trunk.” The art of the process was to capture some sense of intent. Was there a corpse within he residence somewhere that needed attending two in processing it someway to allow for disposal? Were the parcels containing raw materials for the production of an illegal controlled substance? Perhaps, the subject was aiding and abetting a fugitive sequestered inside waiting for the winds to blow over before making an escape? Fit the mundane pieces together as the theory went and one might at some point be able to identify the composite picture unifying the entire puzzle. But, then that was not part of the job? Someone else was was paid to do that? They just needed a detailed dispassionate report to play their part of this game. What was the name? Bright young assistant prosecutor has hunch and wants to use it to rise up another rung before their mid-thirties? Inter agency collaboration desiring vindication of their swelling budget before next year’s election? Who was anybody kidding?
The notion of exile brushed past now and again like the rustle of dry leaves. One could not help but turn in that direction with a start. One might forget their place for a moment and let their sense of animal survival flood in for the breath of that instant. Occasionally look back int he direction of focus to the job to see that the movie had restarted and surmise that some possible slight detail had gone unseen while one’s attention had been diverted. This was the sort of convenient stage for reweaving the tale to benignly forget the possibility of that lost detail. Were did the human dimension of one’s limits ever come officially into the discussion beyond a negative assessment of fitness? How could the mundane of any vocation be conceded extraordinary? The fact of the matter was that the routine set of activities that might be connected to any task were ordinary. It was more about assessing the frequent regularity of behavior that gave the true picture of the subject’s character and intent. “Was the grass regularly mowed by the subject?” “How about the car?” “Was it well kept?” “Late model?” “Bought new or used, or hot!?” “What sort of clothes worn during the early morning versus later in the day?” Unless specifically asked for these tidbits lay unused within that dark gray storeroom within one’s brain case but carved the clay of the impressions about the individuals under watch.
The woods were indifferent to this sort of activity. One might leave the impressions of their shoe size in soft ground and broken twigs. And even if careful enough to sweep clean the butts upon departure provide other kinds of evidence that would declare their presence to the surrounding vicinity. Some several stories below at root level of blades of grass some other creature similarly bent would remain stationary in semi-seclusion analyzing the movements of a smaller less agile pest. Noting its movement and coloring and overall body shape cross-referencing the advisability to advance in expectancy of a quick meal or dig in for the equal possibility of being attacked. Side mounted compound eyes or twin photoelectric sensors mounted on stalks, the routine of assembling details and patterns of physical behavior were assessed and the advisability of action passed upon. The success of the process ultimately determining if the practitioner was going to munch or be munched. No different in the larger macrocosm’s ever shifting bureaucracy of indifferent ‘new brooms’ devising meaningless changes in ‘SOPs’ for purely self-serving arbitrary reasons. Who after all was the hunter and who was the prey in the hierarchy of the species? The thought occasionally past his mind of explanations and the stock associated behavior’s ready to offer explanation for his loitering. Ignore? Act Lost? Simply walk away.