My Bildungsroman

Gumshoe surmises that once he was fully “committed” (not assigned to a rubber-roomed fun house inside the looney tunes village type of committed mind you) to his chosen police gypsy career; Gumshoe somehow missed the proverbial forest for the trees.

To put it more bluntly in police parlance, Gumshoe suffered “HUA” (Head-up Ass) syndrome.  Undoubtedly and uniformly unaware.

This is the word picture that Gumshoe will paint for you kind readers to learn just how Gumshoe finally grabbed both of his ears with his hands and pulled pretty darn hard to extract his head from that dark orifice.  Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is (was)!  No Ben Gay needed.

Gumshoe’s “coming of age” first-person career narrative starting from a naive, altruistic police newbie-rookie to a slightly jaded street wise knuckle-dragging police warrior came with the cost of lots of shed blood (not Gumshoe’s, thank you Jesus!), a lot of sweat (controlled fear that was butt puckering and stomach-churning) and even some tears (still evidence of a wee bit of humanity lying long dormant inside of Gumshoe’s hardened and broken heart and definitely a shattered soul).  No drama or hyperbole kind readers, just some honest truth in all sincerity.

The proximate cause was not readily discernible to Gumshoe over his long career diet of dealing with human misery that regular folks could never imagine in their worst nightmares.

Think about it folks. Just take a moment in this truism.  No one ever called 911 to report that everything was just peachy or to report a sighting of a glorious rainbow or seeing a true-to-life unicorn running down Main Street. Nope! Negative!  Get real!

911 uniform police field calls and subsequent plainclothes detective follow-up investigations were more often than not, brutal, ugly, disgusting, and downright revolting.  Period!  You just can’t jump into a septic tank and not come out without some residue; physically as well as metaphorically and metaphysically.

Gumshoe learned to shut down his feelings and emotions and go into “robocop” mode in a blink of an eye and within a heartbeat.  Street survival at its best; emotional survival at its worst! The problem was for Gumshoe to learn how to flip that emotional switch back to humanoid from android. The difficulty for Gumshoe was to actually recognize the problem from the very get-go. That emotional switch got stuck on “ON” for unassuming Gumshoe.

Self-induced blindness you may ponder? No, just unconscious blindness creeping surreptitiously and insidiously into Gumshoe’s police persona under the cover of “checking your feelings” as Gumshoe strapped on his ballistic vest and holstered his firearm to go to duty.

Go get’em, cowboy!

In the illustrious words and in the true wisdom of the cartoon character of Pogo:

“We have met the enemy, and he is us”.

Gumshoe was his own enemy and he did not know it! Ambushed and bushed whacked from within.

Gumshoe’s “Quo Vadis”? (Where are you going?) Perhaps?  

The personal cost to Gumshoe was two broken marriages (one by choice the other not). Both bad, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa times two over with an interior silence coupled with double order guilt.  Life goes on just like traffic during morning rush hour even if you are a hitchhiker trying to get a ride with a broken thumb.

Gumshoe was always good to go!  Never say die!  It is only a flesh wound!

Gumshoe developed a thick armor of humor to shield the hurt, hide the regret, and bury the pain.  Mission impossible Mr. Phelps!  The interior tapes did not self-destruct.  They played that confusing  B.S. mental recording cacophony of “walk it offs, your okays!”

Gumshoe’s epiphany, the eureka, happened. Oprah called it “That aha moment”.  It was not Dr. Phil either folks.  It was all due to the grace of God and not by happenstance.

Gumshoe was an experienced and well-trained detective who learned to always follow the clues, gather and evaluate the evidence and follow his strong gut instinct.

One evening Gumshoe was living alone at home and he picked up a book.  Gumshoe just randomly leafed through the pages and the chapters. It was the “Basic Instructions Before Leaving  Earth book You may know it and have it tucked away inside your bedroom nightstand drawer or gathering some dust on your living room mantle at your home. The B.I.B.L.E. The Good Book.  The inspired written Word of God.  HIS-story (history). Gumshoe searched the scriptures looking for answers and found God who was always present and Gumshoe discovered that God was looking for Gumshoe all along.

The “ask”, “seek” and “knock” from Matthew 7:7 really worked for Gumshoe. Alleluia!  

The “take my yoke” from Matthew 11:29, eased the burden from Gumshoe’s shoulders.  Alleluia!

“The new spirit, replacing the heart of stone”, from Ezekiel 11:19, pumped life-giving blood into Gumshoe’s heart of flesh.  Alleluia!

The body cannot go where the mind has not been.  That police training time-tested adage for mental visualization was applied by Gumshoe in contrite prayer as he meditated upon the Bible verses. It was the mind of Christ that Gumshoe sought and found. The peace that Gumshoe was seeking.  The peace that this secular world could not offer. The peace of Christ.

No, Gumshoe did not hear the sound of the chorus of angels playing their celestial harps nor see a burning bush.  Nothing quite that dynamic folks; but that would have been awesome to witness though. Gumshoe felt the Lord’s comforting hand and the Lord’s healing of Gumshoe’s fractured soul.  

Gumshoe now walks step by step in footsteps following the Lord in joy and blessed hope. The narrative continues . . .all of us believers already know how it ends.  Alleluia!

Once again, folks, that’s my story (testimony to some) and I’m sticking to it.  Always love the ones who love you and even try to love the ones who don’t.

Coram Deo Semper!


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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  1. Another great article. Hate to admit it but I went down that road as well. After one failed marriage I met someone who set me straight on some of my faults. The big one being “You can’t fix everything”. Still working on that one. The second had to do with all the walls I had built around me. It was hard to let people in. I guess as a cop one tends to build those walls to “protect your loved ones” from the crap you see out on the street everyday. I know now that shutting out your loved ones doesn’t work.
    There is a song that goes like this “I wish I knew now what I didn’t know then”. With me “I wish I knew then what I found out about myself now”.
    You are right about letting god in your life. You can’t and shouldn’t shut him out. I am not the most religious person in the world but I am not ashamed to admit that I still say my prayers before I go to sleep at night.
    Thanks again for a great article.