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I want to tell you about a dream I had. You are probably rolling your eyes and thinking how ridiculous it sounds. Stick with me for a minute, and I am sure you’ll understand why I am writing about it.I fell asleep on the couch while watching the nightly news. I began to dream about being out on duty. I was in my patrol car in the city where I work. The dream seemed so real that it was as if I was really in my patrol car. You know that kind of dream, the sounds, the colors, and the actions around you.

As I am driving down the road I pull behind a car at a red light. The driver quickly looks into the rear view mirror and makes eye contact with me. That look means something. He is nervous about my presence. I hurry and open my laptop computer and run the license plate through the state computer. It’s dark outside, so I know the light from the computer makes the inside of my car glow. The glow outlines my silhouette dangerously. The brightness also causes my eyes to be night-blind for a split second.

With the laptop still open I see the lights of a second vehicle. I casually look over the top of the lid to see the second car pull up on my passenger side. It took a second to be able to make eye contact with the driver. Just then my heart sank. I could now see the driver next to me. His face had no expression. Then I saw it. He was pointing a gun directly at me. Before I could react, I saw the flash. I did not feel anything. I was sure that the gun had gone off, but luckily it missed. It had to, right? I did not feel anything, but my entire body jolted.

Immediately I tried to get out of the situation. The first thing I could think of was to get out of the car. I opened the door and leaned out in an effort to exit.

What was wrong? Was I hit? I was! Damn! How did this happen? Why? Why me? Why now?

I leaned to get out, my body slumped toward the ground. My lower half was still on the seat and my torso was hanging out toward the ground. There was no pain, but I knew it was bad. My only goal at that time was to advise dispatch. This son of a bitch is not gonna get me that easily.

As I hung there, I could see the mic from my radio hanging next to my face. All I needed to do was grab it and speak. I took a deep breath and reached for it. Before my hand was able to grasp the mic, I saw a pair of shoes. I looked up to see the face on this figure. It was the same guy from the car next to me. He raised his gun and fired again. Bang!

Just then I woke up. My entire body jolted. I sat up from the couch and looked around. I was in pain, literally. Every inch of my skin was tingling as if I had been struck with a bolt of lightning. My ears were ringing. My mind was racing.

Later in the evening I got ready for work. I kept thinking about that dream. I kept thinking how intense it was. All night at work I avoided pulling next to other vehicles at red lights. I was jumpy about every person on the street and every call I went on. It was a long night. —www.lifeonthe beat.com

(Help this email list to grow. Russell@lifeonthebeat.com)

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