Panic!

I am stumbling through a forest. The light is getting dim. As the sky rapidly fades to black, I hear a muffled voice. It is hard to understand the words, but I can sense the urgency in the voice. It’s getting clearer now as I get closer to it. Finally, I hear it as clear as a cloudless day.

“Come out with your hands up. We are not going away. We are prepared to come in and get you.”

Suddenly, the light is back. I begin searching for a clear path that will help me get out of the forest. I stare out, wiling my eyes to focus. Finally, I can see the prickly plaster on my ceiling. I realize I have been dreaming and, as I survey the area, I remember that it was “Margarita Night” with my best friend. My shoes sat by the door; pants splayed by the couch showing how I stepped out of one leg and then the other until I fell to the couch. I chuckled at the thought of how I must have looked, and at how I really thought I was in a forest. I slowly dragged myself upright. I felt pretty good, so I declared myself the victor over Jose Cuervo that night.

I stood and stretched, but before I could walk back to my room, I saw blue and red lights reflecting off my walls. I slowly walked to my window that overlooked the parking lot and saw about 8 police cars and over twenty officers in bullet-proof vests, some with guns drawn. I blinked a few times and my heart started thumping hard against my rib cage. I crept backwards to my original spot, and stood in front of my couch. I heard muffled voices and it hit me—the voice from my dream was outside of my apartment door!

As expletives ran through my mind, I dropped to my belly and army-crawled to my window by my door. I peeked through the blinds and saw 10 officers standing in the foyer below my apartment. I could not tell which door they were targeting. With eight units around, who knows which of us did something to have Nashville’s Finest about to kick in our door?! Just then, the voice comes from the parking lot again.

“This is your last chance. Come out or we’re coming in!”

Oh geez! My attention snapped back to the window and the action below. I expected the elite force to come barging up the steps at any moment to take me away. They huddled a few moments more and then, crowd around my neighbor’s door and burst in with guns drawn.

As I lie there, watching them, it slowly came to me that I did not do anything wrong. Yes, I had one too many but I did not drive. Yes, I may have been in my underwear, glaring out of my windows but that hardly qualifies for public indecency. I watched them for a few moments longer. Turns out, the guy was not home but I am certain that those 30-plus cops found their man eventually.

I got up and stretched to relieve my tense muscles. I decided to leave my clothes where they were and continued back to my bedroom. As I slid into my comfy sheets, I made a mental note to change the score because, clearly, Jose won.

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