Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Active Imagination

The other night I dreamt I was sitting at my desk at work, wearing my headphones, as usual, to drown out the sounds of acrylic nails typing on keyboards and conference calls on speakerphone and conversations about the latest Twilight movie (who am I kidding, I'm usually a part of those).  We were all startled by a series of staccato sounds coming from outside that ended as quickly as they began.

I ran toward the window and saw a crowd of people beginning to form around a bloodied woman, wearing a pink 3/4-sleeve button-down shirt and brown pants, laying askew on one of the walking trails.  It hit me that some serious shit just went down and that I had no idea what to do or where to go next.  That realization seemed to hit the others around me around the same time, evidenced by the startled and quizzical looks we exchanged.  Do we get under our desks?  Are the doors locked so the shooter can't get into the buildings?  Is someone calling 911?  Is this some sort of sick drill?

Then the fire alarm went off, meaning we were to go outside and leave all our stuff behind.  Why would we go outside if there is obviously something nefarious going on out there?  Any one of those people surrounding the woman in pink could be the perpetrator, as could be anyone walking around campus by now.  Anyone outside should be a suspect, and releasing the general population from the building just corrupts the situation.  Too much Law & Order?  Guilty.

So once I was outside with my team I (naturally, it's me) started over-analyzing how they would ever know who did it since everyone on campus was now outside and the suspect would just blend in with his/her coworkers.  It might not seem out of the ordinary that your coworker, who wasn't with you at the time of the shooting, nonchalantly walks up to the group incredulously gossiping about what we'd all just heard.  My team calmed me down and said we should let the authorities do what they're trained to do.  Meanwhile some people I'd never seen before came to sit with us under the shady tree.  We made conversation with them and I tried to act like I wasn't looking for gun-shaped bulges in their pockets, residue on their hands (is gun powder residue visible to the naked eye or only after testing?), or blood spatter anywhere on their person.  No luck.

After a while we were sent back inside and I turned back towards one of the strangers who, I just noticed, didn't have a badge and didn't start towards the building with us.  Once we made eye contact he pointed to a gun-shaped bulge in his pocket (that's what she said) and pressed his index finger of his other hand against his lips, glared at me, and mouthed "Shhh..."

Then I woke up.

The perp looked exactly like Bob Ross, only with glasses.

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