Thanks to my parents watching the news was a required part of my childhood. I was that kid that hid the radio under his sheets and listened to talk radio. Still today I prefer to listen to talk radio. My day would be incomplete without watching the news. I would miss the rush of learning something new. The quest for knowledge was on going and veracious. I needed it like an addict. At least for many years I felt that way.
Looking back I am happy that knowledge was and continues to be my primary addiction. These days I have come to realize that I was never addicted to the news, but to the new knowledge presented. Sadly the news does not present much in inspiring new knowledge these days. So I have taken my quest for knowledge to the internet. It is now a DIY news world. I am loving it. No need to wait for the news cast. I can go out there and find it whenever I need a fix. Yes, I need that fix often. We are all addicts.
I still crave the experience of sitting down in front of the TV with family and watching the evening news. I still want that experience, but I no longer can get the high. Maybe, it takes more for me to get high these days. I need the news to be as inspiring as I remember it being. Maybe my memory is flawed and the news has always been this shallow. But I need it to be more.
I am sure I am not the only one who has lost faith in the evening news.They do have a chance to recover their once unassailable statue. This will occur if newscasters become more credible. If they do more that parroting the words and show some depth. Give us more than 5 minutes on the important topics of the day. Give us the unfiltered truth. We do not need to know your opinion. Give us a full ad free newscast. Give me the context and let me decide. We are smarter than you give us credit for. Like an addict I still go back to the evening news expecting that high. I know it is not there, but I am an addict. I dream of the high. It will return. I am sure of it.
What is your addiction?
This was not how I thought my time on this rock would end. I looked over to the lake and only then realized that the alligator was not there. It seems I had missed or the gator and gotten back into the water to died or escape. I was satisfied. I drifted into thought and lost the ringing in my ears and barking of the dogs. I was at peace with this outcome. I closed my eyes and expected the worse. “Honey are you okay?” I looked up and it was Lizzy. I felt relief. I felt like I was in a really bad B movie, but answered “yes”. She called for Marley and Bailey, they stopped barking and the Officers lowered their guns. Bailey and Marley ran over to Lizzy. I was alone.
I felt the warmth of the rising sun on the back of my neck. It felt wonderful and no one could take that joy away. I was jolted by cold metal on my wrists. I was cuffed and taken to a car. My mind started to race and again I noticed that my pants were wet. It was not sweat. I tried to speak but nothing audible came out. After an eternity words started to escape my mouth and I explained the situation. I explained what had happened and proved that I had a permit. As I sat in the back of the cruiser I noticed the long line of cars passing. I tried to count, but only noticed how cross everyone looked. The officer returned and was smiling. I relaxed. The CZ was returned. I was released. It all ended as fast as it had started.
Marley’s cool tongue felt good on my cheek and I relaxed long enough to realize that there was a ringing in my ears. It was almost painful and I could not think. I looked down and there were spent shells everywhere and my right hand was white knuckled around the CZ. My pants were wet and I could not tell if it was sweat or urine. I could not smell but I could taste that sweetish taste of gunpowder. As I tried to get up I felt warmth on the back of my neck. I turned and got Bailey’s tongue all over my face.
Again I tried to get up but Marley started to bark again and I was once more paralyzed. The ringing in my ear became even louder and through it I heard the loud scream of a blow horn. “Police!” “Put the gun down and lay on your stomach” I complied, but the dogs were not as cooperative. Marley continued to bark and was joined by Bailey. They were almost standing on my back. They continued to bark for far too long it seemed, but gladly the police officers waited. The shouting stopped and the dogs soon stopped barking. However, Marley continued a low-pitched growl that increased in volume if anyone approached. Since I did not have a watch on I could not measure the passage of time, but it seems I was on the ground for a longtime. I looked up and saw the K-9 unit pulling up and also noticed that there was a roadblock. I had never seen this many cars on my street. Nor had I ever seen police in my town with guns drawn. Nor had I ever heard of an alligator exiting the lake in this area. I drifted into what seemed like a dream, seeing but not believing and hearing but not listening.
I was brought back to reality by the growling of Bailey. I focused and saw the police handler and a large German Shepherd moving in my direction. I felt sympathy for the approaching team. Both Marley and Bailey started to moving in the direction of the K-9 team but stopped about a body length away from me. They were posturing and got dust all over my face and into my mouth. I was about to move my arm to clear my eyes of dust when the officer closest to me shouted “Stop!”. I then realized that I was surrounded by 5 officers with guns drawn and pointed at me. I glimpsed yellow police tape in the distance. This was not the morning I had in mind when I went for my run.
The morning after an intense overnight Florida thunderstorm is always refreshing. In spite of the noise of nature I had a great night. Sleep came easily and was deep and refreshing. I woke just as my alarm was about to jolt me. I waited in bed until it started the low-rise and turned the alarm off so not to wake my princesses. The dogs, Marley and Bailey, were already up and awaiting their early morning walk.
As I listened I could hear the quiet of the early morning. No rain could be heard. The dogs were calling for me. I quickly dressed and meet Marley and Bailey and took off on our walk. This is arguably the best time of the day. Marley and Bailey were my eyes and ears and I got lost in the haze.
As I drifted along my pace quickened to a slow jog, then into a brisk effort to keep up with the dogs. I was brought back to reality by my timer chirping into my ear “first mile complete”. As my consciousness returned I looked up to see the yellowish moon disappearing from the sky. It was a beauty and reminded me that looking up is always worth it. Soon I was back in the haze of nothingness just feeling the air go in and out of my lungs. I felt as if I could run forever.
“Pop, Pop” My tranquility was interrupted by what sounded like fire works. I nearly ran over Marley as he had stopped and started to bark fiercely. I had never heard him so aggressive. He was standing his ground while Bailey was pulling in the opposite direction. As I scanned the area I noticed that a large alligator was running from the Lake in our direction. Instantly I felt the saliva evaporate from my mouth and I was parched and paralyzed. My legs felt like jello and I could not move. My palms where dripping and the world was going in slow motion. Bailey took off and Marley stood firm. There was a warm feeling in my pants and a heaviness on my hip. I could not move but that heaviness was my CZ 75B. I fumbled for what felt like a lifetime before setting it free of the holster. My brain had come back to reality and I acquired my target and fired until the slide locked back. Marley had quieted and I could hear sirens. Bailey was nowhere to be seen or heard. Marley and I sat on the curb and he licked my face as if to comfort me.