Recently, I was walking on campus at 5am, as I often do, in order to do work in the computer lab. I turned a corner and nearly ran into a flashlight shining in my eyes. I shielded them with my hand and immediately stopped in my tracks. I was holding a small black bag with a video camera in it, and I lowered my hand to see if the flashlight had been lowered. It had not, but I was, however able to make out the form of a police officer.
I put my hand back up and asked him if everything was alright. He hesitated, surveying me, one hand holding the flashlight, the other near his waist. He then responded that they had heard reports of screaming. He finally lowered his flashlight and I wished him luck as I walked inside the computer lab.
I wasn’t thinking much about the situation as it occurred, but I did have a brief moment of terror, the feeling you get when you almost put your hand on a hot surface; that eerie feeling of fear about what could have happened despite knowing that it had not. But I shuddered, thinking for a brief moment; what if he had freaked out? What if I had freaked out? A number of things could have happened, but none of them did. More important, is that these are the thoughts that run through my head, and I doubt I’m alone in this. This is not commentary or opinion, just a real life account of what never happened. I, for one, am glad that it didn’t.