Friday, 14 September 2007

The Dreaming

I was planning to write this post as a "true" post then explain at the end it was a dream... but that is such a cop out.

So, truth is, this is not something that has happened to me. It is a re-ocurring dream I have, one that is amazingly real. When I wake up I wake up thinking it has happened, and for hours I still think of it as a memory, not a dream.

In it I'm on patrol with an officer from my nick, a guy I've known for years who is one of my favourite coppers to work with, call him Howard. We close up behind a clapped out Peugeout 306, big bore exhaust and stuck on spoiler in full view. The two occupants ignore us at first as we drive down the hill. Then they start to twist round to look at us. The Pug speeds up and Howard hits the blues. The car doesn't stop and speeds up.

We hit a junction at the bottom of the hill, the Peugeot pulls a sharp left and comes to a stop, holding up traffic and almost causing a pile up. Howard pulls the car to a stop as well, slightly further ahead than the Pug as we weren't expecting this.

Both occupants bail out, the passenger I'm not interested in, it's the driver I want, a white male in his twenties. I'm not on the radio, Howard is calling this in. The driver runs up a slope on a small road off the junction, he's about thirty feet ahead of me when he stops and pulls out a handgun.

It's black, it's a Glock, I recognise that much. I see him raise it and point it directly at me, and on autopilot I yank my asp out and rack it, knowing how futile that is, frozen to the spot.

His face is wrinkled in hatred, a face I've seen many times before. He fires, I hear the shot and see a flash, Jesus I'm scared. I turn and start to run, looking over my shoulder I see him standing still pointing the gun, I drop the asp realising that it's useless now, just extra weight I don't need.

I run behind a car with its windows shattered, hoping to make it to the police car. As I do I hear another shot, followed almost immediately by a thud as the bullet hits my back through the vest, almost directly between the shoulder blades and I fall to the floor.

I shout out, a swear word I'm sure, and my God it hurts... then of course I wake up, sweating and shouting. And my back still bloody hurts!

After this I get up, have some food, and watch TV until it's time to get up. Or go on the internet and look at blogs... Not much point in trying to get back to sleep, don't want to wake the neighbours up again.

My point (yes, there is one) is this: Would I keep having this dream, over and over again on a regular basis if my real life situation was different? What if instead of instinctively reaching for my asp I was reaching for my gun? What if I could get a shot off before he got another go? Would I be as terrified?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

I could just stop drinking Vodka before bed of course...


Sevesteen said...

I'm a civilian licensed to carry a concealed handgun. I've had a dream where I've got some big threatening guy advancing on me. I back up, tell him to stop, or I'll shoot, with the horrified feeling that I'm going to have to kill him to make him stop. He keeps coming so I start shooting him. After I shoot a couple times, I can see the small red holes, but he says "I guess I don't react to pain the same way most people do" as he continues to advance on me. Having a gun may change the dreams, but it won't necessarily eliminate them.

RandomPinkness said...

Heck, I'm glad I'm just a student and the worst dreams I have are about spiders. I do hate those realistic dreams you think actually happened, though in my case it's been meeting some great guy then waking up thinking "oh I should text him, s**t I didn't get his number!" As opposed to thinking I've been shot or something equally horrific. Hopefully you'll stop having it in time, I had a reoccurring nightmare for years one night it just stopped and I've never had it since, though it's still etched in my memory and just as frightening.

Anonymous said...

excuse my ignorance but whats an asp?
good blog by the way!

Area Trace No Search said...

An asp is the metal extendable hitting stick we get issued in the UK to ward off naughty people and defend ourselves - Picture here:

It can be useful, but limited against a firearm!

Anonymous said...

I'm an Australian cop; we are armed when we work. I've never had that dream, or anything even remotely like it.

I'm not sure what it means for either of us, I'm not a psychologist.

My recurring work nightmares revolve around me being in Court for Trials I haven't prepared for.

(I know what that means, I'm a procrastinator, it's my psyche telling me that I leave too many things to the last minute.)

Joat said...

Lets get this straight, you patrol the streets of a high crime city, one in which a large number of the criminals are armed, and the most effective weapon you have against the well armed criminals is a stick? Not even a pointy stick? You are much braver than I am the, hopefully the nightmares are the worst problem you have. Good luck.

GeorgeH said...

Maybe you need to be carrying a backup piece, or another backup piece.

Anonymous said...

Working in an armed Police force for the past 30 years (one in which both men and women are routinely armed, as are our equivalent of your Specials) the declared reluctance of many British Police officers to routinely carry arms is difficult to for me to fully appreciate.

That is, the main resistance to arming officers comes from within the Police "Service" itself.

Get that sorted out, and away you go.

Mind you, when carrying a firearm there is always at the back of your mind the awareness that the need may arise to actually use that firearm. That is a massive responsibility, which some people are not able to accept.

Perhaps that is why there is so much resistance to the idea.

Best wishes


P.S. With regard to the recurring dream: that dream is yours to control; give yourself a Glock, or perhaps a pump action Remington shotgun to even things up. J.

thoughts running through my head.... said...

we don't need P.C 's to carry firearms just yet I dont think-ATNS,I have dreams like this alot where I cant stop replaying events or scenario's that *could* happen-stop drinking before you sleep and have a wind down routine before you go to sleep!

BelfastPeeler said...

I'm with Jeff. Perhaps in more ways than one.

Area Trace No Search said...

I was wondering that - RUC/PSNI Jeff?

I'm visiting Belfast in about a month and a half, should I be looking out for both BP and Jeff?

I have to admit, the biggest opposition to guns in the mainland is the way the law is at the moment... as per the Harry Stanley case and numerous others.

Anonymous said...

like sevesteen i was licensed to carry a pistol in massachusetts and new hampshire as a non-resident when i was working as an armoured truck guard/driver. (my home state, vermont, does not issue or require pistol permits for its citizens, though convicted felons are barred from possessing any firearm.) that dream, or variants of it are, i think, part of life for those of us who are lawfully armed. shooting/killing some one is not something we want to do, and i think that dream is our minds in sleep asking us "what will i really do it it all comes down to the moment". i'm not going to bring the "gun control" arguement here, but i do think that asking a police officer in an icreasingly violent world to go on patrol with only a club is a bit much to ask. to quote jeffery:
"Mind you, when carrying a firearm there is always at the back of your mind the awareness that the need may arise to actually use that firearm. That is a massive responsibility, which some people are not able to accept."
and i'll add that for those of us, civilian or police, who do go armed we owe responsible conduct to our fellow citizens who choose not to be armed.

Anonymous said...

quoting jeffery again:
"With regard to the recurring dream: that dream is yours to control; give yourself a Glock, or perhaps a pump action Remington shotgun to even things up. J."

i'd agree with that, many years ago, as a child, my son was having nightmares about "monsters", i gave him an old, non functional, western style .22 revolver to put under his pillow to "chase the monsters with" and that was the end of his dream monsters. while i can't give you a real pistol take my SIG 9mm p226 into your dreams with the three full magazines of police type hollow points i carried on the job. it won't help in the real streets but it can hopefully give you control in your dreams.

Mark said...

Hum. I'm incredibly wary about having any discussions in public with English people these days about guns - I've been living in England since the age of 2, but an a Yank by birth and paperwork.

However, what really strikes me about this anxiety of yours is it's utter validity. Hell, a lot of civillians I know -self included- have exactly the same kind of fears and dreams.

Part of it's simply factual. You put yourself in Harm's Way as your day job. I've been burgled a stupid number of times, had my home and my mind properly messed up by the process, and having moved house due to this *still* have an ongoing chav problem.

If you were allowed to carry, then I doubt you'd have that dream much. Then again, if I wasn't convined that simply twatting a home intruder around the back of the head with my keyboard would land me on assault charges while the person helping themselves to my goods and livelihood strolled off scott-free, I wouldn't have the dreams I have.

You don't *want* to know the knightmares I have when my 12-year-old neice or 3-year-old nephew's staying over.

Your problem's pretty much the same as mine, I guess - as there's a grounding in reality, the dream's that much more real. I know I sleep better when I'm in a place where self-defence and home-defence are permitted and receive the full support of the law.

But for right now, yeah, Jeffrey's comments would be the way to go. Dream yourself up a nice big Mossberg and blow a hole through the guy that you could toss a Labrador through.

Anonymous said...

To: BelfastPeeler
and Area Search No Trace

I am neither PSNI (nor ex RUC).

But that doesn't affect my expressed sentiments.

Hope the dreams have improved.

(You can find my location from your IP log.)

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