Officer Barnes smiled.
"Hi, Clarence. Just put your hands on the railing."
"No! You can't!"
This was where I was supposed to say, "No, Julie, it's all right" and go quietly.
Only I didn't feel like going quietly.
But I didn't feel like doing anything daring, either.
What I did was take a step backwards.
The Officer took a step forward.
"Come on," he said, "Don't make this difficult."
I took another step back, and found my butt against the railing. For a brief second, I imagined myself leaping over the railing and running.
Then I remembered my leg.
Barnes stepped forward again.
He pulled out his handcuffs.
He reached for my arm.
I can't explain what happened next. I had been taken in many times before. I knew the drill. It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't life threatening. It certainly wasn't anything that should cause the kind of unearthly panic I felt at that moment.
That panic welled up inside of me, rooting itself in my deepest fears, worse than anything I had felt before, worse than anything I had imagined. It felt like those handcuffs were the end of me, the end of my world, the end of everything I ever loved.
It began deep in my bowels, and worked its way upward, through my solar plexus, through my lungs and shoulders, through my back and my throat. It came out of my mouth in a single shattering tone somewhere between a moan and a scream—a deafening mountain of sound aimed right at Officer Barnes face.
It was the first time I had used a dolphin blast in at least thirty years—the first time ever out of the water.
The good officer staggered to the floor.