I drive my squad car around the turn that I have made thousands of times on the block that I have lived on four years now. The end of another shift is drawing to a close and my eyelids are feeling the weight of a body that wants to sleep.
The sky, still dark to the west shows a fading view of the stars; those flaming, luminous balls of plasma that are about to be out-shined by another sphere of plasma that is 109 times larger than earth. The faint tinges of blue to the east foreshadow the inevitable break of the sun across the horizon.
As I step out of my squad to car to stretch, my ears are greeted with the faithful choruses of birds singing. In the distance I can hear the steady hum of the interstate as cars, trucks and semis make their commute to required destinations. The occasional car drifts from its lane and I can hear the staccato of the rumble strips warning the driver to correct course. The block is quiet and most of the houses are still dark and silent. Soon alarm clocks will be sounding and coffee will be brewing as houses stir with activity.
I begin to hear deputies sign on over the radio, taking the next 12 hour shift of duty. I begin logging off my computer, turning off my radar and shutting down my squad camera. The clock turns to the top of the hour and I grab the radio mic perched between the two front seats amidst a nest of other buttons and switches. I call dispatch and tell them I am out of service. Seven minutes later I am drifting off into sleep so that I will be ready to do it all over again in 12 more hours.