Dream of: 31January 2006 "Being Abused"
My father, my mother, and I were in a car, journeying on a long trip. As we traveled down the highway, we noticed several billboards advertising a place where we could stop and do exercises. When we finally reached the exercise place, we decided to stop. We parked the car and walked into a large room with perhaps 100 people sitting in chairs - exercising in the chairs.
After seeing the place, I didn't want to take part in the exercises. Nevertheless, I sat down in one chair. A slightly chubby woman (about 40 years old) walked up to me and insisted that I do the exercises. When I refused, she jumped on top of me and pushed me down on my back on the chairs. I found her being on top of me particularly offensive and I told her to get off, but she refused. Finally I began screaming for someone to call the police. I didn't want to call out - I hadn't come there to cause a commotion - but this woman simply wouldn't get off of me.
A half dozen or so policemen quickly showed up and someone pulled the woman off me. As the police began asking questions, I quickly had the impression that the police were investigating me instead of the woman. I could see why: I wasn't a part of this community and this business (which almost seemed like a church) was. The people here even began to take on the feel of religious fanatics.
Nevertheless, I wasn't in the wrong here, and I intended to stand up for my rights. I looked over at my mother and father, who were sitting in chairs next to each other. My father was grimacing, as if to say that I couldn't go anywhere without causing some kind of problem. Since I was in the right, however, I intended to defend myself.
Four young women (probably in their mid 20s) walked up to me and told me they had seen the entire episode. They were being very nice, and obviously they were supporting my story. I asked them who had been at fault, and they said the woman had been at fault. I knew I needed to obtain their names, but unfortunately they also felt intimidated and they didn't want to give their names. I calmly began explaining to them that I was a lawyer, that I lived in Dallas, and that I was somewhat familiar with this kind of situation. Hearing me, they seemed more inclined to help.
I walked over to the police. A thin, black-haired man dressed in a suit seemed to be in charge. When I asked him who he was, he was very unfriendly. I pulled out my billfold, and without asking permission, he simply jerked a piece of paper out of the billfold. I told him I was a lawyer. I pulled out my bar card (damaged because it had been chewed on by my dog) and I showed it to him. As soon as he and the other police officers learned that I was a lawyer, their whole stance seemed to change. They were no longer abusive toward me, although I could still perceive that they weren't on my side. Obviously they were now going to give me more deference.
I could see that this affair was probably going to develop into a court case. I didn't want that. We were a long way from home, and I would have to come all the way back here and handle this. I didn't want this woman to get away with what she had done, but I didn't want to become embroiled in a big court case here either. So, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do.
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