Not that I'm ever careless at the wheel, but I'm being especially careful on this treacherous stretch of road, as I'm guessing that smacking a cop would be a Very Bad Thing.
As we wait for the light to turn green, I look around and realize there's no one else nearby. As much as I'd rather be sleeping at home, there's something poetic about being up, virtually alone, before the rest of the city is stirring. It's a special time of day, and you never quite forget what that feels like.
I peer over to my left and give the officer a smile and a wave. I don't know if he sees my smile - still too dark - but I'm guessing he's smiling, too, as he waves back. A few seconds later, the light changes and we slowly head off on our divergent paths.
It's a small moment between strangers, but one I feel needed to happen. Wherever he's headed, he may or may not end up on the receiving end of a crossbow, or a violent offender, or any number of potentially life-threatening situations. I, on the other hand, am headed to a darkened studio where I'll talk into a microphone for a little while. A bad day for me is when I forget a fact, stumble over a word or two, or struggle with a document, spreadsheet or report. A bad day for this - or any - officer is infinitely worse.
As I cruise the remaining couple of kilometres to the office through the thickening snow, I quietly thank him and his fellow officers for what they do, for choosing to put themselves in harm's way so that I can have an easy drive in to a job I love, then return home to my family in a safe, caring neighbourhood. It doesn't happen by accident, and even if you never get their names because they're separated by a couple of panes of glass on a snowy road, you hope they know how you feel.