It's a nice day in mid-October, and Brian Dorian is spending two of his days exercising his constitutional right to participate in this year's election.
Taking advantage of what would prove to be among the final days of balmy weather, Dorian is armed with a load of campaign signs for Dave Carlson, the Republican challenger to incumbent Will County State's Attorney Jim Glasgow.
Dorian's not all that charged up about the presidential contest or any of the other Illinois races.
He is, you may remember, the Lynwood police officer who was arrested two years ago, suspected of being the infamous "honeybee killer" who murdered one man in Beecher and shot two others, then shot a farmer in Lowell a couple hours later.
The suspect had engaged the victims in a conversations about honeybees, hence the moniker.
Dorian sat in the jail in Will County for a few days, until Glasgow turned him loose, realizing he did not have the horses to charge the officer.
Within a short period of time, a man tried to hold up a tanning salon in the southwest suburbs. A quick-thinking, heroic patron wrested the gun from Gary Amaya, then he shot him dead.
Amaya's gun matched the one used in the honeybee case. His truck matched the detailed description given by the Lowell farmer.
But Dorian spent a few days wondering whether his career, even his life, had come to an end.
Even released, suspicion hung over him like smoke from a burning tire. Defying the odds, he went back to work in uniform.
The guy who made it possible was his lawyer, Carlson. "Glasgow accused Dave Carlson of exploiting and using me, his own client," Dorian said.
"Absolutely not. Dave didn't even want me campaigning. I went against his wishes and went on my own."
The ordeal has given Dorian a new perspective.
"I find it more difficult to put the handcuffs on people," he said. "I've met some wonderful, wonderful people who said if they did that to a cop, we should be scared to death.
"I don't know what God has in store for me. A short time after this, someone sent me a card with Matthew 5:6 on it: 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.' ''
Will Dorian be satisfied? He has cleared his name; there's one big step. But the job is weighing on him, and his girlfriend helps keep him sane.
At 40, "I'm halfway past my career, looking forward to retirement," he said. "I'm in the latter stages of law enforcement."
When he approaches a house, carrying his yard signs, he's got to convince some people he's not peddling something.
"I'm not selling anything," he says. "I just ask them if they have minute to let me tell them about the man who saved my life.
"I've been privileged to meet a lot of good people."
The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at (219) 933-4170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.