The End of a Dream

My dad had just called me over to his and mom’s place. They must have moved back to Tennessee, because it was in one of those cookie cutter-looking Spring Hill or Thompson Station subdivisions. They were in a white, two-story house basically shaped like a box.I pulled up, the road was long, winding, and endless, as it slithered all the way up a very gradual hill as houses lined only one side of it. The side to my left was just a field of grass and sunshine.

The front door was open, and my dad pushed open the storm dor and approached me. He had a couch outside, across the house on the other side of the street. He sat on it and wasted no time.

“Do you have a way that I can get stronger without having to waste all my time up at the gym?”

“What are you talking about?,” I asked him, completely puzzled.

“I want to get stronger again, kind of like how I was a few years ago when I was working out, but I don’t want to have to spend all that time lifting weights.”

“I don’t understand”

I had sat beside him on the couch. He stood up and faced me.

“I can’t. I can’t spend that time, but I need it to be as if I have.”

“Dad,” I paused as I calculated my words, “if there is anything you taught me, it is that you can’t just take any shortcuts. You have to put in the work, in fact, you should put in the work. I don’t see why you can’t just get a cheap gym membership and go up there for an hour a day.,”  I scratched my head, then the calculations kept coming out, “It’ll be good for you! I’ll even pay for it.”

He looked pretty disappointed; much in the way a little kid does when he concedes to being told ‘no’.

“No. That’s not going to work,” he started walking toward the house, but abruptly stopped and paused for a few moments.

“Son…”

I could sense a massive shift in his demeanor. I stayed quiet and let him say what he was going to say.

“Why didn’t you like— why didn’t you tell us you didn’t like, I mean, what didn’t you like about,” the next few words were unintelligible, either as a result of bad hearing, him mumbling it, or the dream obscuring it. I didn’t understand it, but in the dream, I had understood it enough to reply.

I looked down for several moments and replied without looking up at him.

“I just didn’t. Sometimes you don’t. I’m sorry.”

He walked inside the house.

I saw alone on this couch outside, and tried to digest what was going on. There was a warm breeze lightly caressing my body, and it must have been late afternoon by the way the sun was starting to gently gleam over the landscape. I wondered where mom was, and if I’d get to see her too, today.

Dad came back. He was carrying a bowl. He was beaming.

“I’ve got it!,” he exclaimed.

“What is that?,” I somehow knew before I asked, “Steroids?!”

He affirmed, as he showed me the porcelain, grooved serving bowl in his hands filled with peanuts, cashews, and those fatter, twisted stick pretzels.

“Got mom to get me these from her work, want some?”

I was not happy about this.

“Come on dad, this isn’t a good idea. Why are you doing this?”

“I’ve got to get stronger son,”  he told me as he chewed on a pretzel-turned-steroid with his mouth open.

I was a spectator at this point. So I watched him eat it, but when he finished one, he threw in a couple of the nuts and kept chowing down.

“Hey, dad, I don’t think you should eat anymore. One a day is more than enough, I mean, just because you’re in pain doesn’t mean you take 6 ibpruofen to make it go away quicker. It doesn’t work like that.”

His following rationalization was that sometimes a doctor has to give a higher dosage to someone that needs it.

“Here, have some, it’s not going to kill you.”

I was curious as to if they were actually steroids, so I took a few and ate them. Excited from the prospect of gaining strength like he wanted, he had started doing one of the things he does best, rambling, so I let the old man ramble.

“Sometimes that’s why I think–” he paused mid sentence, likely to collect his thought. The pause was longer than usual, and I turned to him on the couch.

As I did, I could see his chewing had slowed down until it froze. He was staring forward into space as the bowl broke free from his weakened grip. As it was slipping out of his hands, he slowly tipped over until he rocked over the side of the couch and on his side on the end table.

He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t breathing. He wasn’t doing anything.

Paralyzed and shocked, I broke out of my reactionary chains and ran up and grabbed him. I was shaking him rather violently.

“Dad! Dad!,” I could see my tears landing on his face and glasses, “DAD! Hang in there!”

I fumbled around trying to grab my phone while holding on to him. He was still completely motionless. I couldn’t think of what to do, for a moment I thought about trying to stick my hand down his mouth and hope he would gag out the food he just ate, but he seemed too shut down for that. So instead I hugged my dad tighter as my wrapped arms dialed 911 behind his head.

I wasn’t sure that the paramedics could do anything, but all I wanted to do was believe that they could. The phone was dialing.

“Hello?,” it was my mom who picked up on the other line.

“Mom?!,” brain freeze, of course, “mom! Dad! He.. call 9–”

“I just got done talking to them son, they are on there way.”

“Mom! Where are you? Come out here! Help! Dad, he’s going to–,” she cut me off a second time.

“He’s been dead for years,” she wasn’t referring to his living, physical body, but the gravity of what she said was just the same.

It was the most heartbreaking thing I’d ever been told. I didn’t know what to say. I wondered a lot of things. Was he just poisoned? Should I tell her that I ate some, too? Did any of these details matter with what else was going on? I couldn’t handle anymore of that moment, and I had been broken more than enough.

I felt myself getting sucked out, and I gladly let it happen. I woke up.

That was a terrible beginning to my day.

Dream Logging: The Exploding Gas Station

The Exploding Gas StationA lonely gas station at night

A dream I logged in May of 2008

The dream starts off, as best as I can remember, in a parking garage. I am in the car, it was definitely and initially the Element my parents just got about 2 weeks ago. My dad is driving, and now that I think about it, he seems younger than he is now, maybe in his 40’s, but I’m probably wrong. Of the background story that I inherently know about this dream at this stage in the dream is that it is summer vacation. It felt like late June, maybe early July. We are in the parking Garage to Thrailkill Hall, except this one is near 10 levels, instead of the 4-5 it actually is. A pretty large number of people have re-cultivated a community that will never be the same any of the following years by moving back into the Thrailkill Hall Dormitory. I hadn’t moved back in, I don’t think I was either, but I also didn’t know about this faction that had nested up in there until this day in the dream. It was something I just sensed was there. I don’t think the world was as it was today though, it was much more sparse, for whatever reasons. For these purposes, a group of 25 people or so was equivocal to about ten to fifteen fold.

We are driving around the parking garage, and my dad is taking his time on the parking. The capacity of the garage is surprisingly well met, with it being much more empty on the upper two levels. There is almost a video game aspect to things because we are trying, if I remember correctly, gather salvage of something that was left from other cars (hopefully abandoned cars). I don’t know if I just wanted to get into the building so bad or didn’t want to get into any sort of ‘jackpot’ that I really wanted my dad to quit looking for a car he could stick a water hose into the muffler to and gain whatever it was that is gained from it and just park, but I know I was really pressing him to hurry up and park. So from here on, the view of our car switch from inside the car, more of a first person view, to more of a third person outside of the car view, and furthermore, from us being in the Honda Element, to us being in my 2000 Camry. It fluctuated pretty randomly. It kind of skips ahead to right after he had tried to salvage some stuff from a car that he temporarily parked next to. He gets back in and I give in (let me note that this is a real scenario in the sense that my dad is always trying to do something ridiculous to gain any sort of bit of an advantage or discount etc. while I am always just trying to get things done and over with) I tell him we can get some from Kara or David’s car.

“Let’s just find Kara’s car, I know that she probably left extra in there in case I would need it. She won’t mind.”

My dad doesn’t really comply as a result, he is still slowly cruising around. Looking for her car with me, but also still looking for that one car which has a high bounty. We drive the main levels, miss some good parking spots and don’t find her car. I realize that because it is not on the levels she usually parks, she parked out front. I reason to my dad that because there are not as many people here, there must have been spots up front, and she has always tried to park out front. We drive around to the front and because the front lobby is mostly all glass, I see her, Jason Biddle and Britney Knoeck in there playing cards during the sun’s brightest moment on a hot summer afternoon. I pretty much jump out of the car and run in there. This was enough for my dad to follow suit and not even park the car; in effect, the car disappears at this point. They have to let us in because they keep the building locked off so the school can’t come in and ruin the community from the school year, which they have recreated. There are about seven other people I see when I walk in there, but the only one I really remember is David Morgan, who was at the desk. I have no clue where exactly my dad went at this point, but he pretty much vanished also. This isn’t uncharacteristic in his real life behavior either.

Everyone greets each other and they continue playing cards. I walked up to Kara and hugged her, I hadn’t seen her since school let out, and it was a great surprise to. I don’t know what card game they were playing, but Biddle and Knoeck were pretty close to this pile of cards where they had to discard their cards for game purposes, and Kara was in a grey single sofa chair about 10 feet removed from the pile and the other two players, yet she remained there with her cards being held close to her face with both hands, leaned over a little bit and hunching enough for her to peer over her cards and at the game. In other words, she was fully focused.

While I was close to her, I let her know, not in a whisper, but still quietly, that I had to go now, and that she needs to come and visit me at my house so we can spend some time together. When I told her this, it was in a “we’re supposed to” manner, even though I was surprised to run into her at all– furthermore, she had an, “I know, I will get out of this and leave” compliance, but she also didn’t really vocally respond. In fact, she didn’t even look at me once, she just remained focused on the card game; continually checking the cards in her hand and what was happening on the floor, ten feet away, while sometimes brushing the top of her cards lightly on her top lip as some sort of fidgety mechanism while she thought through the game, I suppose.

Next thing I know, I am at my house, in the living room. The color of everything is very blue. There aren’t really any lights on, but the TV is on. It is actually on the side of the wall where my couch is right now, and the couch is on the opposite side. It isn’t dark outside, but it is nothing close to bright either, so it is just very dim and blue in the house as all I remember was that I was watching the television with Josh Bennett. It was only field goal (football) kicking. I got a call from Kara that she was on her way down at 4 pm as I watched this guy kick one in from about 60 yards. They called this 4x length in the dream though. They replayed it and showed the trajectory of the ball and the technique of kicking it longer but not as high to get the distance he needed. The TV kept chiming on as they showed a demonstration from only 20 yards out to outline the differences yet again. Josh was enthralled, and my mom was in the other room. She kept talking to us, having to yell a bit so we could hear her, but she never said anything distinguishable, I was just hearing her voice as if she were talking to me from the other room. I remember watching the television but only being excited that Kara was coming down to visit me.

Then, the dream used its trickery and made 30-40 minutes pass while staying in what was seemingly the same moment the entire time. I heard a car door close from outside and saw her car in my driveway, so I ran out there. I remember how the dream transitioned. They are always so hoppy, but I remember how this one transitioned pretty well. It was as if it were on film, and the film had gradually began to melt at a rapid pace. I saw myself run out there and great her with arms wide open. I heard the two voices become distant and muffled, but the two keys were this; she actually paid attention to me this time, as opposed to 45 minutes prior and she was excited to see me too.

Flash forward now, I am suddenly on a motorized scooter, wearing a motorcycle helmet. I’m in traffic, kind of in the Franklin area, when I remembered that my car didn’t have much gas in it to begin with. I look at the gauge and see that I am pretty much on Empty, even though I’m on my motorized scooter(like a Razer scooter) that goes fast enough to keep up with actual cars. I apparently (inherent knowledge) had to leave for a short while to go to Franklin and back, and told Kara to wait at my house, I would be returning shortly. I am on Franklin Rd., near BGA and that Golf course is to the left of me, which means that I am coming up to the light and four-way intersection of Franklin Rd. and Mack Hatcher. The light was barely in my favor as it turns green so I have a wide-open yield as I merged right. The road was totally clear and empty, perfect for me to book it to Mapco right down the street and fill up so I can get home and spend time with Madame Norman.

I don’t know why, but the dream hung with me as I drove down Mack Hatcher and past BGA and the Mormon Temple, past the Rec Center and to my Right Turn onto Hillsboro, and down to Mapco. Though deviation returned soon enough.

I arrive at Mapco, and it is pretty much evening time at this point. Not only this, but it doesn’t look like it actually does. They have their sign on, it is flickering and dim, but that is about it. I pull into it, or what I thought was it and there is nothing there, just chipped up asphalt littered with black pebbles of road and parking lot. I stood there looking around for a minute. It was mostly silent, aside from the breeze and one or two passing cars. I then saw it. It was only a 4 pump gas station in the dream, and they were next to a brick hut of sorts, making this Mapco a lot tinier than what it is in real life. Furthermore, the pumps appear to be encased in cement molds covering the pumps, or better yet, I realize now that it is more like carbonite a la Star Wars (Han Solo). What I garnered from these pumps, based off of their encasement molds, was that they were old, like 1950’s style pumps, and that they were out of order. I can connect this from reality though. I went to McDonalds the day before and they closed at 8. The manager walked by me, remarking..

“We closed at 8. We’re closed for construction.”

I heard the part about being closed for construction sift through the air, got an unpleasant feeling, and left. At this point, my entire grasp and navigational sense of the Franklin area pretty much vanished; at least for the part of Franklin I was going to. I apparently hadn’t been here in ages. I knew that I couldn’t screw up though because if I got lost and missed a gas station, I wouldn’t make it home in the near future.

I embarked left, towards Franklin High, and a little further on, Wendy’s. This area was drastically different though. I took a few turns and I ended up in what looked mostly like an older European town; perhaps a Spanish or Italian port town. There wasn’t exactly any road to speak of. It was sort of cobble stone, but the stones were less together and a little more spread out. Everything had a yellow or sandstone hue to it, even the buildings, which looked like pueblo homes. I just got a bad feeling, and I was in the center of this townlet, as I am going to call it, surrounded by these buildings.

I turned off my motor scooter for the time being and walked it up these steps of some building. Next thing I know, I was back at the normal road again. In real Franklin navigation, I just would have stayed on Hillsboro and ran into several gas stations, which is what I tried to do in the dream, but it wasn’t as easy as staying on the road I was already on. I had to weave through roads as if I were a blind man trying to stitch a baseball. I don’t remember much in detail except that I was completely lost. Things were blurry and look like they do when you trail frames in video. I turned around and decided I had just enough gas to go to another area where I am confident I can find a gas station. That place was Green Hills.

I arrived on the road of the gas station I had in mind. There was a Chinese shop, that looked more like an old fashioned, wooden garden house (it even had a garden in the back, surrounded by a wooden pen) just before the gas station. I got to the Chinese joint, the problem was the road from the point was blocked off. It was blocked off by a construction crew of sorts, except this crew decided they would just pile wreckage all over the road as if some catastrophic accident had occurred there. I thought to turn back at this point, and just hope I can make it to a station in Fairview. I was going back down the road a bit, towards home, when I knew I just couldn’t make it, so I went back towards the road blockade. I had to get gasoline from the station beyond it.

I arrived back at the pile and shut down my scooter. I pulled out my phone real quick and left Kara a message, telling her that I was having trouble with fuel and that I hoped to be home within an hour.

“I feel really terrible about all of this, just don’t leave please ok? I know you left your card game for this, but,”¦ Don’t leave, please? Call me back.”

That is something along the lines of what I said at the end of the message. I closed the phone and slipped it in my pocket. I once again picked up the scooter and walked with it. I climbed atop the wreckage and made my ascent. Upon finishing, I slid down the other side and arrived at what used to be a gas station, was a commercial building, kind of like what strip malls look like, but it also had an industrial feel to it. There was a ramp that began to my left and didn’t reach the door until it was all the way to the other side of the road. So I took the ramp.

I got inside the building, it was quiet, dark and vacant. It was also freshly carpeted. Once again, carpet you’d expect in a commercial building, not a house. I manually scootered down the hall and arrived at what was a still standing gas station. Because of the ramp entrance, I was on a floor that was about 8 feet above the area the gas pumps were at. There were two ramps on each side leading down.

This was the entire layout of this place. A hallway, which lead from store to store, as the store was a ramp’s height below the navigational hall. I don’t think whoever did this had permission to do this; it was hostile takeover in one of the most literal forms.

I got down there and the ceiling was suddenly very low. There were some tubes above me that had looked like they were roughly cut, and one of which had sparks periodically. I was about to take a look at the pumps when I heard voices coming from the other side of the hallway that I came from. I hit the ramp I originally came down with the scooter and crouched down near the top of the ramp, behind the railing and several feet away from my exit. These two guys had suits on. These suits looked a lot like the Pyro from Team Fortress 2. The proportions were, of course, more realistic, and they had more black in the suits, but other than that, they are pretty similar. They were working on the gas station they had “˜hi-jacked.’ Behind me, a security and safety door slammed shut from the top of the hallway, as did the other end. I was pretty much stuck, although the walls that surrounded the gas station were glass, so I could at least see outside.

Eventually, I rolled back down the ramp on my scooter and went to talk to the guys who were just standing stationary holding welding torches on random areas. They ended up telling me it would be about 4 more hours until the station was safe enough to use and said they could open the doors enough to let me out if I wanted to leave. One of them went up my ramp to open the door, as I stood down there with the other one who set his torch down for a moment and waited for his partner to return. Suddenly, the tube that had been sparking started to drip tons of sparks and the man (who had taken off his helmet-mask) wore a face of terror. He started shouting for us all to get out and began to head towards the ramp as one of the pumps exploded, right next to myself. The pump flew through the glass as flames and sparks erupted from beneath me and went to work on my legs. All I could hear was screaming from the other two men as they were sure that, at the least, I was losing both of my legs. I don’t know how, but I managed to get away from the blast and flames. I remember grabbing the scooter, and with charred legs, scootering off, up the ramp and out of the building. The other two men were behind me as they were running out, still yelling. You could hear distant explosions approaching as it sounded like the building had become Hell’s firstborn. They got out and we stood on top of the wreckage, between the giant commercial building and the small Chinese restaurant, listening to the explosions until suddenly the entire building exploded, with the shockwaves sending us into the air, speeding along with the millions of shards of glass.

We landed. It was on my street at sometime between 1 and 3 AM. Everyone was asleep and the street was perfectly still. The men kept yelling though.

“Take cover!,” exclaimed one. ”Run away! Run away!,” his companion shouted.

They each scattered off as suddenly bright flashing lights came skidding toward me at an instant’s pace. I ducked one and ran down into my cul-de-sac, thinking I was far enough away. The other two men ran up the street and out of sight, although one of them got hit by one of these burning lights and fell down for a while. They were basically fireworks, kind of like some suped up Roman Candles. I had been lucking out and barely dodging some of them when I saw them on the ground. Two round cylinders, perhaps a foot in diameter each, covered with white wrapping paper with colored dots spaced throughout. I circled around quickly and kicked the second one so it faced in the same direction; down towards the cul-de-sac, then began to walk back to my house.

I don’t remember any more of this dream after that. 

Dreams of Anton Chigurh, Abandoned Blue Houses and An Awful Backhoe Collison

Anton Chigurh silently watches us allIt was dusk when the distant house met my sights. A dilapidated three story home of southern style, uniformly tinted a faded, pale blue entered frame. I didn’t remember how I had got there, and I had no prior memories of the house, but it looked familiar. It looked like it might be comforting.

As I approached, rusted, broken down trucks from an age past were placed all over the yard and gravel driveway with the patterned chaos of a minefield. I emerged from the woods and wound through the impromptu maze of vehicles looking for a door. The house filled the night with darkness and quiet. On the far side of the house was a large carport, the ceiling extending far above, keeping company with the house’s third floor.

With little resistance, I flapped open the screen door and steadily tried to turn the knob to the side door. It was locked.

Molly saw me from the kitchen window and made untranslatable hand motions at me. Next thing I knew, the door popped open enough for me to slip inside, and I was sucked in as if I were lint trying to flee a humming vacuum.

All of the doors were locked. Most of the furniture had an abandoned, neglected look to it. Not a single light was on in the house. Most of the windows blinded, or barricaded from the outside world by curtain. As I slid a chair out from under the kitchen table, she urged me to sit down. She meant the ground. I slunk from the chair and took a resting position on the linoleum floor.

“Anton Chigurh,” she explained. He and Justin Hurley had a falling out. Everyone had taken refuge here while they waited for things to pass over, but during those weeks, a man with an explosive personality, and an unstoppable force had clashed. In the turmoil, everyone left; some fearing for their safety, some out of unspoken allegiance to one of the combative men.

Molly told me about how she hid in a box filled with curtains and sheets for 4 days, waiting until everyone was asleep or preoccupied to sneak around for basic necessities. As everyone continued to filter out of the group, they all took her for being the independent, loner-type she was known to be, assuming she had long decided to look for a better situation than the fog of conflict that infiltrated their house.

I then remembered where I had been before. It was some coastal town, lined with cobblestone streets, and a villagefront downtown that was tiered in elevation. I was running from someone, or rather, I was being followed or pursued in some manner, so I discretely had been spending a few days trying to get out of there. At the bottom of the town, I saw a white Volvo station wagon. It was the first car I had seen in days. The windows were down, so I hopped into the driver’s seat through the window. The car was already running. As I got in, I sensed whatever had been trying to find me rounding the corners of the town streets, so I put the car into reverse and forcefully impressed the gas pedal.

Tunneling backwards, I hit a weathered-down white railing. The backend of the car was poking out with no ground beneath it, as the front end seemed to frantically grip balance the small amount of Earth beneath it. Again, I hopped out the window, and saw a small football field, surrounded by dug-in bleachers. The stadium descended about 40 feet, but on the ground level, there was an asphalt running track, separated by the same railing I had hit with the Volvo. I started running down the long straightaway of the track, getting halfway, arriving to meet with the three Hill children, Jonathan, Ana, and Jared.

I apologized for wrecking the Volvo, and told them we need to go to their parents house and eat dinner. We left together, but the only other memory I have of the Hills was dropping them off at Tim and Prisca’s and watching the three of them lay on the ground and try to roll up their steep front yard hill.

I was back at the house. Molly was gone. She told me she was leaving to go work in the city for a few hours, but I suspected that she was hiding back in her usual spot, fearing that my arrival had brought too much attention to the lonely house in the countryside. I needed to sleep, but I had a feeling that my dad was looking for me– trying to find me, so I fought sleep.

Being alone made me realize how large the house was. With its eight legs and sinister nature, a dread crept into me. I wondered if Anton or Justin had been here all along, in the upper hallways of our shelter. Maybe Molly knew and didn’t tell me. I had only been in the kitchen, afterall. Given their agitated state, either man was dangerous, despite our friendship.

On the floor I sat facing the far wall of the kitchen. All of the walls painted the same pale blue. That wall led to the exterior and part of the driveway. Besides the cabinets, there was a small, arched window that was far too high on the wall for anyone to see in or out of. Right next to me, the small, cheap kitchen table; the kind of table you’d regrettably buy at a yard sale. Beyond that, the side door that I entered, bolted and locked, and to the left of the door, a long countertop that extended a good 12 feet to the far wall and included a dual sink. In the other direction was a locked door. It was sturdy, and had small paneled windows on it. It looked like it went to a study and also had stairs in the room, but it was dark and hard to make out. Behind me, was a similar looking locked door. The walls that separated the kitchen and what appeared to be a living room or den had large windows on them.

I was surrounded by doors I couldn’t trust and unfamiliar rooms.

Taking it all in, I realized that Molly rarely left the kitchen for fear of someone else being in the house, often sleeping on the floor under the table. I walked to the living room door, unlocked it and entered.

As if the room itself were exhaling, a chill hushed over me as I entered. I could hear a ticking grandfather clock and a faint, infrasonic buzz. I closed the door, not wanting to leave any vulnerabilities or traces of where I had been– just in case. I tried to sleep on a blue couch with bloated, spongey cushions lined with a scratchy wool-like blue fabric, but I kept hearing  soft, nearly imperceptible thuds and rhythms that hinted of movement on the third story of the house. I sat up and listened for a long time; looking at the stairs and up into the darkness of the second floor hallway.

For fear of everything I didn’t know, I silently crept back into the kitchen, locked the door and put curtains on the windows in the walls that separated the kitchen and the living room. Molly was back, and she told me that she saw my dad outside a while ago, but he didn’t seem to think anyone was around, so he went back to Hawaii to be in the sun.

As soon as she told me that, they all started arriving. First the outside door unlocked from the outside and opened. It was sone girl I didn’t know. Then the far-side wall of the kitchen slid open like a garage door, turning into a patio roof of sorts. It was Amy pulling up the wall. She had a smile on her face like she was happy that everyone was here at once. She told us that she brought the whole gang. Down the driveway you could see a small fleet of cars rolling in as the chorus of tires flattening the gravel swelled.

Within thirty seconds, a third of my high school class must have been congregated in the kitchen and the newly transformed patio. A black low rider truck was the last to pull up. The tinted windows rolled down, and there he was, Justin, in the passenger seat as some scrawny, methed-out looking kid with a straw in his mouth sat the wheel. He started barking orders to people and announcing how good of a time we were all going to have that night.

Pulling my attention off of them, I saw a figure out of my left. Sweeping my vision across, I saw the living room door sitting open as the air from the room breathed a chill over everyone. Silently, Anton stood next to the door inside the kitchen. He was gusseted with sweat that had been slowly building up the entire time, yet calmly breathed as his eyes fixed on a man he wanted to kill. Justin, much in his manner, cursed at Anton and everyone else unfortunate enough to be in his line of sight. He made a motion at his lackey and they peeled out, back up the driveway the came. The last audible noises being something about promising to come back and put Chigurh in his place once and for all.

All the girls were crying, as everyone, silently and subvertedly horrified, whisked away into the woods in scrambled paths as quickly as they had arrived. I told Molly to sleep in the study and lock the door that enters it, and left.

Much later, I was on the porch of my old house on Totty Road. It was deep night. My dad and I had been inside talking. Neither of us were supposed to be there, and we knew that if our current tenants caught us sitting in the living room that late at night that they would be deeply disturbed. The front door opened, and he joined me on the porch. As he did, the distant sound of reckless machinery appeared down the road as if a bloodthirsty ogre grunting violent threats. As the streetlights briefly hit the machine, I could make out a spinning vehicle.

Round and round, a backhoe twisted and caromed down the cul-de-sac street, accelerating its pace until it smacked directly into the front of my Toyota Camry parked in front of the house on the side of the street. A bald-headed figure plunged into the ground from the now immobile vehicle. It was Justin again, presumably fleeing from a conflict he and his posse just had with Anton. As he hit the ground, he landed like a baseball player sliding into home plate, minus the sliding part plus all the friction of a paved road. A hardhat tumbled loose from his head and flundered down the street, and a small bag of cocaine plotted itself next to him from his jacket pocket.

My dad and I didn’t want to deal with it, or be exposed as having been intruding in the house, but we didn’t know what to do about my car. We dragged Justin up the hill, across the lawn and placed his partially conscious, beat up body on a rocking chair on the porch. Sounds dribbled from his mouth, and his eyes slunk down with a blank stare, his attention trapped on some point in the ground as if he were a curious kid intently observing an ant hill. We were considering walking away and back to the large blue house when several of the girls from the house congregation showed up. They told us they had been learning nursing and they need to patch Justin back up before Anton shows up. It struck me as odd that they said learning and not studying.

One of them, who everyone called Mary, pulled out a small box of band-aids, and gently placed one on his left elbow. Another girl told her that she needed to put rum on the bandage first to sterilize it. The third one pulled out a flask, telling her it was only bourbon but to do it anyway. Frantically, they soaked a second band-aid and slapped it on his elbow as it partially overlapped the first, dripping beads of what smelled more like gasoline than anything else.

I suspected they were actually going to try to set him on fire, then blame it on Anton. One of them was covering his mouth and eyes with damp white cloths. I had already witnessed more of this horrific event than I wanted to. So I just started thinking about getting back to that three story house in the woods, joining Molly in the study, and sleeping on the floor in the corner of the room in quiet, warmth, and transient peace. I thought harder and harder as I could feel my presence slipping away as the chaos around me faded, but I saw him standing next to me. I didn’t want to leave my dad. I hadn’t seen him in so long.

I didn’t see him, but I knew Anton had just arrived; perhaps all the way down the street. If I could have seen it, I probably would have seen an elongated shadow that impossibly stretched itself down the entirety of the road. The mopped head centered in the cul-de-sac, and roping all the way up to a darkened figure in a denim jacket, calmly watching as the houses on the street behind him smoldered and crumbled apart in flame.

I didn’t get to the dilapidated blue house. I didn’t stay with my dad. I didn’t watch anymore of the awkward nurses suspiciously patching up my friend, and I didn’t see the dreadful figure of Anton coolly observing us. Instead, I woke up.

Eruptions

I once had a dream. I was a seagull, on a first class tour of the clouds and mountaintops of a set of lush, coastal islets.

This land, remote, was pimpled green, and the tips of the great hills and mounts oft charred and exhaled steam, the air smelling of seawater and steam and fog. The isles curved around like a lowercase j, with the largest of the mountains dotting like the top, looking down on the rest of the chain.

At the bottom of the ‘j’ were many smaller ones, and atop each one sat a different person. On my tour, I flew past the first of the pimply hills, surveying the inhumanly large men and women sitting on the various tips of these mountains. Savages, they might have been. As I flew by, they hopped up from their roosts, muttering and puffing up clouds of smoke and curses into the air, and the hills ‘rupted to ‘canos. Lava sputtered into the air, gushing Earthblood. It sputtered and stuttered out. The lava missing me well enough. Anytime I closed in to see these men, they took back to their feet, hopping around, fists pumping, cursing with lava and plume.

Unsociable, they seemed, so I continued on down to the larger ones.

The middle section of the isle, I reached a modest sized volcano. On it sat a giant warrior, clad in iron, honor, and fearsomeness. Circling the spout of the mount was a large buzzard, unseemly with a large white circle around one eye and displaced feathers balding his head. His shouts reverberated, a long whistle, bouncing between the rolling hills, and some of the shrill being scooped up into the valley between. He cried out repeatedly to the warrior.

“FREEE– FREEE!” sounded his whistle. His words piercing into my thoughts.

The warrior stood still, sentry atop the slit of the slope. His eyes showed he heard, but he kept silent.

The sounds of the buzzard calling seemed to change to a more shrill tone.

“SHRIEEK! SHRIEK!”

The buzzard saw me approaching and glanced my way. We made eye contact, and in that instant he was whispering inanities to the mind.

Seagull, Seagull, we can save them from themselves. We can incubate them with the fumes of the earth, and rule this island as our own. We can save them.”

I hadn’t yet noticed the crooked grin of his beak. I gave no verbal response, but it seemed he read my mind. The buzzard’s shrill changed shape again.

“FREAK! FREAK!” His piercing whistle darted at me like missiles in the sky. What an insufferable creature. I pressed on. A few minutes later, the sky behind seared with an eruption that made the volcano’s of the savages seem but a child’s sneeze. Moments after that half of the island had been swallowed by pillars of ash unfurling like a giant rising to his feet.

I was not far from the end of the chain, and the mountain at the end, a massive, intimidating spectacle of mass that even at distance appeared to dwarf the size of the earlier hills up close. As I approached, I spotted the very average sized man, seated on the lip of the great mouth, large enough to swallow the earlier hills. He was naked, peering down into the mass of black and hole, his tan skin littered with burns and scars upon burns and more scars and black.

He looked up and called to me. “Bird. Come closer. Talk with me. Company is scarce on my piece of the world.”

I hovered a good 20 feet above him and circled.

“What brings a creature out here other than his own foolishness? Do you not fear me, bird, as the rest of the world does?”

I looked at him innocent and pure as my white feathers covering my body.

“You’ve seen what lies beneath, pus, fury, hate, have you not? I have to sit here bird. I alone. It is up to me to hold what destructive power in this giant cauldron I sit. It is my power that you see below. Can you believe it?”

Everything about him deceived the eyes. A forgettable face, a mismatch in stature and demeanor, even his voice was calm, quieted, hard to catch its waves amongst the deafening rumble of the great mount. He looked at me and smiled, barely, but smiled.

“You’re no fool, bird,” as we accepted mutual understanding of who we are to each other, “this volcano was not meant for the witlessness of the savages, or feigned dignity of the red-blooded warrior. I sit atop this fearsome gash in the earth because I can and only I can.”

He quieted for a spell, as did the volcano beneath him. Arms crossed, he sat in silence, once again looking down into the void.

“You’re like me bird. Quiet and calm and..”

“HEEE! HEEE!” I heard the shrill cry grow behind me. The buzzard must have found the courage to approach after following me out to the end of the range.

The buzzard looked past me, bearing that wily grin upon his crooked beak.

The man, perking up, called back to the buzzard.

“Wild one, join us.”

“HEHE! HEHE!” The buzzard’s long cries now a snicker.

White splattered his face as the man’s reflexes rubberbanded his expression to a shut face. He sighed and looked back down to the void. The entire island rocked, but he patted the volcano lip and mumbled some words in too dim a voice to be heard from above.

The buzzard, again, whispered thoughts to me I’ve since forgotten.

Then, he  intercepted me, batting me down, proclaiming, “FREE! FREE!”

Disoriented, I sunk into the dark. The buzzard’s dishonor had not been unknown to the man, as the last image I saw was the now visibly upset naked man springing to his feet as the Buzzard began to fly away, and then all I saw was black.

I saw it.

I felt it.

From pitchest of blacks, to a yellow filling my face, it tingled of warmth, but instantly continued down the color spectrum.

Orange, to red, to white. From heat, to inferno, to nothing.

I barely felt it, but heard no eruptions.

I woke up instead.

You Are the Hardest

Write this once, write it twice, write it again. In a few months, likely write it again.

You are the hardest person to forgive.

You have to wonder to yourself. You’re snared on that rusted hook, caught by the collar like a defiant dog pulling away from a taut leash.

You try not to consign that you probably gave up the best thing you ever had.

Even now, you still can’t forgive yourself for breaking someone’s heart. For breaking it so completely.

At one point in time, you told someone you know that you wouldn’t mind if you were met with rejection and tortuous relationships in the future, as if you deserved it, but, really, it is just a means to keep feeling guilty. A means to hold on to that unwillingness to forgive yourself.

But you still can’t.

Remain unforgiven.

It’s a part of life, yet you just don’t believe you were meant to break anybody’s heart.

Discovery, Discover Me

We always talk about how we want to be a little kid again.

I remember being a little kid. I was eleven. I would sit in the chatrooms on AOL, and lie about my age. I was always between 14 and 17. I always wanted to be 17. That seemed like the age to be.

One night, I was observing a chat between two older teenagers. The nineteen year old was talking about how he wished he were young again. I remember thinking to myself, “right now, I’ll never think that, but I know when I am older I will.”

Of course it came true. As a twenty-five year old, I wouldn’t mind having my sleep rudely interrupted by my mom at 6 am, being whisked out the door with a blue Conan the Barbarian lunchbox and Jansport backpack that is twice my weight and shuttled off to a full day of school with all the other kids.

They say all sorts of dirty things about nostalgia, of which I guess are true. Yet, while going through childhood once is perfectly enough, I can’t help but think that I wouldn’t mind it because–

When you’re young, you learn so much every day because–

When you’re young, everything is so new.

Discovery, discover me.

Resurrect Golem

My am rocks
Pile am
Pretty woman visit
Magic woman from trees

My from cave
Whisper at my
Rocks live
Resurrect Golem

Rocks am Golem
My am rocks
Golem living
Pretty magic woman gone

Return to trees
Cave alone
Golem stay cave
My am golem

My know rocks
Rocks and cave
Not like Golem
Another one come

Am my rocks
My am rocks
Rocks am golem
Rocks again