Posted by: normanlgreen | October 9, 2011

Dream, October 9, 2011 chase and empathy

Dream, home, 7:22 am

E pluribus unum: a rare chase dream

I drive on the old FM 1960 in Houston, and find that I have dozed off behind the wheel, but succeeded in stopping beneath the underpass of I-45. It is early morning, and there is light traffic in the pink haze. This sleeping at the wheel has happened more than once, so I devise a method to keep myself awake during the trip north – I will drive from the passenger seat, using the cruise control and steering with my left hand.

Having set the speed at the limit while heading north on the interstate, I switch seats. An cardboard box juts between the two front seats, extending almost as far as the gear shift. This makes delicate control of the steering wheel that much more of a challenge, which is what I was looking for to keep my mind engaged. On the north side of Huntsville, where the interstate has some curves, I spot a Highway Patrol car traveling below the speed limit, I slow a bit, but pass him and wonder if he notices how I am seated. Ahead I see a road block shunting cars to an exit on our right. I pull off, as has a group of other drivers. An old gas station, with a convenience store added to its back and a greasy spoon restaurant behind that, all have cars parked around them. I get out, happy that I have not been selected for questioning by the troopers for my eccentric driving technique, and walk the dirt path back to the cafe.

Inside, the staff are cleaning after the breakfast rush – they will reopen for lunch. The entry by the glass register counter smells of dirty mop water and a sink full of dishes. I sense the mist of an industrial dishwasher in operation, though feel uncertain that I want to come back. The staff looks sullen and unapproachable, so decide to return to the convenience store to ask after the restroom.

Between the cafe and the store stands a glass and aluminum shelter for people waiting for the Greyhound Bus. It looks disused with weeds growing around it.  I pass through it on my way to the store when I spot an odd and forbidding character. Six and a half feet tall with a brown leather jacket stretched across his wide shoulders, something between a man and a machine, a bronze-toned man scans the space between the three buildings with his goggled eyes. He leans aggressively in the direction he faces, and I know it is me that he seeks. Something about this posture tells me that he can only sense motion. I dart back into the bus shelter, having left a stem of grass with its seed head waving in the breeze where I stuck it at head level, into what is left of a chain link fence. I hit the floor in the shelter and crawl on the concrete around to the back of a glass door that is lodged open. I watch the killer rage where he stands at the fence, knowing he has been fooled. He staggers toward the glass booth. I look up from my place on the floor and through the door see him leaning on the door handle, panting, his face toward the floor – only the sheet of glass separates us.  If I were to move he would see me. I try not to breath as he leans panting and despairing. Tears leak around his tight dark goggles, and sweat falls from his face.  A string of drool extends from his open mouth. He hears something behind him, straightens and turns. I take the opportunity to scamper out the back and toward the restaurant. Halfway down the dirt path, a scraggly stand of privet gives me a spot to hide. I kneel and turn to see if he is on my tail. He is not in sight.

I walk back up and into the store,  where the view shifts to third person. I watch myself buy a lottery ticket from within a square of glass counters that display the various gambling cards. Mixed fortune: the clerk discovers that I have won a thousand dollars. A bell sounds, and she shouts out that I am a winner. She leaves to fetch a Polaroid camera to take my picture to add to a display in one of the glass-topped cases. I think: this will make it easy for the killers to follow me. The view switches back to first person and I spot the killer, a man who has been surgically modified for this task, not a monster by nature, but by re-design. He stands in a corner of the store, weeping, shoulders heaving. I walk over to comfort him.

Waking words: a rubber hangman’s knot.


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