Posted by: normanlgreen | January 29, 2012

Dream, January 29 2012, dangerous drive, day loabor on ships

Dream, home, 6:08 am

A call comes in the middle of the night. One of my sons is in trouble down in the residential district at the base of Alabama Hill in Bellingham. This wakes me from a sound sleep, but I drag myself out to the car. On the drive toward the Texas street neighborhood, the car begins to have difficulties. The steering pulls so hard to the right that I must lodge my arm in the wheel to maintain anything like a straight course. There are few street lights in that part of town with some blocks without any light at all. With no moon, when it is dark, it is dangerously dark. This is the point when I realize that my headlights have failed. Try putting on the warning flashers just to give a little light ahead, but this does not help – they also fail after the first flash. I should pull over and wait for daylight. Should, but stubbornly, I keep driving, knowing that I could run into someone or something at any moment.

Next I find myself under arrest and held in a police sub-station on Orleans street at Texas. I discover that I left the house wearing only a t-shirt and no britches. Somehow I have become drunk, though I have no recollection of drinking. My son is being held in the same facility. We are released. Outside the morning sun is bright. Very little time has passed since the dangerous drive. I say: “so it really is darkest just before the dawn.” No one is interested in my epiphany.

Later: My oldest son has transformed into my more adventurous brother. He hops onto foreign ships while they are in the port of Seattle. When he can, he works short hops up and down the coast, but many times he helps with maintenance work while the vessels are docked. the captains pay in cash, so this is a quick source of  money.  Our parents are to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, so Addo needs to make some quick cash.  He has gone down to the port to see what he can scrounge up in day labor. I follow him down there, partially to make sure he gets to shore on time, partially because I would like to give it a go.

A cruise ship of foreign registry is anchored offshore. Addo stands at the end of a wooden pier. A tender is tied to the piles, but is not going back out to the larger ship. He and I jump into the shallow water and swim out to a platform off of the port side of the outward facing ship. The sun is very bright, and the water is warm. We pull ourselves aboard. The crew neither welcomes us nor blocks our passage – they are accustomed to picking up a little help in this manner. Addo leaves to locate an officer who can give him a short assignment before the ship departs. I enter the main compartment of the ship and discover men draining an Olympic-sized swimming pool. I help them to retrieve metal railing that have sat on the floor of the pool. These men do not want my help. I realize how late it has become so head for the stern. Outside, the crew has just cast off. The screws are churning the water behind us as we stand on a deck that is level with the sea water. As we get underway, the pilot turns the ship to port. The ship bobs in the water which pours over a wall of only three inches of height. I ask permission of an officer that I might go overboard. Again, they are so accustomed to men coming and going in this manner that he does not think twice. At the ship’s lowest point, the deck is just below sea level, at the crest of the swell, we are four feet above it. The officer recommends that I time my dive at the bottom of the cycle so that the upward motion will fling me further from the ship. I grip two oval-shaped knock-outs in the low gunwale and launch myself like a competitive swimmer. When I hit the water, I make poor speed as the water is so choppy. Yet, I make it to the deck of a ferry that is attached to a dock.

For the second time, I pull myself aboard a ship, while I am dripping wet. I climb a set of stairs on the outside of an exterior bulkhead, hoping to find a short cut to land. Above the body of the ship, a wide platform for antennae and such would act as a bridge. In fact, four men sneak across its surface, coming toward me, but looking over their shoulders to see if they have been detected. I decide this in not the route for me. I climb back down where I see Addo who wears a yellow jump suit and stands among a crowd of party passengers. He suggests that I melt into the crowd to take the shortest route to shore. I indicate my wet clothes. A gentleman passenger has been issued a platter of party favors, including a cheap harmonica – he toots on on it experimentally and smiling happy with himself.



  1. I hate driving in dreams- I’m always an awful driver. The scariest ones are when I think I’m really awake and something’s wrong with me. In one of those I pulled over and called my friend because I was scared. They’re never very good dreams…

    • not too fond of driving in the waking world, but cars in dreams always come with frustrations.

  2. I used to, as a youngster, love driving in my dreams because I could drive from about the age of 10 but only in my dreams!

    • Up until I learned to drive, in my middle twenties, I would find myself in the back seat with no one operating the car. I would have to climb to the front and learn some quick skills.

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