Dream of: 02 March 1977 "Blood Test"

I was with several people in a park in Portsmouth. Someone came along with an instrument like I had seen in a park in Mexico. It consisted of a little electric box from which two wires extended. At the end of each wire was a handle. The idea was for two persons to each take hold of a handle and then the boy holding the little box would turn on the electric current. The current was barely perceptible at first, but gradually the boy would increase the current. The stronger person would be able to endure the stronger current.

With this particular instrument, however, instead of holding a handle, it was strapped around one's arm. A little button was attached to one's finger so the instrument could immediately be turned off when the current became too powerful.

Several people were present and the instrument was strapped to each person's arm in succession. The dials were numbered and went up to 180. No one was allowed to look at the dials while he was undergoing the shock. If anyone went over 100 he was supposed to win a prize. We all tried it the first time but no one made it over 100. We tried it again and this time we were allowed to watch the dial as we underwent the treatment. The first person made it to 115. The second person, who seemed like my poet friend Jeff from Columbus, made it to 180. Then my turn came and I also made it to 180. I could feel the current passing through my body and my arm becoming numb from the electricity.

Since more than one person had succeeded in reaching 180, we would have to undergo a second test to determine who would win the prize. We had to walk down to the bus station and have a blood test to determine how many white blood cells we had in our blood. Whoever had the most white blood cells would win.

On the way to the bus station, I became involved in a tong game. Two people were playing, Beth Barret and Walls. I sat down to help Walls. Beth dealt the cards and Walls had three jacks and two eight's. Beth immediately laid down a flush and said she won. I protested, explaining to her that in tong, a simple flush didn't win. When she had spread her cards, I could only see the top corner which looked like a diamond on each card without a number. Only instead of red, they were dazzling blue. Beth continued to maintain that a flush won; someone else sitting at the table agreed with her, so I finally gave in.

In the next hand, Beth dealt Walls four deuces and an ace. Again Beth immediately tried some slight of hand and laid down three cards which totaled ten points and explained in some incomprehensible way that it was unnecessary to lay down the other two. At first I protested, but then thought that since Walls only had nine points that he was lower than her and that we would simply burn her. Unfortunately we lost one of our cards. The cards themselves seemed at that point to have the consistency of cheese rather than paper. I also noticed the numbers on the cards were arranged like dominoes rather than cards. I scrambled about under the table looking for the missing card, but couldn't find it anywhere.

***

I found myself in an open field with several other people with backpacks. We all left the field, but then I returned alone. Buckner had been one of the people in the field. He had left part of his back pack lying here on the ground and I reflected about how careless he had been. I picked up the backpack with the intention of returning it to him.

I also noticed in a dizzy height of a tree two sweaters of mine sprawling on the branches. I tried but couldn't reach them. I thought about finding a stick with which to reach them.

***

I found myself in a basement with several other people. I had done something bad, but couldn't remember what. Two older people came in and wanted to know who had done the bad thing. All the people here knew I was the guilty one, but no one would tell. For some reason, I had needed to go outside do the bad thing, and upon returning had taken off my shoes. I realized now that if either of the older persons saw that I was barefoot that I could be found out.

***

I was hurrying along Gallia Street in Portsmouth on the way to the bus station to have my blood tested.

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