Dream of: 20 August 1982 "Eternity Without Shoes"

My great-aunt Dorothy, my great-uncle Adolph, quite a few other people, and I were in the back yard of the House in Patriot. A metal structure had been built for a cook-out and a fire was burning not far from the structure. I sat down next to the fire, picked up some small sticks and threw them on the fire. Some wood had already been partially burnt; I was careful not to touch hot parts of the wood.

Someone had placed some rocks on the fire, and the rocks were actually burning. I wasn't surprised; I thought rocks would burn if a fire were hot enough.

Dorothy sat down next to me; both of us were sitting on large rocks. When she sat down she took up most of the space and pushed me to the side. She didn't speak to me, and I knew she was aggravated with me about something. I had to push her back some to allow myself enough room to sit there. She threw a few pieces of wood on the fire.

I knew a political message was going to be given soon, but I didn't know whether the message would be broadcast on television, or whether someone was actually going to come there and speak. As I thought about the political event, I recalled that I needed to go to Gallipolis for something, but I couldn't remember exactly why. Perhaps I needed to vote, or perhaps I just needed to go to the county fair.

***

I was walking around through some booths, apparently at the Gallia County Fair. I saw one booth with a man who apparently was running for office. When I walked closer to the booth, I saw two men were actually in it one on one side and one on the other. I also saw some ballots for voting.

The man on the right was a socialist. The man on the left was from another party. The office for which they were running was quite menial. I decided to vote for the socialist and he gave me his ballot. At the top was the letter "N." I circled it, thereby signifying that I was voting for the socialist. I also wrote a large capital "N" on the ballot. The man took back the ballot and looked at it. He didn't seem grateful.

I walked on, looking at the fair grounds. I reached a tent which was roped off. I looked inside and saw a large gray bob cat with white streaks. The cat was rather large, about a meter tall. Only a rope separated it from the outside. It was running around on the dirt floor inside the tent. Apparently it was some kind of attraction.

As I watched, a woman and her children walked into the tent. I thought, "That bobcat's gonna attack them."

But the cat didn't attack; it didn't even seem inclined to do so.

I began thinking that I would like to leave and return to Patriot. Scrutinizing the faces in the large crowd around me, I didn't detect anyone I knew. How was I going to return to Patriot? Perhaps I should call someone; I finally decided to call my old friend Steve Buckner. Perhaps he would come to get me.

I called Buckner on the phone and talked with him, but I couldn't persuade him to come and get me. He simply didn't want to come because he thought it was going to rain. I did notice some lightening. I realized it had rained quite a bit there, and the roads were all muddy. I also noticed that the crowd was thinning out and that not many people were left around me.

I stopped talking with Buckner and began walking around again until I ran into Howard Swiver (a fellow about my age who used to live in Patriot). He told me he was going to leave, but that he wasn't going back to Patriot. When he boarded his car, I also got into to see if I could find out where he was going. He said he was simply going away, and began talking about the mud all around us. He said it wasn't good at the fair when there was so much mud. I thought, "Well, I've just got to get out of here, wherever he's going."

He drove off and I rode with him. I kept trying to find out where he was going. He said something about either going to California, or to some other place which was about 90 miles away. As we drove along, he said he wanted to go to a bar. I didn't really want to go to a bar. I thought something like, "Well, I don't want to drink. I've stopped drinking. And he'll expect me to drink at this bar. I'll just go to the bar anyway, but I won't drink anything. I'll just order coke or orange juice or something like that."

As we drove along, Swiver said something about my getting served at a bar. I said sarcastically, "Well, I'm only 29 years old. I don't know whether they'll serve me or not."

He seemed to have forgotten that I hadn't seen him in years, and that I had grown up.

Suddenly I saw that the car was rapidly approaching a large bank on the side of the road. Swiver swerved off the road and went off the bank. I closed my eyes and could feel us tumbling through the air. When I finally opened my eyes back up, we were again on the road. Amazed, I told him to be more careful. It seemed to me that he was driving rather recklessly.

We continued driving. As we approached a curve, I saw that he wasn't going to make the curve and that we were going to drive off another bank. As he drove off the bank, I again closed my eyes. This time I thought for sure we would be killed. I could feel us tumbling through the air. When I opened my eyes, we were no longer on the road, but were riding along in a field.

Suddenly, in the middle of the field, we pulled up to a large, pretty house made of gray wood. The house looked as if it would be a nice place to live.

I began to realize that something had happened when we had gone over the bank, but I didn't know what. I looked around me; many gray houses were around the area. They all looked modern.

When Swiver began backing up the car, in the distance behind the houses, I could see a large, magnificent city with tall buildings. The houses were apparently part of a suburb of the city. The houses were pretty and intriguing.

I continued to try to understand what was happening. Suddenly I realized we had both been killed in the car accident. We were now dead and had come to this place of the dead. Although I was apprehensive, Howard was quite happy and liked the place. I didn't know what to do, but Howard wanted to go into the city.

So he began driving and we were soon inside the city. People were all over the streets. I saw some black people, and remarked how eerie everything looked. I wasn't really scared, but I was trying to adjust myself to being dead. It was difficult to accept that fact that I indeed was dead.

I saw a few people walking around carrying some identification cards. I didn't know whether they were beggars, or mute, or what. As we would pass them, they would hold up their identification cards to us.

Some people appeared unhappy, while others appeared happy.

When we finally stopped the car and I got out, I realized I was wearing socks, but I didn't have any shoes. The other people were wearing shoes. I hadn't brought any shoes with me, and I was now going to have to spend eternity without any shoes. But it didn't particularly bother me. I thought, "Well, you can't have everything."

I felt the urge to sing; could hear a religious song going through my mind. I thought I could hear other people singing in the background. I joined in. Although I was still quite confused as to what was going on, I thought the best thing I could do at the moment was to sing the religious song.

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