Dream of: 08 August 1995 "Pact With God"
My old friend Mike Walls (in his mid 20s ) was busily preparing a meal in a large white kitchen. Walls was fit and slender, and his hair was still black instead of gray.
As I watched Walls cook, I was still recalling the bizarre episode of the previous night, and comparing notes with Walls about it. The night before, Walls and I had been in a room with our old friend Buckner and the three of us had probably used some drugs. During the course of the evening, Buckner and I had noticed Walls had stretched out on his back on the floor, and when we had examined him, we had discovered that Walls had died. Uncertain what to do, we had simply left Walls lying on the floor for about an hour. When Buckner had finally walked over to Walls to move him, he had noticed a slight movement from Walls.
Without hesitation Buckner had set to work and had quickly removed the top of Walls' skull. Buckner had accomplished the procedure in a way which had reminded me of a similar operation I had seen performed by the character Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (the character played by Steve Martin in the movie The Man With Two Brains). After Buckner had tinkered with Walls' brain and had replaced the top of the skull, Walls had returned to life.
Now, the next day, as Walls and I were alone in the kitchen, I wanted to know more of what Walls had experienced while he had been dead; I asked him if he could remember anything which had happened during that time. Walls replied that he could only recall that while he had been dead he had made a "pact with God." Since I knew Walls lived a fairly debauched life, I thought to myself that if he had actually been able to make a pact with God while he had been dead, he would be wise to adhere to his side of the pact.
When Walls had finished cooking, six or seven men lolled into the room and sat down at the long table in the center. One man was Walls' father and two or three of the other men were Walls' older brothers. It was Walls' duty to cook for the other members of his family (Walls didn't have a regular job), and in exchange he was allowed to live in the house.
Walls had prepared a large plate of dark hamburgers and fried potatoes, as well as some salmon cakes. When everyone at the table began greedily eating without saying anything, I knew I could also eat if I wanted, but I decided not to. Besides, I thought when we were finished there, Walls and I were probably going to smoke some marijuana, and I preferred not to have eaten anything if I were going to smoke.
In the meantime I picked up a magazine lying on a magazine rack, and began reading it. The magazine had a western theme, symbolized by a picture of a large gray wolf on the cover. Inside the front cover of the magazine was a full page reproduction of the cover of another magazine – a western comic which had first been printed in 1945. A reproduction of another old comic was also on the first page of the magazine. The magazine itself was rather old, and I knew I had a more recent copy at my home. In fact, I now remembered I also used to own this very magazine which I was reading, but I had given it to Walls many years ago. I thought I might ask Walls if I could borrow it so I could look through it again.
Even though the men were still eating, Walls soon informed me that he was finished in the kitchen, and that he and I could leave. When I began looking for the brown leather jacket which I had been wearing, I realized the jacket actually belonged to Walls. Nevertheless, I donned the jacket, momentarily snagging my hand on the inside lining, but finally pulling it on.
As we were about to leave, I asked Walls if he knew where I could buy some marijuana. Of course he did. I told him I wanted either a half ounce or an ounce – I was unsure how much. I hadn't bought any pot in such a long time, I didn't know how much it cost, but I didn't think I wanted to spend more than a hundred dollars.
When we walked outside onto the street, I quickly realized we were in downtown Portsmouth, on the corner of Chillicothe and Sixth Streets. Another fellow soon joined us, and I could see another woman crossing the street toward us who would also become a part of our group. Both newcomers were our friends, and together we formed a conspicuous-looking foursome, obviously set apart from the people around us. Especially striking was the way we were dressed. Walls, for example, carrying an ebony cane, was clothed in a rakish black suit and a black derby hat. The woman (probably in her 20s) was attractive and appeared elegantly defiant in her long black cape and black hat. I myself (instead of the leather jacket) was now wearing a gray fur coat which draped to my ankles. Although the coat was quite different from my usual attire, I quickly adapted to the feel. Our attire was in stark contrast to the clothes of everyone else on the street, especially to the business suits which some men were wearing. But however conspicuous we were, no one stopped and stared.
After we had walked a few more steps down Sixth Street, Walls began pointing at and counting the doors of the buildings, trying to determine which building to enter. Finally he pulled up in front of a luxurious-looking building with a rich wooden facade. Once he had determined this was our destination, we entered and began climbing some stairs to an upper floor.
I knew this was the place where we were going to buy the marijuana. Once we reached the door to the habitation which we were seeking, we were immediately let into an attractive and spacious apartment. I had originally thought this apartment might belong to Duff (with whom I first came in contact in 1964 when we were both in the seventh grade); but now I doubted that, because I saw a fellow whom I didn't recognize sitting in the room and smoking from a water pipe. As the fellow stood up and walked out of the room, he told us we could smoke from the pipe if we wanted. But I didn't feel like it; I only wanted to test the pot which I was going to buy, wary the pot in the pipe might be different. However, I did stop and think maybe I should at least try the pot in the pipe – it might be even stronger than what I was buying.
Before I could make up my mind, I heard a noise emanating from outside in the hall. Alarmed, I instantly realized that the police were outside and that they intended to raid the apartment. With no hesitation, I walked straight to an open window at the back of the room and looked outside. Although we were on an upper story, I quickly slipped through the window and grabbed onto some black metal bars attached to the side of the building. I began lowering myself past the next floor, and then swung underneath an overhang on the following floor. Sheltered by the overhang, I was now out of sight of anyone who might look out the window from where I had exited.
I then slipped back inside through another window on the lower floor, and found myself in a hallway with doors to apartments all up and down the hall. From the distance I could hear the voices of police; I concluded they would be coming to search this floor. I needed to enter one of the apartments as quickly as possible. Noticing a small pane of glass had been broken out of the door nearest me, I thought I might be able to reach my hand inside the door and open it. That wasn't necessary, however: I simply pushed the door and it yielded to the pressure.
Crossing the threshold, I found myself in a small bathroom. I quickly slipped into the large shower, looked up over my head and saw several large ceiling panels, each about a meter square. I reached up, pushed back one of the panels, climbed up into the ceiling, and sat in the corner over the shower. After shoving the ceiling panel back in place, I also found a piece of white plastic which I wrapped about me. If the police pushed back any of the ceiling panels, they wouldn't see me with the plastic around me; only if they shoved back the panel over which I was sitting would they discover me.
I doubted the police would go to the trouble of removing ceiling panels. They would probably soon end their search and leave. But when would it be safe for me to emerge? Would surveillance of the building be maintained? And how long could I survive without eating? Maybe I could climb over the ceilings and drop down into a neighboring apartment to look for food. I might stay up there as long as three days. Then it should probably be safe enough to come out.
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