Dream of: 12 January 1996 "Plane Crash"

I had pulled up in a car in the alley which runs behind the Grace Street House in New Boston where Birdie used to live when we dated in high school. I was about a block away from the house. I had pulled up next to a pole with what appeared to be an electric box attached to it. Birdie and I used this box to pass messages back and forth to each other. We would write messages, put them in little plastic bottles like pill containers, then put the bottles in the electric box.

I pulled out a pen and looked for a piece of paper. Unable to find any paper, I had to tear off a piece from a magazine, which only gave me a small area on which to write. I had planned to say more, but since I didn't have much space, I decided to simply tell Birdie to call me when she picked up the note. I wrote that I would be in Portsmouth, and I wrote down my telephone number. I also wrote that if I weren't home when she called, she should continue to try to call back, since I would be unable to call her.

However, when I finished writing, I realized the telephone number I had written might not have been correct, and I tried to remember what my number was. I thought it might contain the number "69," but then decided it didn't, because I thought I would certainly remember that number due to its well-known implications. Finally, unsure of my own phone number, I wrote down that tonight Birdie should call me at my mother's home. I would make it a point to spend the night there just so I would be able to answer Birdie's call.

As I was about to finish, a boy (about 12 years old) walked up on to the driver's window and spoke to me. He somewhat resembled Caleb Temple (a character played by Lucas Black on the television series "American Gothic"). He quickly told me I wasn't allowed to park my car there and that I must leave. He then walked around to the passenger side of the car, looked through the passenger window and repeated the same thing.

As I looked at the boy, a thought struck me: this could be Birdie's child. And if he were Birdie's child, he might even be my child. I looked at him more closely to see if he bore any resemblance to me. No, I couldn't see any. If anything, the boy looked more like the man Birdie had actually married. I asked the boy his name and he told me his first name. I then asked him his last name and he also told me that. Not recognizing either of the names, I concluded that the boy must simply live in the neighborhood and that he must not be any relation to Birdie.

Suddenly someone opened the back door of the car; a man reached into the car and picked up something of mine which was lying on the back seat. I stared as the man riffled through a few more of my belongings. I had the immediate impression this man might be with the police, but I still didn't think he had any right to get in my car without my permission or without a warrant. I asked him what he thought he was doing.

Instead of backing out, he slid into the back seat and sat down right behind me. A second man also slid into the back seat and sat on the passenger side. Both men were probably in their late 40s. The first man was rather stocky while the second man was tall and thin. I again asked what they thought they were doing, and the first man spoke up. He confirmed my suspicion that he was some kind of law officer, although he didn't make it exactly clear what he was. He wasn't a policeman, and I concluded he must be some kind of local constable. He rambled on about why he was there, not really making much sense, until I finally turned, looked right at him, and said, "Cut to the chase."

The one thing I had gathered from talking with him was that he wanted me to move my car. Concluding that at this point it might be better to move, I began driving away as the man continued talking. I only understood part of what he said, but clearly he was talking about Birdie and me, trying to learn more about our relationship. Finally he mentioned that Birdie wasn't even home right then, that she had left about an hour ago because of the plane crash.

I looked back at him through the rear view mirror and asked what plane crash he was talking about. He blithely stated that he was talking about the plane crash in which the boys had been killed.

I gasped. I felt my stomach go hollow. I lost my focus on driving and pulled to the side. I could see the tall man in the back seat looking at me with a surprised look on his face, only now realizing I hadn't already known about the plane crash. Obviously they knew little about me at all. And clearly they didn't know I might be the father of one of Birdie's children. And they didn't know how hurt my mother would be to learn that her grandchild had died.

Another thought also occurred to me: if Birdie's children had died in a plane crash, Birdie would become rich. She would probably be able to sue the airline for several million dollars. That was probably what she was working on right now.

Then I realized something else. I turned to the men and asked about what they had said. They had said that "the boys" had been killed. I asked them if they knew about Birdie's daughter, Brandi, and whether anything had happened to her. The two men looked at each other in a puzzled way. Then one of them said Birdie's daughter hadn't been involved, that only Birdie's boys had been killed.

I felt a wave of relief roll over me. Sensing the men didn't understand why, I began explaining that it was possible that I was Brandi's father. I explained that at the time Birdie had become pregnant those many years ago, I had thought I was the father. But Birdie had also been dating someone else at the same time, and she had married the other man. I explained that I had laid no claim to the child, Brandi, and that for all these years I had remained unsure of whether Brandi had actually been mine.

The men were obviously astonished by everything I was saying. I realized Birdie might not want these men to know all this, but I didn't much care. I was tired of keeping all this inside all these years.

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