Dream of: 24 May 1996 "Upgrade"

I was standing outside a house which vaguely seemed like the Gallia County Farmhouse. My ex-brother-in-law James and a couple other fellows were also standing there; the three of them were about to get into a car. Recalling that James used to smoke a lot of marijuana, I wondered if he were now going to go get some. I hadn't smoked any pot in a long time, but I would like to try some again. Or maybe he was even going to get some LSD. It had been even longer since I had taken any acid, but I thought I might even like to try some of that. However, James and I had never socialized much, and he had always seemed a little secretive; so I didn't think there was any chance that he would ask me to go with them. Thus I was surprised when – in a friendly way – he told me to get in the car.

***

I was sitting in a house with James and the other two fellows. It seemed that indeed James was trying to score some pot, and I wanted to wait until he had the marijuana so I could try it. Suddenly, however, I realized I wasn't going to be able to wait because I had something much more important which I needed to do, something that had slipped my mind, but which now came back to me.

I recalled that when I had ridden off with James, I had forgotten that I was supposed to be taking care of my crippled brother Chris. Since Chris had muscular dystrophy and he couldn't care for himself, I needed to return to him immediately. I found it hard to believe that I had been so negligent as to have simply left Chris by himself.

I wasn't completely sure where Chris was, but I did remember that one of the fellows with James had taken Chris to a place where someone was presently supposed to be watching Chris. I hoped the fellow might offer to drive me to Chris, since the fellow had a car and I didn't. However, if the fellow didn't offer, I wasn't going to ask him. I would simply take a taxi. Looking out the window of the room where I was, I could see a city street with several taxis on it; I could easily go out there and catch one.

***

I had already picked up Chris (who looked 7-8 years old, but also somehow seemed as if he were only 2-3 years old). He and I were now riding in a car with several people who seemed to comprise a small family. Chris was in the front seat with a woman who seemed like the mother of the family.

As we rode down a long stretch of country highway, I realized I had traveled about 40 miles to reach the place where Chris had been. Our return journey would be another 40 miles back. I was glad I hadn't taken a taxi, which would have been expensive.

It was unclear in my mind exactly where I had picked up Chris. However, I did have a memory of being at a grocery store where there was nobody except Chris and the family who was now in the car with us. While at the store, I had also done some work, mostly moving things around; and to some extent the family in the car had helped me. These facts were all relevant because a girl in the car suddenly mentioned that I hadn't yet paid her for the work she had performed for me.

I turned and looked at the girl (16-17 years old). Although I was sitting in the back seat, she was sitting in a seat behind mine. I began a discussion with her, trying to clarify what she was talking about. I recalled that I had indeed paid her for some work at the store. As I recalled, I had given her $16, even though she had done nothing more than make me a peanut butter sandwich.

But she made it clear that she wasn't talking about the work which she had done at the store; she was talking about the fact that she had shown me where the store was, and that she thought I should pay her $40 for just doing that.

I was irate that she would try to charge me for just showing me where the store was; I forcefully told her I wasn't going to pay her anything. But then, just as quickly, I pulled out my billfold and turned back to her. I angrily told her I was going to pay her $10 for her services; I began counting out some $1 bills from my billfold, but I was having trouble counting, and when I finally spotted a $10 bill in my billfold, I pulled it out and handed it to her. I turned back around and, still angry, began telling the girl's mother what had happened, how the girl had charged me first for working at the store, and then had charged me for just showing me where the store was.

I thought that the mother would surely sympathize with what I had to say and that she would berate the girl, but the mother didn't seem to care; or if she did care, it looked as if she would probably incline toward the girl's side. These facts all made me realize I needed to reassess my position there in the car. And in so doing, I realized I needed to get Chris out of the front seat and bring him back with me. These people weren't my friends, and they probably didn't really care what happened to Chris. I needed to get him immediately.

I leaned over the front seat and began trying to pick Chris up. As the woman helped me, I sensed that she indeed was glad to have me take Chris. I had difficulty getting a good hand on him – he was so unwieldy and he couldn't move much himself – but finally I managed to pull him over the seat to me. He was wide awake and looking all around, but he never said a word. He was only wearing a pair of white under shorts; I wondered if he felt embarrassed since everyone else was fully dressed. But he was unconcerned; he seemed unconcerned about almost anything.

When we finally all settled down again, I pulled out a little pamphlet – an advertisement for computers – and began leafing through it. Oddly, the letters and numbers on the pamphlet began rapidly changing, as if somehow the paper was able to pick up new information. This seemed to be a rather remarkable technological advance. How was such a thing possible? Apparently even a simple magazine could now be computerized.

This made me think of my portable computer. I had had the portable for over four years, and it was already obsolete. I probably needed to buy a new portable. But maybe I could simply upgrade it. My portable was a 256; could I upgrade it to a 356? Then if I added a modem, I should be able to go anywhere and still be on-line. With the new technology, would it be possible to pick up satellite signals direct without hooking into a telephone? I was unsure it would work, but it was worth pondering.

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