Dream of: 08 November 1996 "Two Bulls"

It was about 8:30 a.m. when I arrived at the Gallia County Fairgrounds in Gallia County, Ohio – fairgrounds with which I was familiar from my youth. I had planned to meet my best friend from the fourth grade, Altizer. Of course Altizer was all grown up now and ran a successful farm and equipment supply business in Gallia County. I was feeling guilty because it seemed I had overslept, and I was worried Altizer would think I was lazy. But when I showed up and found Altizer at the fairgrounds, he seemed in good humor and didn't seem concerned about the time.

I had a favor which I needed from Altizer. I had been given two bulls – one large reddish-brown bull and a smaller white one – which were waiting for me at the fairgrounds. I was hoping Altizer would take the bulls to his father's farm and keep them there for me. When I broached the subject with Altizer, I suggested his father might keep the bulls for up to six months, and I told Altizer I would pay his father $500 for his service.

I was relieved to see that Altizer had no problem with such an arrangement and that he seemed glad to help. Satisfied that Altizer would take care of transporting the bulls to his father's farm, I left.

***

As I walked through a large office building, which somehow seemed to be the offices for a telephone company, I began thinking of what I had asked Altizer to do. It now occurred to me I had offered to pay Altizer's father far too little to take care of the bulls. I now realized it should actually cost about $100 a month to pasture each bull, and the $500 wouldn't be near enough for six months. I thought I needed to immediately call Altizer's father and let him know I would pay more for him to take care of the bulls for me.

I looked around for a phone, thinking there should be quite a few here since I was at the telephone company, but I only saw one pay phone on the wall. I walked over to it, picked it up and dialed the number of Altizer's father's place of business, a number which Altizer had given me. A man answered, but for some reason, after a short conversation, the man told me to hang up and call back. After I hung up the phone and picked it up to dial again, I realized I couldn't remember the number. Many different numbers began going through my mind, but I simply couldn't come up with the right number. Then I remembered that when Altizer had given me his father's phone number, he had told me a method of remembering the number. Altizer had told me that each number corresponded to a letter in his father's name. I also remembered his father's first name was "Love", and I began trying to figure out which numbers on the key pad corresponded to the name "Love Altizer."

When I had finally dialed what I had thought was the correct number, a man's voice came on the phone. Only it wasn't Altizer's father; it was the operator. He said something about the call costing twenty cents. That didn't bother me, but he also mentioned that every call in Ohio now required the assistance of an operator. That seemed absolutely ridiculous to me, and I said something sarcastic about how the only people who would benefit by that were the operators who would get more work. He immediately put me on hold.

All I could hear on the phone was a tone. I waited and waited. I looked around the room which was filled with small secretarial-type desks and chairs, but no one was in the room. I tried to read some of the papers lying on a desk near me, and I even tried to read what was on the computer screen of a computer sitting on the desk, but I couldn't really make out anything. The time kept passing while I kept getting more and more angry.

Suddenly the operator came back on the line. Only he didn't just come back on the line – suddenly he was sitting right in front of me in the front seat of a car, apparently a taxi, and I was sitting in the back seat. By this time I was so wound up, so angry that he had left me on hold for so long, that the only thing I was interested in was why he had left me on hold. I began screaming at him, demanding he tell me why he had left me on hold and why he hadn't helped me out with my call.

The fellow was black (probably in his mid 20s). He listened to me without responding, then finally turned the cab into the parking lot of a small convenience store. Before I could say anything, he stepped out of the car and left me sitting there. Now I was really angry. I jumped from the car and screamed, "Why didn't you help me!"

The fellow calmly responded, "Yes, I'm going to help you."

As he began walking toward the back of the parking lot, and as I followed, at the same time I began to become aware of something else: I must be in the black section of town. There must have been 15-20 young black men loitering around the lot. Being the only white guy there, I also realized another thing: I could be in a very dangerous situation. About that time my black friend whom I was following turned to me and said, "If the police saw you here, it would almost be too much for them."

I understood what he meant by this cryptic statement. I was indeed in the worst part of town. About the only reason a white guy would be here would be to buy drugs. If the police were to see me, they would just think I had come down here to buy drugs and they wouldn't help me. This meant I was on my own. There was no one to help me here.

This all came home to me as I now realized some of the black fellows were circling in; one had even brushed up against me and had touched my back pocket where my wallet was. Fear began to overtake me. I might even say an incipient panic. One black fellow grabbed my left hand. But at least I was wearing gloves and I thought I might be able to pull my hand out of the glove and leave him there holding it. But then what would I do? Could I just take off running? It looked as if I were trapped. The only possible ray of hope I saw was one fellow in a light blue suit who looked as if he might be white. He was with a black woman, but I thought since he was white he might be able to help me. But I might be wrong. He might just be a light-skinned black and he would just join the other blacks when they killed me.

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