Dream of: 19 February 1997 (4) "Man Of Power"

I was riding in the passenger seat of a car driven by Steve Buckner. We were slowly cruising around downtown Gallipolis, Ohio, around the large park which sits in the middle of town and overlooks the Ohio River. I had always liked the scenic little town, and felt at ease being here again.

Buckner soon parked the car and we both began walking along the block of stores which front the park. I liked being in Gallipolis so much, I began trying to think of ways by which I might be able to return to Gallipolis and live here. I quickly hit upon an idea: I could go into politics. Specifically, I could become a judge. The idea rapidly took hold of my mind and I began sharing it with Buckner, suggesting that he might also join me and live in Gallipolis. I told him we could become "men of power." But then I recalled that the term "man of power" was a term which Buckner might confuse with the writings of Carlos Castanada, who had used the term "man of power" to refer to a person who built up his personal power. That wasn't exactly what I had meant here, so I rephrased what I had said, and I told Buckner that we could become "men of political power."

I knew having political power was inferior to having personal power; but the idea of becoming a judge strongly appealed to me. I could come to Gallipolis with the sole intention of being elected judge. Gallipolis was a small town, and I could quickly become acquainted with the more important people in town. I could make my intentions known and seek support. When I finally began running for the office and began running newspaper advertisements, I could state that I had been born in Gallipolis, which was true. Of course I wouldn't mention the fact that I had never actually lived in Gallipolis, nor that I had only lived in Gallia County for short periods during my life. Most people reading the ad would think I had probably always lived in Gallia County. I would have to make sure that the fact that I had been born in Gallipolis appeared in every ad.

Being judge just seemed like the kind of work I would enjoy. The only problem was that I wanted to write, and being judge could interfere with writing. I liked to write in the morning, and if I were judge I would have to go to court every day in the mornings. Perhaps, since I would be the judge, I could change the normal workday from 9-5 to 10-6. But I foresaw resistance if I tried to do that. Most people who worked in the courthouse were probably entrenched in their daily schedules and they wouldn't want to see their schedules altered.

I also had a suggestion for Buckner for the kind of work he could do. I thought Buckner didn't actually live in Gallia County, but right across the county line in a neighboring county. First I thought he would have to move into Gallia County. Then I told him he could run for some kind of office involved with city planning. I knew Buckner had worked in the urban planning department in Columbus, Ohio for a long time. This would be his chance to stop being a mere cog, and instead be in charge of a department.

I couldn't gauge whether Buckner was interested in my ideas. He suddenly stopped in front of a store, stepped out of the car, and walked into the store. Only after I had followed him inside did I realize he had walked into a barber ship. This was a little upsetting to me because I hadn't intended to wait while Buckner had his hair cut. But before I knew it, Buckner had sat down in a barber chair, and a black barber – a thin man probably in his 40s – was already attending to Buckner. Buckner's dark black hair was a little long, but no longer than mine. I looked in the mirror at myself. Like Buckner, I looked as if I might be in my early 30s. My hair was almost completely covering my ears and almost to my eyebrows in front. Indeed, I did need a haircut; but I just didn't feel like fooling with it at the moment.

So instead I walked outside and strolled around for a bit, still thinking of becoming a judge. Of course I would have to try to prevent every little episode from my past from being dredged up – especially using drugs when I had been a teenager. But that had been so long ago, hopefully it was buried in the distant past.

When I returned to the barber shop a short while later, I was surprised to see that Buckner's haircut was already finished. Buckner was still sitting in the barber chair with his back toward me so I could see him from behind. Now, instead of straight, his hair was short and curly; but it looked quite good. And for a moment I hesitated, thinking I might go ahead and get my hair cut also. But then the barber told Buckner that the cost was $8.50. Buckner looked surprised that the haircut cost so much, and that made up my mind: I could get my hair cut for $6.00 somewhere else; I certainly wasn't going to pay $8.50 for it. But without any protest, Buckner paid the man and we walked back out onto the sidewalk.

As soon as we had stepped outside, I had second thoughts about the haircut: why was I being so cheap? So what if I had to pay a little extra? The barber was obviously a good one, and now would be an opportune time to get my long hair cut. And with that, I suddenly turned around and walked back inside. Just as I did so, a boy (about 10 ten years old) had walked up, and was about to enter; but I walked in ahead of him, cutting him off. Obviously he was also here for a haircut, and I didn't want to have to wait for him. I felt a little guilty for cutting him off like that, but not so much that I didn't go ahead and do it. As I entered ahead of the boy, I asked the barber where to sit: four barber chairs were in the room. And before he answered, I saw the one which looked the best and I sat down.

The barber was in the process of hosing down the room, everything in which appeared to be painted blue. The barber even turned his hose onto a blue radio sitting on a shelf. I thought the water would surely damage the radio, but I said nothing. Instead I looked around at just how quaint the barber shop seemed. It appeared to be very old – really, almost a relic of the past. I wondered if the barber had much business, or if he had a family to support. I now realized that with the small amount of business he probably did here, it was necessary for him to charge a little more, and I no longer felt bad about the price of the haircut.

***

Carolina and I had just pulled up in front of the high school in Gallipolis. I was driving the small red car and Carolina was sitting in the passenger seat. It was the first day of class, and since Carolina and I had moved to Gallipolis, we had decided to return to high school and finish. I only had one more year of high school to complete, and I knew it wasn't actually necessary that I do so. Even though I had never completed high school, I had still managed to go on to college and law school. So I was having some reservations about going back to high school, concerned about what everyone would think. Nevertheless, I had decided to give it a try.

As we pulled up in front of the low brick building, Carolina noticed a busload of students getting off, students who appeared to be Mexicans, and she asked me about them. I told her it was true, that quite a few Hispanics were in Gallia County. She expressed her surprise and disappointment about the Hispanics' being here. She was obviously concerned that the Hispanics would be relegated to lower classes and since she was Hispanic, she would have to go to class with them. I quickly told her that if that happened, that she should come to find me immediately, that I wouldn't stand for that. I would make sure that she was able to go to the best classes, and if necessary, I would sue the school. She seemed somewhat satisfied with that, and she walked into the school.

I stayed with the car, because I still needed to take care of something. Sitting beside the car was a red lawnmower which belonged to me. I saw several other lawnmowers sitting in front of the school, and I thought it must be the practice for people to bring their lawnmowers with them – as I had done – and leave them sitting in front. However I was a little concerned about simply leaving the lawnmower here, and I thought perhaps I should put it in the trunk of the car; but I wasn't quite sure.

My attention was distracted by something going on at the side of the school, and I turned to see about 20 fellows playing football. Watching them, I began to realize what good shape they seemed to be in. One fellow, who wasn't wearing a shirt, picked up a football and kicked it. I wasn't in nearly as good shape as these fellows. I had thought that when I returned to school, most of the girls would be impressed by me. But now I saw that that was probably not going to be the case at all. This realization made me further doubt the wisdom of going back to complete this last year.

***

I was watching a scene unfold inside the school. A male teacher (probably in his late 40s) was sitting behind a desk. Out in front of him was a gigantic bed, on which were lying the football players. Only now they weren't alone. With them were about 20 very pretty girls, perhaps cheerleaders. All the girls that I could see were quite pretty and well-built. And although everyone was fully dressed, they were all pressed closed together, laughing and touching each other, presenting what could only be called an inappropriate picture. The lecherous-appearing teacher seemed to be immensely enjoying looking out at the scene.

But suddenly the teacher called out a name, asking where this person was. I realized he was calling my name – not my real name but another name which I had been using. The teacher thought I was a member of the class and that I was supposed to join the others. But I had no desire or intention of taking part in the sordid scene. And as I peered down at the spectacle, I could also see myself.

It was somewhat like the last frame of a super-hero comic – the last frame where the hero is sitting up high on some building, pondering his tortured thoughts, looking out over a gray city. Only I wasn't atop a building. Instead, I seemed to be perched up on something hanging from the ceiling, like large chandeliers. It was a very high ceiling, dark up where I was. I could just see myself sitting up there, silently staring down at the orgy below, where I had no intention of going.

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