Dream of: 11 May 1997 "Intervention"
Hundreds of people were out in the street. There was either a parade or a big party in progress, and I was right in the middle of it. I was in Portsmouth, on Gallia Street, the main street that runs through downtown and ends up at the bridge over the Ohio River. I was right at the end of the street, and only a few feet from where the bridge began. The old Checkers hardware store, torn down many years ago, was still standing. My most vivid memory of that store was when I had been caught shoplifting in it when I had been about 14 years old.
Suddenly some men grabbed me and whisked me off. Before I could resist, or even think about resisting, they had hauled me off to a small room where about a dozen people were sitting around a long brown table. A man who seemed to be with the military or the police was sitting at the head of the table. He began talking to me and it quickly became clear that he was the person in charge of the situation. At first I thought I was under arrest, but as the man continued to speak, and I tried to concentrate on what he was saying, it began to appear that I wasn't actually being arrested. Actually it began to appear that it was more in the line of something I had heard of before, but had never actually witnessed: an intervention.
I now realized I knew all the people sitting around the table. I didn't know them well, but I could see that they all were quite concerned about me and worried about how I was leading my life. A black woman sitting to my left (I was still standing, having climbed up on something so I was about 30 centimeters off the ground) seemed particularly concerned about me. I hadn't known the woman long, and I didn't understand why she would be so worried, but she was.
I was finally able to realize that the main focus of this little gathering was to confront me concerning my lifestyle. I was willing to admit that I did indeed lead a reckless, even dangerous life, but I wasn't particularly concerned about it; I liked the way I lived and I hadn't given much thought to changing. The group seemed particularly concerned about my drinking habits. I knew it was true that I had been drinking more lately; but it wasn't something that I felt the need to change. Even now I was still feeling the effects of a couple beers I had drunk earlier. The beers made me feel more lively and free-spirited. I could admit that the beer might not be exactly healthy, but I liked to drink and I saw no immediate need to quit.
I also thought the group might be registering some concern about drug use. Anticipating what they might have to say, I said, "I haven't smoked any pot in ... almost a week. I was going to say three years, but then I remembered that I slipped a few times recently."
I found that my mind was a little foggy on this subject. On one hand it seemed as if I hadn't smoked any marijuana in three years, but then again it seemed as if I had recently smoked some, and I concluded I had smoked some about a week ago. At least I knew I didn't have any pot on me, and I knew I couldn't be arrested. The man in charge at the head of the table, if indeed he was a cop, would have no reason to hold me.
And holding me seemed to be what they wanted to do. That was the crux of the problem, because I knew I was going to be leaving very soon, heading off to London. Nothing anybody said there could change my mind about that – I was going to get out of this place and soon. It was an absolute necessity that I make it to London.
The man at the head of the table seemed to concede that he wasn't going to be able to hold me, and he knew I was going to be leaving for London. I was beginning to have the feeling that he was CIA, but I was also beginning to feel that he wasn't so much concerned with arresting me as with helping me. Finally, referring to my trip to London, he asked, "Will you need any friends?"
I quickly responded, "Yes I will."
The idea of having friends hadn't been heavy on my mind, but now that he had mentioned it, I realized I would indeed need some friends. I knew that after I landed in London, I intended to go to Ireland, where I had a very close friend. My friend in Ireland closely resembled Stirling (an Australian with whom I had been in prison in Iran). I knew I could count on him.
The man at the table continued talking, telling me he would give me the name of a man in London whom I could also contact. I thought the fellow in London might also belong to the CIA and I had doubts about getting hold of him. But I somewhat trusted the man at the table, even if he was involved with the CIA, and I thought I probably would contact the fellow in London.
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