Dream of: 01 December 1997 (2) "Nervous Type"

While in the Gallia County Farmhouse, I was thinking I might want to do some work on the Farm. I might even like to learn to use the bulldozer. I thought about my old friend from the fourth grade, Altizer, and of the farm-implement business which he now owned. He surely must be handy at using the bulldozer on his farm, what with all the farm equipment that he had. I wasn't completely sure what I would do with the dozer, but I thought I might try to straighten out the little creek at the bottom of the hill behind the Farmhouse. Part of the creek had already been straightened out once before, but about half the creek still twisted like a snake though the field. I could just imagine myself sitting on the dozer and plowing down the creek bed.

As I fantasized, I happened to look out the front window to the much larger creek at the front at the bottom of the hill in front, Symmes Creek. I was startled to see a suspicious-looking man in a long black trench coat waking along the bank of the creek. Most alarming was the rifle he was carrying. I had seen people walk along Symmes Creek before, either fishing or hiking, but something about this man was suspicious and I was definitely worried. The man seemed to embody a fear that I always carried with me, that I would someday be caught defenseless in the Farmhouse when someone attacked it with a gun. I knew my sister and my mother were also with me in the Farmhouse, right there in the living room. With my mother (only perhaps 40 years old) and my sister (only about 10 years old) in the Farmhouse, I felt even more vulnerable, because they were also completely defenseless; we had no guns in the Farmhouse.

I lost sight of the man for a few moments as he moved through the tress along the creek bank. When he reemerged, he had turned into the driveway at the bottom of the hill and was a walking up toward the Farmhouse. My fears rapidly increased and I was uncertain what I would do. When the man reached the Farmhouse, he didn't come to the door. Instead, he began walking in circles around the Farmhouse, definitely an ominous sign. What was worse, I now realized two other fellows were also outside the Farmhouse, circling around. They were much younger (probably not more than 20 years old). They looked like strong young men with blond hair. They however didn't appear quite as threatening because they didn't have any weapons which I could see. As one walked past the front door, I hollered through the door and asked them what they wanted. Apparently they didn't hear me, because they simply kept walking around the Farmhouse.

I was almost in a panic. I thought it possible I could run upstairs and hide in the attic, but that didn't seem a good solution. I couldn't simply leave my sister and my mother alone. Besides, somebody might set the House afire and then I would be trapped. Finally I thought about Roger Blessing, who lived in the trailer with his wife, Sue, at the bottom of the hill in back of the Farmhouse. I thought I could call him on the phone, if I could just remember his number. I knew the number was similar to the number in the Farmhouse, but I simply couldn't remember it. Finally I dialed 1411 to reach an operator, but when the operator came on line, I was so nervous, I could hardly speak correctly. First I got the name wrong and asked for Roger Blevins instead of Blessing. When I finally gave the operator the right name, she spoke the number so quickly, I didn't think I had it right.

When I hung up the phone, I thought of another possibility: when the intruders were in the front of the House, someone could run over the hill in back of the House down to Roger's trailer. I thought it would be best if my sister run because she could probably run faster, and if necessary I could distract the intruders while she ran. I called my sister to me and told her the plan. She agreed and we went to the back door.

When I opened the back door, however, I saw that a truck had pulled up at the bottom of the hill in back and that a husky black man (probably in his mid 40s) had climbed out of the truck. I immediately recognized the man, recalling I had called him earlier in the morning and asked him to come out to the Farm to help me with the bulldozer. Since I knew he was friendly, I thought he might be able to help me deal with the strangers.

About the same time, I noticed hanging on the wall of the back porch a large black crowbar. I picked up the heavy bar, thinking I might be able to use it to defend myself against the strangers. I also saw a second even larger crow bar and I also picked it up. I thought I could give it to the black man so he would also have a weapon if he needed it. With both crow bars, I hurried down the hill and met the black man. When I began explaining the situation to him, that the men were walking around the house, he seemed uncertain what to do, but when I asked him to help me, he seemed willing, and he took the heavy crowbar form me. Together we marched back up the hill to the House.

We walked around to the front, where I spotted one of the young blond-haired men. He was standing on top of an outside stairs that led up to the second floor. I felt braver now, since the black man was with me, and since I knew we both had crowbars and the blond fellow had nothing. I called up to the fellow and ordered him to come down. He acquiesced and descended the stairs. I immediately demanded that he explain what he was doing here. He meekly explained that he was interested in a girl staying inside the House; apparently he wanted to date her. I wasn't quite certain about whom he was talking, whether the girl was my sister or someone else, but it didn't much matter. I told him he still had no right lurking around here. I picked up some bailing twine lying on the ground and told him to hold out his hands. When he did so, I began tying his hands with the twine.

The second blond fellow walked up, and my sister walked up at the same time. I told my sister to give me some more bailing twine, which she did, and I tied the hands of the second fellow. Once his hands were fully secured, we all stood for a few minutes as I tried to decide what to do with the fellows. It appeared they weren't as dangerous as I had originally thought, and I was now somewhat reluctant to call the police. I finally decided I would let them go, on the condition they promised they would never come out here again without calling first. When I explained the condition to them, they agreed. I told them if they ever showed up again like this and walked around the house, I would call the police and have them arrested. Finally I untied them.

Once I had set them free, I began thinking again about the man in the black trench coat, wondering where he was. Then I saw him; he was at the bottom of the hill in front of the House, crossing back over the Symmes Creek bridge to the other side. I now realized he had a camp set up on the other side of the bridge, in the National Forest area. It appeared that he was simply camping out there, and that he wasn't a threat after all.

It occurred to me that there were two types of men when faced with situations like I had been just through: the nervous type and the calm type. From everything that had just transpired, clearly I was the nervous type. I didn't know why I was that way; I just knew it was true.

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