Dream of: 17 June 1999 (2) "Swept Away"

Five of us were walking along the shore of a daunting river – my two brothers, two other fellows, and myself. Suddenly something happened – either an explosion, a flash flood or some other cataclysm – and the other four were carried away in the raging brown waters. I was thrown onto the mattress of an old metal-frame bed mired in the muck, its posts in the water, a meter or so from the shore. Lying on the bed, just above the muddy water, I passed in and out of consciousness, acutely aware that my brothers had been swept away, aware of the danger I myself was facing, but unable to move or raise myself. I grasped my situation, but could do nothing about it.

Suddenly, my bed began to move, dislodged, and was swept up by the current. I slid off the side into the water, but still held onto the floating mattress. I quickly realized that without the mattress I wouldn't have a chance of survival, because by myself I wouldn't be able to keep myself above the water. I had never experienced such a forceful current. The water boiled like mountain rapids, only many times stronger. The speed was overwhelming. Pulled by the unrelenting current, I could only hang on to the bed. Several logs and uprooted trees staggered along in front of me; if I crashed into one, I would be finished. I thought to myself that this roiling current was similar to the one which had pulled my brother Adolph under, the day he had drowned in Symmes Creek.

Suddenly, my direction changed, and without warning, I was deposited in a quagmire beside the river. Exhausted, barely able to move, I pulled myself to my feet and began walking. Naked, I was completely covered with mud, from the top of my head down. Spotting a typical suburban residential area nearby, I struggled toward it.

When I finally reached the nearest brick house, a woman came to the front door just as I stepped up. She was a thin black-haired woman (around 50 years old). I was barely able to stand up. I asked her if she would help me. I knew I was a sight – naked and smeared with mud; but surely she would help. To my disbelief, however, she told me she couldn't help and that I should move on. Angry, I asked for her name, thinking later when my story appeared in the newspaper, I would tell the world how this woman had turned me down. She didn't divulge her name, however, and I walked away.

At the next house I met a young college-aged fellow. He was thin with black hair and looked somewhat Hispanic. He was a bit friendlier. He provided me with a hose which I used to spray off the mud. Then, upon my request, he brought me a towel to wrap around me. But although he was helpful, he didn't seem overly concerned about my situation, and was more interested in talking about a college party which he planned to attend that evening.

Once I was cleaned off and had the green and white towel wrapped around me, I asked for a phone. The fellow led me into the front room of the house and handed me a portable phone which appeared to be partially disassembled. The front of the phone was missing so that the number buttons weren't on it. Instead, I had to push on tiny little nodules. The fellow seemed unconcerned with the difficulty I was having dialing the number. I thought of first dialing 911, but decided I would first try to call my father.

Since the number was long distance, I used my calling card number, the first numbers of which were "1010." It seemed peculiar that I was making an emergency call and using a calling card. But I didn't want to be accused of making a long distance call and charging it to someone else.

I finally dialed my father's number, and soon heard his voice on the other end. But to my dismay, he was talking to someone else and he couldn't hear me. I cried plaintively, "Dad! Dad!" But, he still couldn't hear me and finally I had to hang up.

In the meantime, the father of the fellow walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. He definitely looked Hispanic. He wanted to know what I was doing in the house; I began explaining to him what had happened to me. He seemed interested, but not particularly sympathetic to my plight. I went through each step in detail, how my brothers and the other two had been swept away, how I had been on the bed and had also been washed away in the water, and how I had finally been deposited in the mud and made my way to his house.

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