Dream of: 10 June 2000 "Futile Search"

Day (a particularly unsavory Portsmouth drug dealer whom I briefly knew in 1972) was driving the car in which I was riding. Day's buddy was sitting in the front passenger seat, while I sat alone in the back. Both Day and his buddy looked as if they were in their 20s. We were heading south from Columbus, toward Portsmouth. While we had been in Columbus, Day and his partner had bought a pound or so of marijuana which they intended to sell in Portsmouth. The partner had already begun putting the grass in baggies and was weighing each baggie of pot on a small digital scale sitting on the floorboard of the back seat. Each time he wanted to weigh a baggie, he had to awkwardly bend around the seat to put the baggie on the scales on the back floorboard. As I watched, I became convinced he wasn't putting enough pot into each baggie, and I challenged him about it. He explained that he was putting three fourths of an ounce into each baggie, and he weighed a couple baggies for me. One baggie weighed .75 ounces, and the other .80 ounces; so he was actually putting more in some bags than necessary. This surprised me, because I didn't trust Day; but it looked as if he were selling pure grass at the proper weight.

The fellow in the passenger seat told me they would charge $75 for each baggie, which meant that an ounce would cost $100. I was glad to know the price – I hadn't bought marijuana in so long, I didn't know how much it would cost anymore.

When we reached Portsmouth, I was let out on Gallia Street, about a block west of Portsmouth High School, in front of a building which used to be a bar. I immediately boarded another vehicle, a white pickup truck, also occupied by two fellows whom I didn't know. I sat on the passenger side, while one fellow sat in the middle and the other drove.

The driver looked as if he were 17-18 years old, while the fellow sitting next to me only looked 13-14. Both were friendly, and I began telling them about my trip to Columbus and about the marijuana which Day had bought. I told them the marijuana was pure, but since I hadn't tried it, I didn't know how strong it was. As I talked and thought about the marijuana, I suddenly realized how stupid I had been: I hadn't bought any of the grass for myself, and I would have definitely liked to have some. Now I didn't have any idea where Day and his partner might be. When the driver of the pickup heard my story, however, he told me he thought he knew where we could find Day, and we headed off in search of Day.

I told them if we found Day, I would also have to find an ATM machine to withdraw some cash, and I began trying to remember my PIN number.

We were headed east on Gallia Street, and had just passed the high school. I saw the old Krispie Kreme doughnut shop on the opposite corner of the street, just as it had been when I had attended high school there. I could even see the doughnuts in the display case, especially the chocolate-covered doughnuts. The shop was closed; I wondered if doughnuts were left on the display case all weekend and then sold stale on Mondays.

The younger fellow sitting next to me was dark-skinned and appeared to have an accent; I asked him where he was from and he told me he was from southern Mexico. I responded, "Yo hablo espanol." And then, thinking about my wife Carolina, I added, "Mi esposa es de El Salvador."

I asked him the name of his home state in Mexico. I was familiar with the southern Mexican states, but when I tried to picture them in my mind, I had some difficulty. I thought he might say he had come from "Torreon," and I tried to visualize where Torreon was located. But he didn't respond, and indeed, he didn't even seem to know the name of his home state. When I asked him his name, he told me his name was "Juanito."

In my lap were two boxes of files which I was carrying around with me. I had been carrying around boxes of files for many years, from place to place. I could even remember back as far as when I had been living in the House in Kilgore (a house in Kilgore, Texas where I briefly lived after my first wife Louise and I separated in 1984). I had carried boxes of files with me to Kilgore.

Memories of Kilgore made me think of my ex-wife Louise. I recalled she had lived with me in Kilgore, but I couldn't remember how she had occupied her time while we had been there. She probably had simply helped me with legal work, or helped me find houses to buy and sell, since that was the time when I was buying and selling houses, but I couldn't remember exactly – it seemed so long ago.

I noticed the title of the first file in one of the boxes on my lap was "Coke"; I knew that file contained some records which had something to do with cocaine. This wasn't a file which I would like to fall into the wrong hands, such as the police, and since the other two fellows and I were now going in search of marijuana, there was always a chance we would run into the police. I pulled out the file and stuck it behind the second file, which was titled "Cable," a harmless file dealing with cable television. Hopefully no one would find the Coke file now.

By that time we had reached the west side of Portsmouth, and had driven down onto a road which passed through a field next to the Scioto River. This low-lying field was partially covered with water, and some water had flooded a section of the road. As we sped along toward the patch of water, I suddenly realized how inexperienced the young driver of the truck was, and I hollered out to beware of the danger. He slammed on the brakes and slowly came to a stop. He then slowly proceeded safely through the water, and again came to a stop on the other side.

Standing next to the road were two women (probably in their 20s) who apparently needed a ride. The driver offered to help them, and they piled into the back seat of the truck. The women didn't appeal to me, and I paid little attention to them. We continued our journey.

Finally we arrived at our destination in the little town of Rosemount, just north of Portsmouth. We were headed to a nightclub located in a large white building, high atop Rosemount hill.

By that time we were no longer in the truck and the women were no longer with us. Instead, the two fellows and I were now riding a bicycle, precariously threading through the fast-moving cars on the road in front of the club. We narrowly avoided being hit as we pulled into the parking lot.

Hundreds of people were lined up in several lines to get into the club. I hadn't planned on that. Apparently my companions were sure that Day would be inside the club, but I was a bit reluctant to enter. I wasn't dressed for this. I was wearing an old sweater and an old pair of pants. What if I met someone I knew? But then I calmed down. First, I didn't look bad. I was trim and in good physical shape. And, second, I wasn't going to meet anyone I knew there. I had been away from Portsmouth for so long, everything had changed. Besides, visiting a club in Portsmouth would be interesting, especially if I didn't know anyone there.

However, I had yet another problem: I was barefoot. Perhaps I couldn't enter the club without shoes. I asked Juanito if I would be admitted without shoes, but he didn't know. I even asked a fellow standing in line, but he likewise didn't know. Finally, however, my concerns were allayed when I noticed several other men standing in line without shoes. Surely if they could enter, so could I.

I was also a bit concerned about becoming separated from my two companions. What if I left my files with them and I couldn't find my companions later? I didn't even know Juanito's last name. I would have to go around asking people if they knew the Mexican boy. When I turned to him and asked him his last name, he said his name was "Faso" and that his last name was "Juanito." That didn't seem correct to me. I thought I must be hearing wrong.

Suddenly, however, my attention was distracted, for I felt something touch my rear. I immediately reacted by feeling for my wallet. It was gone! I hollered out, "Someone stole my wallet!"

I jumped from the bike and began running through the crowd. There, just ahead of me, I saw my yellow wallet in the hand of a young girl not more than 10 years old. I hollered out, "Grab her! Grab her!"

Clearly she was the thief, with my wallet in her hand, but I was cautious. She was so young; simply grabbing her might prove dangerous. But I couldn't let her escape. Hopefully if I grabbed her, she would turn out to have a criminal record, and there would be no doubt of what she had done.

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