Dream of: 19 June 2001 (2) "Leaving Portsmouth"

I was at my place of employment, an office, in a room with several other men; I didn't know the others well, but I sat and talked with one a while. He was about 40 years old; he had been convicted a long time ago for putting a bomb in a government agency. Another fellow who worked here had also once been convicted of a similar offense. I thought the two should meet; they probably had a lot in common.

We finished talking and I sat at my small desk. I needed to get busy; but I realized I was supposed to be studying, not working. However, I couldn't seem to get in the groove. Besides, it was Friday. I could afford to take off a little time as long as I cracked down on Monday. Finally, I told the others I was going for a walk and I stood up and walked out.

Outside, I found myself in downtown Portsmouth, right in front of the U.S. Grant Bridge, the long steel structure which crosses the Ohio River, linking Portsmouth to Kentucky. I recalled there was a book store not far from here which sold comic books; I might go to it. But I wasn't interested in comics. I had something else in mind: crossing the bridge and climbing one of the huge hills (almost tiny mountains) which stood on the Kentucky side of the River. I wondered what my work-companions would think if I later came back and told them that I had simply walked across the bridge and that for no reason I had climbed to the top of one of the Kentucky hills. I had never heard of anyone doing such a thing.

***

I was on the bridge, headed for Kentucky. But the crossing was very unusual: the bridge was completely covered with water. Water was washing over the bridge as if it were flooded. However, I could see the land and river far below, and the river was definitely not up to the level of the bridge. Nevertheless, here I was, struggling to swim through the deep, fast-moving water. I had to be careful lest the water grab my and carry me over the side.

Many other people were also swimming toward Kentucky across the bridge, and most were black. I seemed to recall hearing many blacks had moved to Kentucky into a new housing development just on the other side of the hills in front of us; these people must be headed there. I thought of telling one of the blacks that I was surprised to see so many blacks here crossing the bridge; but I didn't.

Instead, I made a comment to a black fellow swimming close to me that we were almost half way across the bridge. He snickered and I heard several other blacks snicker as they swam. Then I saw why: we weren't even over the river yet; we were still on the part of the bridge over top land on the Ohio side. I kept swimming.

***

I reached the end of the bridge on the Kentucky side. But now I seemed to have passed through a tunnel to get here, and I still had to climb up a steep rock face to exit the tunnel. Many people were standing around amidst the rock, waiting their turn to grab a heavy black chain and pull themselves up to a hole which led out of the tunnel. When I thought it was my turn, I stepped toward the chain; but then I noticed a woman had made an ugly face at me, and I thought I must have cut ahead of her and the man with her. I heard someone else in the shadows say, "I don't blame you," apparently supporting the ugly face the woman had made. I stepped back, and as politely as possible, invited the woman and the man to go ahead of me. They both quickly climbed up the rocks to the hole, using the chain. Unfortunately, when they reached the hole, they pulled the chain up with them. Instead of the big heavy chain, they threw back a flimsy little chain to me. Nevertheless, I was able to use the chain and climb up to the hole.

As I was exiting the hole at the top, I saw a paper which contained a list of names. Two names on the list were "Leona" and "Lenora", who I pictured in my mind as Barbara (a former high school classmate) and Lenora (Barbara's younger sister). I thought all the people on the list owned an interest in the bridge or the chain – I wasn't sure which. So Barbara and Lenora must own part of the bridge – or the chain.

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