Dream of: 19 August 2001 "Freaks"

I was in the county courthouse of a county just west of Fort Worth. I had come to attend to an unresolved matter for a client for whom I had been the attorney many years before. I was carrying a single paper which pertained to the client. I stepped up to a woman who was a courthouse clerk and told her I needed to see my client's file; but when the clerk searched for the file, she couldn't find it. As the clerk continued to look for the file, I flirted with a couple of very attractive courthouse employees, women (probably in their early 20s). They kept looking at me as if they were interested and I kept looking back at them. Finally, however, I went to another office in the courthouse to see if I could find the missing file.

I felt invigorated to be standing in a courthouse again. I felt older and smarter than I used to feel when I used to practice law. I didn't feel so pressured; I was in no great rush and I could take my time. I might even start practicing law again.

In the second office, I overheard a man talking to another clerk about a bond which he had paid in a criminal misdemeanor case. I gathered that after the man had paid the bond, the bond money had been confiscated because the man had owed some taxes. Now the man was in danger of being arrested because there was no bond money. I had seen this kind of travesty before; I knew when a person signed his criminal bond, the bond contained a clause written in small letters which gave the government the authority to confiscate the bond if taxes were owed by the person. I thought this clause was highly unfair. I even began thinking about suing the state to change the law; of course changing the law would be very difficult. Maybe I could simply sue to have the size of the writing made larger; even that would be an enormous undertaking. I spoke briefly to the man who had the problem, commiserating with him.

The file still hadn't been found, and finally I walked back out into the hall. There I noticed a purplish marbled notebook lying atop some other books on a counter. The notebook looked familiar. I picked up the notebook and leafed through it; the pages were filled with writing which was unmistakably mine. I slowly realized I must have left the notebook here years ago when I used to come to this courthouse; the notebook had been lying here all this time. I tried to read the writing. The script was difficult even for me; it contained some dreams, some poems, and other miscellaneous writing. It all seemed quite personal, although nothing seemed obscene or embarrassing. I wondered how many people had read it – probably not many because it was difficult even for me to read. I read one poem; it wasn't very good but not bad either – it contained the word "joy" a couple times. I felt a little uncomfortable knowing people might have read my personal thoughts here, but it didn't bother me so much. I put the notebook under my arm; I would keep it.

I still needed to resolve the problem for my client; but now I realized I had even lost the single paper which I had been carrying. And now I couldn't even remember her name. I decided to leave. I walked outside and almost immediately found myself on the outskirts of Fort Worth, on the west side. I realized this was the actual area where my client lived. I also remembered something else: my client had wanted to name me in her will. I had known this for a long time, but it had slipped out of my mind. Now I decided being named in the woman's will might not be a bad idea. But could I legally be named in a client's will? I had always heard it was dangerous for a lawyer to be placed in a client's will. I had never been faced with the problem, but I felt sure I could legally put myself in the will; I just needed to be careful and do it correctly. I figured she would leave me $40,000-$50,000. If I combined this with the money I already had, I would end up with around $300,000; that was enough money to feel secure with practicing law again. I could see a bright future ahead

I used to be so pressed when I had practiced law. If I started again, I might go more slowly and only concentrate on a few clients, I would also need new clothes. I would buy some new suits, pay $500 apiece or more for them. I still had the old suits I used to wear; they had always been the cheap kind, but they had served their purpose well. I hadn't wanted expensive suits before, but now I would. I recalled a lawyer I used to see at the Dallas county courthouse. He had been a striking figure, always dressed in expensive suits, but I also remembered he had ultimately been convicted of a crime and had ended up in jail; his fine suits had certainly not helped him.

I was on foot. Since I knew I was in the neighborhood where my client lived, I decided to search for her. But I had forgotten both her name and the name of the street where she lived. I thought if I saw a street sign with the right name I would remember; the first street I came to was "Oak" and I immediately remembered "Oak" was indeed the name of the street where the woman lived. If I found the woman, I thought I would tell her I was just passing by; I didn't want her to think I had made a special trip to find her. I also now remembered her last name was "Davidson."

As soon as I turned onto Oak Street, I seemed to have walked into an apartment building. I looked down the shabby hallway. None of the entrances to the apartments even had doors; the doorways were all covered with pieces of plastic. I was beginning to have serious doubts about the woman; maybe she didn't actually have any money: this place was certainly a dump.

Abruptly a husky man stepped out from behind one of the sheets of plastic; I asked him if Mrs. Davidson lived here. He said yes and stepped back inside. A moment later a black-haired woman (about 60 years old) appeared. She was overweight and plastered with far too much makeup: this was my client. I asked, "Do you remember me?" She responded that she certainly did remember me and she invited me inside.

I walked into a living room and sat down on a soft chair. She sat across from me on a couch. Other people also began gathering and sitting in chairs. After the woman and I had exchanged a few pleasantries, I quickly came to the point: I asked her about her estate. I was already preparing the will in my mind; but I was having serious doubts whether I was going to end up getting anything out of this. From the looks of the place the woman was destitute.

A younger blonde woman (about 30 years old) sat down on the couch. Somewhat attractive, she was the daughter of my client. The daughter interrupted us and said her mother was going to give her money to start up a beauty school; but I quickly gleaned the daughter had no experience in this area. I explained to the daughter that her mother and I were talking about a "will", but that she (the daughter) was talking about a "gift." Obviously the daughter didn't understand much about what we were discussing.

Another woman sat down on the couch. I noticed how overweight they all were – the mother, the daughter, and the other woman. I, in comparison, was slim and in good shape. Their minds seemed fuzzy; mine seemed sharp. But I felt good being here. By now I realized I wasn't going to get any money from the estate of this woman. But maybe I could do something for these people – they obviously needed help. But did they need legal help? What did they need?

Other people had entered the room. A man was on my left. He began speaking rather gruffly and I looked at him more closely. He was on the floor. He had no body from the chest down; apparently his lower body had been cut off and somehow he had survived. Now he just scooted around on the floor, using his arms to move himself. I was somewhat dumbfounded. What about all his internal organs below the chest – how could he survive without them? But when he moved again, I realized he was actually cut off around the stomach – so he did still have space for the internal organs. Nevertheless, looking at him still startled me.

But he wasn't the only one; on my right on the other side of the room was another man who likewise was cut off from the waist down. And on my left on the floor was yet a third person, a boy, who looked like some kind of four-legged animal; he was missing a foot. I thought he was still young, and only part of his body had been cut off. Yet in a way, he was the most macabre; looking at him from one perspective he looked young, but from another perspective he looked ancient.

I was definitely beginning to feel uneasy. When the half-man on my left climbed onto my chair and scooted around behind me, and when the animal-boy climbed up next to me on my left, I began to have a sickening feeling I might be in danger. Maybe they intended to rob me. I only had a small amount of money on me, but if these people were desperate, they might try to take it. If everyone in the room were to attack me at once, I would have difficulty fending them off. The half-man had moved around next to me on my right. I thought I felt him tug at my tie; maybe he would try to choke me. The situation seemed to be rapidly deteriorating. As quickly as possible, I needed to get out of this house of freaks. 

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