Dream of: 25 November 2004 "Contemplating Culpability"

I owned a big two-story red brick house on the lot where the Ressinger House should have been. I had quite a bit of clutter in the house and I decided to have a yard sale to get rid of the junk. I went upstairs, but I could only enter the upstairs rooms by climbing along a ledge on the side of the wall. I managed with difficulty, reflecting how I was doing as well as a young person because I had so much experience in climbing like this. I reached the room and entered.

***

I was downstairs, carrying stuff out to the front yard and to the big porch.  Some of the stuff belonged to my mother. There was a lot of clothes. I hadn't advertised the yard sale and I still needed to make signs. I thought I would start at noon -- it was only 8 a.m. now, but people began showing up. Cars pulled up and people began going through the stuff. Then people started buying. I continued taking stuff out to the front porch, but finally I sat on the porch and watched. One woman even walked into the house. I watched her through the door but I didn't' say anything. She went from room to room looking. I had a lot of good stuff in the house which I intended to keep. A second woman went in and found a lawnmower which had belonged to my mother. It was all beat up and looked like a toy. She carried it outside.

Stuff was selling fast, but obviously a lot of stuff would be left because I hadn't even carried it all out yet. Maybe I could have another sale next week at another location

A woman stepped up holding a shirt and a pair of blue jeans and asked me if they were 50 cents each. I said they were, even though I had originally intended to sell clothes for 25 cents. She seemed reluctant to pay so much. Then she piled up some more clothes and something which looked like fish netting. I began counting the pieces. Some brand new pairs of men's underwear were in the pile, but they were size M and I didn't think they would fit me. I counted 25 items. I figured in my head that 20 times 25 was $5, so I told her it would be $7.50 for 25 . She agreed and paid me.

A thin black man (about 40 years old) walked up. He appeared intoxicated. He was holding a black wallet which he wanted to buy. He seemed confused about the price and was offering hundreds of dollars but only pulling out a few dollars for it. Then he pulled out a five hundred dollar bill and said he didn't have change. I told him I had some hundreds with which to make change. But finally he pulled out $16 which we agreed was the price and he paid me.

***

I was in the passenger seat of a truck which the black man was driving. I had asked him to take me somewhere, but now I had second thoughts because he was obviously drunk and driving wildly. He ran a red light and a car almost hit us. I told him I wanted out. He thought I wanted some vodka and he was taking me to a little store where a woman he knew sold vodka. When I told him I only wanted chocolate milk, he confusedly said he didn't have any chocolate. Obviously talking with him was pointless; I told him to just drop me off at a store.

Now we were in a congested downtown city street with cars all around us. Suddenly he turned to his left, just as I saw a boy (about 12 years old) on a bicycle loaded with all kinds of junk and bottles -- obviously a trash collector. The truck ran over the boy. I was stunned -- I could hardly believe it. We had probably killed the boy, but my driver didn't even know he had hit something. I told him what he had done and he backed up. Then he started pulling forward. Now another boy (or perhaps the same boy) was lying right in front of us and the truck ran over him (but lengthwise, not hitting him with the tires.

A crowd was gathering outside the truck. Now I was worried because I was with this guy. Was I culpable? The driver opened his door (we were very high in the truck) and immediately was swallowed up by the surrounding police and crowd. As I also climbed out, I noticed I was only wearing brown socks and no shoes. I thought perhaps I could just merge into crowd and slip away. But was that a crime? I just wanted to escape, but I was unsure what to do.

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