Since 1973, I have recorded over one thousand dreams in which my father has made an appearance. The following two hundred or so dreams encapsulate those appearances.

 My father was born in Greenup County, Kentucky on October 14, 1932 to my grandparents, Cole and Mabel. Cole died in 1947 when my father was 15 years old and the next year in 1948, my grandmother Mabel married my step-grandfather Clarence.

My father married my mother on December 14, 1951 and I was born on November 20, 1952. Three more children were born in the ensuing years and in July 1961 my father moved his family of six unto the Gallia County Farm, 388 acres nestled in Wayne National Forest in hilly southeastern Ohio. The following summer, on July 18, 1962, my seven year-old brother, Adolph, drowned in Symmes Creek, which flowed at the bottom of the hill in front of the Farmhouse . I was swimming with Adolph when he drowned. When I managed to reach the shore of the creek, I leaped up, dashed toward the Farmhouse as fast as I could, and when I reached the Farmhouse, I cried out to my mother that my brother was drowning. It was too late.

Dream of: 11 August 1973 "Enveloping Water"

With my father and my mother (in their early 30s), I was visiting my paternal grandmother Mabel and my paternal step-grandfather Clarence in the big two-story Gallia County Farmhouse on the hilly Gallia County Farm. Being out in the green summertime trees and fields made me feel young..

I walked out of the Farmhouse and headed down the hill behind the Farmhouse to the old milk house at the bottom of the hill. After I had reached the barn and looked over the stacked hay, my step-grandfather Clarence pulled up on his tractor and announced that he needed to load seventeen bails of hay onto the platform-lift behind the tractor to take to his cattle.

I told him that I would help, but that I first had to urinate. After walking to the side of the barn, I urinated (much longer than usual) and I became engrossed with the sensation – as if I were experiencing a protracted sexual orgasm.

Having finished, I returned to Clarence, helped him load the hay, and then climbed onto the tractor. Another man (whom I didn't recognize) stepped up, climbed onto the rear of the tractor with me and sat down. Once the man was seated, he opened his mouth and displayed hair growing inside. When I realized the tractor wasn't moving, I deduced that a hair in the man's mouth had to be pulled to set the tractor in motion; so I reached into his mouth and jerked one of the hairs, whereupon the tractor immediately jolted and we were on our way.

While his four healthy dogs bounded along beside us (two older dogs appeared younger and stronger than usual), Clarence steered the tractor around to Symmes Creek Road in front of the Farmhouse. Clarence then pulled off the Road and into the field at the bottom of the hill in front of the Farmhouse, where muddy Symmes Creek flowed. After Clarence began driving along the edge of the creek, he ventured too close to the edge and the tractor began tumbling over the bank into the water. Only now (as I managed to slip unharmed off the side) did I notice my father and my step-uncle Ivan (Clarence's son) also on the tractor. They, along with Clarence, were drug into the enveloping creek. Fearing the worst, I sat down on the creek bank and waited for them to re-surface – my terror and fear prevented my jumping into the water to save them.

Finally, I leaped up from the ground and dashed toward the Farmhouse. Running as fast as I could, I reached the Farmhouse, rushed inside and cried to my grandmother and my mother that the tractor had crashed into the creek, that my father, Ivan and Clarence had drowned and that I had been unable to save them because I hadn't known life-saving. My mother rushed from the Farmhouse (with me following) and headed toward the spot where the tragedy had occurred. As my mother and I approached the creek, we heard voices, and I began to harbor hopes that the men had survived.

When we reached the creek, however, we found seven strange men sitting on the bank to the left of where the creek had swallowed the tractor ... seven men brandishing rifles and shotguns. A rotting moose head lay on the ground near the men. When I plaintively asked the men why no one had helped with the accident, they just laughed. When I repeated the question, they continued laughing.

In anger, I picked up some mud and slung it at one man – the mud struck him in the face. When the man in turn picked up his gun, my mother and I ran, and he chased us, back toward the Farmhouse. When I reached the Farmhouse, I raced inside, grabbed one of Clarence's guns, loaded it, and aimed the loaded gun at the man as he antagonistically climbed up the hill in front of the Farmhouse.

My grandmother stood in the room watching the scene; she seemed ancient and completely disconcerted by the events.

After the tragedy of my brother's death, six months later, in early 1963, my father sold the Farm to his mother Mabel and his step-father Clarence and by early 1964 he had moved his remaining family of five to Portsmouth, Ohio, a river-town on the banks of the Ohio River. Around December 1964, my father, my mother, my sister, my brother Chris and I moved into the Gay Street House, a huge Victorian House in Portsmouth.

Dream of: 10 April 1974 "Pictures"

Mike Walls and his girlfriend Atherton (two friends from my high school and college days) were visiting me in the upstairs living room of the Gay Street House. As I sat on the couch talking with Walls, Atherton stood in front of the large mirror over the mantle. Following a strong urge, I stood and walked over behind her. Standing behind her, I threaded my arms between her torso and her arms, and I clutched her breasts in front. At first she resisted, but since Walls merely sat on the couch and observed, she relented as I slipped my hands inside her low-cut blouse and relished the feel of her ample breasts.

***

While I was still in the same room (Walls and Atherton were no longer with me), my father walked in. He had just returned from a visit to Florida for Christmas, and in a large suitcase he had brought me a camera as a present. I carried the suitcase to my bedroom, withdrew the black and white camera, and examined its complex levers and knobs. Without reading the instructions, I tried to figure out how to operate the camera. After I had pressed and pulled several knobs, the camera began to hum – it was electric! I meddled with it more, and after I had pushed more buttons, two negatives were exuded from a slot. I thought I must have shot the negatives while I had been trying to learn to work the camera.

After I had laid the negatives on a bureau by my side, they gradually began to change into real pictures. Once they had fully developed, I picked them up and discovered that I myself hadn't taken the pictures .

The pictures were not of the scenes before me, but of two other scenes. In the first picture was my grandmother Leacy (my mother's mother) and my grandmother's polio-crippled son, my uncle George. My grandmother appeared to be in her late 40s and George looked as if he were about 30. My grandmother was sitting on a couch wearing a dress which fell to mid-shin. George was crouching on the floor with his crippled legs bent back under him (he was crippled with polio from an early age). One of my grandmother's arms lay on her lap, while the other arm rested on the back of the couch. The acutely poignant look of my grandmother's eyes was the most expressive part of the austere picture. Starring straight from the picture, her eyes seemed to say that even though she had endured much sorrow, she had submitted to her plight of raising a crippled son and had persevered. Intermingled with the pain imbued in her eyes shone a certain pride which seemed to say she hadn't lived in vain.

The second picture was quite different. My father was standing on the left side of the picture, in a large living room, holding a whiskey bottle in his hand. Scattered about him in various positions on the floor and furniture lay an assortment of people who appeared to have taken part in a debauched party. The picture appeared to portray an accusatory scene of expended lust.

After carefully examining both pictures and discerning their meanings, I decided I wanted to take some pictures myself. I decided to first photograph the street outside my window; the street would always change and I wanted to remember it as it was now. Somehow, however, I either clicked the wrong buttons or aimed the camera incorrectly, because I took a picture of myself instead. In a few minutes the picture emerged from the camera. In my haste I had forgotten to press the button that enlarged the pictures and a miniature photograph was emitted on approximately a two-centimeter square paper. Examining the paper, I found that this picture (unlike the first two pictures) didn't first turn into a negative; instead, developing-material on the picture allowed the picture to develop right on the paper, even as I watched.

The picture showed my head emerging from a ground covered with a blanket of leaves. When I looked from a different angle, the picture became distorted and showed my head being first elongated and then twisted out of proportion. My head looked quite warped, but my eyes were strong and penetrating. The eyes seemed curious, as if they were asking where they had come from.

I picked up all the pictures. I thought I would show them to my friend since high school, Steve Weinstein, who had recently told me of pictures he had taken during some of his travels.

My brother Chris was born on December 11, 1957. When Chris was four or five years old, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He was able to walk until he was 6-7 years old, at which time he had to start using a wheelchair. He gradually declined until he had a heart attack and died in Portsmouth on October 4, 1974 at the age of 16.

Dream of: 31 March 1975 "Too Heavy"

I went swimming with my whole family. My brother Chris was in the water and I was supposed to hold his hand, but it was so heavy, I couldn't do it without my father's help.

My father hoped that he would one day inherit the Gallia County Farm from his mother Mabel and his step-grandfather Clarence, who continued to live on the Farm.

Dream of: 23 July 1975 "Buddha, Buddha"

While I was in the Gallia County Farmhouse, my grandmother Mabel was cooking lunch in the kitchen and my father was sitting on the floor of the living room like a sitting Buddha.

I gazed out the front window, down the hill in front, toward the bridge which crosses Symmes Creek at the bottom of the hill. About 20 men were on the other side of the bridge. The dogs began barking at the men and the men threw rocks at the dogs. After walking into the next room and fetching a rifle, I walked out on the front porch and shot at the men. When I quickly ran out of bullets, I became frightened because the men (carrying guns) had started crossing the bridge toward the House.

Meanwhile, my grandmother was placing a delicious meal with potatoes, bread and corn on the table.

When the men reached the Farmhouse, they wanted to come in. I stood in the door with my gun, blocking their way. However, I decided to let one man inside so he could use the bathroom. My father, still sitting on the floor said, "Buddha, Buddha," while my grandmother continued working in the kitchen.

When one of the men on the porch pointed his gun at me, my father said I should also let the other men enter. I acquiesced and the men (poor and hungry) walked inside. One man tried to steal a potato and a piece of bread, but I caught him. I felt so sorry for him, however, I gave him the bread anyway. Although we didn't have much food, we decided we wanted to share it with the men, who sat in the living room while I carried the food to them. As they ate, they became rather friendly.

The men were filthy dirty. We soon led them upstairs, where everything was black from a fire which had once occurred there.

After high school, my father went to college. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and became a Methodist minister. He was living in his first parsonage in the Gallia County village of Patriot, Ohio when he met my mother in October 1951 while she was living with her parents in Patriot. They married two months later. The marriage was tumultuous, exacerbated by the death of one son and the affliction by muscular dystrophy on another son. After almost 20 years of marriage, my father and my mother finally divorced in Portsmouth in 1971.

Dream of: 21 June 1976 "Unclean Hands"

On a lark, I had gone with two other fellows to a white church (which reminded me of the little white church in the village of Patriot, Ohio) where I expected the preacher and his sermon to be absurd. As the church began filling with people, I noticed a girl sitting behind me who reminded me of someone I had once known named Bev. Even though the girl's mother (who looked vaguely like a woman named Carol, the first woman with whom I ever had sex) was with the girl, I thought I would like to be with the girl.

After the preacher walked to the front and began preaching, I quickly became tired or disgusted with the sermon and I headed toward the door. As I walked out, I shouted some words back into the church, one of which was "Raserei", a German word meaning "nonsense."

After the sermon had finished, the other people in the church also walked out and I spoke with the girl. She told me that even though she was 18 years old, she couldn't go anywhere because her mother was so strict. I told her if she were 18 she had the right to do what she liked, but she didn't believe me. After talking to her a while, I felt as if I might like to go to bed with her, but I decided doing so would be foolhardy.

I was surprised to see Dr. Weinstein (the optometrist father of my good friend Steve Weinstein) outside. Dr. Weinstein and I spoke briefly.

I had ridden a motorcycle to church, but when I saw my father outside, I decided to leave the motorcycle there and to depart with my father in his car. On the ground lay about 30 centimeters of snow which my father began helping me pile onto the motorcycle to camouflage it. My father and I then boarded his car and rode through the streets of Portsmouth, Ohio until we arrived at a house. After my father parked the car, we both stepped out of the car and walked into the house. I knew that my mother and two of my brothers were in another room somewhere in the house. A blonde-haired woman was also running around the house.

My father and I began performing a rite. He told me to stand on his shoulders and say something like, "The holy meeting with my father will now begin."

I did so. He then dipped his head into a bowl of water (which he had in the closet) and shook his head. I in turn took the bowl and poured the water over my head.

When I then heard my mother moaning somewhere in the house, I asked my father to accompany me to find her. As he and I walked into the hallway, I discovered I had lost my voice. The blonde-haired woman stood in a doorway for a moment. I thumped my hand on the wall to get my father's attention. When he stopped, I formed the words "blonde woman" with my lips, but no words came out. My father advanced no further with me.

I walked on through the hall alone and passed the room where my two brothers were engaging in homosexual activity. One had his eyes turned back as if he were insane and yellow sperm splotched his butt.

I walked on into the room where my mother lay covered with blankets and moaning. When I saw that the blankets were soaked with blood, I thought she was having her period. After I walked over to her and asked her if she were bleeding, she virulently cried out, "Even if I weren't bleeding it wouldn't make any difference. Mother can't seem to keep her hands clean."

Sensing the dire meaning of her words I groped for her hands. In one I found a knife which, buried deep in her flesh, was ripping her insides out.

After my father and my mother divorced in early 1973, my father dated several women, and finally settled in with Kay (a woman twenty years younger than he), whom he married in 1976. 

Dream of: 26 October 1976 "Jealousy Hinders Love"

I was in a house which resembled the New Boston House (a ranch style house which my father built in 1968 in the neighboring town of New Boston, Ohio, next door to Portsmouth). As I lay in bed sleeping, I could hear my father outside talking with his girlfriend Kay. Earlier, my father had been with my mother, but since he and my mother had been unable to get along, he had returned to Kay. I overheard him ask Kay if she would marry him.

When I finally woke up and rose from the bed, I found many people in the house, including my uncle Liston (my mother's brother) and Liston's family. Apparently a family reunion was in process. 

I looked for my father and when I spotted him sitting outside on a blanket with Kay, I walked over to him and told him I wanted to speak with him. Kay immediately suspected why I wanted to talk with him and she began screaming. I took my father to the side anyway.

He and I walked down some outside stairs to the basement of the house. When I asked him if he were going to marry Kay, he seemed uncertain. After I told him I didn't think marrying her would be a good idea, he seemed palpably upset. I told him I had my reasons for thinking the way I did and I began to explain the reasons to him.

I said that Kay was a jealous person and that someone in love shouldn't be jealous. I said that jealousy hinders love and that a jealous person doesn't allow her lover to do anything for anyone else. That was why Kay would become angry when my father would do something for other people. For example, when he did something for me, she felt resentment toward me to such an extent that she even resented my being alive.

My father was upset. When he walked back up the stairs and back into the house, Kay again began screaming like a wild animal. Sensing that I obviously wasn't going to be able to talk with my father anymore, I decided to leave.

My father's marriage to Kay lasted less than a year, although their relationship continued and Kay took up residence in the Gay Street House.

Dream of: 05 March 1977 "Green Pickles"

My mother was living in the upstairs section of the Gay Street House. While I was upstairs packing my things to leave, my father's girlfriend Kay walked up the back stairs – she wanted to show me a baby she had.

After I had seen the baby, I walked up to the attic to fetch some clothes, and while in the attic, I heard an altercation break out below between my mother and Kay – apparently my mother didn't want Kay upstairs where she (my mother) was living.

I descended the stairs from the attic and walked out the attic door. As I walked through the hall toward the upstairs kitchen, Kay (standing on a chair and glaring at me) began screaming at me. I became irritated and asked her in an angry manner why she had to start an argument now when she and I had been getting along so well together. I became more and more angry until I seemed to be losing control.

I abruptly grabbed a large jar of green pickles sitting in the kitchen and hurled them down the back stairs into the first-floor section of the House (the section which had been rented out as a beauty salon). The jar made a thundering crash as the pickles smashed all over the floor. When my father suddenly appeared on the scene, I immediately regretted what I had done.

I walked down the back stairs into the beauty salon and found a woman standing there looking at the mess I had made. Lucy (the owner of the beauty shop) continued working in the next room on one of her customers in a vain attempt to ignore what had transpired. As my father meekly watched, I began cleaning up the mess. When I started to put the slop into a trash can without a plastic trash bag in it, he suggested I put it in another can which had a plastic bag.

After I had finished, my father and I walked out onto the back porch and I asked him if he were going to remove Kay from the upstairs. He seemed reluctant to do so. I became emotional and threw my arms around him. He looked more my age than ever and he didn't really resemble my father in appearance – he looked more perhaps the way I would look when I would be his age. He was thinner and taller than normal; he was also smoking a cigarette. I held him tightly at first and then at arms length. I sputtered, "If you let her move upstairs I'll never come back here again."

I immediately regretted what I had said, but it was too late. When I told him to look at how close our ages were now and how closely we resembled each other, he seemed sad and confused. I held him close and pleaded for him to stop smoking cigarettes. When I asked him if Kay was going to be allowed to usurp my mother's place upstairs, he indicated she would.

We walked out into the alley behind the House and he asked if I knew anyone who could perform an abortion. I asked him who needed the abortion, but he wouldn't tell me. I immediately assumed Kay was pregnant. Apparently he was seeking an abortion for her, even though the child couldn't possibly be his since he had long ago had a vasectomy and was unable to have more children.

My father did not accept criticism of himself from me. Yet I felt the need to criticize him. A certain unhealthy competition existed between us.  We both suffered from some of the same problems, such as the desire for intoxication and sexual gratification, but we certainly could not admit that to each other.

Dream of: 20 January 1981 "Unable To Accept Criticism"

I awoke at Patriot (the small Gallia County, Ohio village where my parents were living when I was conceived). Having planned to go somewhere with my father and my mother, I departed with them in a car which my father was driving. My mother was sitting in the middle of the front seat and my brother Chris was sitting on the passenger side of the front seat. I was riding in the back seat. We traveled down country roads, ascending and descending little hills.

My mother commented that my father thought I had some problems. She said he thought I was a "druggie." I patted my father on the back and said, "Well, I guess that makes two of us then. If I'm a druggie, you sure are too."

My mother went on to explain why my father thought I was a druggie. She said when he would walk into my room, it would smell like smoke and there would be ashes or evidence around my desk that I had been smoking.

As we continued riding along, my mother pointed out a couple other of my traits which my father thought were odious. When she finished her commentary, I thought it was my turn. I said maybe it was true that I had some problems - but my father had problems too. The difference between us was that his problems were much more deeply rooted than mine.

As soon as I had begun talking about my father's problems, I could see he was becoming angry. I told him his worst problem was that he couldn't accept criticism. When I said that, he became more angry.

My brother Chris (enjoying the whole conversation) smiled while he listened to us. As we continued riding along, my father became angrier and angrier because I was criticizing him.

Violence erupted in my home during the time I was 6-8 years old. Even though my father was a Methodist minister, physical confrontations resulted between him and my mother. I remember him as always being the aggressor. A certain insanity had crept into the picture.

Dream of: 09 September 1981 "Crazy As Hell"

While my father and my mother were having a fight in the West Salem House (in the little village of West Salem in Northern Ohio, where I lived from the ages 6-8, from 1959-1961), I ran outside and raced across the street to a neighbor's house, where a man and woman took me upstairs and showed me a room which they said I could rent. I stayed and talked with them for a short while, then returned to the House.

My father had departed. I walked upstairs and found my mother in the bedroom lying completely nude on her back on the bed. She started to pull a sheet over her, but I reached her before she could. She was badly bruised. A large black and blue bruise was on her neck and a large bruise was also on her breast. I said, "You're crazy as hell if you don't get out of here right now."

She said, "I can't."

Apparently she was pregnant; she said my father was going to make her have an abortion. She was terrified of him. I said, "Well, you're crazy. He'll end up killing you."

Both my father and I made excuses for our defects.

Dream of: 09 September 1981 "No Excuse"

I was sitting upstairs in the living room of the Gay Street House. Some mail had come in and several magazines were amongst it. Some catalogs which had to do with French fashion and in particular French lingerie were among them. I looked through the magazines, thinking they probably contained pictures of scantily clad women. There were two copies of each catalog. I took one copy of each and left one copy in the stack of mail.

My father walked into the living and I said, "Here's your mail."

I handed the mail to him and he said, "OK."

I knew he had had a fight with my mother and I could tell he was agitated, but since he didn't say anything about it, I didn't either. My mother walked in, sat down and suddenly blurted, "I'm leaving you."

My father and my mother began discussing the fight. When my father tried to justify his actions, I walked over to my mother (who was wearing a shirt with a high collar), pulled down the collar and showed the big bruise to my father, who had caused the bruise by biting her. I pulled the collar farther down, showed him the mark on top of her breast, and acerbically remarked, "She has marks all over her body where you have beaten her. Regardless of what she might have done, there is no excuse for your having done this."

My father proceeded to say he had beaten my mother because she had left him the night before and had gone to a bar with another man. Now I was baffled – I had thought the pommelling had occurred that day, not the day before. Confused about the actual time of the beating, I questioned my mother about the sequence of events. I thought one of them wasn't telling the truth.

Although I had known I was a writer since I was 20 years old, my father had virtually no comprehension of the most important aspect of my life. Communication at the deepest level, therefore, did not exist between us.

Dream of: 16 September 1981 "The Boy In The Book"

While living in my own little house (which had a garage connected to it), I was thinking about stealing a brand-new white van which my next door neighbor had bought. I thought that after I stole the van, I could change the license tags and then one day I could just drive away in the van.

So I put the plan into operation. I stole the van one night and hid it in my garage. The next day, however, I felt terrible because I knew I had done something wrong.

I had begun reading a book in which the same type of thing had happened. It was a story about a boy who had stolen a car.

I began thinking I couldn't keep the van and I knew I was going to get into trouble. I finally decided I would tell my father about it and ask him what to do.

Meanwhile I continued reading the book -- the boy in the book did the same thing I was thinking of doing: he went to his father, told him he had done something terrible, and asked his father if he could talk with him about it. The boy told his father it would be a thousand times better to tell him what he had done than not to tell him. His father told him that of course he could tell him. So the boy in the book confessed to his father that he had stolen a car.

His father immediately became upset and replied in a rather nasty way that he was ashamed of the boy. The father didn't try to help his son and the father implied that nothing was left between them.

After reading the story, I was unsure whether I should tell my father I had stolen the van.

I was feeling absolutely terrible. I was crying and I felt as if I were in a hopeless situation. I dejectedly thought about how stupid I had been to steal the van. I had the van now, however, and I had to do something with it, but I simply didn't know what to do.

The morality and immorality of sexual relationships and of sexual predilections was something about which my father and I never spoke.

Dream of: 26 November 1981 "Big Toe"

While in the back seat of a car being driven by Kay, I decided to change from a pair of blue jeans to a pair of cutoff jeans so I could go swimming in a nearby lake. As Kay continued driving along while I changed pants, I noticed her glancing at me. Finally, completely nude from the waist down, I jumped into the front seat and finished putting on the cutoffs. Kay kept looking at my penis, obviously quite interested in what she saw.

We reached the lake and rode beside the lake on our right. Looking across the lake, I could see a picnic area on the other side. The area was cluttered with many pop bottles. One carton contained four bottles of orange soda which hadn't even been opened. A quart bottle of coke looked as if only about a tenth of it had been drunk, while a quart bottle of Seven-Up was about nine tenths full. After I noticed even more bottles of unopened pop, I told Kay that we should ride over there to get the pop and that I could then sell the bottles.

Looking for a bridge across the lake, we turned down a little road. We drove right up to a small bridge which turned out to be a small foot bridge with a sign which said, "No autos allowed."

Kay stopped the car, and she and I stepped out for a moment. We then climbed back into the car, Kay in the driver's seat and I in the middle of the front seat. As we rode away, Kay laid her arm on my leg.

We were looking for my father, who was somewhere nearby, although I didn't know exactly where. When we finally reached a house where my father was living, Kay stopped the car. She and I stepped out of the car and entered the house (I had never been there before). After we walked into a room where my father was, Kay and I sat down next to each other on a couch. I leaned back and she slipped her arm underneath me. Her hand came out under my shoulder -- obviously she was trying to reach for my hand. I thought my father noticed it.

Finally Kay rose and walked out of the room to go to a store across the street for something. After Kay had departed, my father asked me how Kay and I had been getting along. When I failed to respond, he asked, "Has she been trying to grab your hand?"

I still didn't say anything. He said that he wanted Kay and me to get along well together, that he liked seeing us together. He intimated that he was growing tired of her and that I should go ahead and have sex with her if I wanted. He said he had recently even been in bed with her and he hadn't wanted to have sex with her. I said, "Well I don't want to take Kay away from you."

He didn't say much else about it; instead he began talking about some plastering he was having done on the walls of the New Boston House. He said he had intended to sell the House, but the buyer hadn't been satisfied with the wall plastering. The buyer (a wall plasterer himself) had said that he himself could have done a better job.

After my father picked up the phone and began talking with someone, Kay walked back into the room -- she hadn't yet gone to the store. Apparently she had taken a pill, because she looked as if she were under the influence of a drug. She was wearing a nightgown which opened up so I could see her pubic area. I was lying on the couch. As Kay also sat down on the couch, she placed her pubic area right on my big toe. When I began sticking my big toe into her vagina, she seemed to enjoy what I was doing. I continued for a minute or so, until she finally stood and decamped. A couple pubic hairs were still hanging on my big toe.

I didn't feel guilty about what I had done, because although I had told my father I wasn't going to have anything to do with Kay, I knew he didn't care if I did.

In my mind, the greatest gap between my father and myself was in his inability to understand the consuming power which my dreams had over me. Only with difficulty could I foresee  his ever understanding.

Dream of: 13 December 1981 "The Unbridgeable Gulf"

Late at night, I was relating one of my dreams to someone. The dream had been quite spiritual. It had seemed as if God had been talking and communicating with me. Although the person to whom I was relating the dream and I seemed to be sitting in chairs outside on the street, living room furniture was arranged all around us, as if we were inside a house. As I continued recounting my dream, my father abruptly walked out of his bedroom, visibly angered by what I was doing, and aggressively approached me.

I immediately rose, moved close to him and told him I thought God communicated with me through my dreams. At the same time, I reached out my hands and pulled him so close to me that our faces were practically touching – we were staring at each other right in the eye. As I relentlessly stared at my father's disapproving face, I felt as if God were speaking to me even now, that God was trying to communicate to my father through me. I said, "There's a great gulf between you and me. The way God communicates to me is through my dreams. And there's nothing that you can do about that."

My father replied, "There's a great unbridgeable gulf between us."

Releasing my hold of my father, I backed away and sat down. I told my father it was possible that God didn't communicate to him through his dreams. My father, who had also sat down, mumbled something, and then grunted, "Well, go on."

I explained further that if God didn't communicate to my father through his dreams, perhaps God communicated with him during my father's waking moments.

But my father didn't seem particularly interested in what I had to say. He finally rose, retraced his steps to his room and went to bed. After he had departed, I continued thinking about my dream. Wanting to record it on a tape recorder which I had with me, I stood and looked behind the couch for an electrical socket into which I could plug the recorder.

Both of us seemed cursed with certain evil afflictions. Our challenge was to work together on one of more of the curses and destroy it.

Dream of: 27 February 1982 "Killing The Curse"

I had a large dog, which resembled a German Shepherd or a wolf, which my father had seemingly given to me. After I somehow deduced that I was going to have to kill the dog, I went to my father and told him what I had to do. I also told my father a curse was on him, and a curse was on me. I was unsure how the curse had been placed on him, but he had placed the curse on me. If I didn't kill the dog, someday when the dog died, it would return and destroy me.

Killing the dog was especially difficult for me because it was beautiful and I cared very much for it. Realizing that my father seemed to understand my feelings, I enlisted his help to kill the dog. He and I discussed the matter, and I explained to my father that I would have to shoot the dog twice, once in its body and once in its neck. It was very important that I shoot the dog both times.

We led the dog out into the backyard, which seemed like the backyard of the House in Patriot. Other people standing around the yard watched us. I had a large gun which seemed like a shotgun. As my father held the dog on a leash, I pointed the gun at the dog and pulled the trigger. When the gun clicked without firing, I said, "There's something wrong."

As I worked with the gun and tried to figure out the problem, the dog began to catch on to what we were doing and I became concerned that it might try to attack me. Finally I pointed the gun at the dog again and fired. The bullet hit the dog's body and the dog fell over, but it wasn't yet dead. It then stood up, and headed toward me. Although my father was still holding the dog by the leash, I thought the dog was going to reach me. I aimed again, fired, and hit the dog in the neck. The dog fell over again and bled profusely, but it still wasn't dead - so I shot it again in the neck. It lay there gasping, obviously dying. I regretted having shot the dog, but as it gasped its last breaths, I felt as if a great burden had been lifted from me.

Broadly put, my father was a conservative and I was a liberal. Although we bitterly disagreed on political issues, we were still firmly attached to each other.

Dream of: 28 June 1982 "Lebanon"

My father was driving a car in which my mother was sitting in the front passenger seat. My sister, my crippled brother Chris, and I were sitting in the back seat.  My sister was sitting in the right passenger seat, Chris in the middle, and I on the left passenger seat. We were exiting the city of Beirut. As we departed, I argued my father about several subjects. I was becoming upset (although he wasn't) and I raised my voice.

As we drove along, I noticed many refugees leaving the city because the Israelis were bombing the area. Children and women (among the refugees) appeared to be in terrible shape and were having a difficult time. I screamed that the Israelis ought to be lined up and shot for what they were doing to these people. I proclaimed, "Begin (Israeli prime minister Begin) ought to be the first one to be lined up and shot."

My speech irritated my father. Until then he had remained calm; but now he became angry and began arguing back. He didn't look like my father; he was young and had brown skin. I put my hands on his throat as if I were choking him, but my hands were small and I obviously wasn't hurting him. I was just pushing and shaking him.

I thought that the Lebanese and the Vietnamese were somehow connected, that the Lebanese had supported the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and that in fact the Lebanese were Vietnamese. I wondered and couldn't figure out why the United States hadn't bombed Lebanon during the Vietnam War.

My family and I now seemed to be in a large van which my father was driving extremely fast through the  throng of thousands of refugees who were trampling in the road. As the refugees scattered in front of us, I hollered to my father, "Slow down! Slow down! You're going to hit one of them!"

The refugees barely abandoned the road in time. I was sure he was going to hit one, but he never did. When he continued to drive fast, I told my mother to tell him to slow down. When he finally slowed down, I realized my father himself was from Lebanon, and I asked, "Aren't you Lebanese?"

He answered, "Yes, I'm Lebanese. I'm a steel foreman."

Apparently he worked in a steel factory.

Since he himself was Lebanese, I couldn't understand how he could be so callous about the sufferings of his own people. He seemed to think that the people were safe and that the Israelis were only doing what they had to do in order to flush out the terrorists.

I could see some truth in what he was saying. Although I agreed that the terrorists needed to be flushed out, I still disagreed with what he was saying.

We continued arguing until we reached a small town where things looked much better. The refugees disappeared. I looked at the people in the town and I said, "Well it looks like these people are doing all right."

Indeed the people there seemed to be doing well. We had traveled quite a ways from the city, and these people seemed removed from the war.

As we rode through the town, we came to a steel mill where the steel workers were dressed in orange uniforms. My father said something like, "This is not a religious place."

I was unsure what he meant and we continued through the town until we emerged upon a charming countryside where people were selling food along the road. The people looked poor, but they didn't seem to be devastated.

My father continued driving until we reached a mountainous area, a part of Lebanon which I had never seen. The mountains loomed larger and larger. When we reached the crest of a ridge, I could see gigantic mountains in the distance. It was beautiful. I held Chris up so he could see. As I did so, I wondered whether it was even worth it that Chris see these things. But I thought that even though Chris was going to die young, it was just as important for him to see those sights as for anyone else to see them.

As we continued on, I wondered where my father was headed. We began descending from the mountains, riding toward the ocean. Soon we reached a place where we could see the ocean in front of us. There was a bay and quite a few people were on the beach. Some had inner tubes and were lying in the water. Even though gigantic waves were breaking on the shore, people were swimming and some were lying in the sun in an area sheltered from the waves. It all looked beautiful. Still holding Chris up, I was enthralled by the beauty of the place.

My father (driving fast) skidded around a curve. When we reached the beach, he drove right out into the sand, turned the car around, and became stuck. Although he couldn't go forward, he was able to back up onto some coral. I was unsure, but I thought we were going to have trouble getting out.

Everyone except Chris jumped out of the car. We wanted to see where we were. My father said, "They've roped off the road."

I saw some white ropes across the sand. My father said the area hadn't been roped off the last time he had been there.

I looked toward the water, which had an assortment of junk floating on it. The ocean had looked much better from inside the car.

Something in the water near the shore caught my eye, but I was unsure what it was. Looking closer, I thought it looked like a large white hat with a black band around it. It looked as if it were about three meters tall and about three meters in diameter.

When I looked back in the direction from which we had come, I saw a black man in a white shirt walking toward us. He must have been almost two and half meters tall. Unsure what he might want, I became apprehensive. I thought I had about $150 in my wallet, which I quickly pulled out of the left pocket of the blue shorts which I was wearing. I wanted to stick the wallet down the front of my shorts, but since I was afraid the man would see me, I quickly stuck the wallet inside the back of my shorts. Then I turned around and saw another man on the other side of us coming toward us. That bothered me.

When both men reached us, the black man was holding his hand behind his back. He turned around and I saw that nothing was in his hand. When he turned around again, however, he had a small black gun in his hand. I thought, "Oh, no. He's going to hold us up or something."

For a split instant, I thought I might be able to grab the gun -- but then it was too late. He pointed the gun toward my family. When I made an untoward step toward him, he quickly turned to me and pointed the gun right at me. I had visions of the whole family being shot and left there. I thought I would be shot first. Even though the situation looked desperate, I tried to think of some way out.

All my life my father had hoped that I would become a lawyer. At the age of twenty-eight, in January 1981, I moved to Waco, Texas and enrolled in Baylor Law School. My father's influence on me remained strong from Portsmouth, but more tenuous from such a distance.

Dream of: 06 September 1982 "My Father's Ghost"

I was sitting on the left side in the back of a large classroom. The seats were arranged in long rows of two seats next to each other. I sat in the row next to the left wall and another fellow sat on my left. The class was a special criminal law class called by Baylor law professor Wendorf. I was miffed because I had been compelled to attend class at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Wendorf had also called for two extra hours in the evenings for another class which he was teaching. Calling extra classes was his method of getting in extra time teaching, and I was angry at the idea of his forcing extra time on us.

The class was large and practically all the students were there because Wendorf had threatened to cut grades if the students didn't show up for any classes.

Wendorf stood in front of the room and lectured about the causal nature of a crime. I, however, was only interested in getting out of there. It was only a couple more minutes until 11 a.m. when we could go.

Wendorf stopped for a minute and looked through his books, but he couldn't find what he was looking for. I thought about how much time I was wasting in his class. For a couple minutes Wendorf just stood pondering what he was going to say; he seemed to have run out of subjects. Finally he looked out over the class and asked if there were any questions. When a girl in the middle in the back of the room raised her hand and Wendorf called out her name, I whispered, "You stupid bitch."

The fellow in front of me heard me and turned around. He thought the fellow to my left had made the statement and he said something to him. I interrupted and said, "No, it wasn't him. It was me."

Apparently the fellow in front of me agreed with me that the girl was stupid for raising her hand right when we were all ready to leave.

The girl said she would like Wendorf to read a paper which she had written  -- she passed the paper to the front to Wendorf. The paper appeared to contain about 30-40 pages and Wendorf flipped through them.

The girl had once worked for some kind of psychological agency and the paper concerned a man she had met who had suffered a life-long psychological problem. The girl had passed the paper up because Wendorf had earlier been talking about something similar. Wendorf passed the paper back to the girl and he said that the girl should make a copy and distribute it to everyone in the room. I thought, "It serves her right. Now she'll have to pay for all those copies."

Someone from the law school staff stood and asked Wendorf if the girl would be able to use the staff copying machine to avoid paying for the copies and Wendorf said, "Sure."

Wendorf then dismissed the class. As I stood to leave, I noticed Katherine (a fellow law student whom I had dated a few times) sitting nearby. She looked at me, smiled and asked me if I would like to do something with her. I thought her question a trifle strange because we hadn't been talking with each other for a while. I didn't answer because I really didn't want to associate with Katherine. However, since I had a meal ticket for lunch in the student cafeteria, I thought maybe we could eat lunch together. I figured I could at least be friendly to her and do that. The thought ran through my mind that I had never divulged to my new girlfriend Louise (also a law student at Baylor, five years my junior) that I had had sex a few times with Katherine.

Instead of answering Katherine, however, I just walked out of the room, went out the back door of the school and walked away. I found myself walking along a pleasant street before I even thought again about Katherine and inviting her to lunch. I reflected, "Well, its too late now."

I figured I would simply go to the cafeteria alone to eat. As I walked along on the sidewalk, I looked across the street and saw a man coming my way. At first I thought he looked like my father, but then I decided he wasn't my father. When he came closer, the man looked up and said, "Steve."

When I looked at him, I realized that he was indeed my father and I ran to him. I couldn't believe he was again in Waco. I threw my arms around him, asked what he was doing there, and added, "We just meet in the funniest places."

He replied, "Yea, I've never see anything the like of it."

I was happy to see him. He had on blue pants and a white shirt and he looked very different. We walked along for a ways together and as we passed a church, he looked as if he were going to take me inside. Suddenly I blurted, "You're dead, aren't you."

I had abruptly realized that he had died and that his ghost was visiting me. He answered, "Yes."

I threw my arms around him and broke down. I couldn't stand knowing that he was dead and that his ghost was visiting me. Nevertheless, I pulled myself together and felt stronger. Even though he was dead, he was still well. I would just have to cope with his death and believe it was all the best for him. I felt extremely close to him at that point, probably as close as I had ever felt to him. I was very happy to see him, even though I was sad that he had died.

We avoided the subject of our roles in life and the subject of a final judgment day when the roles we assumed may be judged.

Dream of: 06 May 1983 "Judgment Day"

My father and my mother had birthed another child, a cute blond-haired boy who was now 2 years old. I was with them watching the little boy run around. He hadn't yet learned to talk, but he seemed quite intelligent and I enjoyed playing with him. I told my father and mother that the first child is often the most intelligent, but that sometimes when people have a child late in life, the later child is the most intelligent.

My father seemed pleased with the child. He commented that there was a period of time when the features of both parents could be seen in the child. Within a space of 2-3 days, however, the features of the child would change to resemble only one parent.

As my father and I sat at a table, he told me he was thinking of going back into the business of raising and selling tobacco. I actually choked up at the thought of his raising tobacco. When he noticed that I was having a problem, he asked me if something were wrong. I didn't want to tell him at first, but finally I said something like, "Well, dad, you know the thing is, when a person does something with their life, their life's work, they like to think that they're helping people, and not killing people. And when you start raising tobacco, you know what you're going to be doing, helping to kill people, don't you?"

He sputtered, appearing not to like what I had just said, and he made some kind of statement. I picked up a stick of celery I had been eating, poked him in the arm with it and said something to the effect that, "And someday, you'll have to account for that, won't you. Someday there'll be that judgment day when you'll be standing there and somebody will be pointing their finger at you, won't they."

I pointed the celery stick at him as I spoke. I knew he couldn't deny he believed in the judgment day. He sat there looking astounded by the whole matter. 

Although I disdained certain character traits of my father, I seemed to have difficulty surviving without his assistance.

Dream of: 15 April 1984 "Does God Control Men's Lives"

I entered a room where my sister and my father were sitting and watching a television show. As I sat down, my sister told me they were watching a documentary which described how the movie The Beginning had been produced. I had already heard about this movie, which involved the same story-line as the movie The Exorcist. However, although The Beginning had been filmed long after The Exorcist, the time and setting of The Beginning actually preceded the time and setting of The Exorcist. Since The Beginning (like The Exorcist) was supposed to be quite scary, I thought I would enjoy watching a documentary describing how the movie had been produced. Interested, I also began watching the show with my sister and my father.

The first scene of the documentary showed a man driving a horse and cart on a country dirt road. When the clomping horse suddenly faltered and fell, the man jumped from the cart, picked up a long heavy club and savagely clubbed the animal, until the horse finally appeared to have expired. The poor horse's legs stuck out into the air while the gruff belligerent man stood victoriously over it. His vicious task completed, the man returned to his cart (to which two other healthy horses were hitched) and drove off.

The next scene was an aerial view, with the camera looking down from above to another cart being pulled by man-like creatures. Although the creatures' forms were indistinct, they appeared to be covered with ape-like hair. Something ominous and foreboding shadowing the scene caused me to become increasingly agitated.

However, I was beginning to detect one theme of the show. The question was whether God caused men to act the way they did. Or stated another way – did God control men's lives and their actions? I thought if God did control men's lives, then there could be no guilt. If God was responsible for man's actions, man couldn't be guilty of anything.

My father, who was also watching the show, abruptly spoke up and snapped me out of my thought. He began talking about how modern man didn't have enough survival training. I had to agree with him. I recalled having once read about a man who had gone completely nude into the wilderness and had lived there for over a year. I was intrigued by the concept, and I wondered if I myself should try to survive a while in the wilderness. Where could I go to accomplish such a goal? Texas would be too dangerous because of so many rattlesnakes. I would be afraid to walk barefoot in the buff over Texas wasteland.

I thought about the area near my sturdy one-room log Cabin which I had built on the Gallia County Farm. The area around the Cabin was secluded and tucked away in the forest. That might be a good place to try some survival training. If I really wanted survival training, however, I would have to stay in the forest and not in the Cabin.

Excited by the idea, I suggested to my father that he and I spend a week trying to survive in the forest, but he said he wasn't interested. 

I probably held a grudge against my father because he had never satisfactorily shed light on my understanding of what happens to a person when he or she dies.

Dream of: 19 October 1984 "La Luz Del Entendimiento"

On the Gallia County Farm, I had walked down to the bottom of the hill behind the Farmhouse, in the area where the old gray milk house used to stand. Now several buildings populated the space, buildings which seemed to belong to a small community of people living there. After entering one building, I ascended to the second floor, which contained several rooms, some of which were used for offices. After I had entered one room and begun looking around, my father joined me.

The poky room (perhaps three meters by five meters) was in total disrepair. My father had stored some furniture there, most of which had been torn up, and although my father didn't know it, I had previously carried away some of the furniture for myself. I told him what I had done, expecting him to become upset, but he wasn't. He only seemed preoccupied about a missing clothes dryer.

His concern over the clothes dryer brought to mind something else. I had earlier informed my father that three or four other people and I were planning to walk together across the United States. Since I also intended to convey a baby kangaroo along with me, I had been concerned whether the little kangaroo would be able to hop across the entire country. I had decided if the kangaroo began the journey and was then unable to continue, I would simply have to abandon it along the road somewhere. When I had told my father about the upcoming trek, I had also divulged that one of the fellows who would be walking with me was planning to push a clothes dryer along in front of him. My father had said that it would be inconvenient to push the clothes dryer across the country, but that it would be possible.

Now, however, my father was thinking of something different – since my father's clothes dryer was missing from this room, he was wondering whether his clothes dryer were the same one which my walking companion was planning to push across the country. I knew the two dryers weren't the same, and I explained that to my father. I told him the dryer which had been in this room had been much larger (with a window in the front), whereas the dryer which my companion would be pushing was smaller and didn't have a window. I further explained that I could show him for certain that the two dryers weren't the same, because my father's dryer was still sitting outside our building. I reflected that when I had previously been carrying away some of the furniture, I had made the mistake of shoving my father's dryer out the second story window. When the dryer had hit the ground outside, it had broken and was still lying where it had landed. When I told him I could escort him down below and show him the broken dryer, he expressed no further desire to see the dryer.

Letting the subject drop, my father began working on the room. He planned to make a bachelor pad out of the place so he could bring women there. He quickly stationed a couch, a chest of drawers and several other pieces of furniture where he wanted them. When he had finished, the room evoked a Spanish atmosphere, and it did indeed command admiration. I commented that the room looked better than ever.

He agreed. He also mentioned that my mother would never know about this room. I could understand why he wouldn't want my mother to know, but I thought he might have a problem keeping the room secret from her because my sister already knew about the room, and I thought my sister might inform my mother about the room. As my father and I walked out into the corridor in front of the room, I thought of asking him if he were concerned that my sister might tell my mother.

When I looked around to ask him, however, I suddenly realized my father had disappeared – I couldn't locate him anywhere. I walked down some stairs, but when I couldn't find him below, I retraced my steps back up the stairs. Suddenly a lady ran from one room, screaming that my father was in the room and that he had had a heart attack. Immediately I realized my father must have over-exerted himself while preparing his bachelor pad. I quickly concluded that due to his inability to change his debauched ways, he had been stricken with a heart attack. I thought to myself that if he simply hadn't been trying to make a hide-away for himself, he probably wouldn't have had the heart attack.

When I hurried into the room and found him slumped over on the floor, I asked, "Is it serious?"

He replied, "Yes." Just barely able to talk, he added, "You better get me to the hospital."

I called for someone to summon an ambulance. I realized an ambulance would take too long to arrive, and since the hospital was just across the street, I said, "All right, I'm going to carry you over there."

My father (just like the room he had fixed up) also had a Spanish air about him, and I thought he probably understood the Spanish language. As I picked him up in my arms and I began walking down the stairs with him, I spoke to him in Spanish and began praying to God. Among other things, I prayed, "Dios, ten misericordia sobre nosotros." Since my Spanish wasn't perfect, I wondered whether "sobre" was actually the correct word to use for "over."

While I prayed to God, I also cried, weeping, "Guianos con la luz del entendimiento. Sea con nosotros en la hora de nuestra noche."

My father clearly understood all my words. I said quite a bit more and I had the feeling my talking was calming him, but I was skeptical whether he would survive.

When I reached the outside, I saw the hospital just across the street, and as I crossed over toward it, I decided I wouldn't turn my father over to a nurse, but only to a doctor – I didn't want to see my father placed on a cart and wheeled around; I wanted to deliver him directly to the doctor myself.

Although both my father and I believed in life after death, we did not discuss the eternal hereafter.

Dream of: 11 January 1986 "Friedhofe"

I was riding around in a car with my father, my mother, and my sister in a city in Germany. My mother was driving the car, the back of which resembled a cart. My father was sitting in the very back in a seat facing the front. I was sitting in front of him in a seat facing the rear so I was looking directly at him. My sister was sitting to my right likewise facing my father.

My father seemed unhappy and grim. I however was very happy to be in Germany; I felt at ease and at home. I wanted to stay there forever. Growing old in Germany would be so enjoyable. I had thought Germany would also be pleasant for my father, but he seemed so unhappy there. I was so exhilarated I almost felt intoxicated. In fact, I thought perhaps I had had some alcohol earlier, but I was unsure. If I had had any alcohol, it had been very little.

My sister (only about 10 years old) also seemed to be enjoying Germany. I thought Germany would be an excellent place for her to grow up. Suddenly she pointed to something and asked me what it was. I saw that it was a cemetery and said, "That is a Friedhofe. And the French word is cimitiere."

I reflected on the word Friedhofe. "Friede" in German meant "peace" and "Hofe" meant "courtyard." The word "Friedhofe", meaning "peaceful courtyard", seemed quite beautiful to me. I thought about how quickly my sister would be able to learn the language if she lived there; but I also reflected on the irony that the first words my sister would learn in German and French would be "Friedhofe" and "cimitiere."

My sister pulled me close to her and began singing a little song in my right ear. When she pulled me close my right elbow rested against her breast. She sang, "Das verlinkt, das versaugt, das ...." Obviously my sister had already learned some German. I was uncertain what "versaugt" meant, but I thought it meant "sucked." The ditty she was singing was probably obscene.

As we drove around we passed an old building which looked like a castle. I thought it might even interest my father. Indeed, he did turn his head to look as we passed by. Several statues of men in a procession were in the door of the building. Two statues were carrying another statue.

On the side of the building was some writing, which consisted of large stone letters attached to the building. Some letters had broken off, but I was able to see that the writing said something about the Gauls and that it gave a three-number date. Apparently the writing described an event which had taken place before the year 1000. The event apparently was part of the history of the Germanic tribes; it was extremely interesting. I pulled out a book written in German which described the castle.

When we passed a police car, I noticed that my father seemed very nervous. We turned a corner and suddenly my father seemed to panic. He crouched down on the floor and tried to cover himself with a blanket. I tried to help him cover himself.

I then saw that three police cars with flashing lights had pulled up right behind us. Suddenly my father jerked up and jumped out the back of the car. He ran around the front of the car to the back. About 10 policemen with guns began chasing him and were very close to him. I began screaming, "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

They all had rifles aimed at him, but they were so close it was obvious they were going to catch him and I didn't think they were going to shoot. I jumped out of the car and ran up to my father. Finally the police apprehended him and threw him to the ground. When one police officer pulled off his helmet and hit my father in the head with it a couple times, I screamed, "Stop! Stop!"

I had no idea why the police were after him. I didn't know if he were involved in some kind of crime or spying or what. I hollered, "I'm his son. Was hat er gemacht?"

A very agitated policeman walked up to me and demanded, "What are you doing here? Who are you? What are we going to do about you?"

But no one bothered me. They allowed me to approach close to my father without stopping me.

I began to realize I was dreaming, and thought I was probably going to awaken and I wasn't going to know why my father had been arrested. I could probably invent a reason for his being arrested. But if the dream wouldn't tell me itself why he had been arrested, it would be better if I didn't find out right now.

Having followed my father's advice to become a lawyer, I was now able to survive on my own in a contentious world.

Dream of: 22 May 1986 "Great Powers"

I was in what appeared to be  a schoolroom. I realized that in the closet of the room was a sword which would give me great powers with which I would be able to conquer my enemies. A type of armored coat was also in the closet which would protect me. Both the sword and the coat had belonged to my father and I had never been able to obtain them before.

I knew some people out in the hallway were probably going to try to attack me. I took the sword from the closet and just as I did, a warrior walked into the room. I immediately attacked and slew him.

I put the sword back and prepared to put on the coat. When a large muscular man suddenly rushed in and attacked me, I was able to reach back into the closet and grab the sword. I threw the man off from me and aimed the sword at his neck, which I thought was his vulnerable part. I hit him several times with the sword but he continued to come at me. Finally I hit him and he didn't rise again. I had defeated him.

It was tempting to look at events in my father's life as causes of shortcomings in my own life.

Dream of: 27 June 1986 "Divorce Proceeding"

My father and my mother were in the process of obtaining a divorce. I accompanied them to court one day for a hearing in front of a lady judge. My mother had a lady lawyer working for her.

My father was first put on the witness stand and questioned; then my mother was questioned on the stand. My mother seemed humble while my father seemed haughty and proud. The judge was rather hard on my father. I thought someone should point out that when my brother Chris had had muscular dystrophy, my mother – not my father – had taken care of Chris. I had never seen my father feed Chris, but I had seen my mother feed him many times. Finally the judge made some preliminary determinations about the divorce.

I left the court and went to the House in Patriot, where I found my paternal step-grandfather Clarence, and I began telling him about some things which were going to be cleaned out of the attic of the House. An old 1955 encyclopedia was up there. I thought Clarence might want the encyclopedia, even though it might not be any good. I decided to go up in the attic to scrounge around for it.

I headed for the attic and took a dog, which seemed like Clarence's dog, Mike, with me. Once we were in the attic, the dog sniffed around until it turned up a mouse which it began chasing. Finally the dog caught the mouse and began playing with it. A large hole was in the attic where the floor was missing. The dog threw the mouse through the hole and it fell into the downstairs living room, directly below the attic. I walked toward the hole, failed to see it and started falling through. I caught myself before I went all the way through and I let myself drop down into the living room.

There I found my mother and her lady lawyer talking about what had happened at court. They handed me the papers which the judge had signed and my mother wanted to know what I thought. It appeared to me there hadn't yet been a division of the property and that much work apparently still remained for the lawyers to do.

My mother appeared rather haggard. I felt she somewhat deserved that. She wasn't completely innocent in the divorce and she had to accept some blame and responsibility herself.

One paper said something about my father's having 50 employees. I knew he had some employees in his insulation factory, but I didn't think there were that many.

I asked the lawyer what she thought. She said my mother would probably get the New Boston House and that there would probably be a 50/50 split of the property. My mother would also receive a third of my father's net income for the rest of both their lives, but my father would still be able to pay his employees as a business expense before any determination of net income. I found it hard to believe that the judge would grant my mother part of my father's net income. That would be a type of alimony.

A few days later we went to another hearing where quite a few people were present. The judge said she wanted 10 different people in the audience to write something about somebody they knew. It should be noted if the person were dead.

I, for some reason, decided to write something about John Smith (an old friend who died around 1972). Although John Smith was dead, I didn't say anything about it. Everyone turned in their papers and the judge began going through them. When she came to my paper she said she understood that John Smith was dead. She asked how many people in the audience knew John Smith. No one raised their hand. The judge wanted to know why the person who had written the paper hadn't noted that John Smith was dead. Finally she said, "Mr. Collier, would you explain."

I said, "Well actually I forgot that he was dead. Its been a number of years ago. But I could tell you everything I know about him."

She asked me to proceed. I said, "At the time I met him I was living on the West Side in Portsmouth, Ohio."

Suddenly I found myself at the West Portsmouth House. I knew I was however still in the middle of the divorce proceedings and I thought the judge was there with me.

I began describing the House and I talked about the carpet in the living room. I said I had put down the carpet because part of the floor was missing and the dirt was even showing through in places. Another old carpet was in the House which I had hung over one door to keep out the cold in the winter. I said, "At the time I was living there I was dealing drugs."

Even though I didn't want to discuss my having sold drugs, I decided that being completely honest would be best. I repeated, "I was dealing drugs at that time. My father owned that house and he just let me live over there. He knew I was dealing drugs. Just let me live over there and deal drugs. I continued doing that and living there until finally I was arrested for possession of marijuana in the spring of 1972."

I didn't see any point in mentioning that my father had come to the House when I had been arrested while the police were still there nor that he had gone to the jail and bailed me out. I also didn't mention that I had never actually been convicted. I simply said I had been arrested and said, "That was when I quit dealing drugs. Finally I got off the drugs and became a lawyer like you."

Since my father and I never discussed the form which the soul might assume after the body has died, I remained ignorant of his opinion of ghosts, or of his opinion of the afterlife in general.

Dream of: 08 August 1986 "Death And Dying"

While alone in the upstairs of the Gay Street House, I had the feeling that something rather frightening was in the House, although I didn't know what it was. As I walked around the House, I could sense something there. I walked to the attic door, and from the bottom of the stairs, I looked up into the attic, and thought that whatever was in the House was up there. I could see a beige-colored rug which looked like a sheepskin hanging in the attic. I didn't know what the rug was doing there, but I thought it had something to do with what was going on.

I concluded that a ghost might be in the House, but then I thought, "I don't believe in ghosts."

But then I thought, "Yes I do believe in ghosts."

I had actually been thinking about the subject of ghosts for a long time and had begun to believe that ghosts did exist in the world. It amazed me that a ghost might now be trying to manifest itself to me. I walked downstairs to the kitchen and walked outside.

While I was outside, the back door to the House opened. I walked over to it and looked inside. I could see the door to the stairs to the second floor, but from where I stood I couldn't actually see the stairs. However, I could hear someone walking down the stairs one step at a time. I didn't know who it was nor did I know if anyone was actually going to come through the stair door – maybe some kind of force was simply coming down the stairs. Finally a foot stepped through the door – I thought the foot belonged to my father and I was relieved.

Suddenly, however, my brother Adolph (about 7 years old) appeared in the doorway and looked right at me. I realized he actually was a ghost. Dressed in a neat little outfit, he was smoking a cigarette. He motioned for me to follow him as he walked into the front living room, but I was too afraid and I simply couldn't do it.

I was petrified and I couldn't even talk. As I edged backward, my father pulled into the parking lot in a car. I motioned for him to come over to me. When he did so, he and I walked into the kitchen. We looked into the living room expecting to see Adolph. Instead, Kay was standing there.

She was dressed in clothes similar in color to the clothes Adolph had been wearing. I was utterly amazed. I pointed at Kay and said, "He's trying to tell me something about you, about death and dying."

Kay had a rather evil look in her eye, but she really didn't know what was going on either. I thought I also saw Jamie (Kay's son) in the background watching things.

I told my father I had seen Adolph just as clearly as I now saw my father standing there in front of me.

I thought Adolph had been trying to give us a sign. I didn't know what he was trying to say, but I feared Kay might be intending to hurt or kill someone. Since I didn't want to stay in the House, I walked back outside.

Although the shadow of death hung over our lives, both of us were firmly rooted in the earthly reality and neither of us was in a hurry to learn if life actually existed after death.

Dream of: 27 August 1986 "Breaking Through"

My father and I had gone into the carry-out on the west end of Portsmouth near the bridge which crosses the Scioto River to West Portsmouth. While my father was busy looking at something, I walked over to a stand-up cooler which contained racks of alcohol. I opened the door and began looking at the bottles.

I was thinking of buying a bottle of beer to drink. But I also wanted to buy some beer for fuel for the truck which my father was driving. I began looking at the prices and saw that the beer was quite expensive. I asked the man behind the counter about buying the beer for fuel and he said I needed to buy a minimum of five dollars worth.

Most of the bottles and cans in the cooler looked very old. Some six packs even had dirt piled on them, as if they had been sitting in there for years and the dirt had accumulated. I began to be unsure that I wanted to buy anything to drink. I thought I might just buy the alcohol as fuel.

Besides beer, I saw some bottles of what appeared to be whiskey. One bottle containing a green liquid caught my eye. It was a pretty bottle and I had the notion that it had been imported from France. I picked it up, shook it and saw a layer of liquid chocolate also in the bottle. It was apparently some kind of sweet alcoholic drink. Unlike the other bottles in the cooler, it looked quite inviting. It was also expensive. I put it back on the shelf.

A man then walked up and I recognized him as my old junior high school classmates, Shramm. He looked the same as when I had last seen him in high school. I spoke to him and he also recognized me. I asked if he lived in that part of town and he said he lived on the next street. I said, "Oh you mean Front Street."

Another fellow with Shramm indicated that indeed Shramm did live on Front Street. He said it was on a corner of another street he named. I knew where that street was and asked if he lived on the west or the east corner. The fellow with Shramm said it was on the west corner and asked me if I would like to visit. I didn't want to visit him but thought I might drive by some time.

Shramm seemed almost like he was a bit retarded. His speech seemed syncopated and almost infantile. I thought he probably had some menial job to support himself.

Finally my father and I left without my having even bought anything. We walked outside, and boarded a large semi truck which he was driving and we rode through the streets of the west end of Portsmouth. Many dilapidated and poor houses were in that area. I thought it would look better if all those houses were simply torn down. But I said, "I used to think it would be better to tear down these poor houses so people wouldn't have to live in them. But then I realized those people would simply go to better parts of town and soon turn the houses there into poor ones. It is the people themselves which cause the houses to be run down."

Not all the houses were in bad shape. Some houses had been renovated and that part of town seemed to be in general experiencing rejuvenation to some degree.

I thought about the new bridge being constructed across the Ohio River near Portsmouth. I asked my father about it and he said it was almost completed. I told him I would like to see it and he said we could drive out there. We turned around and drove across the Scioto River Bridge. As we went across it I noticed the railings along the bridge had been taken away so I could now see the river below. It looked like a rugged, rocky creek with water swirling over jagged stones. I commented to my father how different it looked without the railings. He agreed.

On the other side of the bridge my father turned north and began driving along the Scioto River instead of turning south toward the Ohio River. Somehow he planned to reach the new Ohio River bridge in that direction. We drove for a while until we came to a hill. The bridge was supposed to be on the other side of the hill.

The road had become increasingly narrow. To our left was a precipitous drop off into the river. I didn't think there was even room for the truck, but my father kept driving along the steep, windy, dirt road. Finally we reached a point were we could see the bridge, but I was so concerned about the road, I told my father I wanted to go back immediately.

Since there was no room to turn around, my father began backing down the road. But he failed to turn the wheels sharply enough and we suddenly began plummeting over the edge of the cliff toward the river. We smashed into the water which quickly engulfed the truck. The truck didn't have doors on it and I thought we would be able to escape without much difficulty. I reached out and grabbed my father by the wrist as the water began to cover us. I wanted to make sure he was able to swim to the surface. He seemed to have a black billfold in his hand.

We both slid out of the truck and were completely submerged in the water. The truck had sunk rather fast and I wasn't sure how far down we were. I continued to hold my father's wrist as we rose toward the surface. I kicked my legs but didn't use my hands. I realized I hadn't taken a deep enough breath of air before the water had covered us and that I wouldn't be able to last long. I still didn't know how far it was to the surface and was beginning to become somewhat concerned as I could feel the air disappearing from my lungs. I imagined myself breaking through to the life-giving air.

I also began wondering about the truck. It had been an old truck but my father had valued it. It was a shame he had lost it. I wondered if he would try to have it recovered from the river later.

The problem of evil and of the existence of a higher power which I identified as god seemed to flow into the question of my father in heaven as opposed to my father on earth.

Dream of: 25 September 1986 "In A Wheelchair"

I was on the Gallia County Farm near the old swimming hole on Symmes Creek, about a kilometer from the Farmhouse. My father, my mother, my grandmother Mabel and some other people were climbing the large hill above the creek, looking at trees and talking about which ones they intended to cut for lumber. They were unsure they would be able to cut the trees because they didn't know how to haul the trees off the hill. I thought even if the large trees were cut down, the many small trees on the hill would soon grow back.

After my mother and someone else had climbed up the side of the hill, I decided to ascend the hill myself. As I climbed, I noticed some cement steps lying on the side of the hill and concluded that at one time some houses must have stood there. If I only had a metal detector, I would enjoy searching for coins or other artifacts in the area.

The hill was extremely steep and peppered with many large, precariously balanced rocks. Some rocks looked like large pieces of rectangular crystals. Some were hanging beneath other rocks and seemed firmly attached. But clearly a landslide could easily start. Realizing the danger of climbing the hill, I backed off and started down the hill.

I worked my way around the side of the hill until I reached a red brick road, where I found my father sitting in a wheelchair, holding a rifle. When I suddenly appeared in front of him from behind some rocks, he pointed the gun at me, apparently thinking I was an animal, but he didn't shoot. I walked over to him I and asked, "Did you think I was an animal?"

He wasn't friendly, he didn't answer, and he even acted as if he didn't want me there. He was obviously looking for an animal to shoot. I thought he might be shooting birds.

For the first time I noticed a large house standing on the side of the hill. A black man wearing a suit and tie walked onto the porch and asked my father to move on. A large park (with streets laid in red brick running through it) spread out in front of the house; apparently the park also belonged to the black man. As my father wheeled himself into the park and down one of the streets, the black man began walking toward my father. I thought the man intended to run my father out of the park.

Of critical importance was the difference between the attitudes of my father and me regarding animals. In my dreams, certain animals took on certain meanings. Horses came to symbolize art. Elephants imagination. And bears came to symbolize the "writing of dream memoirs."

Dream of: 29 September 1986 "Reason For Disinheritance"

While at the Gallia County Farmhouse, I looked out the front and saw a large leafless tree on the corner of the field at the bottom of the hill. In the top of the tree perched a large black animal which seemed to be a bear. I screamed for my step-grandfather Clarence. He came, saw the animal and said it was a pole cat.

The animal turned its face toward us. It wasn't like a bear, but it wasn't like a cat either. It had a large, long snout and very dark eyes. It also sported a long hanging black tail with white rings. Clarence said he was going to shoot the animal. I didn't want him to shoot it, but before I could do anything, Clarence had grabbed a gun, left the Farmhouse and walked down to the tree. I followed.

When we reached the tree, the animal began descending and when it had reached the bottom of the tree, it turned, faced Clarence, and snarled with long sharp white teeth. Although the creature was fearsome-looking, I still didn't want Clarence to shoot it.

Three of Clarence's dogs surrounded the animal, but they wouldn't attack. Suddenly Clarence fired his gun at the animal. The animal looked sad for a moment, then fell over dead. I was upset and angry with Clarence. I thought the animal might even have belonged to an endangered species.

Aggrieved, I returned to the house where my grandmother Mabel was preparing something to eat. I angrily gathered some things together, intending to go to my Cabin. Storming past her, I said I wasn't going to eat.

As soon as I was outside, two men approached me and asked if I would get their mail for them. I looked up toward the roof of the Farmhouse and saw (hanging on a wire) a package of mail with perhaps 20-25 envelopes in it. Although I didn't want to get the mail for the men, I said, "Oh all right."

I threw down my things, walked back into the Farmhouse and ascended the stairs to where I was able to retrieve the mail and throw it down to the men. After I had walked back downstairs and was again getting ready to leave, I noticed that some other people had materialized at the bottom of the hill near where the animal had been shot. To my surprise I saw about a dozen more of the animals, all as large as bears – except one which was just a baby. But only about half the animals were alive – about half had already been shot: Clarence was shooting them. I hurried down toward Clarence, intending to try to save the remaining animals. Even though I knew the animals actually were dangerous and could attack someone, I thought they were timid and wouldn't attack unless provoked. I began screaming, trying to scare them away.

Then my father also showed up, apparently also intending to shoot some of the animals. Continuing to scream, I managed to scare away some of the animals. Suddenly, however, I fell into a large deep hole which seemed covered with leaves; I thought the hole might be a den for some of the animals.

By the time I managed to climb out of the hole, my father had boarded a car and was chasing the animals in it. He stopped near me for a moment, and after I had also climbed into the car, he and I immediately began arguing about his trying to harm the animals. I maintained that the animals shouldn't be shot, while he callously asserted that they should.

I finally thought I heard him say he would disinherit me if I tried to prevent the animals' being killed. Being disinherited didn't matter to me; saving the animals was more important.

He and I finally came to blows, physically fighting. For a while, no one was even steering the car, even though the car continued moving down the road. In the turmoil, my father ended up in the back seat, while I grabbed the steering wheel and guided the car into an open field. I then turned the car around and drove it out of the field.

Other cars had been behind us on the road. The cars stopped while we were in the field and when I pulled back onto the road they began following us again. I wondered if the drivers of the other cars knew what was going on in our car.

Whence derived my attitudes and opinions regarding sex? So many questions remained unanswered in that regard.

Dream of: 14 October 1986 "South To North"

I was living with my father, my mother, and two small sisters (about 3 and 9 years old). I was in a room of the house with the two sisters, who had a small Ferris wheel about five meters high. I poured some powder into the engine of the Ferris wheel; I thought the powder would make the Ferris wheel move faster. But the speed didn't increase and finally they turned the Ferris wheel off.

After I lay down on the couch, my father (who had been upstairs with my mother) walked into the room. I had left some things lying around on the floor, and I noticed my father frowning about it. It seemed as if he were always angry with me about something. I stood and said, "All right, I'll get up and clean it up."

One of the girls had turned the Ferris wheel on again and it was moving as fast as an electric fan. Obviously it would have been very dangerous if one of the girls had been on it. I mentioned to my father that I had put some powder in the motor of the Ferris wheel and he became even angrier with me. Finally I looked at him and said, "You know, it seems like sometimes you hate me."

He replied, "I do."

I looked back at him and said, "Well the feeling's mutual."

He seemed to growl and said, "Well why are you staying here? Why are we living together anyway?"

I thought he wanted me to leave and I said, "Well then I'll just move out."

He seemed satisfied with that. But I had the feeling he still wanted me to stay around the area even though he didn't want me to live there. I had even been thinking about taking the legal bar exam to practice law there. He mentioned the exam. I said, "I know where I'll go."

I thought I could go to Mexico and the word "Mexico" flashed in my mind in large bold letters. I walked upstairs and began thinking there was also a small room in the attic where I could stay if I wanted. I thought of even going up there right now to avoid my father. But I thought it would probably not be best for me to stay in the attic.

I walked into a bedroom where my mother was sitting on what appeared to be a chair watching television. She seemed surprised to see me. When I stepped closer to her I saw she was actually sitting on the bed. I lay down next to her so that my head was near her feet and my feet near her head. It seemed rather erotic lying next to her and she even put one of her legs over my chest.

As I spoke to her, a show came on the television. It had something to do with "from south to north" and showed five Mexican teenagers trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. I told my mother I was soon going to leave and if she would watch what happened to the teenagers on the television she would have an idea of what was soon going to happen to me.

Traveling to Mexico would be difficult. I really wanted to study languages some more. But now I seemed to have studied enough; I needed to put to use some of what I had learned.

It is curious that I wasn't even sure that evil forces actually existed, yet I retained rather vivid images of Lucifer falling from the sky and landing on a lake of fire, and I was able to imagine my father's spirit being possessed by evil.

Dream of: 10 November 1986 "Evil Forces"

I was with a woman (probably in her late 20s) who was staying as a guest in the house where I was living. She was slender, a little shorter than I and she looked Hispanic. She had long, very black hair and dark eyes. As she was sitting next to me, we had gradually moved closer until I put my arms around her. I was attracted to her but as of yet we were only friends.

My mother walked into the room. Although my mother didn't insinuate that the woman and I were doing anything improper, she did want me to do something for her and I had to leave for a short while. When I returned from my errand, the Hispanic woman had gone upstairs. Since I didn't think my following the Hispanic woman would be appropriate, I lay down on a couch and began watching television.

To my surprise, as I was watching the television, something indistinct came right out of the wall next to me. At first I didn't pay much attention to the oddity and continued watching television. When a commercial came on about lather coming from a can, however, I looked at the wall behind the couch and saw some lather (exactly like that on television) coming out of the wall. I cupped my right hand over the lather. I had thought the lather had only been my imagination or an hallucination, but I now found that my hand indeed contained lather.

When I smeared some lather on my other hand, I could definitely feel it. I stood and walked into the next room where I found my mother. Standing in front of her, I held open the palms of my hands and asked, "Is there any lather in my hands?"

She told me there was. With the confirmation that I wasn't simply imagining the lather, I told her about what had happened. I noticed the lather was quickly drying and soon I only had small clumps of what appeared to be dull-orangish pieces of soap in each hand. I decided the event was significant enough to go upstairs and relate it to the Hispanic woman. I headed up the stairs.

The entrance to the Hispanic woman's upstairs room consisted of two large, wooden sliding doors, one of which was open. I walked through the door and found her lying on her bed watching television. She was wearing a very short nightie which barely covered the tops of her legs. She seemed somewhat surprised to see me as I rattled off what had happened. She didn't seem impressed and when I showed her the clumps of soap-like substance, she simply said she had used that kind of lather herself.

After I decided to leave, I walked back downstairs where I was surprised to find my uncle Liston and two of his sons in the room where I had been earlier. Apparently my mother (also still in the room) had brought my uncle in to investigate the lather-phenomenon which had occurred. My uncle was busily examining the wall; I pointed out that the same type of thing had happened twice and had been in a different place each time.

I was concerned that my uncle and his sons wouldn't be able to find anything and that the lather wouldn't come from the wall again. They might not even believe that the lather had ever come from the wall. But they did seem very diligent in their scrutiny.

I gradually realized we weren't downstairs, but in one of the middle upstairs rooms of the Gay Street House. When my father showed up and began looking around, it occurred to me that my uncle and the others planned to perform an exorcism because they thought that an evil spirit was at work there. Since my uncle was a minister, he apparently knew to some degree how to deal with that sort of thing.

Sitting on a mantel next to the site they were investigating were two collages which I had recently made. Suddenly, as if with a will of its own, one collage began moving. My uncle immediately became alarmed and motioned everyone back. Then both collages began moving.

Pandemonium seemed to break out. Although my uncle and his sons seemed to know what they were doing, some kind of magnetic force seemed to have control over them. Their bodies were suddenly pulled onto the floor next to the wall and the collages were also pulled down. The force released the people and the collages and reorganized them several times in different orders much like bits of colored glass in a kaleidoscope. When the force held them, everyone was completely immobilized and fixed in a certain position.

I thought my uncle might have been trying to point a cross at the wall to combat the accursed force. When I remembered that one of the collages (which I had just completed and which was mostly black on the surface) had a picture of a cross on it, I thought it might help if the collage were pointed toward the wall.

My father also was drawn into the event and his body became rigid as the force overpowered it. When the force finally relaxed again, I ran over, grabbed my father by the legs and pulled him away from the wall. The others had recovered their senses, but my father was still rigid and paralyzed. I placed my hands in his hands and could feel him clasping my hands. But I was worried: he almost seemed possessed. I imagined his eyes flashing open and his appearing to be some evil-possessed spirit.

He was still completely rigid and I couldn't bring him back. I thought that indeed an evil spirit had perniciously overcome him and that he was dying. It seemed that half of his life force was already gone and at best only half of him could be brought back. I cried out, "Dad's dead. He's dying."

Very frightened, I vaguely realized that some evil forces still could frighten me.

By 1986, aware that I would somehow be involved in writing a story about my father's life, I with difficulty contemplated his sexual character.

Dream of: 15 November 1986 "Master Story-Teller"

I seemed to be under the influence of a mind-altering substance – I found myself in a rather dark place – some other people were around me – one of them looked like Roleen (a comely Portsmouth acquaintance when I was a teenager in the late 1960s). I wanted to be with her and I was able to direct her into a large black vehicle – perhaps the cab of a pickup truck.

My intention was to engage her in intimate, physical contact. No persuasion was necessary on my part. No sooner were we in the vehicle than I felt Roleen's hand demandingly searching between my legs for my penis. She found the object of her desire and through my pants began an earnest caress which sparked a "Take it easy," response from me.

I began kissing her, but my lips felt somewhat numb and I seemed to have something grainy in my mouth. It was as if my lips were cold and thawing out. But it didn't take long before we were both fully warmed up.

I was worried, however: if I had sex with her, I might contract AIDS. I simply couldn't take that chance – at least not without a condom. Fortunately, I had had enough foresight to bring a package of condoms with me. When I had bought the condoms, I had even had to spell the word "prophylactics", which had been an effort.

I immediately pulled out the package (which contained three condoms) and extracted one. I was still sitting upright in the seat, with my penis already out of my pants. I was somewhat surprised that I already had an erection. Without hesitation, as the woman watched, I began rolling the condom over my penis. The condom seemed thick, like a rubber glove, and I commented about my disappointment in the poor quality. For a second I thought of returning to the store to buy a better one, but I quickly realized now was hardly the time to do that.

Try as I might, I couldn't seem to pull the condom all the way over my penis – an air space of about two centimeters was still left in the top, and at the base, the prophylactic seemed to want to roll back up, which concerned me because I didn't want any place left exposed.

At any rate we finally began having intercourse. We began in the cab of the truck but soon found ourselves completely nude having intercourse on the hood. We continued and continued but I didn't feel like climaxing. Indeed I didn't really seem to be feeling anything. But I was satisfied I could hold an erection for such a long time.

I thought of different positions we could assume. The woman lay on her stomach and I was able to insert in her vagina from behind. I wondered for an instant what it would be like to insert into her rectum, but the idea didn't appeal to me.

Next I lay on my back on the hood and the woman lay on top of me on her back. I again inserted and our legs interlocked. I wondered if anyone was around watching us out there – I didn't mind that someone might see us.

It began to occur to me that two other women were going to show up and that I would likewise have intercourse with them. Indeed I imagined long, drawn-out episodes of intercourse with each of the other two women during which I used the other two condoms. I would maintain erection throughout and not climax. I realized that once I had finished with one woman I wouldn't be able to return to her since I would have taken off the condom I had used with her.

But I found myself again lying on my back on the cab with the first woman lying on her back on top of me. I was forcefully having intercourse with her when it suddenly occurred to me I was actually lying on my stomach in bed dreaming. Since I was dreaming, I knew I could climax if I wanted to, but I decided not to climax, and I drifted back to the original scene.

But all had dramatically changed. I was now sitting outside the vehicle, which had changed remarkably. It was still black but now appeared to be a large horse-drawn carriage. my sister was either inside it or lying on top of it.

I was still experiencing the effects of the mind-altering substance. Indeed it seemed some special event had prompted me to take the substance and my sister was there for the event. With her she had brought her son, my nephew David, who was lying nearby behind a log.

I began to force my attention on David, prompted by the fact that he was continuously talking. As I listened I realized he seemed to be telling a story and I became mesmerized by what I was hearing. He had an uncanny ability to simulate different peoples' voices. The story contained a large amount of dialogue between different characters and his change of voice immediately told which character was speaking. The story was quite coherent and I continued listening for five or six minutes. I then noticed that another person had showed up for the special event we were celebrating: my father. However nothing in the appearance of the apparition before me would have indicated that it was my father.

What I saw resembled to some extent an old, decayed tree trunk with a long tail. Apparently my father had obtained a costume and had dressed up (for I knew he was inside the get-up). But he also somehow seemed part of the costume, as if it had grown on him. It was black and white and appeared rubbery. It looked about the height of my father but also had an extension about five meters long trailing from it. It looked like something out of a children's movie.

My father looked at and talked with David. No communication passed between my father and me and I realized a gap existed between us which neither of us could cross at the moment. I would have liked to have comforted him somehow. I pitied him for having grown into the grotesque creature before me. And the growth seemed to a large extent irreversible, as if the result of years of change. We couldn't reverse what had taken place. Yet I sensed that he too would have liked for things to have been different between us and that he was there at this moment for my benefit, even though he couldn't tell me so himself. He seemed to be saying something to David about me. Finally, rather sadly, he turned and left.

I rose and walked over to David. I didn't know what to say at first but when I reached him I immediately told him how much I had enjoyed his story. I said, "It was great. It was one of the best stories I have ever heard."

He absolutely beamed. I could tell my sister was also listening and she was happy that I had been so impressed. Indeed I thought David had an innate story-telling ability that needed development – he seemed like a natural story teller. When I asked him if he had heard the story before or if he had made it up, he said he had heard it before – but it seemed unlikely to me that he could have remembered all that.

Finally, someone, perhaps my sister, said that it was time for me to tell a story to David. I happily accepted the idea, even though I was unsure what I would tell. I sat down, still feeling the mind-altering substance at work. It seemed that it and other substances had taken a harsh toll on my mind and had made my inner vision foggy. But as I began to concentrate, the mist began to clear somewhat.

I felt somewhat out of shape physically from lack of exercise. I realized much time had already run through my life's hourglass. Yet I felt time remained and now was the time to use it.

I first thought of telling David some religious story, perhaps from the Bible. The thought made me choke up a little. But I passed over that and thought of telling of some event from my life. Finally I focused in upon a dark-haired woman in her 50s whom I had once encountered in some mountains. She had been a master story-teller and she had taught me some of her art. I began constructing a story about her which I would tell to David.

Although our paths had diverged, that mysterious familial relationship which could never be broken remained between my father and me.

Dream of: 17 January 1987 "Aliosha Karamazov"

While standing at the counter of what appeared to be a store, I looked down and was surprised to see a newspaper lying on the counter with an ad containing my father's name in bold letters. Seeing my father's name was all the more surprising since I was presently living and working in another state, perhaps Florida.

I looked closer at the ad, which also contained a picture of my father and Kay (my father's second ex-wife). My father looked as if he were about 40 years old and Kay looked as if she were in her late 20s. Both were only pictured from the waist up and my father looked overweight. Kay was holding something like a newspaper in front of her breasts; her picture reminded me of a pinup.

The ad was an announcement of the recent marriage of the two, and the public was invited to visit my father and Kay on a certain day at a new-cars sales room located cady-cornered to the Gay Street House (the huge Victorian house in which my father lived in Portsmouth). The ad mentioned that my father had received an expensive watch from Kay as a wedding present, and that my father had also managed to persuade the watch-company (the manufacturer of the watch) to pay for part of the cost of the ad (as an advertising expense).

I wondered if anyone would go to their reception. I thought perhaps I should write my father a letter congratulating him – but there was nothing really to congratulate. He was obviously making a terrible mistake in marrying Kay; he seemed to have chosen a path in life which would lead to certain destruction. I still cared about him and I felt sorry for him, but there didn't seem to be anything I could do.

I recalled having read three different novels where the same type of problem between fathers and sons had been explored. Dostoievsky's The Brothers Karamazov especially came to mind. I thought about Aliosha Karamazov, a character in the book, and I recalled how Aliosha's father, Fydor Karamazov had been a completely debauched man and how Aliosha, a rather saintly figure, had continued to love his father in spite of all his father's faults. Yet Aliosha, like I, had found the experience painful.

Why could my father not see that he was living like a fool? Marrying a young blonde like that (mostly for sex), placing ads about his new watch in the paper, having an ostentatious reception in a new-car sales room – all of that was certainly the road to self-destruction. However, I felt impotent in dealing with the situation.

I noticed a group of women standing not far from me, one of whom looked like Gillum (my first steady girlfriend, when I was in the ninth grade). I thought about being back in high school and I wondered what had happened to all my old schoolmates. Where was Shaw (the high school classmate whom Gillum married)? I hadn't seen him since high school. I thought that he had probably moved away and that I would never see him, but then I remembered I had heard he was working at a bank in Portsmouth. Perhaps someday we would meet again. Never again seeing people I had once known seemed a little sad.

What is the common tie between love and hatred?

Dream of: 26 March 1987 "Most Important Relationships"

A young oriental man (probably in his mid 30s) and I were seated in a bright room talking about our lives. I had been somewhat directionless lately, but I thought perhaps my companion had been profitably using his time, maybe by writing poetry. As we talked I realized that we were very similar and that we had had common experiences.

When he told me how he had once made a list of the important relationships which he had shared with people, I spurted out, "I did that too!." I quickly thought, however, that I was interrupting him and that I should let him tell his story.

Nevertheless, I soon began relating what I had discovered when I had examined my own relationships with people. I told him when I had been in my late 20s I had left my father and my mother, and I had thought that my relationships with them had reached an end. I told him that I had considered those relationships "passι." I put emphasis on the word "passι" because I knew it was borrowed from French and I thought the man, being able to speak French, would appreciate my use of the word.

I continued saying, however, that I had later listed and examined my relationships and that I had realized that my relationships with my parents were on top of my list and that they remained my two most important relationships. I felt I was always welcome at my parents' homes and I didn't feel like an intruder with them. It was as if I could always live with my parents without feeling as if I were imposing. My companion asked, "So you went back?"

I told him I had returned. I wanted to be sure to explain that I hadn't gone back to live with my parents, since I thought I couldn't actually live with them – I had merely wanted to visit them. I then wanted to explain that I had had the same type of experience with my step-grandfather Clarence and my grandmother Mabel. I felt as if I could always stay with them without feeling as if I were imposing or depleting their possessions. A slight feeling still remained, however, that I did to some small extent (such as wear on the carpet) put wear on their possessions – wear which would be noticed by those who inherited their possessions.

Even though I myself did not believe in the religion for which my father was a preacher for the first nine years of my life, I nevertheless felt that he had betrayed his faith when he had stopped preaching.

Dream of: 02 May 1987 "Artificial And Superficial"

I had just decided to move from a room where I had been living for a while, probably somewhere in Florida. As I was preparing to leave the room, I noticed a door which led to a neighboring toilet. I hadn't been aware of the door while I had been living there, and since I had thought that the room lacked access to a toilet, every time I had needed to use the toilet, I had walked around through the hall to reach the toilet. The easy access of the toilet through the door made the room more appealing. I hadn't been particularly satisfied while I had been living there, but now that I was leaving, I felt somewhat attached to the place.

After leaving the room, I went to a large building where my father worked. The interior of the building seemed somewhat like a mall, except that it was much too old for a modern mall. A large, open, roofed area was in the center of the building and what appeared to be stores faced the open area. The stores were arranged in several stories, one above the other. Railings ran along the walkways in front of the stores so that one could stand behind the railings and gaze out over the interior area of the building.

I climbed to the third or fourth story and one store and there I encountered my father. I had brought him a present – a colored, neon light which I thought he would be able to put in the window of his store. Apparently most stores there had colored neon lights in their windows and apparently the stores competed with each other with their neon lights. When I presented the light to my father, he seemed happy to have received it.

Another man who looked as if he might have been a salesman stepped up and pointed to the neon lights in his windows. The lights were an advertisement which spelled the name a brand of cigarettes. It seemed a shame to me to waste the neon lights for something like that, but I didn't say anything.

After my father and I walked into the place where he worked, I quickly realized that the place was actually a church, that my father was a preacher and that many people were gathering for a service which was just about to begin. After I found a place in a pew, the services commenced. Several activities took place, which seemed quite artificial and superficial to me. My father didn't do any preaching until right at the end, and basically all he did then was dismiss the congregation.

As I was preparing to walk out, I met again with my father and I also encountered Mary Biester (an attractive Dallas attorney, a bit younger than I). She was standing next to my father and I quickly gathered that she had recently begun working for him. She and I didn't have a chance to speak, although I definitely wanted to talk with her. I was surprised she was working for my father and I wondered if she were making a mistake by doing so. However, I myself was even considering the possibility of working for my father, even though I had definite reservations about the prospects. I thought I would probably have time later to talk with Biester about the situation there.

I walked outside and boarded an extremely fancy, black sports car which belonged to my father. The car was obviously very powerful and my sister (probably in her early 20s) was driving it. She seemed to have much more of a reckless air about her than usual. My crippled brother Chris was also in the car.

My sister began driving and quickly picked up speed. I became alarmed and I hoped she would slow down. To my chagrin, however, she stepped on the gas. Within seconds it looked as if we were going over 100 miles an hour. We were approaching a corner of a street where she would have to turn and we appeared to be nearing a cliff which overlooked the ocean. If she didn't turn we would surely fly off the high cliff and plummet into the ocean.

Showing no sign of slowing down, my sister raced toward the corner. Obviously we weren't going to make the curve. I closed my eyes and dread overcame me as I felt us turn the corner and plummet into the air. I didn't open my eyes, but I sensed certain doom. I was obviously alarmed, but the inevitability of the impending crash allowed me some degree of tranquility.

Finally I felt that the car had stopped moving and I opened my eyes. I opened the car door and stepped out. I couldn't explain how it had happened, but we were parked on a street and we hadn't crashed. I immediately lifted Chris from the car (since he had muscular dystrophy, he couldn't walk). What amazed me was that he was so light. He was very small (about 20 centimeters long), rigid like a piece of wood, and only seemed to weigh about as much as a few sheets of paper.

When my father stepped up, I immediately told him neither Chris nor I were going to get back in that car as long as my sister was driving: either my father or I was going to have to drive the car. My sister made no movement as if she were going to get out. I certainly wasn't going to get back in.

While I was dedicated to my imagination, my father had little time to indulge in imaginary worlds.

Dream of: 10 May 1987 "No Time For Imagination"

I was walking around a grocery store, lugging four Time magazines, two in each hand. I had carried two of the magazines into the store with me and I had picked up the other two while in the store, thinking of buying them.

I was unsure I wanted to buy the magazines because I thought I might not have time to read them. I was busy with law school; I was taking a course in constitutional law, and another course being taught by Dohoney (a female law professor at Baylor Law School). I was also working on a couple other important projects, and at the end of the school quarter, I had to take the bar exam. I was swamped with work and I simply didn't have enough time to do it all. I might even have to drop the law course I was taking under Dohoney. I could retake the course next quarter (my last quarter), since I wasn't going to have many courses in my last quarter.

I finally decided not to buy the magazines. I threw all four of them onto a shelf, even the two which I had brought in with me; I simply didn't have time to read them. I was glad I had stopped and thought about all the things I was doing and that I hadn't wasted my time buying the magazines.

When I finally walked up to the check-out counter, ready to leave, I suddenly realized I still had approximately eight paper-back books in my hand. I thought about simply leaving the books on the counter, but I had already blurted out to the man at the counter that the books were mine. He looked at a couple; one was a pornographic novel, and as he glanced through the others, I noticed a second pornographic novel among them. He said the books were indeed mine and after he had slipped them in a sack for me, I walked out with the books.

Some people whom I knew met me outside. One reminded me of Saxby, an English fellow whom I had once met in Mexico City (around 1977). Two of the fellows outside climbed onto a motorcycle, while the rest of us boarded a car. The car and the motorcycle headed down a road which seemed to be Route 23, several miles north of Portsmouth; we were headed south toward Portsmouth.

From the window of the car I could watch the motorcycle in front of us. Apparently the fellow driving the motorcycle had never driven one before because he kept running off both sides of the road; I thought for sure he would wreck. When I finally thought I saw him crash into the side of a car and run off the road, I thought the people in my car and I were going to have to do something to help him.

Almost immediately, however, I found myself in a furnished room where someone apparently lived. I was uncertain how I had arrived there, but it seemed that someone had transported me there and it seemed natural for me to be there. I still thought I needed to do something to help the fellow who had had the motorcycle accident, but I was unsure what to do.

Finally, my first priority came to me: I needed to find a key! I was unclear whether the key was to the room I was in, or whether the key was to the motorcycle which had wrecked. I only knew I needed to find it.

I decided to call my father and ask for help. After I picked up a phone and dialed, my father quickly answered on the other end. I also heard someone else on the phone who had apparently called my father at the same time. The other person was apparently from a company trying to sell something. My father apparently only heard the other person (and not me) because my father suddenly hung up the phone. In place of my father's voice, I now heard a recorded message which I figured my father must use when he didn't want to talk with someone. Although my father finally came back on the phone himself, I hung up anyway.

I thought about how my father had answered the phone with a simple, "This is Leroy." When I used to answer my phone in Dallas, I had usually said, "This is Steve Collier's law office." I remembered that my father also used to answer the phone in a more business-like manner by saying something like, "This is Collier's." It seemed as if he now had a more relaxed attitude about the way he answered the phone.

Having hung up the phone, I walked over to a doorway which led to a hall. There was no door – only a plastic curtain hung over the doorway. I pulled the curtain shut, but then pulled it back open and walked out into the hall. Another doorway was off to my left; and it sounded as if a TV might be playing in that room. The building appeared to be a boarding house of some sort; apparently people were living in the other rooms.

A girl walked through the hall and entered one of the doorways in the hall. She resembled Piatt (a girl I had once known in Portsmouth and had had sex with as a teenager). I thought she might be able to help me later.

I walked back into the room I had been in. Slowly, I realized two very powerful women were living somewhere in this house. People hardly ever approached the women because most people were afraid of them. One woman was named Lady Di and the other was named Persephone. I decided I was going to try to enlist the women to help me find the key.

Realizing that Persephone lived upstairs, I walked up the stairs and knocked on the door to her room. She came to the door; she was only about a meter tall and very slim. She had long black hair and a very dark complexion, although she wasn't a Negro. Although I knew she was very powerful and that most people were afraid of her, I wasn't afraid of her. I immediately felt as if she would be willing to help me. She seemed as if she wanted to immediately get to the crux of my problem, the problem of finding the small key.

But I didn't stay long with Persephone. Instead, I walked back downstairs and headed toward the room where I had first been. My father was standing in the hall in front of the door; he was concerned about what was going on. Apparently he also realized I needed to find the key.

In addition, the fellow who lived in the room arrived. He stepped up to the doorway and looked inside; clearly he could see that someone had been in the room. At the same time four or five other people arrived who were apparently the family of the fellow. All of us stood together in the hall. The fellow who lived there was clearly concerned. I wanted to explain exactly what was going on and why I had been using his room, but something about him startled me: he was wearing a white mask over his face. I had the feeling that he either had scars or was ugly in some way under the mask. The fellow unsettled me and I wanted to get away from him as quickly as possible. Although he didn't say anything or do anything to me, there was something rather frightening about him.

Finally Persephone also walked up. As we all stood in the hallway, close to the door of the fellow's room, I explained to the fellow that Persephone was helping me. I figured he would no longer object in any way to what I was doing, because people didn't object when Persephone was around.

Persephone was very straight forward and business-like: she indicated that we needed to immediately begin concentrating on finding the key. After we all walked into the room, my father began looking through an assortment of objects which where lying on a table. I had earlier looked through the objects for the key. My father started to say, "I imagine ...", and he was about to say something about where he thought the key was, but Persephone interrupted him and said, "Leroy, I don't think we have time for imagination."

She was implying that we didn't have time to simply imagine where the key was; we needed to know exactly where it was.

I now remembered that I had also earlier tried to contact my old buddy from high school, Mike Walls. I thought that he was somehow involved and that he would know where the key was if we could just reach him. I told my father to call Walls. I said, "Tell him where we're at. We're standing here with Persephone and Lady Di."

I thought that Walls also knew about Persephone and that he would be much more likely to help if he knew that she was involved.

Instead of engendering happiness and bliss, my closest family relationships seemed to make me sick.

Dream of: 15 May 1987 "Really Sick"

I was riding on the right side of the back seat of a car. Also seated in the back seat from left to right were my sister (about 4 years old), my mother, my brother Chris (perhaps 6 years old) and finally me. My father was driving the car and his girlfriend Kay was seated in the front passenger seat.

I thought we were going to a beach or lake. Instead we simply pulled up to a grassy area. I asked, "Why don't we go to the beach? All we can do here is sit."

I thought we should ask my sister and Chris what they thought. I turned to my sister and said, "What do you think, Linda?"

When she didn't say anything, I turned to Chris and asked, "What do you think, Chris?"

My father seemed to think it was amusing that I was asking my sister and Chris for their opinions, as if what they thought mattered. I said, "Oh that's funny, isn't it. Who gives a damn what they think. Shit they don't count."

Kay had been seeing another man, whom she apparently abandoned for the day to be with us. At one point my father said to Kay, "You're just taking over, aren't you."

My mother then quipped, "No, she's not taking over."

I also added, "Leroy has always been a two-timing son of a bitch."

The more I thought about my father, my mother and Kay – all being together like that – the more incongruous it seemed. Finally I said, "You know, the three of you are really sick."

Although I tended to blame my father for my lack of musical abilities, he had actually tried to force me to play the piano when I was around 12 years old.

Dream of: 09 February 1988 "Damaged Flute"

While in a room with some other people, I began looking for my flute. When I finally found it, I discovered that part of the keys on the flute were missing. I immediately knew that a boy in the room had been tinkering with the flute and that he had lost the keys. The boy (about 10 years old) was the son of some friends of my father. My father was also in the room. He was responsible for letting the boy play with my flute.

Upset about the missing keys, I began complaining. I felt as if the boy should never have been permitted to have played with my flute, and I was angry at my father for having allowed the boy to do so. I felt even angrier because my father defended the boy and because my father didn't want me attacking the boy. The boy admitted that he was the one who had been playing with the flute, but he couldn't remember where he had lost the keys.

 Finally my father and I walked out into a long hall which vaguely reminded me of the hallway in a high school, perhaps Southwestern High School in Gallia county. I walked with my father along the hallway looking for the keys. As I walked, I picked up a number of combs which had been dropped in the hallway, but the keys were nowhere to be found.

I realized that in order to have taken off the keys, a small screw must have been unscrewed. That seemed important to me, because the unscrewing the screw showed that the boy must have made a conscious effort to disassemble the instrument. It seemed to me as if the boy should therefore remember something about having taken off the keys.

Finally I told my father that he was responsible for the flute's being damaged and that replacing the flute was going to cost $1,000. He appeared to be realizing that having let the boy play with the flute might not have been so wise after all.

My telling of the story of my relationship with my father helped me understand the mysterious and haunting nature of that relationship.

Dream of: 06 October 1988 "My Father's Story"

I was on a mountain top, looking out over the valley below, a beautiful vista of farms and fields. Even though I would have preferred to see undeveloped land below, from the mountain top even the farms were beautiful.

I was thinking about digging a cave in the side of the mountain and living in it. Right over the edge was an area where I thought could dig. I thought two layers of rock ran in this area, with dirt in between the layers. I could probably dig out the dirt between the rock, thereby giving me one rock as a floor and one rock as the ceiling of my cave home.

Unfortunately going over the side of the mountain was dangerous. If I slipped, the fall would be very far. In fact, it was so far down, it was scary to even look over the precipitous edge. I thought of possibly laying a board over the rim and then crawling out on the board so I could look down. The board would have to be well secured. But that sounded too dangerous.

***

I was in a room talking with my father, who began telling me about how he had once fallen off a high mountain. Apparently he and my brother Chris had been on top of the mountain and when my father had fallen, Chris had hollered out to him that he loved him. My father could hear Chris during the long fall and my father also hollered back to Chris.

In my hand I was holding a magazine which had a story describing my father's fall. When I asked my father how he had survived, he told me that he had landed a certain way on the ground and that he had only been injured for a few days. I wanted to ask him if he had positioned his body to land a certain way while he had been falling.

A second story in the magazine described how the authorities had looked for my father's body for days, but hadn't been able to find it. My father had landed in a jungle area, and he had needed time to make his way out of the jungle.

I wondered if the marvelous-sounding story had also been printed in other magazines. I looked at the cover of the magazine; it was entitled "Plant Physiology" and was dated 1973. Apparently the story had appeared in that magazine because my father had been working with plants when he had been on the mountain and fallen. When I asked my father about the publication of the story, he told me the story hadn't appeared in any other publication. I excitedly told my father that the story ought to be written again and sent to other magazines. I told my father that Reader's Digest paid $10,000 for stories like this. I told him he could tell me the story and I could write it and send it into Reader's Digest for him.

Just as I feel that horses in my dreams represent art, I feel that my father would have liked to have killed the artistic impulse in me. No wonder I was afraid of him - he wished a vital part of me dead.

Dream of: 30 October 1988 "No Longer Afraid"

My father was driving a car in which my mother was sitting with him in the front seat, while my brother Chris and I were riding in the back seat. I seemed to be criticizing my father about something, but he seemed to be mostly ignoring me. As I talked, I could see my father looking at me sometimes through the rearview mirror.

We continued traveling down the road, until we came to a pickup truck stopped in the road. My father didn't stop, but simply pulled around the truck and proceeded. As he went around, I saw that the truck had stopped because it apparently had run into something. At first I thought I saw the body of a person lying in front of the truck, but looking more closely, I concluded the object was a tan-colored horse. I told my father he should stop and help, but he paid no attention and he continued traveling on.

The entire event with the truck and the horse reminded me of a dream. I had once had in which my father had done the very same thing he was now doing. In the dream I had told my father how discourteous it was to pass by an accident like that without stopping to help, but my father hadn't paid any attention to me.

 I finally told my father that what he had done was, .".. the height of discourtesy." But still he ignored me.

I turned to Chris (about 14 years old) who looked quite hot. He was dressed in a black jacket, white shirt and pin-stripped pants. I asked him if he would like to take off the jacket, and when he said he would, I helped him out of it. After laying the jacket on the seat on the other side of Chris, I asked my mother if the jacket were mine. Piqued by the question, my father told me that if I wanted the jacket back, I could have it. I likewise felt my temper rising, and I blurted, "I didn't say I wanted it back. I just wanted to know if it was mine."

Now I wanted to tell my father something. As I looked at his face in the rearview mirror, I said to him, "I'm not afraid of you anymore."

I proceeded to tell him that he had always tried to make me afraid of him. I said that he didn't try to teach me love or trust, but fear, and he had always succeeded. As far as his ability to instill fear, I said to him, "You were good at it."

I told him that I was no longer afraid of him. He in turn reached back and tried to pinch me hard on my shoulder, but I pulled his hand away. I felt as if I would fight him if I had to. I was old enough now so I could probably win in a fight against him.

I blamed my father for the antagonism between us without looking at the deeper cause of the evil.

Dream of: 08 November 1988 "Math Problems"

I had a paper with some math problems written on it. The problems were part of the homework in the high school class which I was attending. Some problems required solutions of basic mathematics, but five problems (even though they were problems with numbers) required solutions written in words.

The first problem said simply "1010." I was uncertain what to say about the problem, but I finally decided to explain that the number could represent different amounts, depending upon the base in which it was written. For example if the number were in the base of two, it would signify a different amount than if it were in the base of ten. I was satisfied that that explanation would be sufficient.

My father was driving a car in which I also was seated. As I began my explanation of the number, my father (seated to my left) began talking with me. I reflected that the grades on my last report card had been bad and that I had made some D's. My father hadn't yet said anything about the bad grades, but I anticipated that he was now going to complain about my grades. And in fact he began talking about how my doing my homework should help my grades.

I became quite upset. I said that to the contrary, my grades would be worse this next time. I told him I was very miserable because I was once again living with him. I only wanted to be far away from him. Hearing my words, he suddenly became very and began strangling me with both his hands. I escaped from him and opened the car door. I was going to call for help, but when I saw that my father had stuck his head out the door, I shut the door on his neck and trapped his head in the door. I wasn't hurting him, but at least he wasn't able to hurt me.

I looked for the evil within my father with more intensity than I sought the evil which was in myself.

Dream of: 01 February 1989 "Bomb In The Church"

I was riding in the back seat of a crowded car being driven through a large city by my father . My brother Chris, my paternal grandmother Mabel, my maternal grandfather Liston and my paternal great-uncle Adolph were also in the car.

As I observed the buildings around us, we passed a large industrial complex containing many complicated-looking buildings. Since I was having difficulty seeing, I asked my father if I could open take off the sun roof. He looked surprised, as if he hadn't even known the car had a sun roof. He gave his approval, and I pulled off the sun roof.

Chris spoke a bit in a staccato and almost unintelligible voice. I thought someone needed to spend some time with him to teach him to talk better.

My father pulled up in front of a large red-brick church which looked more like a large cathedral. I thought this city had once been bombed in a war through which the church had survived. I knew my father used to live in this city and I asked him if he had ever preached at the church. He responded that he had. Although the church was obviously no longer in use, everyone stepped out of the car and walked inside.

Once inside I found a paper rack in which one paper bore the date 1965, and I told the others that no one had been in this church since 1965. What I really meant, however, was that no one had brought a paper into the church since 1965.

When my grandmother Mabel walked up some stairs, I followed her, knocking down the many cobwebs as I ascended the stairs, until I finally reached the room which she had entered.

I walked into a spacious high-ceilinged room where pews had been set up. Some of the other members of my family, including perhaps my grandfather Liston, were already sitting in the pews. When everyone finally stood up to leave, there was one person among us who I didn't want to go with us. When that person reached the front door of the church, and the rest of us had exited, I gave that person something which looked like a postage stamp and I shut the door so that the person was left inside the church. A large explosion followed from behind the door. I had actually given the person a powerful bomb which had exploded.

I seemed to be guilty myself (but unaware) of whatever evil I accused my father of perpetrating,

Dream of: 19 April 1989 "A Double Life"

I was in a house which reminded me of the West Side House (a four-room cottage in West Portsmouth, Ohio, which belong to my father and in which he allowed me to live in 1972). Although I also had another house where I lived part of the time, apparently I had been living in this house for a while. The house (quite neat inside) had bright red carpet in the living room. There was a chest of drawers in the living room as well as one in the back bedroom.

I was in another room when I heard the phone ring in the living room. Instead of answering the phone myself, I let the answering machine answer it. Although I couldn't hear who was on the phone, the caller left quite a long message, and the answering machine didn't click off for quite a while.

I finally walked in to the phone, and somehow, without even listening to the message, I knew the person calling had been my father. I picked up the receiver and called him. After he answered, we had a brief conversation which had something to do with his now being a lawyer and his having a law office in the Gay Street House. He didn't work much and he didn't handle personal injury cases (which could become too complicated). It sounded as if he would like me to return to Portsmouth and practice law there with him.

For a short while my mother also got on the phone and we had a short three-way conversation until I hung up. Only after I had hung up did I remember that I hadn't talked with my father for almost a year. I found it strange that he hadn't mentioned our long silence when I had just now talked with him.

What was I going to do today? For some reason I thought I was near a town on the border of the United States, and I remembered having once visited a town on the other side of the border either in Mexico or Puerto Rico. I had a vision of the street on the other side of the border – the street led right up to a chain link fence which separated the United States and the other country. When I had been on the other side, I had met some friends whom I would like to see again.

Gradually, however, I realized that I was nowhere near the border and that I was actually near Portsmouth. I thought I might see if either Steve Buckner or Roger Anderson (former high school classmates and friends) were in town.

I picked up the phone to make a call, but before I could dial, I heard faint voices on the other end. Finally I realized my father and my mother were talking with one another. Obviously they didn't know I could hear them. Apparently, since the three of us had talked on three-way, somehow I was able to still hear them. After listening a while, I noticed how surprisingly strong and happy my mother's voice sounded. I thought she must be getting along all right. My father's voice on the other hand sounded clear, but he didn't sound happy.

The voices faded away due to the bad connection which I had. When the voices returned, they belonged to my father and another female (not my mother). The female sounded young – I imagined she might be only about 20. My father seemed to know her well and he seemed to want her to come to see him at the Gay Street House (it sounded as if he wanted her to live with him). It also sounded as if he wanted her to work for him, although he told her he couldn't afford to hire her full time.

Finally he called her by her name, "Ann." I thought if I talked with him some day, I would have to ask him who Ann was. It sounded as if he had known her for a long time and it occurred to me that he had been living a double life for years. Apparently I simply hadn't known about his other life.

Ann told him over the phone that she might come to visit him, but that she first needed a seven day vacation. She was quite insistent on the vacation.

The voices faded again and when they returned, my father was talking with yet a different woman. This woman likewise seemed to know my father quite well. When I overheard the woman mention my name, I listened more intently. When she said something about the last time I had visited "from home", I wondered where she thought my home was. I thought of all the places I had been – including Europe – when I had been away from Portsmouth. Even I was unsure where my home was. As the woman talked, it sounded as if every time I would visit my father, the woman would disappear and not return until I had left.

My father mentioned something about when he had been an alcoholic a few years ago. It sounded as if he had quit drinking alcohol. I thought that had probably been good for him.

Ultimately, I inherited my father's materialistic proclivity and was able to envision the beauty therein.

Dream of: 16 June 1989 "Butterfly Wings"

While I was sitting on a beach with my father, I realized he had a cardboard box filled with about a million dollars worth of gold coins. After he had riffled through the coins for a while, I took the box, dipped my hands into the coins and began looking at them. I was surprised to see that the coins were older than I had expected and that most looked as if they had come from the 1800s. Most seemed quite worn, although they still appeared to have interesting designs on them.

Not all the gold in the box was coins. One gold piece looked something like an earring, although it also seemed to resemble a tiny weather vane. It appeared to have little protrusions in all four directions, although one protrusion was missing. When I held the piece in my hand, it spun around.

I was curious about where my father had obtained the gold. Looking around, I saw a cliff nearby which was being excavated and after talking to my father a bit, I realized some of the gold apparently had come from the excavation. Apparently an ancient settlement had once been in this location which was now being excavated, and some gold had been found on the site.

Deciding to do some excavating myself, I walked over to the cliff and began digging around on it. Gradually I realized I needed to be looking for charcoal or coal, which would indicate the area where the settlement had existed. I figured I might be able to find gold in that area. Suddenly I saw what appeared to be a vein of black coal. I hollered to my father to tell him what I had found, but then I realized he had already seen it.

I chipped off a piece of the coal into my hand. As I carefully began breaking it open, I was surprised to see a pretty butterfly wing embedded in one layer of the coal. As I walked over to my father to show the piece to him, I saw another wing. When I reached my father, he carefully received the thin layer of coal from me and laid it on a piece of white paper, I could see many different butterfly wings pressed close to each other, almost like a collage, in the thin - almost transparent - layer of coal.

My father said there was a man down closer to the water on the beach who could help us identify the butterfly wings and tell us more about them. My father and I walked to the man, who told my father that at the time when the butterfly wings became embedded in the coal, there had been butterflies and that the butterflies were often intoxicated on some kind of drug, which he called "kieferdine." I had heard about the intoxication, but I had thought the drug was called "dopemine."

The divide between life and death remained so incomprehensible, it was rarely discussed between us.

Dream of: 31 July 1989 "Still Alive"

I had been told for quite some time that my father had died, but one day I was talking to my mother on the phone while she was at her home in Portsmouth (the 29th Street House), and she told me that my father was still alive and that he was living there with her. Completely surprised, I asked to talk with him, but apparently he was angry at me about something and he didn't want to talk. He did however come on the phone for a few moments, vented his anger at me, and then hung up.

I simply didn't know what to think. I considered calling my sister. I imagined she had known all along that my father was alive. Perhaps she could give me more information about what was going on.

My father's inability to recognize my special abilities did not prevent my exercising those abilities.

Dream of: 02 August 1989 "Special Ability"

On a hilly paved road in the country, my father was driving a car in which my mother, my sister, and I were riding. My father seemed unable unable to pass it a car which was traveling quite slowly in front of us. Every time the other car reached a place where my father was able to pass, yet another car came along from the other direction. Finally we reached a place where the road descended into a deep valley and then ascended back up a hill. When we started down into the valley, we were in a passing zone and my father intended to pass, but then he saw another car coming toward us from the other direction headed down the hill on the other side of the valley road, and again he was unable to pass.

As we traveled on, I glanced through a book about exercise which was lying in the car. On one page were written some general rules of exercise, one of which said that a person couldn't become physically fit simply by reading a book about it. The rule seemed obvious enough to me, but I wondered how many people just read exercise books and then didn't exercise.

When we again reached a level stretch of road and I looked out the window and saw large, billowy, cumulus clouds on the horizon, it occurred to me that I had developed the ability to look into clouds and create images. It was a powerful fantasy technique which I enjoyed. It was also a means of escaping from the world around me, and in this instance, I would like to escape from my father, who didn't seem too friendly toward me.

Concentrating on a cloud, I quickly began seeing the form of a large white horse appear across the length of the cloud. I had a side view of the large galloping horse, and the more I looked at it, the more detailed it became. I was mesmerized by its silky beauty. Finally it turned its head toward me and it almost seemed as if it were trying to communicate with me.

My sister next attracted my attention. She had frizzy blonde hair and seemed only about 3-4 years old. That surprised me because it seemed as if I remembered her being much older. I tried to figure out how I could have thought she was older, but I couldn't seem to reconcile the thought of her being older with the fact that she was obviously so young.

She began pulling in a rather long string with a fish hook on the end which she had been holding out the window. She had simply been letting the string drag along the road as we traveled. While being dragged, the string had fallen into some tar, and now some of the tar had rubbed off onto the orange car seats. I immediately pointed out the stain to my mother who began chastising my sister. Finally one of us grabbed the string and threw it out the window. Obviously the black spots of tar on the seat would have to be removed. The situation grew increasingly unpleasant as my sister began crying like a baby,

I began trying another fantasy technique. I was able to squint one of my eyes so much that there was only a small round hole left through which images were entering. The effect was almost like looking through a small telescope. This was a new technique and I wasn't very good at it yet.

As we finally approached a small village, I could see a large stone statue of the crucifixion of Christ on top of a hill behind the village. The cross was made of large white stones and the entire statue seemed immense. When we were almost in the village, I could more clearly see the hill, which appeared to have a large monastery sitting on it. As my father passed through the village, I continued gazing at the monastery which seemed to change as we passed it. Finally the monastery looked as if it weren't on the hill, but on ground level, and as if it weren't a completed building, but was only made of wooden beams, and hadn't had the walls erected yet.

Since I wanted to stop to see the statue, I asked my father to stop. When my father was driving, however, he didn't like to stop anywhere, so he ignored my pleas. But when I continued saying there was a wonderful statue in this little village which we should see, he finally grouchily agreed to stop for a short while. He turned the car around and pulled up in front of what had looked like the monastery.

After I hopped out of the car, I saw that we had stopped at the village plaza. The ground was covered with large rock slabs with short grass cropping up between them. Trees shaded the plaza and along the edges of the plaza squatted small buildings and a few shops. In front of one shop was a newspaper rack which I thought might contain some foreign newspapers because I was beginning to have the feeling that this was a tourist attraction and that people from other countries might come there. I thought about buying a newspaper, but then decided against it.

In the middle of the plaza was a small statue which appeared to be of a boy, and which some people were staring at. From where I was, I could only see the back of the boy, which seemed disappointingly small. I hoped that this statue wasn't the one which I had seen from the road and that the statue hadn't simply looked larger from where we had been before.

When I abruptly noticed a side street, I was amazed when I looked down the street where I saw what appeared to be a church. Over the high doors of the church was an immense relief sculptured in white rock, which showed what I identified as the Pietas of Christ. What it apparently depicted was Christ being carried from the cross with perhaps twenty people gathered around him. From where I was, I couldn't clearly see the sculpture; I only had a side view of it.

I hollered to my father and the others to come on, that I had found the sculpture. When I thought about it, I remembered I had heard about this famous sculpture before, being located there in this little village.

A monk was walking in the plaza. Perhaps 35 years old, he was thin and wearing a brown robe. It looked as if his hair might be cut like a Franciscan, shaved on top. I thought he might be there to give tours of the statue, but I thought he would probably charge us for it. Although he didn't look as if he would be unfriendly, I didn't want him to help us.

The others followed as I began walking down the side street toward the large relief. I felt quite good and I felt free. I decided to do something which I knew most people couldn't do: I spread my arms out, let my feet rise off the ground, and began floating. In a vertical position about a meter off the ground, I slowly floated down the street, having to concentrate deeply on the floating in order to maintain it. I knew what I was doing took enormous skill and power, but it seemed as if the others around me didn't realize the difficulty and importance of what I was doing. I wondered if the monk say me whether he would realize just how special this ability was. As I continued, I happily began humming, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......."

Whatever the source of the differences between my father and me, the resulting animosity was unhealthy and needed to be resolved before it was too late.

Dream of: 21 August 1989 "Unresolved Differences"

My mother had called me. She began talking by saying, "Steve there's been an accident."

I immediately prepared myself, and for some reason I thought my father had probably been involved. I asked, "Who was it."

She answered, "Dad's dead." She added that the news must sound terrible to me.

I thought she probably was referring to my father, but I was uncertain. I felt sorry because he and I hadn't been getting along lately, and I felt bad that he would die without our having resolved our differences. I said, "Who?"

She answered, "Dad."

Still uncertain who she talking about I asked, "Who's dad?"

I was a bit confused because I knew she wasn't in the habit of calling my father "Dad." When she once again gave me an unclear answer, I asked her to speak the name of the dead person. She said, "Leroy."

I felt as if something, such as a pillow, had fallen on me, but I didn't feel shocked. It was almost as if I had expected him to die. I asked, "How did it happen?"

She explained that my father had been in his car and had been following my mother's car about five kilometers behind her, when he apparently had had three flat tires. When he had had the first flat tire he had been preparing to make a turn from route 180 onto route 183, or vice versa. Apparently intending to change the tires, he had pulled off the road.

Although we were destined to travel different roads, my father and I faced common evils.

Dream of: 23 September 1989 "Looming Danger"

I was a passenger in the front seat of a car being driven by my father. After we reached the U.S./ Mexican border, we passed by houses on farms on the shore of the Rio Grande. My father and I talked about how the police would like to enter some of the houses to see if drugs were inside. Almost everyone around the area was anti-drug. My father told me who lived in some houses, although I didn't know how he knew.

One house had large windows, apparently so anyone outside could see that nothing bad was taking place inside.

I told my father that the farms around there would be worth a lot of money if someone were to buy them and sell them in lots. I knew many people would like to buy land there to import drugs. My father agreed.

We continued along until I was astonished to see what appeared to be a large round building carved out of the rock of a hill. The building appeared to have a dome at the top, and at first the building looked as if it might be a church. As we passed, I lost sight of the dome, and the building began to look more like a tall slender tower, perhaps 25 stories tall. I wondered if the building had elevators or only stairs. I noticed some writing on the building which indicated it was a federal building, probably a library, which had been abandoned. Obviously no one was inside now, but I wondered if someone could enter. Many intact green-colored widows were about half way up the building.

We continued along until I saw a hill which was much larger than any of the surrounding hills. I could see what appeared to be a new road which hadn't been completely finished on the hill. I thought I would like to drive up the hill, but my father wanted to continue driving in the other direction. I pleaded with him to drive to the tall hill, because I believed from there we would be able to see over the entire region.

Suddenly I looked in the other direction and saw three or four looming funnel clouds headed toward us. In another direction I saw two more funnel clouds, even closer. I pointed out the funnel clouds to my father and he saw them. After he stopped the car, we both climbed out and looked for some place to hide. We thought about hiding among some nearby large trees, when I saw a small abandoned building which had been built into the side of a hill. I thought we could go there. Since the building was small, I figured we probably wouldn't be in much danger if it caved in on us.

The funnel clouds approached, appearing ever stronger and more violent.

I wanted my father to be on my side in the great universal war of good against evil, yet I experienced wounding premonitions that he was my enemy rather than my ally.

Dream of: 21 January 1990 "Wounded Soldier"

My mother was sitting in the front passenger seat, while I was seated in the back seat of a car which my father was driving through a Texas town whose streets seemed to be unpaved dirt. We seemed to be following a parade which was in progress. I didn't see a marching band, but I had the feeling that one had proceeded us. People were beginning to disperse on both sides of the streets.

We continued on until we reached a part of the city which opened up before us like some incredible sight. Around us towered tall skyscrapers, in the middle of which reared gigantic statues of soldiers perhaps twenty times larger than life. One soldier in an attack position carried a rifle with a bayonet on the end. Another soldier, apparently wounded, held a bayoneted rifle which was either stuck in him or in the ground. Gigantic cannons surrounded the soldiers. I pointed out the statues and cannons to my father and my mother, who seemed as surprised as I to see them.

I also pointed out another tall building which soared behind the others. My father said the building was the Parthenon and he headed toward it. I didn't think it was the Parthenon because I thought the Parthenon was in Rome. Since I felt disoriented by the place, however, I thought the building could possibly be the Parthenon.

My mother asked me to get out the binoculars, which I retrieved from the back window of car. I then lifted my upper body out the side window and sat on the door, with my legs remaining inside. I looked through the binoculars toward the soldiers, but now I couldn't see them. I seemed to see an image, but it wasn't the image of the object at which I was looking. Concluding that the binoculars weren't working, I pitched them aside.

By then we had traveled to the top of a hill where my father noticed a pay telescope along the side of the street. He pulled out some change and asked me if I had a nickel. I pulled out a nickel (the only coin in my pocket) and handed it to him. He then scooted toward the middle of the front seat and asked me to climb up front and drive the car for a moment.

I climbed over the seat and sat behind the steering wheel. When I tried to reach the clutch, brake and gas pedals with my foot, however, I was unable to do so. Since we were on an incline, the car began rolling backwards. Seeing cars behind us farther down the hill, I became frightened that we were going to roll back into them. I desperately tried to acquire the pedals with my tennis shoe-clad feet, but I couldn't reach them. Barely able to touch the pedals, I gulped, "I can't reach it. I'm scared."

The car seemed to be moving backward more quickly.

Of all things in the world, trees best typified our differences in our attitudes. My father viewed trees as timber which could be turned into money. I viewed trees as beauty which could be turned into works of art.

Dream of: 03 April 1990 "Wooden Horse"

I was with my father and my mother in a car which my father was driving through a mountainous area. As my father took a road which meandered up and down over the mountain tops, I became enthralled by the beauty of the scenery. When I noticed that many of the trees had been cut down, however, I said something about how man had simply come into the area and chopped down the trees. Many large trees had been cut down to make way for a power line which stretched across one mountain. Some extremely large logs were piled atop the mountain; one log was placed to hold the agglomeration of logs from rolling down the mountain.

Sensing that my father was driving too fast, I asked him to slow down, but he wouldn't and he continued racing over the mountains. We ascended one mountain speckled with ornate old houses and as we passed one house, my father said my grandmother used to live there. I concluded that my grandmother Mabel apparently used to live in the house when she had been growing up. I asked my father to stop, but he wouldn't - he just kept going. When we finally reached a town, we began circling through narrow streets on both sides of which stood small shops selling various items. Since it was Sunday, however, all shops were closed. We continued to the very top of the mountain, where we finally found a small shop which was open.

My father circled around the shop and finally stopped. My father, my mother and I stepped from the car, walked into the shop and looked around. The shop contained many stuffed animals, one of which was a large black mountain goat lying on the floor. The stuffed goat cost over $400. I continued looking around until I saw some live animals on the shelves. There was even a live pony on the shelf which I began petting. It liked the petting.

On the floor stood a sculpture of a large horse which had been intricately carved out of wood. A bit taller than I, the horse was standing on it hind legs. My mother said something to a woman running the shop about how expensive everything was. I continued admiring the horse for quite a while until we finally left.

Although I tended to discard the scant spiritual advice which my father had imparted to me, I tended to retain to some degree his encouragement to accumulate and protect material wealth.

Dream of: 08 May 1990 "Retained Gift"

I had been living with my father and my mother, but after a major fight with them, I moved out to live in a small apartment in a building which resembled a hotel. Once I was settled in, my father, my mother, and my sister came to my apartment and walked in. I didn't want in my apartment there because I was still very upset with them. I told them to leave and that I didn't want to see them anymore. I felt as if they had committed an unpardonable wrong against me by throwing me out of their house. My father and my mother acted as if nothing major had happened and as if I would get over it; but I didn't feel as if I were going to get over anything.

Sitting on the television was a small Christmas tree and several figures of Santa Claus which had been given to me either by my father or my mother. I picked up the tree and threw it out the door. Next I did the same with the figures of Santa Claus. Although I intended to throw out everything my parents had given me, I remembered one thing which I wanted to keep: a hand gun, a black revolver with a long barrel. I retrieved the gun from under a cushion on the couch, held it in my hand and admired it. I recalled how my father had once given the gun to me. I thought I might now point it at him and force him to leave, but instead, I simply put the gun away.

My father seemed determined not to leave and finally we actually began struggling with each other. I didn't actually hit him, but I thought I might before it was over.

Although understanding my father's influence on my character seemed tedious, the importance of his influence could not be overestimated.

Dream of: 15 February 1991 "The Most Important Man"

I walked into the kitchen of a house and found my mother and my father. My father was about 40 years old and had long black hair cascading to his shoulders. He seemed rather tall, so I had to look up at him. He and I hadn't been getting along well lately, mainly because we hadn't been communicating. As I scrutinized him more closely, I realized he was black, and I concluded that I must therefore be half black.

As my father began working on something with a knife, I noticed a second knife lying near him. Since we had been having problems, I was a little afraid of him. It even crossed my mind that he might cut me with one of the knives, although I doubted that his disaffection with me would drive him that far.

Reflecting on how we hardly ever talked about anything important, I queried, "Do you ever think of God?" He seemed amused by my question. Since I knew he had been a preacher when he had been younger, I figured he must have thought much about God at one time. But he now acted as if my talking about God was a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, I continued, "I think of God a lot. In fact its probably the most important thing in my life."

When he asked me whether I prayed to God, I replied, "God speaks to me and I speak to him." Even as I spoke, I thought I could feel God coming inside me. I closed my eyes and felt God enter me. Sensing that God was directing me to communicate with my father, I heard God say, "Speak to him, the most important man in your life, at this time."

I thought the message was that other men might be more important in my life at other times, but that my father was the most important man in my life right now. I wrapped my arms around my father and pulled him closer to me, still feeling God surge through me.

My father was not without imagination, but his imagination seemed to continually float on practical dreams of making money.

Dream of: 16 March 1991 "Boat-Builder"

I was in my office which was only about three meters by three meters and which was apparently in a house where my father lived. Papers were stacked up all around the room. My father walked into the office. Angry because his papers were all over the place and because the office was untidy, he began screaming at me. Finally he shouted, "Who's the boss here?"

Fed up with his antagonistic attitude, I hollered back, "I am!"

Apparently satisfied with my response, he didn't say anything else. Nevertheless I decided right then that I wasn't going to stay there and that I was going to move out immediately.

***

I was looking at some envelopes which had a return address at my office in my father's house. I decided I would have to get new envelopes with a new address, and that in fact I would even send my father a letter with my new return address on it just to show him I had moved out.

***

My father began telling me about a new project he had undertaken to build fine, small cabin cruisers. On a television I was able to see a news segment which someone had made about kind of boats which my father was building. I noticed what appeared to be a large black furnace on the front of one boat, and I concluded that the power to run the boat came from there.

The commentator on the show mentioned that the United States and Japan were competing to build these type of boats. My father's boats had a chance to win the competition, but the outcome was still uncertain. A map of the western coast of the United States around California was shown. Apparently the president of the United States was concerned about that part of the country and he wanted to get a bunch of boats over there. I also saw a river which ran inland along the coast line, and I thought the river might be a good place to harbor some boats.

I had ambiguous feelings about the project. My father obviously wanted me to help him sell the boats (which were quite expensive) and I thought I might be able to do so. I thought if I were helping to demonstrate the boats to people, I might be able to go out on the boats sometimes and just relax. I might even be able to simply live on one boat for a while.

My father said that he only had one boat at the present, but that after he began production he would have 24 models to be shown.

***

Another boy and I were at a marina where one of my father's boats was being kept. It seemed as if I were about 12 years old. My father was with us, and he said he had just joined a club at the marina. The other boy and I wanted to go out on the boat, and my father told us to go ahead and go, but that we would first have to go to a ticket booth. When the other boy and I walked up to the booth, the woman behind the window asked us if we had the money. I was flummoxed because I had thought I wouldn't have to pay anything because my father was a member.

When my father walked up, he had to write the woman a check because his membership fees apparently weren't being paid. He also had a bouquet of flowers for the woman. I had the feeling that my father hadn't been paying his fees the way he should have, so he had to pay the fees so we could get in. I began to wonder just how well my father was doing at the present if he wasn't even paying his membership fees to get into the marina.

Unable to explain why my father had been cursed with a crippled son, I haphazardly theorized that he had been punished for trading a spiritual life for a material one.

Dream of: 14 April 1991 "Bloody Fight"

My crippled brother Chris and I were in a house when my father walked in. My father, apparently angry about something, asked Chris if Chris was wearing the same clothing as yesterday. When Chris said he was, my father shouted that nobody was taking care of Chris. I told my father I had already carried Chris, who weighed a lot, to the couch so he could enjoy himself. I pointed out that Chris also had something to eat.

My father became even angrier. He picked up a metal chair and seemed to be going to attack me. I also picked up a piece of furniture and prepared to defend myself. It looked as if we were going to have a bloody fight.

Since my father did not partake of literature, his non-acceptance of my literary inclinations were unsurprising.

Dream of: 15 June 1991 "Hamlet and King Lear"

While my father and some other members of my family were upstairs, I was in the basement of a house. With me I had several record albums which contained various plays of Shakespeare. Upstairs, my father and the others were going to do something with some plays of Shakespeare, but I didn't want to be involved with what they were going to do and I intended to refuse to be involved with them. If my father tried to force me, I figured we would probably have a fight. In the past he had tried to force me to participate in their activities, and when I had refused, he had beaten me until I had submitted. But now I felt as if I were strong enough to resist.

Soon I heard my father coming down the stairs. He walked over to me and acted as if he were going to be affable, but I knew it was only a ploy. First he picked up the album which contained "King Lear." Then he put it down and he picked up the one containing "Hamlet", which was probably my favorite. When he tore some paper off the front of the album, I called upstairs to the others that he was tearing up my album. I thought my time to react had arrived and I began struggling with him. We fell to the floor; I soon thought I would have the best of him and I wondered if I would start hitting him in the head.

On top of the established differences between my father and myself, my intention to some day publish words describing the evil buried in my mind loomed as another source of discord between us.

Dream of: 19 July 1991 "Buried Under The Sea"

I had committed a crime, probably a murder. The authorities were investigating, but as of yet, they hadn't connected me to the crime – another fellow was the prime suspect. I was trying to divert attention from myself, but I was concerned that I might have left some evidence at the scene of the crime, such as my fingerprints.

***

I was responsible for working on a nuclear machine located in the basement of a house. The machine looked like a large metal box about three meters high and two meters wide on each side. Several other such machines had been built, but this was the newest one – number 11.

Something went wrong with the machine and it appeared that I was responsible. It looked inevitable that the machine would explode, and it was possible that everyone on earth would be killed. A black-haired woman sitting next to me began talking with me about what would happen. A rush of wind whistled in the distance – darkness crept in. The woman explained that there wouldn't be a big explosion, but that the wind and the darkness were the beginning of what was going to happen.

***

I was in the basement of a house where I had been living with my father and my mother. My father had discovered that I had done something wrong; he and my mother had gone to my room (the adjoining room in the basement), and were going through my things. I was quite upset because I didn't think he had the right to be searching through my belongings.

I walked into my room; my father had taken some papers out of my drawers and was reading them. On his lap he also had a collage which I had made. In the collage was a picture of a person with words coming from the person's mouth. The words had been cut out of newsprint and pasted together to form a sentence. My father read the words which said something about bodies being buried under the sea. I stopped, reflected for a moment and told him that my first wife Louise had pasted the words on the collage. But I actually meant my second wife Carolina, because Carolina was the one who had put the words there. I remembered the words had come from an ancient Hindu text, but I couldn't remember the word "Hindu", and I told my father that the words had derived from a Mayan text.

I became rather angry and exploded that my father and my mother had no right to be going through my papers. I said, "I'm not 12. I'm not 22. I'm 28."

I was trying to impress on them that I was too old for them to be trying to control me. I told them I had only recently begun to feel comfortable living with them, but that if they were going to treat me like that, I would have to leave. I said, "This is what people do when they leave home. They do what they want to do with the rest of their lives."

Salvaging our frail relationship became an unhealthy occupation of my mind.

Dream of: 18 September 1991 "Evicted From The Attic"

It was 1 or 2 a.m.; I was sleeping in a bed at the far end of the attic of the Gay Street House. When I heard someone coming up the stairs, I looked and saw my father and his ex-wife Kay approaching my bed. My father spoke, saying that I wasn't going to be able to stay there any longer. I stood from the bed, wrapping a red cover around me, completely naked underneath. My father also said he was going to try to have me committed to a mental hospital the following day.

Both surprised and angered, I told him I would leave immediately. However I was uncertain where to go. My old 1980 gray Honda Prelude was parked in the parking lot behind the House, but the battery was dead and I knew getting a jump at that time of night would be difficult. I could possibly go to a motel. I didn't have much cash, but I did have a credit card.

I walked downstairs to the second floor and saw that the house was full of people. I continued trying to decide where to go.

Engulfed in my own spiritual darkness, I contemplated my father drowning in his.

Dream of: 22 September 1991 "Indian God"

My father was driving a car in which I was riding. We were headed for a meeting somewhere. It had been raining, and we reached a place where water had flooded the road. When I assured my father that the water wasn't deep and that he should go on, he proceeded through it. But after we had passed half way through, I realized that water was swirling up the side of the car, and that some of the water might even seep into the car. Although we were finally able to safely pass to the other side, the water had definitely been deeper than I had expected.

As we continued along, we reached yet another place with water over the road. Fearing this water might be deeper, I told my father I would get out first and check it. I explained that I didn't mind wading into the water because I was wearing tennis shoes and my feet were already wet. Once he had stopped the car, I stepped out and walked toward the water. As I moved forward, however, before I even reached the water, I realized I was having a difficult time seeing, and I even felt as if I were blacking out; it seemed as if I were about to lose consciousness. I knew I had had this experience before, and I wondered if the problem had something to do with my diet. Perhaps I had been eating too much sugar.

Nevertheless, I continued on into the water. When I began wading through the water, I had to feel around with my feet to ascertain I was staying on the road. I was also still having difficulty seeing, and one time I almost stepped off the side of the road.

When I finally reached the other side of the water, I looked down and noticed a set of railroad tracks running right down the middle of the road. I began walking between the tracks a short ways farther, up to a small bridge. When I stepped out onto the bridge, I looked down and saw a small creek flowing underneath. But my attention was quickly drawn to something much more ominous: a huge mass of water was flowing down the side of a nearby hill toward the creek. It was obvious that when the water reached the creek and slammed toward the bridge, the bridge would be overflowed. I ran across the bridge to the other side, still having some problem with blacking out. Once I had reached the other side of the bridge, I hollered back to my father, with a weak voice due to my problem, that he should hurry and follow me.

My father quickly began driving toward me, but before I could tell exactly what happened, his car flipped over in mid-air and flew off the bridge. It looked as if the car were going to land in the water. Just as I lost sight of the car, I heard my father shout, "Help me! Help me!"

I ran toward the spot where the car had disappeared from my sight, intending to help my father. I wondered what I would find when I reached him. Would he be in water? Would I jump in and save him? As I ran, everything suddenly turned black, as if I were running through a tunnel. Suddenly, as I raced through the black tunnel, I became lucid and realized I was dreaming. I also realized that since I was dreaming, I didn't have to continue running to try to save my father. But I still wanted the dream to continue, to see what would happen. As I tried to decide what to do next, images began passing through my mind. I particularly noticed the image of a head which appeared to be an Indian god. I didn't want to awaken, but I felt myself beginning to awaken anyway.

Against the angry backdrop of my father's failed marriages, I had taken the hand of Carolina in holy matrimony in 1989.

Dream of: 30 September 1991 "Giving Thanks"

My wife Carolina and I were riding in the back seat of a car which my father was driving. My mother was sitting in the front passenger seat. It seemed to be near Christmas. My mother turned around and said we all ought to be giving thanks and holding hands. Carolina was sitting on my right. My mother grabbed one of my father's hands and reached her other hand into the back seat. I grabbed it with my right hand, effectively cutting Carolina out. Carolina stuck out her lower lip as if she were disappointed, but she knew I was just kidding. I let go of my mother's hand with my right hand and grabbed it with my left hand. I then grabbed Carolina's hand with my right hand.

My mother then began reciting something. After she would recite, both Carolina and my father would repeat what my mother had said. I just mumbled it. I wasn't particularly interested in what she was saying. It seemed to me she was just reading something which she had seen written on the side of the road.

Carolina then said something about my father's being angry because he hadn't been able to go sailing in his boat. Apparently he had foreclosed on a new boat. I told Carolina not to worry about it because my father was always mad about something.

My father being a practical man, he focused much of his life on one subject: land, and he engendered in me the enduring desire to own land.

Dream of: 08 March 1992 "Buying Land"

My brother Chris and I were in a car. Although I was supposed to be driving the car, I was asleep behind the wheel, and Chris was somehow steering. Since the car was moving under its own power, Chris only had to steer. I suddenly awoke and realized we had reached a complicated area where my using the accelerator was necessary, and I took over the driving.

We reached a hilly area near Portsmouth where some development had been taking place. One old building had three or four stories tall, but only one room was on each story. Constructed completely from wood, the building reminded me of a pagoda. It looked as if it might have originally been used for storing grain, but it also looked as if it could be lived in. Some barns were standing near it.

Nearby rose a hill with a very steep, almost vertical side. Shrubs and trees were growing on part of the hillside, but part was covered with mowed grass. I was amazed that someone had been able to cut the grass there. If I lived there I certainly wouldn't mow the lawn.

As I was looking over the building, my father (only about 40 years old) showed up. He was friendly and we began talking. He told me this land could be bought for $368 an acre. There were three acres, which included the building. I wanted to immediately buy the land. I told my father to go and buy the land for me, and he left.

I walked over to the building and stepped inside. Although the building was in bad shape, I thought it could be repaired; it was clearly worth much more than what was being asked for it. I wanted to climb the stairs all the way to the top, but it looked as if the stairs were broken. I did see a rope hanging down, and I thought it looked as if some children might have put the rope there, but the rope looked too flimsy for me to try to climb on.

The building looked more like a barn than a house inside.

I looked out a window and saw a splendid view in the distance. It looked as if the sun were setting and the sky was bright red around the sun. I could see hills and valleys and mountains. On the other side of the road were some old dilapidated barns which looked as if they needed to be torn down.

All in all, it seemed fabulous there. If I could obtain the land, it was so beautiful, I would probably move back there and live.

I walked back outside and began walking away from the building. After I had walked quite a ways, I looked back at the building and saw that my father had showed up again and had parked his brown Rabbit Volkswagen close to the building. As I started walking back toward the building, another car pulled up. I thought the person who owned the building was probably in the car. I thought the person might wonder what I was doing there. When I finally reached my father, however, he told me he had already bought the land. I was ecstatic to think that this was going to be my land. The person in the other car had also pulled up; he indeed was the former owner. He seemed happy that he had sold the land. He stayed for a few minutes and then left.

As my father and I looked over the land, my mother (also only about 40 years old) showed up. As we stood there, I noticed some traffic pass by on the road. One vehicle looked as if it were pulling on a trailer two large statues of Indians, almost twice life size. I pointed them out to my mother. Behind the vehicle was traveling an army tank. I thought the statues were being taken to an army base.

One the other side of the road stood another large statue of a man on a horse. A number of pine trees were growing near the statue; I thought a park must be there. I could see still yet another statue a ways from the man on the horse statue. The idea of a park right across the road added to the beauty of the whole area.

I talked to my mother about the value of the land and said, "The land is probably even without the house worth $5,000 an acre for building."

I thought I might just fix this place up, sell it and then buy another one. I might just go from place to place, buying and selling houses. My father seemed to think that the idea was a good one, and that it was possible to find good buys on houses if the houses were bought from individuals. My mother seemed to disagree with my father at first, but then she realized that my father was talking about old dilapidated houses and that what he was saying was probably true.

I wanted my mother to walk across the road with me, but she was too tired and she didn't think she could do that. So my father and I walked across the road. When we looked back, I could now see that on the other hills around the land he had bought were many modern expensive houses. My father looked at them and mentioned that many doctors lived in the houses. My father thought that this was a good area and that the land would go up in value.

I asked him if he had the deed to the land. When I looked it over, I was shocked to see that he had paid over $3,000 an acre, or over $9,000 for the three acres. However, I didn't complain or say anything about the high price. I thought I would just have to pay the money and eat the difference.

My father and I walked back across the road and entered the building. When we walked inside, I noticed some old furniture in the house. I noticed an old bureau (similar to the one which used to be in the House in Patriot when I was a child, only much more intricate). The bureau had a glass section where things could be set and displayed. The bureau had been sitting out for a while and was in bad shape, but I thought it was an antique and could probably be fixed up. I thought I might work on it and try to repair it.

Looking over the place again, I realized I was going to have to do a lot of work to fix it up, but I thought it could be a fabulous place if I were able to repair it.

My father and I were trapped in a world of mutual criticism out of which there seemed to be no exit.

Dream of: 29 April 1992 "Critical Of Everything"

While my father and I were in a large variety/antique store, I noticed some old typewriters which were in excellent condition. Immediately interested, I was intrigued to know that somebody else besides me was collecting typewriters. I started talking with my father about the typewriters, but he obviously wasn't interested. In fact, he was quite critical, so much so that I didn't even want to be around him. I told him I thought he was critical of everything.

I bought one of the typewriters at a good price, took it home, and added it to my collection. I already had quite a few unusual looking typewriters in my collection.

Dream of: 08 August 1992 "Sick Family"

Two men (one was my boss) and I were in an upstairs room of a house. My boss somewhat resembled John Wayne Gacy (as he was portrayed by the actor Brian Dennehy in the movie To Catch a Killer).

In the room, up above our heads, were some bars with chains hanging down from them. I was able to grab one chain and swing on it. I was even able to swing outside the house and I saw that we were quite high up, probably around three stories. Several bars had chains; I could swing to the other chains but I didn't grab them; I stayed on the one. The swinging was quite dangerous – I stopped. I fretted my boss and the other man might be perturbed by what I was doing, especially when I noticed some writing which said around 60 people had recently been injured in accidents by using the bars and swinging on them as I was doing. Another note talked about how the manufacturers of the bars were insured against any injury which occurred while someone was using the bars.

My mother, downstairs, was getting ready to leave. This man wanted me to stay there and chat with him and another man for a while. I stayed for a long time, but finally I told the man that I had to leave because my mother was waiting for me. I patted him on the back of the head and told him that I was leaving and that I would see him the next day at work. He was in the middle of telling a story, and for that reason I thought I might be being impolite by leaving. But I had to leave; I walked downstairs.

The downstairs seemed like the House in Patriot. I walked outside, where I found my father lying dead. He was quite thin; he looked as if he were about 30 years old. I picked him up and carried him into the House. I walked away from him for a short bit, then I came back. My father stood up – he was alive! He lay back down in a bed. He was extremely ill. He was unconscious. I could do little for him except cover him and try to keep him warm. I felt quite sad about his condition.

My mother had already left. My brother Chris and my uncle George were also upstairs; they were also in bed and ill. It would be best if I went upstairs to take care of them. They were also unconscious; it would be a while before any of them would be well.

I checked all of them; they were still warm and alive. They all had covers on them. At one point when I was checking the covers on Chris, I thought he might be too hot and I asked him about it. He was momentarily conscious. He told me that he actually felt cool and that he would like to be a little warmer. I would probably have to stay there several days and continue taking care of them. I might even have to clean them if they had to go to the bathroom because they wouldn't be able to get out of the bed. I would just have to do it if necessary.

I was concerned my mother had simply left me there to take care of them. But I would simply have to do it. Obviously they all needed help. I would like to move my father upstairs, but that would be too difficult; I would probably have to leave him downstairs. I would have to move back and forth between upstairs and downstairs.

That I would spend my time writing dreams rather than working a regular job would have been incomprehensible to my father, and often to myself.

Dream of: 24 March 1993 "No Worries"

I had moved into the Gay Street House; I was in the upstairs back bedroom, thinking about what I was going to be doing since I was going to be living in Portsmouth. I finally had enough money so I had no worries about having a job. Now I would be able to do what I really wanted: devote my time to writing my dreams. I was studying exactly how I would accomplish that.

***

My father and I were in the downstairs kitchen of the Gay Street House. I thought he might ask me to do some work for him because he had a business which involved some outside mechanical work. He didn't pay much, but I told him I wasn't going to work for less than $7.50 an hour, because that was what I had paid my employees when I had worked in Dallas.

I noticed a white phone in the room. I thought my father had been doing some advertising of his business, and I realized if the phone rang, I wouldn't know what to say to anyone who might be calling about the business. I thought my father probably needed an answering machine. If he had one, I could probably devise a message to put on it, a message which would tell people to leave their phone number, or their address if they wanted some information sent to them. I would also tell them they could also leave any other message which they wanted.

I was tormented both by the prospect that I would live a typical bourgeois existence like my father's, and by the prospect that I would waste my life writing something which no one would ever read.

Dream of: 14 November 1993 "Exercise Program"

I was riding in the front seat of a car being driven by my father, headed from Portsmouth to the neighboring town of New Boston. My father now lived in New Boston and I was going to visit his home, which I had never seen before. As we proceeded, we reached a section of road flooded with water. My father paid no heed to the muddy water and began driving through it. Since trees lined both sides of the road, he was able to discern where the road was, even though he couldn't actually see the road. Alarmed by his plowing through the water, I asked what would happen if a log were lying submerged in the water and he hit it. He paid me no mind and continued on. Finally I saw the headlights of another car which was approaching us, also driving through the water, but then the car turned off.

***

I was in the lobby of a large, luxurious hotel in New Boston. I could hear a woman complaining at the front desk about her room. It seemed that this area sometimes flooded, and that at such times the lower rooms of the hotel were submerged in water. The woman was complaining because her room was one of the lower ones and she was concerned it might flood. The hotel apparently had been designed to withstand such floods, however, and no water was supposed to go into any of the rooms. This seemed curious to me. Obviously the lobby would flood, and I wondered how the lobby would be able to withstand damage. In the lobby was some fine carved wood which would probably be damaged. At the least there would have to be a massive cleanup.

***

I was sitting in the living room of my father's home in New Boston. I had learned that his ex-wife Kay lived in a house two streets over. From my father's front window I could see Kay's house, because no houses were directly across the street.

I was also aware that my mother had come to New Boston and that she had gone to Kay's house for some reason. I thought trouble might ensue since Kay and my mother didn't get along. I wondered why my mother had gone to Kay's.

My father (sitting in the room) asked me if I were going to visit Kay. I was uncertain whether I would. I stood up and looked out the window. It seemed like a pleasant residential area; maybe my father would settle down there. He seemed to like living there. I had never liked New Boston much. It was a narrow town pressed between a hill and the river, with two busy streets down its middle. It was hard to find a place away from the traffic. But this house seemed sufficiently removed from the busy streets, and I thought there might be a sense of community there among the neighbors. My father might be able to enjoy life there.

As far as Kay living so nearby, that seemed strange to me, but I thought maybe her presence would give my father some feeling of closeness to someone.

Since I wasn't wearing a shirt, my father asked me if I had been exercising. I recalled the last time I had seen him, we both had decided to go on an exercise program. Embarrassed, I told him I hadn't started yet. I recalled to myself that I had lost some weight since I had last seen my father – but subsequently I had regained the weight.

Like my father, I was tied to my earthly existence, but unlike him I often became obsessed with a maddening desire to understand my spirit.  

Dream of: 11 December 1993 "A Good Deal"

I was sitting at the table in the kitchen of the Gallia County Farmhouse. My father was sitting on the other side of the table, both elbows on the table, eating something which he was holding in both hands. He looked as if he were probably in his late 30s and his hair was still black. He blurted out that he had just closed a deal to sell his insulation manufacturing business. The news came as quite a shock to me. I had recently been involved in the business, and I had even planned in the near future to have acquired an ownership interest. Since I had anticipated depending on the business for a source of income, his announcement came as a blow. At the same time, however, I felt a sense of relief. I didn't really enjoy working in the business and it would have taken up much of my time. I asked how much he had received for the business and he replied, "Fifty thousand."

The price seemed fair. The deal sounded satisfactory; we would probably all be better off without the business.

My mother was also in the Farmhouse; she looked young, as if she might be in her late 30s. She mentioned that some step-relatives, children of my step-grandfather Clarence, were coming to spend the night. This news irritated me because I didn't enjoy the presence of my step-relatives, especially when I was planning to spend the night in the Farmhouse. When a brown jeep pulled up behind the Farmhouse, I figured the relatives had arrived. I couldn't do anything about it now, but I really would prefer that the step-relatives would stop coming, now that they no longer had any interest in the Farm.

Harbored resentment toward my father for ancient infractions impended my finding my artistic side.

Dream of: 20 December 1993 "Pulling Off The Belt"

I was upstairs in the House in Patriot, when I saw my father coming toward me, pulling off his belt to whip me. I stood up and confronted him, saying I wasn't going to allow him to whip me. He came at me and we struggled, exchanging some blows. Finally, he backed off and went downstairs. I was unsure whether he was going to return.

I wanted to get out of the House as quickly as possible. The only thing holding me back was a computer in the House which I needed to take with me. It was disassembled and I needed to make sure it would function. I quickly looked over the computer, trying to figure out what I would need to make it work so I could get out of there.

Although I still had not determined if my father were evil, he did offer stability and security in a murderous world.

Dream of: 08 January 1994 "Kidnapping"

My father and I were in the living room of his home (I thought we were in the Gay Street House, but I was unsure). We were on the second floor and I could see the view through the windows. I liked looking through the windows because I was rarely in this section of the house, even though I myself was living in the adjoining room. From my room I had a different view of the street and so I liked seeing what I could from this room.

My father was an attorney, probably in his early 40s. He was dressed in a gray suit and somewhat reminded me of Gerhardt Von Horth (a Venezuelan attorney whom I had met in Dallas). My father hadn't been practicing law long, and he was just now getting involved in some important cases. He was presently working on a murder case.

He was also involved in a case on which I was working. It was unclear who was the actual lawyer, he or I, but we both had a stake in the case. The case involved a kidnapping and we were trying to retrieve the child which had been kidnapped. I felt somehow responsible for the kidnapping due to having not taken adequate safeguards in the case, but my father didn't seem angry with me and he didn't seem to think I was in any way responsible.

My father also had a couple other lawyers who had begun working with him. I asked him if he had a way of ascertaining that there was no conflict of interest, that neither of the other lawyers had represented someone on the other side of a case. He seemed a bit surprised by my question, but he didn't seem concerned.

***

I was in a cottage where my mother and my sister were also living. Since I had two important legal cases on which I was working, I told my mother and my sister to let me know immediately if I got a call.

I walked into the bedroom, where I  felt vulnerable because the shades were up. I was about to pull them down, when I heard the phone ring. I ran out of the room and down the hall toward the kitchen where the phone was. By the time I got there, the phone had stopped ringing and I became concerned that I might have missed an important call. I told my mother and my sister to be sure to answer the phone immediately if it rang again.

As I walked back down the hall, the phone rang again. This time someone answered it. I returned to the kitchen and took the receiver. A woman on the other end spoke to me in Spanish and I responded in Spanish. She wanted to know who I was and I told her. She then wanted to know if everything she told me would be confidential. I told her it would, although I was actually uncertain. I was thinking she might have some information about the kidnapping. If she did, I was unsure I would be able to keep everything confidential.

She continued talking in Spanish and mentioned someone named Ferguson. I tried to remember if Ferguson was the name of the person who had done the kidnapping.

I remained befuddled by the father-son relationship, struggling against the realization that it was the most character-forming relationship in my life.

Dream of: 11 January 1994 "Three Generations Of Ancestors"

I was sitting in the kitchen of the House in Patriot, reading a newspaper article written by Rush Limbaugh. The article was criticizing a bill before Congress. The bill had contained many provisions, but one in particular caught my attention. Everyone in the United States would have to trace their ancestors back for three generations. If anyone in the three generations hadn't been born in the United States, then the person would have to carry a special card to show that fact.

My father was also in the room and I began talking with him about the article. I told him I ordinarily didn't agree with Rush Limbaugh, but in this case I did. That such a bill might be passed seemed outrageous.

I asked my father if any of his parents, grandparents or great grandparents had immigrated to the United States from another country. He thought for a minute and said they hadn't. I then asked him if he knew whether any of my mother's ancestors up through the third generation had come from another country. He thought again, then said he was unsure. I thought about it also, and I concluded my mother's ancestors through the third generation had all been born in the United States. Yet I wasn't entirely sure, and I thought if the bill was passed, we would have to check further.

It seemed incredible that my mother might have to carry around such a card. The whole thing made me realize, however, how deep were my roots in the United States, and even in the area where I was. My ancestors had been there a long time.

I wanted to build a solid artistic edifice that would last for eternity, not merely, in imitation of my father, a temporal abode for my earthly existence.

Dream of: 04 May 1994 "Poorly-Built House"

My father had given me a piece of land behind a large well-built house which he owned and I had decided to build a house on the land. Trying to decide the type of house I wanted to build, I searched for pictures of houses in a magazine, the kind published by Realtors trying to sell houses. I found a picture of a beautiful three-story house which I liked.

Soon thereafter, I spoke with a woman who was a contractor, who said she could have the house built for me. Without even a written contract we agreed that she would build the house for $40,000.

Construction began. A man (probably in his early 30s) began working on the house, and two days later the house was finished.

I went to look at the house and I walked through it. The house didn't appear to be level. When I shut the doors, I noticed large cracks around them. I walked into the kitchen and saw one of the cupboard drawers was chopped off. Screws were only half-way tightened in various places all over the house. In sum, the house was a complete mess.

As I toured the house, I noticed a fellow who resembled Richard Beasley (an old schoolmate from high school) working there. I couldn't remember his first name, but I asked if his last name was Beasley and he said it was. He looked as if he were in his early 30s. Exasperated, I finally walked out of the house and headed for my father's house.

When I reached my father's house, I found my mother and began explaining to her my problem with the house. I then found my father, who had black hair and was thin; he looked as if he were probably in his late 30s and he seemed strong and robust. I told him my problem with the new house and I asked his advice. The whole affair was turning out to be a disaster; I didn't know exactly what to do.

My father and I looked out back toward the house which I had had built. From my father's house, my house didn't look bad. It was a red brick house, and from a distance the defects couldn't be seen. But my father was surprised to see that a house had suddenly appeared out back, and he became angry at me because I had had the house built without first asking him. Seeing him so angry, I also became angry; I stormed out of his house and headed back for my house.

I knew my mother would talk to my father, and sure enough, in a short while, my father came over to my house to look at it. I could see him outside walking around, examining the house. He soon walked inside and looked around at the interior. He could also obviously see what a disaster it was. I told him I hadn't yet paid a penny for the house. To myself I was thinking that I wasn't going to pay for this house, and that I would probably sue the people who had built it. I thought the house, in its present condition, was worth perhaps $20,000.

Inside, the house wasn't three stories, as I had planned, but only one story. The house looked as if it contained only one big white room. One room was all I saw.

Beasley (still inside) mentioned to me that he recognized this house. He told me this house had been moved from somewhere else. When I asked him if he knew the address, he said the address was one hundred something. Only now did I notice a strange odor in the house, an odor which I had smelled before in old houses. Now I realized I smelled the odor because this wasn't a new house, but an old house which had been moved there. I angrily thought this wasn't what I had contracted for. Beasley seemed quite helpful, and I had the feeling he would probably testify in my behalf if we ended up going to court over the matter.

A woman friend of mine walked in and she also began looking at the house. With the woman listening, I told my father I had never signed a contract for the construction of the house because I had thought it would be to my advantage not to have a signed contract. Both my father and the woman laughed at this. The woman seemed to think it silly that I didn't have a contract. But I still thought not having a written contract would work to my advantage. Without a written contract, getting out of this mess would be easier.

As it now stood, I needed to find a second contractor to come to the house, look at all the problems, take pictures of the problems and make a list. That way I would have a record of everything wrong with the house. Then I would be prepared to face the builders of the house.

I had not been such a hypocrite, I would have realized that I had already inherited some of my father's evil nature.  

Dream of: 29 July 1994 "Murder Conspiracy"

Another fellow and I were planning to kill a member of my family. I could picture us as already having completed the task, having chopped up the body and stuffed it into a large bag. I could then imagine how we had loaded the bag high up on a large pickup truck. We hadn't yet actually committed the murder, however, and I was still only thinking about it.

In my imagination, other people were present when we had committed the murder. The presence of the others concerned me because I was worried about being caught. I was particularly worried about how we would move the truck with so many people present.

***

I was at the funeral of my father's step-father Clarence, who was the person the other fellow and I had killed. I also now realized my father was the other person who had helped me commit the murder. Now both my father and I were attending the funeral. My father and I walked into the room where the closed coffin reposed. Not many people were there, but as more entered, I noticed the coffin appeared to be open.

My father's mother Mabel walked in and sat down. She was a bit angry because she had been left in another room of the funeral home. I told her to scoot over next to my father, then I sat down on the other side of her. We were sitting in a back row, from where I could now see that the coffin was open and that Clarence was in it. As somebody was looking into the coffin, Clarence began sitting up until he was sitting up straight. I was horrified as I realized my father and I hadn't succeeded in killing Clarence. The murder had only occurred the previous day; I concluded that the undertaker hadn't checked Clarence well. Up until now I had been very worried that we would be caught. At least much of my fear was now removed when I realized Clarence was still alive. Someone hollered out, "He's alive!"

A mass of people surged toward the coffin. I sat unmoving, uncertain what to do. Clarence was wearing a brown suit and appeared to be disoriented. He sat a few moments, then lay back down. It looked as if the people were going to lift Clarence from the coffin and then transport him somewhere to see if he could be resuscitated.

The animosity between my father and me left in doubt the ultimate fate of the one piece of land which I cherished, the Gallia County Farm.

Dream of: 13 August 1994 "No Choice"

While I was living on the Gallia County Farm with my grandmother Mabel, my father became very angry with me and told me I had to leave, that I couldn't live there anymore. I began gathering my things together. I thought I would go up to my Cabin and stay there. I would just live up there by myself. I knew my grandmother didn't want me to leave because she wanted someone to stay there with her. My father was so angry, however, I didn't see any choice; I would simply have to go to the Cabin and live by myself.

I respected my father's expertise in the physical world, even as I struggled to find peace in the spiritual realm.

Dream of: 30 August 1994 "Teachings Of Buddha"

My father was talking with me about gem stones. I was thinking of trying to acquire some gems and I asked him if he knew how much the dealers in gems marked up the prices. He didn't seem to know, but I told him I thought dealers probably marked up the prices 100 percent. That seemed like a huge markup to me, and I wondered if I could obtain some gems somewhere else besides through a dealer. I also wondered what kind of stones I wanted and I tried to remember their names. The name "rhinestone" came to my mind and I thought about the song "Rhinestone Cowboy." But I didn't think it was rhinestone about which I was thinking.

My father wanted me to accompany him to his home, about an hour away by car. I didn't want to go at first, but I acquiesced and left with him, riding in the front seat of a car which he was driving. As we rode along through a country area, I thought about how I shouldn't be wasting my time just riding around like that. At the same time, I thought, it was only an hour away. I also began thinking I needed to try to be more satisfied with whatever situation I was in, and not complain. That seemed to me to be one of the teachings of Buddha. The word Buddha repeated itself several times in my mind, and I thought I might try to discuss the topic with my father.

Even though I failed to accept my own responsibilities for my relationships with women, I felt compelled to judge my father for his various disoriented relationships.

Dream of: 26 October 1994 "Disoriented"

I found my crippled brother Chris (about 14 years old) sitting alone at a table in the kitchen of the Gay Street House. Concerned that he was alone, I asked where everyone was, and Chris explained that my mother had left in search of my father. I knew that spelled trouble. My mother and my father had recently begun seeing each other again. However, I felt sure that my father was still seeing other women; if my mother had gone looking for him, there was a good chance she would find him with another woman.

The kitchen had been remodeled. The bathroom next to the kitchen had been completely walled off so the bathroom could no longer be reached. Likewise the door leading to the porch had been walled off. Actually it looked as if a dresser had been set in front of the door, and instead of a mirror on top were two rectangular boards (about 130 centimeters by 30 centimeters), one on top of the other. It looked as if the boards had wallpaper on them. The boards, however, were loose, and hadn't been well-placed. As I adjusted them, I asked Chris who had put the boards there; he indicated a woman who had been doing some cleaning around the house.

As I worked with the boards, I had to clear some things off the top of the dresser. Lying there was the book jacket to one of my books. The jacket showed a black man perhaps in his mid 30s, dressed in white, playing a musical instrument, perhaps a piano. The book was about rhythm and blues. I thought I needed to take the jacket so I could put it back on the book.

When I heard someone at the front door, I walked into the central living room where I could see someone standing at the door on the front porch. When I opened the door, I was surprised to see my father (about 40 years old) standing there. He was clearly disoriented, and in fact, he didn't even seem like himself. He was wearing a blue tee-shirt, uncharacteristic for him. He seemed so highly agitated, he could hardly speak. From what he was able to say, I quickly gathered that my mother had found him and there had been problems. My first concern was that he might have hurt, perhaps even killed, my mother. I put my right hand on his chest to try to calm him down. When I slowly asked him if he had hurt my mother, he seemed unable either to comprehend or respond. I asked again, becoming more concerned. Although he never answered my question precisely, from what he did say, I began to become convinced that my mother was all right.

I led him into the den beside the kitchen, and I had him sit down on the couch. As he sat, I noticed how overweight he was. A disgusting amount of flab on his stomach, encased in his blue tee shirt, was hanging over his pants. I told him to tell me what had happened, but he seemed concerned that Chris, whom he called, "Mister Chris", would hear what was being said. I assured him not to be concerned, that Chris knew what was going on anyway.

He began talking. I gathered that my mother had found my father with his German girlfriend, Christa. Christa was quite different from my mother; Christa never questioned my father about where he went, whereas my mother had to know everywhere he was. Christa didn't have to be concerned about whether my father was with another woman, because she didn't try to control him. My mother was just the opposite. As my father talked, I could see that it simply wasn't going to be possible for my father and my mother to continue seeing each other.

Although land might have been the one enterprise upon which my father and I could find common ground, we were never able to forge any kind of partnership.

Dream of: 27 October 1994 "Buying Government Land"

My father had told me about some land for sale in a wilderness area. Several different tracts of 300-400 acres were owned by individuals. Next to each tract of private land were also smaller tracts of government land with approximately 50 acres each. My father had even shown me on a map where the land was. He told me that the government land was for sale at a low price. The catch was that to buy the government land, a person must already own property contiguous to the government land. My father was thinking about buying one of the larger tracts of land so he would be able to buy one of the smaller tracts of government land. But I didn't think he really wanted to invest the money.

After talking with my father about the matter, I thought more about it and came up with a plan. Perhaps I could go in and buy a small piece, perhaps have just 10 acres surveyed off, of each larger tract so that it was touching the government land. Then we could buy the government land. My father and I could form a corporation so each of us could receive half of any profits which we might make on the venture. I could do all the work, and he could put up the money. It seemed like a great idea. If we later wanted to buy more of the private land, we could. But we wouldn't have to buy it right now.

I walked into a room where my father was sitting on a couch. Some other people were also in the room, and my father was talking with them. I stood waiting for him to acknowledge me so we could talk, but he didn't even look at me. At one point I said, "Dad", but he still ignored me. So I just stood waiting for him to notice me so I could discuss my proposition with him.

I hated myself for often giving in to my father's carnivorous appetites when I knew that vegetarianism was nature's command.

Dream of: 10 November 1994 "Riding The Cow"

My father and I were in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse. I had been staying on the Farm and was cleaning up the living room. As I picked up books which I had scattered around the room, my father asked me what I was doing with all the books. I told him I was just keeping them; I intended to put them on some shelves in the downstairs bedroom.

As I worked, I pulled back the curtains on the window, looked outside, and was surprised to see a large black cloud covering the horizon from the east to the north. I told my father it looked as if a tornado were coming and as if we would probably have to go to the basement.

I was also concerned because I recalled that my father's mother Mabel had boarded a white car and had headed toward the east. I feared that she might get caught in the storm. I couldn't tell if it were only going to rain, or whether we were actually going to have a tornado. When it began raining, I kept a vigilant watch. If the weather became serious, I intended to head to the basement.

The field below the Farmhouse on the eastern side was beginning to fill with water and soon the field was covered with rushing water. Four men dressed in white who appeared to have white hair were standing next to the water and looking at it. When I asked my father about the men, he said that he knew them, that they were Germans, and that he had given them permission to be there. It seemed strange that Germans would be on the Farm. They appeared to be quite old; I couldn't figure out what they were doing, although they were obviously watching the water.

My father was also watching the water, which was flowing over the banks of the small stream next to the field. In the are where the stream was close to the road, the turbulent water churned as if going over large rapids. My father turned and asked me and another person in the room whether we had seen something white floating on the water. My father said he had seen something white and very pretty floating for a moment on the stream, but then he had lost sight of it. I looked, but I couldn't see anything.

I mentioned that he always liked to watch things floating on streams like that; he acknowledged that that was so. He had a habit of trying to find things floating on streams.

***

My father and I were down near the stream, holding onto a cow, trying to pull it out of the water. A second black and white cow approached us and began trying to butt me aside. I grabbed the second cow, which had something which looked like a straw dummy sitting on its back. I swung around onto the back of the second cow. It tried to buck me off, but I held on tight. With me on its back, the cow ended up in the water and began floating toward the turbulent area; but I was able to guide it back to the bank on the south shore, near the big hill behind the Farmhouse. My father was standing on the bank. When I climbed off the cow, I immediately noticed two multi-colored balls about five centimeters in diameter near my father's feet. When I picked one up, my father said they were puff balls. At first I thought they were large marbles in very good condition, but then I felt that they were soft. Obviously they were something which was growing there naturally.

We led the cow (which was now small and red) into a small nearby building. The cow appeared to have some humanoid features. I thought its name was Kirk. We tried to corral it in a corner, but it resisted. It was being so contrary, I finally sarcastically said, "Kirk, we may be having you for steak tonight."

I wanted the cow to understand that if it didn't cooperate, we might just kill and eat it.

In defense of the patrimonial Gallia County Farm, we stood shoulder to shoulder.

Dream of: 20 November 1994 "Attacking Lions"

As my father's mother Mabel, another man, and I were sitting on the back porch of the Gallia County Farmhouse, I looked out in the field and saw about ten lions walking toward the Farmhouse along the fence line which runs up to the Farmhouse. When the lions were only about three meters away, I walked back into the Farmhouse to tell my father that the lions were coming, and that we needed to protect ourselves.

I grabbed a gun and headed to the kitchen door. When I reached the door and looked out, however, the lions were already on the back porch. They had already attacked and killed my grandmother and the other man. Since I could do nothing to save my grandmother and the other man, I made sure that the door was securely shut and I ran back to tell my father what had happened.

My father was in the front bedroom looking out a window. He also had a gun. His step-father Clarence was sitting and calmly watching everything. Clarence said he might have another gun, and he began looking around for one.

I returned to the kitchen and looked at the two glass doors. If the lions broke through the doors, they would be able to swarm into the Farmhouse and kill us. We needed to set something – such as a cabinet – in front of the doors to keep the lions from breaking in. Also, windows were all around the house; we might need to pull up some boards to barricade the windows. I thought we might be able to pull up floor boards, but then I reflected that the lions might then crawl under the Farmhouse and come up through the holes in the floor. Perhaps we could pull off the boards in the wall between the living room and the kitchen. We needed to do something before the lions figured out they could break through the windows and reach us.

I intended to try to shoot the lions, but I discovered my gun was jammed with a shotgun shell which wouldn't come out. Since my gun wouldn't work, our only gun was the one my father had. And I wasn't even sure his gun worked.

I remained fascinated by my father's history, or his birth in the green rugged hills of Kentucky, of the death of his father Cole when my father was only 15 years old, and of my father's early dedication to the church.

Dream of: 03 March 1995 "Pictures In A Bible"

As my father and I walked along a gravel road in a hilly wooded area, I gradually realized we were accompanied by several of my relatives who were no longer living. I specifically was aware of my mother's mother Leacy and my father's father Cole. When we happened upon a large old cemetery beside the road and strolled into it, I was charmed by the multitude of white gravestones thickly set together over the green earth. It occurred to me that few people ever visited this remote place; if I had a metal detector, this would be a good place to hunt for treasure; I sensed that Leacy agreed with me.

As my father and my deceased relatives walked through the cemetery with me, I had an image in my mind of a picture I had once seen of Cole. In the picture he had been standing on the edge of a cemetery next to a distinctive gravestone in the shape of a rectangle about two meters tall and about 60 centimeters wide. This gravestone hadn't looked look like the other gravestones: it had no writing on it, and more than anything, it had looked like a large piece of flint. I realized Cole was now trying to find the place in this cemetery where that picture had been taken. Looking around I suddenly saw the spot. Instead of the large flint gravestone, however, there was now the rock face of a hill which abutted the cemetery. Disconcerted by the difference in my memory and the actual scene before me, I beckoned the others to come and look. My father, however, indicated that it was time to go, and without further ado, he headed back down the road.

When I turned back around, I was no longer in the cemetery, but in the vestibule of a church, which (I thought), like the cemetery, had been abandoned. I now remembered having earlier heard someone in the group mention that a Bible containing some old pictures had been in the church. Seeing a closet near me, I looked inside and was surprised to see some old books lying on the floor in the back of the closet.

I pulled out one large book which was falling apart, ran to the door of the church and called out to my father and the others about what I had found. But they had already left. I was excited by my discovery, but also worried because I didn't want to become separated from my father and the others – I wasn't sure how to find my way out of there.

Returning to the closet, as I put the book back down, I saw what appeared to be a large Bible. Excited, I pulled out the Bible and laid it on a table. This could possibly be the very Bible I had heard of. I thought I might simply take the Bible with me. I opened the first page, uncertain at first of what I saw. I slowly realized that inside the front cover was a picture puzzle with about half the pieces missing. Some of the pieces had even fallen out on the table when I had opened the cover. From what was left, I slowly realized the puzzle depicted the virgin Mary. The picture was richly detailed and obviously an exquisite find, even if it were incomplete.

Almost imperceptibly at first, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that a boy (probably in his early teens) had appeared inside the door of the church. He was dressed in a religious outfit, with a pale frock and a red skirt. I didn't acknowledge his presence, but his presence informed me that the church was still in use, and that I wouldn't be able to take the Bible with me.

As I continued looking at the Bible, I came to what appeared to be a genealogy table with small round pictures of the people in the genealogy. I thought these might be my ancestors, but I didn't recognize any pictures or any names. I also didn't see the picture of my father's father, Cole, in the cemetery. However I realized that the genealogy table was a find of importance.

Hearing something near the boy, I looked up and saw a man approaching me. He was also dressed in a church outfit, different from the boys, with predominately gold and silver colors. He was probably in his mid 30s, tall and thin, and had a short beard and mustache. He walked up to me, addressed me by name, and asked me if I had been doing any folk dancing lately.

I was rather taken aback by his question. He obviously knew me, but I couldn't place him. As he continued talking, I gathered that he taught folk dancing, and that I had once folk danced with him. I had indeed folk danced years ago, but I told him I hadn't done any folk dancing for a long time. He almost seemed obsessed by the subject, and he asked me to tell him how many dances I thought he had done. When I told him I had no idea, he said he had done one hundred and eighty-something folk dances.

I didn't care much for the man; but I told him I might be moving back to the area, which vaguely seemed to be in a hilly region of Kentucky. I didn't want to tell him I might start coming to his church, even though I thought to myself that I might like to start folk dancing again.

Begrudgingly bound to my father, only slowly did I realize that understanding him was an integral part of understanding myself and being free of him.

Dream of: 08 April 1995 "Biography"

While in a large library, I suddenly began thinking I should write a biography of my father. I thought that a biography of any person could be included in the "National Archives" and that my father would probably be pleased to have his biography placed there. After all, no one in our family had ever had their biography written, so he should be happy to have it done. I noticed a large book on a shelf which I thought might have some information on the "National Archives" and I thought I might look at it later.

I thought a bit of my father's life; there was so much I didn't know. For example, I didn't know when he had lost his virginity. That would be an interesting story to ask him about. I would also need to obtain some dates. I thought he was born in the 1930s. Since I was going to talk soon with his mother Mabel, I could gather some information from her. I could even write a biography about her. But writing her biography was probably going too far. Perhaps I would just write a chapter about her in my father's biography.

I would also have to write about how my father had met my mother. I was beginning to see that by the time I finished, the biography would be rather copious and would take quite a bit of time. Should I actually do it? It seemed as if I were already writing something, but I couldn't remember exactly what. Then it came to me: I was writing my dreams. When I thought about it, I didn't see how I could write both a biography and my dreams. Perhaps taking on the biography was too much; perhaps I should just stick to writing my dreams.

As I pondered, I exited the library onto the street and immediately encountered my mother. As I started walking along beside her on her left, I had the feeling that she was simply strolling around and not going anywhere in particular. Although I was happy to see her, her inactivity irritated me. She didn't appear to be accomplishing anything with her life, and I launched into an ardent diatribe against her. She seemed to listen patiently as I told her I felt she was wasting her life. I sputtered, "I'm ashamed of you."

She asked me what I wanted her to do. I told her to just do something. I told her she could write something for example. She could even write stories for a woman's magazine like Redbook or Woman's Day. Of course writing wasn't the only thing she could do; she simply needed find something which she herself wanted to do. I said, "Look inside yourself."

By now other people were walking near us and I thought some might have heard what I had said. My mother had obviously heard because she winced visibly. It was as if she had heard those words, "look inside yourself" before, and she disliked the sound. She seemed either incapable or unwilling to do that, and she didn't seem to appreciate the suggestion that she should.

As we walked, I noticed a woman standing on the sidewalk to our left talking to a few people. I stopped for a moment to hear what the woman had to say. She was only about 1.5 meters tall (probably in her 40s) and wearing a dark brown dress. I quickly realized the woman was an elected representative from this district. Seeing such a person out there talking on the street surprised me; but as I listened to her, I realized her intention was to get out and meet people from her district ... she had come out on the street to do just that.

At first I was turned sideways so only my right side was toward her, but when I realized I wanted to hear what she had to say, I turned around and completely faced her. By now a small crowd had begun to gather. As I listened, I realized I didn't even know the name of the legislative representative of the district where I lived. I didn't even know how to find out the name. Could I ask the woman? ... would she tell me?

I tried to remember what district I was in at the moment; I thought I was in Brazil. I tried to place in my mind what part of Brazil I was in, and I envisioned a map of Brazil. At first I thought I might be in northwestern Brazil, but then I decided more likely I was in southeastern Brazil.

Beyond my father's control, yet still under his influence, I grappled for significance in my dreams, and ultimately and unexpectedly concluded that bears would come to symbolize the wild books of dreams which I would one day write. My father would have killed those bears if he could have.

Dream of: 19 April 1995 "Overwhelming Sadness"

My father and I were outfitted as hunters – we both had rifles. Another man who was either my father's father or my father's father-in-law was also with us. My father looked if he were only in his mid 30s and the other man as if he were in his 50s.

We were inside a large building, which appeared to be an abandoned office building. Apparently some bears were living in the building and we had come to hunt them. I was rather ambivalent about the hunt; it seemed that I had been thrust into the hunt without any forethought or preparation, and I was unsure I really wanted to participate. However, I did know that I was afraid that a bear might attack me, and I knew I would shoot it if it did.

My fear was compounded by the sound of the bear: I could hear its low growl emanating from somewhere inside the building. I was afraid it would jump out at me at any minute. My father and I cautiously moved through the trashed and abandoned rooms, coming ever closer to the sound of the growl. When we reached one room, I pointed to a door on the other side from where the sound was coming – I was sure the bear was just beyond that door.

Without hesitation my father walked through the door. I watched as he raised his rifle to his shoulder, aimed and fired. I was surprised that the sound of the gun was so muffled, hardly the loud explosion I had expected.

I ran to my father to see if he had hit the bear. Once I reached him, I saw that my father was standing at the top of a flight of eight or nine steps. At the bottom of the stairs was a rather strange sight: indeed, the bear was there, still standing on its hind legs, but severely wounded, ready to fall over. My father had shot it right between the eyes. The bear was dark brown, almost black, and stood about two meters tall.

The strange part was that a man was standing next to the bear. The bear and the man had been facing each other, and the man had been touching the bear with his hands. The man was dressed all in black and had a black mask over his face. As the man looked up toward me, he pulled the mask away and showed his face. He was only about 20 years old, white, with blond hair. He was strikingly innocent and handsome looking.

From the look of shock and sadness on his face I quickly surmised that the man had been a friend of the bear. In fact, he was devoted to the bear, and took care of it. By now the bear was lying on its back, either dead or about to die. I feared the man might try to take revenge, but I quickly saw that the man had no such intention, that he merely looked at my father and me as deranged fools; he only intended to try to escape from us. I would have liked to have talked to him, to try to explain, but in an instant he was gone.

Now it was all clear to me. Yes, there were still some bears which lived in this building, but they didn't hurt anyone. In fact there were a few men who lived with the bears, who loved them and took care of them. Only cruel people like my father came to hunt the bears for sport. I was beside myself with rage at my father for having killed the bear, and for bringing me along as a party to the crime. I turned to him, fired a barrage of profanities at him, and ended by screaming, "You fucking bastard!"

I turned to our other companion, who was no longer a male, but a female: a woman who was my father's mother. She also looked as if she were only about 50 years old. I screamed at her, telling her what her demented son had done. Both she and my father seemed completely surprised by my outburst, and they couldn't seem to understand why I would care if they killed a bear. I ran from them through the labyrinthine rooms and halls.

When I finally stopped, I had a better picture of the building: a high-rise office building in London. Part of the building had been abandoned and perhaps 50-60 bears lived in the abandoned part. Even though there were so few bears, they were allowed to be killed because we were right in the middle of a huge metropolis and the authorities were afraid the bears would hurt someone.

Parts of the building were still in use; I finally came out in a section which was used as a department store. People were hustling about and shopping just as they would in any department store. Looking around, I noticed Ringo Starr standing not far away. I thought I might go over and talk with him about the bears. For some reason, at first, I thought that he spoke Spanish and that I should speak with him in Spanish. But then I realized that of course he was from England and he spoke English. However I decided not to approach him.

Instead I simply slid down onto the floor and sat next to a counter. A woman was looking at something next to me. I wished I had someone to talk to about the bears. But mostly I just felt an overwhelming sadness. Before I had even realized it, I had begun crying, slowly at first, then quite loudly. I was crying both for the bear, and for the young man who had lost his close friend. It was uncharacteristic for me to be crying and sobbing like that, but I couldn't seem to help myself. Would the woman shopping next to me notice and say something?

On one hand I abhorred my father's having abandoned (in his early 30s) his calling as a minister in the church, yet on the other hand (over time) I had come to regard Christianity as a reptilian purveyor of stultifying untruth.

Dream of: 05 July 1995 "Iguana"

I had returned to the Gay Street House to live with my father for a while. I was carrying a large red bicycle for which I had a strong attachment. I was carrying the bike because I had wrecked it and had caused serious damage to it. Hoping I would now be able to repair it, I thought my father might help me.

When I sat down in the living room where my father was, I saw my sister's sons David and Steven. David looked about 14 and Steven looked about 12 years old. I noticed they had stuck something into the bottom of the cabinet built into the wall of the room. I asked them about it and I was informed that they had an iguana. This news interested me because I myself had recently been thinking about the possibility of trying to raise iguanas, even though I had never even actually held one.

After obtaining their permission to hold the iguana, I walked over to the cabinet, opened the door and pulled it out. I asked them if the iguana would bite, and someone said no, but that it did spit tobacco. Once I had the iguana in my hand, I saw that it was over 30 centimeters long, and that it seemed quite strong. After I managed to raise its head up to my face, I had to force it down, not wanting it to be in a position where it could spit on me. It was a light yellow-greenish color and its skin felt soft and leathery. I enjoyed holding it, but I wondered whether it was lonely living alone there in the House and being handled so much by David and Steven. I wondered if it needed another iguana with which to play.

After I put the iguana back in the cabinet, I told my father that I was going to Tracy Park (about two blocks away) to try to fix my bike. I had the feeling that David and Steven wanted to go with me and I didn't see any problem with that.

Before I left, my father reminded me that since I would be staying there, I would need to pick a church to attend on Sundays. I knew I would have to go to church, even though I didn't believe in Christianity. I told my father the denomination of the church didn't make any difference to me because I generally found church people to be quite "stultifying." I consciously used the word "stultifying" to display my vocabulary, which I thought would be in stark contrast to the small vocabulary of people who went to church.

I also thought I might not have to go to church if I spent the weekends on the Gallia County Farm, where I would rather be.

My father mentioned that my birth day was coming up. He said the words "birth day" as if they were two words. He asked me what I wanted and I told him that simply having my bike repaired would be sufficient. He nodded as if to say having the bike repaired would be more than sufficient since it was in pretty bad shape.

Having mutinied from my father's control, I held fertile hope that he and I might yet enjoy adventures in life together.

Dream of: 08 July 1995 "Ship Captain"

I was on board a large cruise ship on which my father was the captain. As we sailed along northern Africa in the area of Egypt, my father announced he was thinking of taking a detour unto an unusual route. On a map he showed me a series of interconnecting waterways which began on the coast of northwestern Italy and stretched north through eastern Europe in a loop, ending in the Black Sea. My father said this loop was called the "Fertile Crescent."

I was fascinated when I saw how the series of rivers connected together to make it possible to sail around the loop, and I thought that sailing through the area would be a great adventure. However we had one problem. The pilot of the ship said he would refuse to pilot the ship over the waterways. I didn't completely understand his refusal, but apparently he thought that the waterways were too shallow in some parts and that the ship would run aground.

My father seemed taken aback by the pilot's refusal. I spoke with my father and told him that the pilot was my father's "subordinate" and that my father could order him to go. When I used the word "subordinate" I struggled trying to think of a better word that would more clearly show my father as the "superior", but "subordinate" was the only word I could think of.

My father hesitated at first, but then he appeared to agree with me. As he prepared to give the pilot the order, I began looking at the map to see where we would begin. It looked as if we would start in the area of Venice (which I identified as Vienna). From there we would enter a river called the Dneiper, which I looked for on the map.

As far as I might ultimately travel from my father, I could not deny that the blood cells which ran through my heart resembled those which ran through his.

Dream of: 17 August 1995 "Sacre Coeur"

I had gone to visit my father at the Gay Street House where he was living. He had an office set up on the first floor in the large back room whose bay window faced Eighth Street. He wasn't there at the moment, and instead I found two men dressed in dark suits waiting for him. They were both probably in their early 30s and neat in appearance. However I quickly sensed that they had some sinister reason for being there and I had the feeling they belonged to the Mafia. I spoke with them and finally convinced them that my father was out of town and that he wouldn't be back for the rest of the day. They appeared irritated to hear that, but finally said they would come back the following day, and they walked out the door.

From where I was I could look out the window and watch them boarding their car parked on Eighth Street. Even though they both climbed into the front, the back door was also open, and sitting in the back seat was a blonde well-figured woman whose legs were hanging out of the car. Probably about 30 years, she was wearing a long tight beige dress which closed around her ankles. Although she was attractive, there was something fake and tawdry about her at the same time.

When the woman looked back at me, and we stared straight into each others eyes, I immediately knew she had had some kind of relationship with my father. We continued to hold each others eyes until the stare seemed to become a battle of wills. Obviously she was a strong woman, but I was strong too. Finally we broke our stare with neither seeming to have won. She closed the car door and the car pulled away.

Almost immediately my father walked into the room – apparently he had been upstairs all the time. He was young and thin with no gray in his dark hair. He was handsome and looked as if he were about 30 years old. When he sat down at his desk I immediately began asking him about the men and the woman. Normally he didn't discuss any of his business affairs with me, but now he seemed resigned to telling me what the problem was, for he knew he could no longer escape it.

As he talked, I put together the story. The men and the woman did belong to the mob. He said the men were "enforcers", and that he had borrowed some money from the mob. I asked him how much the interest rate had been and he didn't seem to know, although obviously it had been usuriously outrageous. Now he was unable to repay the money, and the enforcers had come to collect.

I was surprised that he didn't have the money to pay back because I had been under the impression that financially he was quite well off. He owned several houses, including the Gay Street House, which was quite valuable. Could it be that all his properties were heavily mortgaged? And what about the Gallia County Farm? It was certainly valuable. Could he be thinking of selling it? I knew I had some money with which I might be able to help him, but I hesitated to throw my money away in this fiasco.

I had other plans for my money. For quite a while I had been planning to do some traveling. I would probably go to Europe first, where I had a relationship with a woman who was waiting for me. We had been together for a long time, and I wanted to travel around Europe with her. At the same time, however, I wondered if I would be better off to sever my relationship with her and travel by myself.

I was somewhat bothered because I had learned that the woman was half black. Although her color was now evident when I looked at her, when I had first begun my relationship with her I hadn't really noticed. And she wasn't as attractive as the women to which I had been accustomed in my life. Still despite her appearance, it was true that I always enjoyed being with her and we had fun together. In fact – I loved her.

When I snapped out of my reverie, I looked up and saw the very woman sitting beside me. We were no longer in the Gay Street House, but seemed to be sitting outside somewhere in the country in a peaceful meadow. She was happy to be with me. I looked at her brown skin and frizzy brown hair and was also happy to be with her, although I was still having uncertainties about traveling to Europe with her. We discussed the trip. She seemed to think my doubts were due to money problems, but I knew money had nothing to do with it. I had saved over $100,000, an ample amount for us to live for a long time. Apparently I hadn't told her how much money I had.

Our conversation turned to another topic: baptism. I had never been baptized and we discussed how a baptism was commonly accomplished. We concluded that it wasn't necessary for water to be used in baptism, but that baptism could be accomplished by going into a trance-like state. It seemed the idea was to be submerged for a certain period of time, but not necessarily in water. We concluded that a similar state could be accomplished without the water.

Besides that, we thought the typical baptismal submersion lasted 40 seconds. I however thought I could go into the state for 100 seconds. It was unclear whether it would be necessary for me to hold my breath during this time, but I thought I knew how to do it, and without further ado, I began.

My mind quickly slipped into a meditative state. I became oblivious to my surroundings and the passing of time seemed to slow. I somehow knew the 100 seconds were passing by and I seemed to know when they would end. I felt convinced that 40 seconds wouldn't have been sufficient for my purposes, and that the 100 seconds were necessary. I seemed to lose consciousness, yet I was still conscious.

The only thing which came to mind was a vision of my left hand. I was unsure whether I was actually looking at my hand, or if I were only imagining it. My left hand slowly reached down into the grass on the ground. I dug my hand into the ground and pulled up a handful of dirt and looked at it.

Suddenly my time was up and I snapped out of the trance. I knew now that I must do something. It was strange because I had never had this thought before. Somewhere or somehow I had heard about a group of people who lived together in something like a monastery, although I also pictured the place as a pyramid. I now wanted to visit them. The problem was that I didn't know where the place was. I thought it might be in South America, or in Europe.

Undaunted by a lack of address, I decided to write a postcard to the people anyway. I thought I would write two postcards. One I would send to a city in Europe. The other I would send to a city in Latin America. Perhaps when the postcards reached the cities, someone would know the correct address and forward them on to the right place.

I picked up a black pen which almost appeared to be a calligraphy pen. As I wrote the name of the place on a postcard, I was amazed at how beautiful my writing appeared. I seemed to have some natural abilities at writing beautiful letters. I thought the name of the group was "The temple of the sacre chor", or "The temple of the sacre choir" (I was unsure of the spelling of the last word), and then again, I thought the last word might be "coeur."

I debated what to put down. The word "choir" seemed to make sense because it would represent a group of people. But the word "coeur" also seemed correct, and I thought I had heard the phrase "sacre coeur" before.

In my uncertainty, when I reached the last letters of the last word, I switched from black ink to colored paint. Then I saw that I had messed up the last two letters, especially the letter "r", on which the paint had run so the letter couldn't even be read. I brushed the paint away several times and tried to rewrite the letters. When I looked at my right hand, I had different colors on my fingers. One finger was pink. I would need to try until I got the letter right, then clean up my hands.

Although the maxim "Judge not lest ye be judged" might be true, I chose to judge, and I continued to weigh the evidence about whether my father was an evil man.

Dream of: 17 October 1995 "A Supreme Being"

I was talking with my mother on the phone, telling her I was planning to drive from Texas to Portsmouth the next day. I had planned to have already left that day, but it was late, and I had decided to postpone the trip until the following morning. I told my mother I would stop one night in Louisville and visit my sister and my brother-in-law, who were living there. Louisville was about two thirds of the way to Portsmouth, and was a good place to stop. I had stopped in Louisville before and I had come to like the city.

***

I was in a large building. At first I thought that I was in the attic of my sister's and my brother-in-law's house, and that I would spend the night in the attic, but as I walked around, I realized the building was actually a large warehouse, and I concluded it must be a warehouse which my brother-in-law owned in Louisville. Finally, however, I realized that the warehouse was owned by my father and that my brother-in-law had simply stored some things in the warehouse. I still thought my brother-in-law was in the warehouse and I continued to look for him. I thought my brother-in-law was an artist – a painter – (even though I had never seen any of his work) and I thought some of his paintings might be stored in the warehouse. I did see one painting, but I was unsure it had been done by my brother-in-law.

I never did see my brother-in-law, but finally my father turned up. I had noticed part of the warehouse was filled with about 100 long metal pipes which looked like small metal smokestacks. They were all stacked vertically and arranged neatly on the ground. Apparently they belonged to my brother-in-law, and my father was letting my brother-in-law store them in the warehouse.

Over in another section of the warehouse were more of the smokestacks. Upon closer investigation, however, I discovered these smokestacks were actually attached to some old antique tractors and farm vehicles which my father had collected. All the vehicles looked to be in excellent condition and made quite an impressive collection.

My father continued to show me around the warehouse. He showed me a concrete slab on the ground, and pointed out a large hole in the concrete such as some auto repair shops have for cars to pull over. My father pointed to a large instrument panel set up next to the hole which apparently would be used to diagnose cars. It looked as if my father were building a place in the warehouse to work on cars. Obviously he had quite a bit of money invested in the place.

We walked over to another wall where a large poster about five meters high was hanging. The poster showed a picture of a dark night sky filled with stars. Along the right side of the poster was a picture of a long leg and foot. When I saw the poster, I recalled a collage I had once made. At the top of the collage I had pasted the picture of a foot kicking over a jar. Under the jar had been a variety of other pictures which had looked as if they were falling out of the jar. When I had created the collage, I had thought of the foot as representing a supreme being creating the universe. I now had the feeling the leg and foot on this poster in front of me represented the same thing.

I heard someone talking to my father, although I couldn't see anyone. It was a man's voice which asked my father if my father would be willing to tear the leg and foot off the poster and sell it for two dollars. My father asked if the person would pay three dollars. When the person said yes, my father asked if the person would pay five dollars. The voice responded, "Absolutely not."

So my father agreed to sell the leg and foot off the poster for three dollars. He asked me to help him tear the picture of the leg and foot off the poster, and I did. Once we had torn off the leg and foot, I saw how the stars on the poster now seemed to be missing something – the torn side of the poster made the poster look ruined. The poster no longer had any meaning. I thought to myself that my father would sell anything. It was a sad commentary, especially since he didn't even need the money.

By myself I walked out of the warehouse and I seemed to come out in a vacant lot caddy-cornered to the Gay Street House. As soon as I was in the grassy lot, I saw a man who began talking about a bear which he had just seen in the lot. Just then an animal walked up on all fours right to the man. But the animal was very peculiar, because it looked like a naked man covered with hair. Actually it looked something like a Neanderthal man. I looked at it closely, amazed that it was covered with hair. When I heard it say something to the man, I knew it must be a human because it could talk. It looked as if it had been running wild and hadn't bathed in a long time. As it walked away I looked at its behind and I wondered (since it obviously didn't use toilet paper) if any feces might still be on the hair in back. As it walked away, I told the man that the animal was clearly not a bear. I said, "The fact that he was talking was a dead giveaway."

My father never forgave me for having had a vasectomy when I was twenty years old, thereby cutting off forever any prospect of my furnishing him with grandchildren.

Dream of: 25 October 1995 "Late Night Drink"

Carolina was pregnant. As she stood next to me, she told me it was time for the baby to come and that her water was about to break. I basically remained calm, but rapidly began preparing to take her to the hospital.

***

Carolina was sitting next to me on my left in a pew of a church crowded with people. I slowly realized she had already had her baby and that she was holding the baby in her arms. The baby was only about 10 centimeters long. When Carolina pulled back the covers so I could look at the baby, I saw that it was an absolutely beautiful girl. I knew most babies were quite ugly when first born, but this one was perfect. She already had a full growth of dark black hair on her head. She had brown skin, which I thought was a result of mixing Carolina's dark skin with my light skin. But most beautiful were the baby's eyes. I couldn't remember having seen more expressive eyes.

Carolina handed the baby to me and I took it in my arms. I thought how I had been concerned about having a baby girl lest I should ever become sexually attracted to it. But now as I held the baby I realized there was no chance of that ever happening. All I wanted to do was protect the baby and not ever let anyone hurt it. There was no danger I would in any way touch it inappropriately myself.

***

I was at a house owned by my father. A party was in progress to celebrate the birth of the new baby and the house was filled with people. The house wasn't my father's home, but a house which my father had recently bought as an investment. At first I didn't care for the house, but after walking through it, I realized it was rather charming. It was multi-leveled and had between two and three thousand square feet. Light brown woodwork predominated on the walls.

My father said he had only paid $18,000 for the house. I thought that was quite a bargain. I told him I would buy it from him and pay him that much for it. In fact to myself I was thinking I would even pay $20,000. But my father didn't seem interested in selling. I recalled that my ex-brother-in-law James owned a large brick house in Portsmouth and that he had recently told me he would like to sell the house for $30,000. I thought that $30,000 was a good price for the house and that I ought to consider it. But then I recalled that James had told me about the house when I had been on a visit to Portsmouth. I was now living in Texas, and I certainly wasn't going to be able to buy a house in Portsmouth.

The party finally ended and people began leaving. Carolina took the baby and walked out to the car to wait for me. My father and I were the last ones to leave. Many of the lights had been left on in the house – I walked back through, turning them off. I had trouble finding some of the switches.

When my father and I finally walked outside, he asked me if I would like to go somewhere with him to drink some coffee or something more powerful. It was already late, but I knew my father liked to go out after midnight and have a late night drink. Normally I refused to go with him; but I thought that this was a special occasion and that I would go out tonight to celebrate the baby's birth.

Despite other political differences, on the stage of history and the world, my father and I were both staunch capitalists.

Dream of: 19 November 1995 "Character Flaw"

I had gone on a trip to Germany with my father, my sister, and my father's mother Mabel. Shortly after arriving, my father and I had boarded a car and gone off in one direction, while my sister and my grandmother had driven off in another direction in another car. However, I had a small black instrument – somewhat like a portable phone – with which I could communicate with my sister. Over the instrument I was able to not only talk with my sister, but by pressing and moving certain buttons on the phone, I could also guide her along the road she was traveling.

When we had first arrived, I had thought we would be traveling far into the interior of Germany in the direction of Berlin. But realizing it was close to nightfall, and seeing we were on the western border in the vicinity of Luxembourg, I quickly decided we should go to Trier. I knew that I had once lived for several months in Trier many years ago, and that I had also visited Trier at other times. There wasn't much to see in Trier, but since I knew my way around the city, I would still be able to show the others some interesting sights.

I quickly spoke with my sister on the phone and told her we were going to change our direction and head for Trier. Since she didn't know how to get there, I told her I would guide her. Using the instrument in my hand, I began moving the buttons along slots, and by so doing, I was able to show my sister which direction to go. She followed the direction I gave her until she was able to figure out for herself the way to go. I told her my father and I would meet her in Trier, and I hung up.

As soon as I had hung up, I realized I hadn't told my sister exactly where we should meet. I told my father I wished I had told my sister to meet us at the Porta Negra. When my father asked me what that was, I told him that Trier had originally been founded by the Romans, and that the Romans had built a massive stone edifice at the entrance to the old town, an edifice called the Porta Negra. I told him that everyone in Trier knew where the Porta Negra was and anyone would have been able to have guided my sister to it. But now, since we didn't know where my sister and my grandmother would be, we would just have to drive around all the hotels until we found her.

I also told my father a little more about Trier. I told him Karl Marx had been born there, and so Trier could be called the "birthplace of communism." My father seemed unimpressed with that information, and even seemed to consider it one of my character flaws that I would even have such information about communism.

***

My father and I were standing on a crowded street in Trier. I looked about me at all the people, thinking how much they looked like Americans. There was quite a diversity – some had blond hair, some black – and there was no general German type, just as there was no American type. I thought my father would find it fascinating to be seeing the German people, but then I recalled he had been to Germany several times already himself. I remembered that he had been living with Christa for many years, and that Christa was a German. Christa often traveled back to Germany to visit her family and several times my father had gone with her. Therefore, little of what he was now seeing was probably new to him.

Up ahead of us I saw a doorway in the side of a building, and I thought if we went into the doorway, we would come out on the central plaza. However, just as I was trying to direct my father in the direction of the doorway, he said he first wanted to take a ride on the subway, just to our right. I didn't feel like getting on the subway at the present, and I was surprised when my father simply got out of the car, boarded the subway and rode off, leaving me standing.

***

I was alone, walking across the central plaza in Trier. Numerous people were standing around, but the plaza wasn't crowded. Suddenly a rough-looking fellow (in his early 20s) stepped in front of me and grabbed me. I was immediately alarmed and realized this fellow meant to do me harm. But as he tried to pull me over to the side, another fellow walked up and shoved him away, saving me. I quickly stepped away from them both, and I stood back to watch what would happen next.

The two fellows – the one who had accosted me, and the one who had saved me – separated from each other and took up basically the same positions they had been in before I had been assaulted. Then the same thing which had happened to me was repeated with several other people: the one fellow would stop a person, then the other fellow would come along and rescue the person.

I began to realize the two men – the ruffian and the hero – were working in concert. I couldn't discern what exactly was their reason for doing this, since it seemed to make little sense; but obviously they were working together.

Seeing a group of six or seven policemen standing on the other side of the plaza, I hollered out, "Police! Police!" and beckoned them to me. A couple policemen, looking as if they were upset that they had been disturbed, lumbered over to me. I began speaking in German, trying to tell them what the two culprits were doing. My German was rusty, and I realized I was mixing in some Spanish words with the German, but the police obviously understood what I was saying. Nevertheless they seemed disinclined to do anything about it, seeming to feel no harm was being done. I protested that harm was being done, because innocent people were being frightened. I told the police I knew this was true, because I myself had been frightened when the man had first assaulted me.

 Although I rarely ever mentioned my writing books of dreams to my father, I knew that he ridiculed the idea (the central idea in my life), and that he would kill those dreams if he could. For that evil, I hated him.

 Dream of: 23 November 1995 "Why I Hate My Father"

My mother and I were sitting in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse. When someone came to the front door, my mother stood up, opened the door, and allowed two men to walk in and sit down. As soon as they started talking, it quickly became clear that the men wanted permission to explore the Farm. Their reasons for exploring the Farm weren't completely clear and I didn't particularly like the idea. However, my mother told them they could use the Farm if they paid a fee of $750. She also said an additional fee of $30 would be added to that.

To my surprise, one of the fellows said the price would be fine and he handed the money to my mother. He only gave her $775, however, and I thought he should have given her $790. I thought of just letting it slide since the fellow was already paying so much; but then I reflected that I didn't even want the guy there to begin with, so I decided to make sure he paid the right amount – I told him the charge was $790. But then I stopped and recalculated in my mind and realized the total was only $780. He seemed a bit dismayed, but he acquiesced and paid the difference.

My feelings for him somewhat mellowed. I talked with him and learned he had never been in this part of Ohio and that he knew nothing of the lay of the land. I walked over to the bookshelf by the front door, took out a map, and told the fellow I would lend him a map of the Farm if he would bring it back. He seemed happy to have it.

I decided to go even one step further: I would take the two fellows around and show them part of the Farm. Now, instead of my mother, my grandmother Leacy was in the room with us. My grandmother, the two men and I walked outside where I had parked an unusual-looking vehicle, something like a motorcycle, only sitting on the ground like a snowmobile. The vehicle had a long slender seat, large enough for all four of us to climb on and straddle. With me in front driving, and my grandmother and the two men sitting behind me, I took off.

I first drove down some roads, then turned off into a trail through a field surrounded by woods. Up ahead lay a small ravine I would have to drive across. But just as I reached the ravine, I saw something and I came to a stop. There, in the bottom of the ravine, lay a large black bear – probably twice as big as me. I sadly looked at the bear, for now I remembered how it had come to be there. A few days earlier, my father and I had been on this same trail when we had come across the bear. My father had shot the bear and left it there to die. I loved to see wild animals on the Farm and I was extremely angry that my father had shot the bear. I turned to the others behind me and said, "That's why I hate my father; because he does things like this."

I became even more bothered when I noticed something else about the bear: it was still alive. When the bear looked up at us, I realized it had just been lying there suffering for two or three days. I didn't have long to pity the bear, however, because without warning, it started moving toward us. The bear was obviously wounded and in terrific pain; but if it were to grab one of us, it would still be strong enough to do deadly harm.

I quickly tried to back up my vehicle, but it wouldn't move – and the bear was getting closer. I hollered at the others to jump off, and everyone did so. We all began fleeing in different directions across the field. As I ran, I was particularly worried about my grandmother: she was old and couldn't run fast. I hoped she had enough strength to escape the bear.

Ironically, if my father were ever remembered past living memory, he would be recalled for the book which I wrote about him, the book for which he would only hold disdain.

Dream of: 15 January 1996 "Perfection"

I had moved back to Portsmouth into a second-floor, four-room apartment, over top a garage. All the rooms were arranged in a row from front to back so it was necessary to traverse the first three rooms to reach the last one.

I would have to share the apartment with one or two other fellows who were also living there. When I entered the first room, I saw a bed and other furnishing which clearly belonged to someone. After walking through the apartment, I concluded someone must be living in the last room. About halfway back in the middle of the apartment I found the bathroom, which contained several shower stalls, another indication the apartment was designed for more than one person. I was concerned about the showers because several centimeters of water were standing in each. Some small devices which I at first thought were hair dryers, but finally concluded were small sump pumps, were sitting next to each shower. Apparently the pumps were used to pump out the standing water. I was unsure where the water would go.

I walked back to the front of the apartment, stepped outside onto the small front verandah, and sat down. Many people were walking along the sidewalk in front; it almost appeared as if I were looking on a scene in a crowded mall. As the people bustled past, I thought I saw someone I knew in the crowd. Focusing my eyes, I finally could clearly see that it was my old friend, Roger Anderson.

Anderson and I had gone to high school together in Portsmouth. After high school Anderson had attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and he had told me many times that he wanted to be a writer. But Anderson had finally settled down in Portsmouth and had never written the novel he had contemplated for so long. Nevertheless I was happy to see him and I hollered out his name.

He turned his head toward me and saw me sitting at the top of the stairs. Without hesitation he walked to the stairs and ascended toward me. I happily invited him inside and we walked to the last room of the apartment, sat down and began talking.

Anderson was dressed in a long black dress-coat and appeared to be wearing a suit underneath. He looked as if he were probably in his early 30s and appeared to be in good physical shape. He seemed in good spirits and he told me he was on his way to apply for a job. Through the course of the conversation I learned the job was for a company investigating the reasons why so many paperback books were published and whether anyone was reading them. Anderson mentioned the paperback book companies "Dell" and "Ballantine." Although the job wasn't with those companies, the person who would hold the job would be investigating those companies.

I interjected that I had seen a television news show about a similar topic. The show had explored the popular romantic novels, and had reported how successful some authors were who wrote in that genre. From the show it had been clear that indeed many people did read that kind of novel and that some romance-novel authors became extremely successful.

I was somewhat disappointed to hear that Anderson would be trying to work in that kind of job, and that he himself wasn't writing something. As we talked it became clear that he also was disappointed in himself for not having succeeded in a writing career; but he also assured me that he was still writing. In fact, he told me, he had a sample of his writing with him which he was taking to his job interview to present to whomever would be interviewing him.

Sensing I would like to read what he had, he handed me three typewritten papers, which I immediately began reading. The reading was slow, because it was difficult for me to conceptualize what I was seeing. Although the writing on the paper was only typewritten words, the images registering in my mind were pictures set in frames, like in a comic book.

As I proceeded, I was quite impressed with the quality of the writing, and I was especially excited by the pictures which formed in my mind. The writing reminded me of something, but I couldn't exactly place what it was. Finally I knew: the writing reminded me of the way I wrote my dreams. In fact, it seemed as if this three page story might even be one of Anderson's dreams. I was buoyed by the realization that Anderson might be writing his dreams in much the same way that I wrote mine, and that he might also be considering compiling a book from some of his dreams.

As I read, a scene began flashing through my mind. I envisioned a small office with a slender, black-haired man perhaps in his mid 30s sitting at a desk. In front of the man were stacks of letters and papers which the man had been reading. I quickly knew what kind of office this was: it was an office in a publishing house, and the man was reviewing manuscripts which had been sent to him for review.

It appeared that the man had read one manuscript after the other, rejecting everything he had found. Finally he came to Anderson's three page manuscript – the very three pages which I myself had been reading. The man was having the same difficulty with reading the writing that I had had. Yet he had also had the same experience as I: he had been impressed by the caliber of the writing.

When another older man walked into the room, it was immediately clear that the older man was the superior of the man at the desk. It was the job of the man at the desk to review all the incoming manuscripts and to choose the few which might have some merit, and then submit them to the older man.

So now was a critical moment. The man at the desk was still holding Anderson's manuscript in his hand, still not quite certain whether to toss it into the stack of rejects, or to bring it to the attention of his superior. Still vacillating, the man at the desk turned to the older man and handed the paper to him. The man at the desk indicated the manuscript might have some potential, quickly summarizing his impression of the writing, explaining how different scenes would appear in frames as in a comic book. The younger man at the desk explained that the scenes at first appeared to be unrelated vignettes, but that somehow they seemed to fit together and leave a potent impression in the mind.

Anderson's manuscript had passed a critical moment. The manuscript was now in the hands of the superior, who was listening attentively to what the man at the desk was saying. The superior asked the man at the desk if the person who had sent the manuscript had written more than just the three pages. The superior looked over a cover letter which accompanied the manuscript. I could see the cover letter, which seemed to indicate the three pages were simply a sample of the writer's work. I also noted that the last sentence of the letter began with the word "Incidental." The word was clearly misspelled – it should have been written "Incidentally." I thought to myself that if I had sent the letter, I wouldn't have made such a mistake.

As the scene began to fade from my mind, I also had another thought about myself. Something was suddenly becoming clear to me. I had planned to put some of my dreams together in book form, but I had had many doubts about the reception of such a book. The scene I had just envisioned gave me new hope of the viability of such a project.

Something even clearer was in my mind. I had long contemplated the way my dream-book would be assembled so it would make sense. I had thought I might assemble the dreams which dealt with a single person, such as my father. But now I clearly saw the subject matter I should choose: the book would be based upon my own search for perfection. I could choose the dreams which showed how I had striven to become perfect. I knew I was far away from obtaining the goal of perfection, yet I thought I could show that by small degrees, over a long period of time, I had come closer to the goal. I had a lot of work to do both in pursuing the goal, and assembling the book, but at least now I thought I could see the direction to take.

If my father were to witness my success at writing a book of dreams, how my spirits would soar.

Dream of: 22 January 1996 "Book Review"

I was writing furiously. I had finished a book of dreams and had submitted it for publication. The book was now being perused by a group of reviewers and their reviews would determine the fate of the book. In addition, I had to give a reading of some of my dreams to the reviewers. It was already late at night, and the reading was supposed to take place at 1 a.m., just an hour or two away. So I was now going over the dreams which I would be reading to the group, ascertaining that I had written them correctly.

I was apprehensive about the reception of my book. I considered the unusual nature of my book, and how I had never heard of a book of dreams being a commercial success. It was easy for me to see the value inherent in dreams, and the value a well-constructed book of dreams could have for others. But of course I had worked with dreams so long, I had an advantage which most people didn't share. Would others find any value in my book?

The phone rang and I picked it up. My father was on the other end. He knew about the publication of my book and about the reading which I would be giving that night. I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was proud of me. We both felt the reading would be extremely important, and although the book would be reviewed before the reading, the success of the book could be determined by the reading.

Since the reading would occur in a relaxed, social atmosphere, people would be drinking alcohol there. My father questioned whether I should drink anything at the reading; he thought alcohol might impair my mind. I told him I might not drink anything. He told me it would be difficult not to drink, and I would probably need to drink something if I wanted to be sociable. I told him I would probably simply have one or two drinks; that shouldn't hurt anything.

Just as I finished talking with my father and hung up the phone, one of the reviewers walked into the room. He was a strong robust man (about 40 years old). He had black hair and was wearing a blue shirt and tie. He walked straight up to me, took my hand, vigorously shook it, and congratulated me for the success of my book. My spirits went through the ceiling. From the reviewer's actions it was clear my book had been a huge success with the reviewers. I was stunned by a sense of well-being.

Eradicating my hatred for loggers - the destroyers of beauty - would translate to eradicating my hatred of my father's desire, for I sensed that his greedy eyes were focused on the thousands of mature trees beautifying the Gallia County Farm.

Dream of: 14 March 1996 "Persimmons"

My father and I were walking through a hilly forested area. As I looked up at the trees on the surrounding hills, I thought about the logging industry, and how vast areas of forest were continually being cut down. In the past I had sometimes railed against the logging industry, despising it for decimating the forests. But now I took a much more stoic view. What did it really matter? All things passed. Even the earth would someday be gone – it was better not to become attached. I myself had even considered the possibility of obtaining some forested land and logging it. If the logging were done right, it wasn't such a bad thing.

As we continued to walk, on the hill on my left I saw an example of where logging had taken place, and where it had been done wrong. The whole side of the hill had been clear-cut, weakening the top layer of soil, allowing erosion to already begin. The side of this hill would soon wash away.

Some of the logging equipment was still on the hill, along with tall stacks of logs. Seeing big stumps where beautiful trees had once stood sickened me. I didn't think I could do that – go in and cut down all those wonderful trees – and my mind began reverting to its old self, to its hatred of the loggers. I would like to do something to thwart them, such as coming out there at night and pouring sugar in the gas tanks of their machinery.

As my mind roiled with thoughts of sabotage, my father had stopped and was talking with a woman. We were in a flat space at the bottom of the hill, a space which seemed to have been cleared off by the loggers except for a small tree here and there. The woman was slender, black-haired, and was probably in her late 30s. She was talking with my father about a used car lot which was on the little country road of Dry Run in West Portsmouth. The woman said the car lot was the only one on Dry Run, and that she was interested in meeting the owner of the lot. When she figured out that my father knew the owner, she began trying to persuade my father to introduce her to the owner.

Although he didn't overtly show it, I could tell by watching my father that he considered the woman to be a nuisance and that he had no intention of getting involved with introducing her to the owner of the car lot. I myself thought the woman was being too forward, and that it was impolite of her to be importuning my father so earnestly.

As she continued, she also asked my father to mail a letter for her. My father took the letter and handed it to me. The letter wasn't even in an envelope – so I looked it over. On its face were pictures of two novels – the popular romance type. The letter was an order form for the books. As I looked at the form, I realized the books were the sequels to two previous books. That obviously meant that the woman had read the original books and was now buying the sequels to each. Realizing this, my estimation of her sunk even lower. Obviously the woman spent most of her time reading worthless novels, the kind of books which have almost no lasting value.

As my father continued to talk with the woman, I noticed that one of the small surviving trees near us was a persimmon. Walking over to the tree and seeing the orangish red persimmons hanging from the tree, I thought to myself how most people wouldn't know what a persimmon tree was, or if they encountered one, they wouldn't know that the fruit on it was deliciously edible. At the same time I also realized that as sweet as the fruit was when it was ripe, it was equally bitter if it weren't ripe, and could make one's whole face pucker up.

Just as I picked one of the persimmons from the tree, my father finally broke away from the woman and walked over beside me. I pointed out the persimmon tree to him, uncertain he would be interested. To my surprise, however, he did show interest in the tree and he began picking several persimmons from it. I cautioned him that he should be careful not to pick any that weren't ripe. He looked at me a bit disdainfully, as if I should know better than to try to tell him how to eat persimmons.

Since the advice which I received from my father and the advice which I seemed to receive from my dreams were diametrically opposed, I had to wonder if my dreams could be trusted.

Dream of: 15 March 1996 "What Good Am I?"

I walked over to a small white sink on one wall of the room in which I found myself. In my hand I was carrying a flat brown cardboard pizza box which I set down in the sink. I didn't think of the box as a pizza box, but instead equated it with a book which I had read several times, Der Prozess by Franz Kafka. As I looked at myself in the small mirror hanging above the sink, a startling revelation came to me.

I recalled that Der Prozess had been the story of a man known only as K., who one morning had been placed under arrest and had been faced with trial. K., however, had never been told what his crime had been, and all through the book he had struggled to prove his innocence. Every time I had read the book I had strongly identified with K., and I had always believed in his innocence.

Now in a flash, however, I realized something quite disturbing: what if K. had actually been guilty? What if all along, K. had known he had committed a crime and had known exactly what his crime had been? What if the book had been so cleverly written that K. would only seem to be innocent, when in reality he had actually been guilty? What if the book had been written so an astute reader would be able to discern K.'s guilt?

This revelation was extremely upsetting to me because I had been so certain K. had been innocent. It shook me to the core to think it possible that I could have been so wrong about something like that. What else had I been wrong about? Perhaps I was even wrong about some of my fundamental beliefs about myself.

I looked more closely at myself in the mirror. I had a thin face and a burr haircut. I didn't look more than 25 years old, but my face was in terrible shape. On different places of my face, something appeared to be moving under my skin, causing my flesh to move up and down in different spots.

I looked closely at myself – could I even be wrong about who I was? What was I doing with my life? I thought how my father had wanted me to practice law, and how I had given up my law practice to write books of drams. I had abandoned a secure lucrative normal life to pursue some path that seemed fraught with uncertainty. I felt myself seriously looking at myself and saying, "Are you crazy?"

As if in answer, a song began going through my head. It was a Bob Dylan song which I thought was titled "What Good Am I." I recalled a line from the song which went "What good am I, if I'm like all the rest?" I knew immediately what it meant. I wasn't like all the rest, or at least I wasn't supposed to be like all the rest. I just had to accept who I was and what I was supposed to do, and go on from there.

Possibly, both my father and I were missing the purpose of life and both of us were defrauding ourselves into thinking that we were accomplishing something with our lives. At least I was willing to contemplate that possibility.

Dream of: 04 April 1996 "How Do You Defraud Someone"

I was standing outside the open door of a bathroom, talking to my father, who was inside the bathroom. I knew I was in Patriot in a house owned by my mother. This house wasn't the House in Patriot, but the large two-story frame house next door to that House. My mother had bought this house and was now living in it.

It was early in the morning, and I thought my father had probably just stopped in for a few minutes before he left to go to the Gallia County Farm, about 15 kilometers from Patriot. I thought he would like for me to accompany him to the Farm. I didn't particularly want to go, but since I thought he needed me to help him with some work on the Farm, I told him I would go with him.

Thus, after having talked so long, I was quite surprised when the man who finally walked out of the bathroom wasn't even my father. This slender black-haired man was only about 30 years old. Although not my father, he starkly looked like my father had looked at that age.

I had barely regained my composure when my father himself walked into the room. My father immediately approached the other man and led him over to the side where my father could talk with the man. I now realized who the other man was – he also lived in Patriot just a few houses away. I also knew that he was a lawyer, although he no longer practiced law.

Eavesdropping on the conversation between my father and the man, I quickly discerned the gist of their discussion. Although the details were unclear, they were talking about a land deal which had gone sour. It seemed that a corporation had either agreed to buy or sell (it was unclear which) the very house we were in. The other party in the deal had reneged, however, so the deal had collapsed. My father was friends with the owners of the corporation, and when my father had found out that the owners were going to need some legal representation, my father had recommended the black-haired lawyer with whom he was now talking.

All this seemed like routine business and it didn't much interest me, until my ear caught something quite surprising – the amount of money which the corporation was going to pay for the legal representation: $19,000! I couldn't believe it. I myself already knew most details of the land transaction – settling the matter shouldn't have been difficult. I was no longer actively practicing law, and I had no desire to practice again. However, this particular matter shouldn't take more than a few hours to work out. That was exactly the kind of legal work which I thought I would be willing to do – high pay with little time involved.

I wished my father had told me about the job before he had simply recommended the other lawyer for it. When it sounded as if the conversation between my father and the lawyer had ended, thinking the lawyer had left, I walked around the corner which separated me from my father and I blurted out, "$19,000 – that's a lot of money!"

Only after I had spoken did I see that the lawyer was still standing next to my father. I felt sheepish for my outburst – but no one seemed to mind. The lawyer even seemed somewhat glad to see me. Since he had already been hired, I had no intention of trying to take the job away from him, and he didn't seem threatened by me. Instead, realizing that I knew quite a bit about the matter, he began asking me questions. The first thing he asked was, "How do you defraud someone?"

The question seemed rather basic to me. I was unsure whether he was asking me about the legal elements of fraud, or the methods which people used to commit fraud. I began explaining that fraud could be committed in several ways.

As I talked, I had the impression the lawyer was capable, but that he simply didn't want to practice law. However, he also seemed to realize that in this case he would be able to make quite a bit of money for a small investment of time, and he had decided to do it. I also suggested to him that he could quickly settle the matter by filing bankruptcy for his client. I added that he would only be able to file bankruptcy if his client had no assets.

After I had spoken with him, he picked up a phone and began talking to someone. It sounded as if he were speaking to the man in charge of the corporation. It also sounded as if he were asking the right questions and that he knew what he was doing. From the tenor of the conversation, however, I was beginning to believe the case might turn out to be more complicated than the lawyer had originally thought. I felt a sense of relief that I wasn't going to be tied up in the matter.

My father walked over and began talking to me. He asked me if I knew that the little store down on the corner had recently been sold for $14,000. I told him I hadn't known that, but that $14,000 sounded cheap. I knew the value of land around Patriot was going up; maybe I should check into whether any more land could be bought cheaply there.

As my father reached old age, the crux of our relationship came to a head: what would he do with the Gallia County Farm?

Dream of: 08 April 1996 "Life Estate"

I was standing in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse, talking with my father and my grandmother Mabel. We were discussing my grandmother's age – how that she was in her late 80s, and how amazing that she continued to live year after year. I compared her to my father's aunt Dorothy, who I thought was also in her 80s, and to my father's uncle Curt, who I thought was in his 60s, and I decided that my grandmother was the oldest of the three. Yet as old as my grandmother was, she still seemed healthy and energetic; it was difficult to tell how much longer she could live. At the same time, however, my grandmother realized she was approaching the end of her life, and she seemed prepared to go at any time.

My father and I left the Farmhouse together and boarded the front seat of a car which he was driving. It was almost the end of the day and I would be leaving soon; but every time I visited the Farm, my father liked to get into a car and ride around the Farm while he talked with me. So we took off through the grassy fields, with the hills all around us.

As we rode along, my father began talking about the Farm. Although I called it the "Farm", precious little farming went on there. My father didn't live on the Farm, and the Farm's 386 acres were mostly allowed to grow wild. However, my father pointed out that he had employed someone to cut down the grass in the fields so the weeds wouldn't get out of hand. I asked him if he had just left the cut grass lying in the fields instead of making hay out of it and he said that was exactly what he had done.

As we continued riding through the fields, I recalled that I wanted to tell my father something about the Farm. I didn't know whether my father had a will, but I had been thinking about the future of the Farm after he died. I knew he wanted the Farm to stay in our family; he was concerned, however, because I didn't have any children, and (because I had long ago had a vasectomy) that I would never have children of my own. It was still possible that I might adopt, but with each passing year, adoption seemed less and less likely. My sister, on the other hand, had three children. I was therefore concerned that my father might incline toward making provision that the Farm would go to my sister and her children, instead of to me.

I thought about how short life was; I myself would soon be passing on. If I were to die, I would leave everything to Carolina. In a way, Carolina was like a daughter to me, since she was only 23 years old – 19 years younger than I. But I understood that my father's feelings toward Carolina weren't so sanguine; he wanted to see the Farm go to his grandchildren and their children and so on.

I had little problem with my father's desires, and I understood how he felt. So in pondering the situation, I had come up with an idea: I would tell my father that he might consider bequeathing the Farm to my sister, but leaving me a life estate in the Farm. Basically a life estate would mean I would have the Farm as long as I was alive, and that at my death the Farm would pass on to my sister and her heirs.

This solution seemed workable to me. I loved the Farm, and I wanted to spend time there, but I didn't have an overwhelming concern about what would happen to the Farm after I died. As long as I had use of the Farm while I was alive, I would be satisfied. At the same time, however, I wanted to stress to my father the words "at least." I wanted him to know that the "least" I wanted him to leave me was a life estate in the Farm; I wanted him to know that if he felt inclined to leave me more than a life estate, I would certainly be happy to receive it.

While I struggled to focus on creating a work of art, I harshly judged my father's life-long focus on material wealth to the exclusion artistic appreciation.

Dream of: 07 May 1996 "A Sensitive Point"

I was in the Stockyards area of Fort Worth, Texas, in a large building which had originally been designed to hold cows when they had been brought on cattle drives to Fort Worth. The building now, however, (as part of the tourist attraction of the Stockyards area) had been converted into many small specialty shops catering to tourists.

I walked into one shop which was supposed to contain antiques, and I looked around. I soon found something which interested me: a disassembled flute. I picked it up and put it together. Although it was designed like a typical transverse flute, it appeared to be made of wood instead of metal, and as I pushed the foot piece into place, I was uncertain that the flute would hold together securely. But to my surprise, once I had assembled the flute, I found it quite sturdy.

When a man who worked in the store approached me, I began negotiating with him about buying the flute. As we talked, at one point he broke away to make a phone call to get more information about the flute. It seemed that if I purchased the flute I might also be entitled to lessons. When the man returned to me, he again continued talking, but I pointed out that he still hadn't given me the information he was supposed to get when he had made the phone call. He looked embarrassed, as if he had completely forgotten what he was doing while he had made the call. I didn't press the issue, but instead I decided to try out the flute to see if it would play.

I put my fingers on the flute in the position of the second D above middle C, placed my lower lip on the head piece and blew. Somewhat to my surprise, a rather pleasant sound came out. The note was just a little squeaky, however, and I was uncertain whether the squeakiness was due to some problem with the flute, or due to my being out of practice. I started to run my fingers rapidly up and down the scales until the man interrupted me. He indicated that no one was allowed to play any instruments in the store because doing so disturbed the other customers. I didn't argue with him since I had already made up my mind about the flute. I hadn't been able to tell for sure if the flute had any problems with it, but I had seen and heard enough to know that I wanted to buy it.

About the same time I realized that my father was also in the store, and that he had come in with me. He had been looking at a large stack of old pictures, perhaps old Life magazines, or perhaps just old photographs. At any rate he was also engaged in some complicated negotiations to buy the old pictures.

As I listened to him barter, I realized the scenario which I was witnessing exactly resembled the situation when my father had been a young man and had started his first business. At that early time in his life when he had just been starting out on his own in the world, my father had been quite poor. He had owned a small amount of property, including a small mobile home, which I called a trailer. He had traded away his property, including the trailer, for items which he needed to start his first business. Through the years he had proven to be quite successful in his business ventures, rising above – and putting far in the past – his original poverty.

However, through all the years there had been one sore point: my father had never had a nice door on any of his homes. It seemed that in the original bargain which my father had made – when he had traded his belongings for the goods to start his business – a door had been involved in the trade. I was unsure whether my father had traded away a door, or whether he had obtained a door which he had used in his business. But I did know that the door to his home had always been a shabby affair, a rather shameful object to look at. Yet for some reason, no matter how successful my father had become, he had never been able to change the ugly old door and replace it with a decent one.

Two rather elegantly dressed women were sitting near me. They seemed dressed in garb which might have come from the 1890s, apparently in line with the general theme of the Stockyards area. They had been watching my father and they began questioning me about him. I began relating the story of my father's early poverty, how he had overcome it, and how the way he was negotiating right now for the old pictures reminded me of the way he had set up his first business. The women laughed a little derisively, and asked if my father intended to trade a trailer for the pictures. I told them that was exactly what it looked like. I then also mentioned the door and explained that the door was a rather "sensitive point" with my father, something about which we never talked.

Whereas my father's continued search for knowledge was guided more by a desire to accumulate worldly wealth, I fancied that my search for knowledge was guided more by the desire to simply experience the innate pleasure of knowledge itself.

Dream of: 01 June 1996 "Based On Lies"

Another man, whom I finally realized was my father, and I were in the basement of a house. My father had a small electronic instrument which we were using to search out pieces of radioactive material which had been hidden in the concrete walls and floors of the basement. My father would walk around with the instrument until he had an indication where the radioactive material was, and then I would dig it out. Each time, I dug out what appeared to be a light blue chalky substance which was buried about two centimeters deep in the wall or floor. I finally reached the point where I could just look at the walls and tell where a small section had been plastered over, and I knew we would find another cache of the radioactive substance there.

After a while I began to wonder whether what we were doing was dangerous. We had no protective coverings and I would simply dig out the substance with my metal instrument and my bare hands. Since my father seemed unconcerned, however, I just kept working.

We reached a back corner of the basement where a metal sign about a half meter wide and about two thirds of a meter high hung on the wall. The sign was at eye level and looked as if it were an advertisement for Pennzoil. After my father took down the sign to look behind it, he discovered a rectangular hole in the wall about the size of the sign. I walked over, looked inside the hole, and saw some kind of device on the floor of the cave-like space, something with many gears and rods, like what might be found inside a clock. Thinking this would be a good place for someone to have hidden more of the radioactive substance, I began taking the device apart, looking for more of the substance. When I was unable to find anything, however, I told my father I hoped he wouldn't want me to put the device back together. I didn't see how I could do it. At the same time, however, I realized someone must have been able to assemble the device there, and I wondered how it had been done.

As I stepped back from the hole, I looked back inside the space. It looked as if the rectangular cave extended back two or three meters, and then it looked as if there was an old set of stairs which ascended to the left. It appeared as if there had once been a stairway leading to the outside, but as if the stairway had long ago been boarded over and covered up.

As I studied the hole, it occurred to me that this would have been the type of place where Jews might have hidden during World War II. I could just imagine Jews crawling back into this little space and hiding, hoping that no German soldiers would come along and take the sign off the wall and discover them back there. I imagined the Jews as being perpetually afraid. For instance in the winter, they would worry that the snow might melt right over top the place where the stairs had been boarded up, thus revealing their hiding place.

As my father and I finally headed back upstairs, I was still thinking about the little cave. I thought of Anne Frank and how she and her family had hidden during the war. I also had images of German soldiers hustling through the streets, rounding up Jews. The soldiers I envisioned were polite to the Jews, not needing to be cruel, since the soldiers knew the Jews were all doomed anyway. I could even see some bodies of Jews lying stretched out in the street.

Once my father and I were upstairs, we immediately ran into a woman with several young boys. The ones I saw looked as if they were around two, three and four years old. I quickly learned that the woman had adopted the boys, who were all brothers, and that there were five of them altogether. I also learned that all the boys came from a Jewish family, although the woman herself wasn't Jewish.

That seemed to present an interesting question too. What if I were to adopt five little Jewish boys like that? Would I raise the boys up in the Jewish religion, teaching them to honor the religion of their birth? That would seem the proper thing to do. But suddenly I realized that that wasn't what I would do. I didn't believe in the Jewish religion. In fact, like other religions, I thought Judaism was based on lies. I wouldn't raise any children I adopted to believe a bunch of lies, no matter if they had been born as Jews.

But at the moment I didn't really want to think about that. It seemed as if this whole business with the radioactive material and the Jews was somehow combined, and was somehow also connected to the recent fasting which I had undertaken to clean out my system. It wasn't clear to me how it was all related, but I realized that in the process I had been neglecting Carolina, and that we hadn't had sex for a couple weeks. Suddenly I very much wanted to be with Carolina and make love to her. I was anxious to get out of this house and get back to Carolina as quickly as I could.

 The death of my brother in muddy Symmes Creek in front of the Gallia County Farmhouse when I was a child continued to unrelentingly haunt the feeble minds and lives of all my family, and continued to unite us in our mutual unspoken uncertainly of what had happened..

Dream of: 06 June 1996 "What Happened?"

My father, my mother and I were in a large new car which my father had recently purchased; we were sitting beside the Gallia County Farmhouse, looking out over Symmes Creek at the bottom of the hill in front of the Farmhouse.

My father was busily reviewing some papers which he was holding in his hands, financial papers of a company which he had owned and recently sold. He was murmuring to himself that $30,000 seemed to be missing. I couldn't tell whether he had lost the money in the transaction when he had sold the business, or whether someone who had worked for him (before he had sold the business) had made off with the money. I wasn't particularly interested.

As I looked out over the creek, I noticed some large pieces of lumber floating downstream. I figured the pieces of lumber might be boards from the Farmhouse, boards which my father had thrown into the creek. Since the Farmhouse was still standing intact beside us, however, I was uncertain where the boards had come from. Before I could ask about the boards, the car suddenly started rolling down the hill, and in a flash, crashed into the creek.

All the windows were rolled up, and the car remained afloat on top of the water. I hollered, "What happened, dad?!"

My father hollered back, "Something happened, son!"

Whatever had happened, we needed to act quickly or we would sink with the car and all be drowned. I knew before the car went under water, we needed to roll down the windows and slide out into the water. I quickly began rolling down the windows, and all three of us scrambled out into the muddy water. Fortunately I grabbed a strap which was across my mother's back and held her up, because she was sinking like a stone. Holding her on the water's surface, I swam toward the shore. It looked as if my father would be able to manage for himself.

 Although my father and I shared a mutual history on the Gallia County Farm, our visions of the future of the Farm were discordant: he envisioned exploitation, while I envisioned nature in bloom; he saw hunters, while I saw protected wildlife. He also had the title to the Farm in his name, while I had nothing but unsubstantial dreams.

Dream of: 21 June 1996 "On The Farm"

My father and I were standing in the front yard of the Gallia County Farmhouse, looking down toward Symmes Creek at the bottom of the hill. Between the Farmhouse and the creek stretched a small strip of field where my father had parked some farm equipment: his blue John Deere tractor, a bulldozer and another bulky piece of machinery. A second bulldozer, painted blue, was parked next to the tractor. The second bulldozer belonged to someone else – my father had simply allowed the person to park the dozer there.

As I had continued staring at the second dozer, it had slowly begun rolling toward the creek. In no time at all the dozer had plowed, blade first, into the muddy creek. Instead of sinking, however, the dozer stayed on the surface of the water and floated down the creek. Just as the dozer was about to go under the bridge in front of the Farmhouse, I noticed something else: a small boy (8-9 years old) sitting on the dozer.

Clearly the creek was high and the current was swift; obviously the boy was in grave danger. I hesitated for only an instant, then began running down the small hill on which the Farmhouse sits, headed for the creek, realizing I must try to rescue the boy, intending to leap into the water when I reached it. I had to jump over large white boulders before finally reaching the creek's bank below the bridge. To my relief, however, when I finally reached the bank of the creek, I found the boy's father (the owner of the dozer) helping the boy up onto the bank.

Once the man had safely brought the boy onto the bank, I spoke to the man. He was probably in his 30s and dressed in work clothes. I told him my father and I had earlier been admiring the excellent condition of the man's dozer and how we had been "enviously" looking at it, wishing we owned it. As soon as I said the word "enviously" I realized the word wasn't one which I often used and I wondered if it even was a word. I hoped I had pronounced it correctly.

I thought of offering to buy the dozer from the man. I knew the dozer would probably be damaged from having been in the creek, but I thought I would be able to repair it. If I bought it now, I should be able to get a good deal. I figured if the man had paid $1,000 for the dozer; I might be able to buy it now for only $200. But I decided it would be a bit tacky to try to take advantage of the man right when he had just suffered the loss, and I refrained from making the offer.

***

Standing alone on the banks of the creek, I began to notice just how turbulent the water was, as fast as a mountain rapid. I had never seen the water in Symmes Creek so swift. The muddy water (now flowing from east to west instead of its normal west to east) roiled with waves and whitecaps.

A tall thin woman (in the prime of life) walked up and stood next to me. She looked young but was probably in her 50s. I seemed to recall that she lived in a large house farther down the road. When I told her I had never seen the creek so swift, she said she had seen it that swift once years before. I thought she must surely be mistaken. I pointed to some objects floating on the water's surface, to how fast they were moving. I even threw a couple sticks into the water to prove my point. But the woman wouldn't change her opinion that the water had once before been so swift.

Suddenly I heard an explosion – a branch fell from the large maple tree in front of the Farmhouse and into the creek. I then saw that my father had a rifle or a shotgun and was firing into the tree. That was his way of trimming the branches.

I started walking back up toward the Farmhouse. When I reached the front porch, I noticed a deep trench which water had washed out along the side of the porch. The trench extended all the way down below the sandstone foundation on one side of the Farmhouse. Obviously this damage would have to be repaired.

I also looked under the porch, which was about a meter off the ground, and saw some lumber stacked under there. I thought my father's step-father Clarence had probably stacked the lumber there when Clarence had owned the Farm, before he had given the Farm to my father. My father was still standing there, and I asked him whether he thought the lumber under the porch was still any good. He didn't think so. I thought I should probably take the lumber from under the porch and dispose of it.

 Difficult to accept, but despite our differences, in an embattled savage world, my father remained the one human upon whom I could most depend to help me reach my destination.

Dream of: 09 September 1996 "The Human Drama"

I was on the run, fleeing through a dense jungle. I was wearing green army fatigues which I hoped would camouflage me. Hearing a plane overhead, and sensing it was an enemy plane looking for me, I lay down on the ground and curled up as tightly as I could. After the plane had passed, I rose and ran. I was trying to reach my own troops, still some distance from me. When I saw that the plane had turned around and was coming back, I thought I must have been spotted after all.

***

I was experiencing a novel, actually experiencing instead of just reading. In the novel, I was sitting in the front passenger seat of a car which my father was driving, and in which two other members of my family were also riding. We were in flight, trying to escape enemy forces and to reach our own people. We were riding along a rough rocky road, which I knew was in Vietnam, sometime during World War I. As I tried to think of what I knew about Vietnam during World War I, I employed a method I commonly used when I tried to set the scene for a novel I was reading: I thought about other literary works which I had already read which had had the same setting. However, I had difficulty recalling anything to do with Vietnam during World War I. It seemed as if I had read one novel with that setting, but I couldn't clearly remember it. It also seemed as if the movie The Last Emperor had been partially set in Vietnam during World War I, and I ransacked my memory for scenes from that movie.

I also thought about how it seemed the time and place in a novel were merely the background for the human events which took place in the novel. I thought about how in my own writing, when I gave descriptions of the time and place, that I shouldn't simply do so for the sake of the descriptions, and that I shouldn't become carried away with superfluous descriptions. I knew I always disliked (when I was reading a novel) when the author would start giving a long-winded description of the scenery when the scenery had nothing to do with the action of the novel. For instance, I thought if I were describing the ragged road down which I was now riding, I should keep in mind what was actually important: the human drama. I thought the description of the setting should always relate to the human action.

Continuing on, as my father drove past a house, I noticed a large boulder rolling down the inclining yard, and I thought we needed to be careful there. After we had passed the house, I looked back and saw some people pushing the boulder.

It was growing dark and we had the headlights turned on. The road ahead curved off to the left. Right ahead of us, past the curve, was a tall dead tree which shone under our headlights. I was astonished to see what appeared to be a white mountain lion or cougar climbing straight up the side of the tree. I was extremely impressed, having never actually seen such an animal out in the wild. The area around us was becoming ever more jungle-like. Just about then, I also noticed a giraffe under the tree where the cougar was climbing. We had obviously entered into the jungle wilds, and I wondered what other kinds of animals were lurking in the increasingly dense vegetation which was crowding in on the road.

I was becoming increasingly concerned about whether my father and I were going to reach our destination. I wanted to know just how much farther we had to go, but when I asked my father, he didn't seem inclined to tell me. I continued to implore, saying, "Just give me an idea."

He finally mumbled, "A hundred miles."

Just as my father spoke, we turned the curve to our left, and found that the road had simply run out, that we were now driving through an overgrown field. Up ahead it looked even worse, almost impassable. I groaned, "Oh my God. We can't go a hundred miles in this. We can't go a mile in this."

The character whom I knew as my father in my dreams was a different man from the living being whom I knew as my father in waking life.

Dream of: 12 October 1996 "Books Of Dreams"

After my father and my mother had entered the room, my father began talking with me. He looked to be in the prime of life – thin, vigorous, dark black hair. I was at first surprised by what he said. He knew I had been compiling a book of my dreams, and he said he would like to read it. This was entirely unprecedented; my father had never expressed any interest in reading any of my dreams. To the contrary, he had always manifested a disdainful contempt of the whole idea of my writing dreams, and especially of my intention of compiling the garnered dreams into a book.

It occurred to me what had probably happened. I had been showing my dreams to several knowledgeable people and had received favorable comment and encouragement from them. The novel idea of compiling certain of my dreams into book form had appealed to these people. Obviously my father must have spoken to someone who had seen the auspicious potential of my proposed book. My father now realized that my idea wasn't as crazy as he had always thought, and that I did indeed have potential as an author. He now belatedly had therefore decided to express some sanguine interest in my project.

I felt somewhat ambivalent about his new-found enthusiasm. I didn't feel hard at him because he only now for the first time wanted to read my dreams; but I also didn't feel excited because of his nascent interest. Mostly I felt a little cautious, a little uncertain of what his reaction to the dreams might be. Nevertheless, other than a slight apprehension, I felt no reluctance to letting him read the dreams.

However, I immediately began explaining a problem to him. He knew little or nothing of the method I intended to follow in writing the books. I planned to compile several different books, each book having one central theme. The first books most likely would follow the theme of my immediate family: my father, my mother, and my sister, since they were the people who had appeared in more of my dreams than anybody. I might also compile a book about Carolina, and later one about God. However, even though I had already spent much time in writing my dreams and preparing them for the books, I hadn't actually compiled the dreams into book form. This compilation was itself a daunting task which I had only just begun.

I tried to explain this to my father, adding that he had appeared in more of my dreams than anyone. I explained that it was therefore simply not possible at the moment for him to read a book, because no book was yet ready. Suddenly a thought came to me: it might be possible that he could read some of the dreams and that he might even be able to help me in the process. I spoke up again, and told him I might be able to give him a sample of some of the prospective books. I could compile the first 15 pages of the three books about him, my mother, and my sister. He could read all three and tell me which one he liked best.

This plan seemed workable to me, because I could not only obtain my father's feedback on these three initial books, I could form a better idea myself of which book looked best. I knew my father wouldn't be seeing my best material, since my early dreams weren't as well-written as my later ones. However, the first dreams should give him a taste of what I was doing, enough so he could judge the project in general and the individual books in particular. It seemed like a good working idea to me.

My intention to abandon a lucrative business carrier and go nude into the unforgiving world by publishing my dreams was simply beyond my father's comprehension.

Dream of: 24 October 1996 "San Antonio"

In downtown San Antonio, Texas, my father and I had walked into a building which appeared to be a bank or a savings and loan. There was just one large rectangular room with women working at perhaps 15-20 desks. A man who was obviously the owner was standing and attending to some customers. He was a tall lanky fellow, approaching middle age, with black hair and a mustache. Although he looked like the oily wily type, I had the impression that he was quite wealthy.

The man walked over and began talking with my father, who had some business to conclude with the man. After they had talked for a few minutes, the man turned to me, addressed me by my last name, and implied that he understood that I was my father's son. I looked straight into the man's eyes, and as was my wont, fixed him in a scrutinizing stare. The man, feeling my eyes, stared straight back at me, showing that he also knew how to unflinchingly hold someone's stare. He even went further and began moving his head toward me, coming so close that his face finally touched mine, culminating with a short peck of his lips just below my lips. He then backed off, as if to say that he had met me at my own game of staring at him, and had proved himself the master.

The man expressed curiosity about what I was intending to do in San Antonio, whether I would be setting up some kind of business there or practicing law. I had been considering moving to San Antonio, and possibly going into the real estate business. In the past I had shown a knack for buying and selling real estate, and I was thinking of taking it up again. I thought I would prefer the real estate business to practicing law, since law practice was so confining.

My father had also established himself in San Antonio and he was thinking of moving there permanently, even though he had lived in Portsmouth all his life. The only thing that still really tied him to Portsmouth was his mother Mabel; but she was old and wouldn't live much longer. When she died, it was possible that my father would move to San Antonio. I also knew my father had business connections in Columbus, the capital of Ohio, about 150 kilometers north of Portsmouth. If my father moved to San Antonio, he could have business connections in Austin, the capital of Texas, which was only about a 150 kilometers north of San Antonio.

The staring-match man was still standing in front of me, still interested in what I would be doing in San Antonio. He blabbered on and on, mentioning in the process that he was also a lawyer, although he didn't actually practice law. He chided the modern law profession, bemoaning the influx of so many new lawyers, and complaining that so many new, second-rate law schools were opening. He mentioned that he had attended a prestigious law school in San Antonio, but lamented the opening of another, far inferior law school in the town. I also knew of at least one other law school which had recently opened, and which was of inferior quality, but I was unsure I could agree with the man's assertion that a new law school was opening every week.

It seemed that the man's disparagement of the new law schools in Texas was a way of complementing me because he apparently knew I had gone to Baylor Law School, one of the best law schools in Texas. I was somewhat flattered, but I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the man's artificial and cloying obsequiousness, and I was ready to go. Besides, I was becoming more and more discomfited by something else: I was completely naked.

Yes, I was naked, but I did at least have a blue sleeping bag draped about me so my nudity wasn't visible, except for the side of my left arm and leg, where the bag came together. No one seemed to be paying any attention to the fact that I was standing there naked with a sleeping bag wrapped around me, but I was becoming quite concerned about the effect this bizarre attire might have upon my reputation if I were thinking of establishing myself in San Antonio. Certainly people would think something was wrong with me, that I was weird, if they saw me walking down the street, wearing nothing but a sleeping bag.

I appealed to my father to leave, but he wasn't quite finished with his business. Increasingly anxious, I told him I was going to leave, and that he could follow. We each had our own vehicle – I would simply go ahead in mine, and he could follow in his.

I exited the establishment and walked straight to my vehicle, an old dilapidated pickup truck which my father had given me. I quickly boarded the truck, impatient to leave as quickly as possible. I started it up and pulled out, hoping no one on the street had seen my strange attire. As soon as I pulled out, however, I realized I had problems. The truck seemed ready to fall apart and would barely move. When I did get it to rolling down the street, I realized I had no brakes. I managed to pull over and stop, realizing I would just have to sit there and wait for my father to come in his car and pick me up.

Having chosen the spirit over the body, if I were ever going to ride the white horse of art, I would be forced to redirect my judgmental eye from my father to myself.

Dream of: 01 December 1996 "Misjudging"

I was driving the maroon 1988 Lincoln Continental which my father had recently given me, when I stopped at a red light at an intersection. As I looked across the intersection at the car coming toward me in the other lane, I realized that my sister was driving the other car, and that my father was sitting in the front passenger seat. I just stared across at them, rigid and unmoving at first, then finally giving a slight nod of my head to my sister to acknowledge that I had seen her.

When the light turned, just as I was about to move forward, my sister mischievously pulled her car into the intersection, blocking me so that I couldn't turn left as I had intended. By the time my sister finally backed away so I could turn to the left, the light had again turned, and three lines of traffic were headed toward me on my left. I just barely managed to squeeze past the cars, narrowly missing one.

As I continued down the road, I reflected how the driver of the car which I had almost hit must surely have thought I was a terrible driver. But I knew that I wasn't a bad driver, and that in fact I was a very good driver. This thought made me realize that whenever I would see drivers driving badly for one reason or another, I would generally quickly conclude the driver was a bad driver. I wondered how many times I had made the mistake of misjudging someone that way.

I also began wondering about the way I had typically judged my father. Over the years, I had often thought of my father as a bad man and had often judged him harshly. Perhaps I had misjudged him and he wasn't actually as bad as I had thought. I recalled that my father and I had recently had a conversation about a book which we had both read, Mario Puzo's The Godfather. We had also talked of the three Godfather movies which had been generated from the book. In the conversation, I had pointed out that the two Godfathers, Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone, had both died of old age. From this I had concluded that the message of the stories was that crime does indeed pay.

I had been surprised when my father had told me that he had drawn just the opposite conclusion, that crime does not pay. He had pointed out that the Godfathers had seen family members murdered and had lived with much pain. Indeed, my father had placed much higher value on the family, than on the money and power which the Godfathers had garnered.

The more I thought about this, the more emotional I became. I myself had recently taken part in a successful swindle, and as a result, I had obtained a large sum of money. Although I had thought my father would have been proud to learn of the success of my deceitful scheme, I now realized he would probably not be at all proud of me. The realization affected me so much that I actually began crying. For I now also realized how important it was to know that my father was proud of me. Indeed, his pride in me was one of the most important goals in my life. And now I feared I had traded his pride in me for something of far less value.

Calming down, concentrating more on my driving, I began thinking about where I was: Gallia County, Ohio. After many years of having been away, I had returned to this rural hilly county, in search of something. Whatever I had been seeking, however, I hadn't found, and I now realized that returning to Ohio had been a mistake.

As I entered a small town, I was no longer driving, but was rolling along on roller skates or roller blades. I quickly realized the town was the small town of Oak Hill, Ohio. However the tall quaint buildings and the wide plaza reminded me more of a picturesque European town. I looked around at the half dozen or so metal tables and chairs on the plaza, and reflected that this might be a nice place to meet people.

Instead of stopping, however, I skated right through the plaza, and came out on the edge of the town. I immediately found myself in a rugged rocky area, headed toward a stony ravine. Without stopping I skated right down the side of the ravine, finally coming out into a field. I intended to keep going straight ahead, but ahead of me sprawled a dense thicket of briar bushes, thorns really, which caused me to come to a halt. I looked out ahead and quickly realized that the thicket was impenetrable, and that I would have to turn back.

But then I noticed a possible way around the briar patch. Immediately to my right was a hill. It looked as if I could climb the hill and thus circumvent the thicket. So still wearing the skates, I laboriously began slogging my way up the side of the hill. The ascent quickly proved to be rather revolting, because I realized the hill was covered with some kind of animal feces. At first I thought it was dog feces, but then I realized it was turkey feces.

Nevertheless, I finally made it to the top from where I could look back at the small town and the plaza below me. I was surprised to hear a woman hollering at me from the plaza. She was an elderly thin woman, and she was chastising me for being on the hill. She hollered up that the field belonged to a man named Parks, and that I was trespassing.

Looking around the field at the top of the hill, I saw several horses pasturing there, and I realized that whoever owned the horses might indeed be upset that I was trespassing in the field. The horses were friendly and I was able to get close enough to actually pet them. However, to my surprise and chagrin, I watched helplessly as one horse stumbled and started rolling down the side of the hill. Then the horse which I was petting started to tumble down the hill; but I quickly grabbed it and prevented it from falling.

Although my father did not appreciate that I would abandon the practice of law, I continued to think of myself as a lawyer, and as inconsiderate as I might have seemed, I appreciated that he had originally directed me toward the labyrinth of the law.

Dream of: 05 December 1996 "Inconsiderate"

I was talking with a young woman (not more than 20 years old) at what appeared to be a family reunion where many of my relatives were moving around the house. The woman and I were both sitting in armchairs facing each other. Another somewhat older sister (of the woman facing me) was sitting nearby – but all my attention was focused on the woman facing me. As she and I talked, I realized the woman was obliquely related to me: she and her sister were grandchildren of my father's step-father Clarence.

The more I talked with the woman, the more attractive I found her. Her only defect (which she shared with her sister) was slightly protruding top teeth, but not enough to detract much from her overall attractiveness. Being drawn in by her beauty, I discounted her being in some way related to me – we were certainly not blood relatives. As I saw it, we were only step-relatives, distant ones at that, and there was no reason why we should avoid any physical contact because of such a tenuous tie. Looking at her tantalizing legs, fully revealed by the short flower print dress that stopped above her knees, I wondered how she felt about the matter. When I let one of my hands brush against her leg, she didn't seem to mind, and I began to see possibilities with her.

Our conversation, however, was abruptly interrupted by activity around us. Other men gathered in the house were moving a piece of furniture which looked like a large black piano, and we had to move. Besides, it appeared that everyone was going to gather in another room, and that I was going to have to move whether I liked it or not. The girl, her sister and I all stood and walked along behind the men who were carrying the piano. I thought I could probably help the men, but they seemed to have the matter well in hand, so I just followed.

As we continued through the hall of the large well-furnished house, I noticed a wristwatch lying on small table standing by the wall. The place seemed obviously inappropriate for someone to have left a wristwatch. Many people were circulating around the house, and any of them might just decide to pocket the watch. I picked the watch up and examined it more closely. It was gold-colored, with a metal gold band, the snap kind which typically comes with a new watch. The watch itself looked new and I thought someone had probably only recently purchased it. I looked for the trade name on the watch and saw that it said "Stevens." I didn't recall having ever heard of that brand. Now that I had the timepiece in my hand, I pondered what to do with it until I finally decided to hang onto it. I didn't plan to keep it, but to find out to whom it belonged. I would just carry the watch around in the open until someone saw me with it, or I would give it to someone in the house and tell them to hold it until someone asked for it.

The men carrying the piece of furniture finally set it down. I now saw that they hadn't been carrying a piano, but a large, exquisitely designed arm-chair. I walked over to the chair and examined it. It was covered with many different kinds of colorful patchwork material, perhaps leather, all of which blended together into an intricate design. I thought I would love to have it, and I wondered if the chair were for sale, or if it were going to be auctioned.

As I had looked at the chair, I seemed to have lost sight of the girl and her sister. I looked around the room, trying to see someone I knew. I thought my father was probably there, and I looked for him. As I thought about my father, it occurred to me that I hadn't been very considerate of him lately. It seemed as if I had been shunning him, and I thought I should have been paying more attention to him.

I realized that part of the reason I had been ignoring my father was that I had been devoting much thought to what I was going to be doing in the future. This thought process had been complicated, but my final conclusion was that I needed to go to Germany and live for a while. I knew my father wouldn't be happy with that decision, and therefore I hadn't been having much contact with him. Now that my decision to travel to Germany had been made, however, I thought I needed to have more communication with my father.

I was excited at the prospect of going to Germany, although I was definitely concerned about exactly what I would be doing there. I didn't want to burn all my bridges behind me, for I thought in about a year I might return to the United States. At that time I might resume the practice of law, and I thought that even while in Germany, I should continue to improve my knowledge of the law. Therein lay my present dilemma. I was faced with deciding what area of the law I should continue to study.

As I thought about it, I switched into thinking in German, which was so refreshing. Although it seemed as if my German had been put on hold for a while, it hadn't deteriorated. I could still use the language quite well, partly because just as now, I often thought in German, continuing to sharpen the language in my mind. However, my German hadn't improved lately, and I longed for improvement. The thought of once again being in Germany, and talking the language all the time, was very exciting.

But my main question was still what kind of law I would study while in Germany. I had basically narrowed it down to two areas: criminal law or international law. I began thinking more about the two types of law.

I liked criminal law. I found the criminal cases much more interesting and entertaining than other types of law. Reading criminal cases didn't even seem like hard work; it was more like reading short stories. And practicing criminal law was relatively easy. I could simply move into almost any Texas town and set up a practice. Getting criminal appointments from judges was always easy. It would be an easy life.

International law was another matter. That could prove to be extremely complicated. However, the advantages of international law were enormous. If I practiced international law, it might be possible for me to stay in Germany. And after all, Germany was where I wanted to be. I would love to live in Germany. But could I actually do it? If I worked in international law, I would probably have to work in a firm with other lawyers. And that was a problem for me, because I liked to work for myself. It occurred to me that it might be possible for me to set up a solo practice in international law. In fact, the idea was rather appealing. I had virtually no idea how I would do it, but it did at least seem possible.

Looking around me again, I saw that I had ended up on a second story verandah, with other people gathered around. I now realized all the other people there were lawyers, and that we had all gathered there to take part in a legal seminar, the kind I had to go to every year to comply with the continuing education requirements for being an attorney. I was a little concerned about so many people standing on this verandah, and for some reason I thought the roof might be unstable and could fall on us. I walked over to the edge, where I could look down on the yard below. I thought at least from there if the roof started to fall, I might be able to jump off, although I would probably break a leg.

Scanning the yard below, I saw my father standing down there. I was still thinking about how distant I had been acting toward him lately, and I still wanted to make it up to him. As the group of people on the verandah began to move toward the seminar room, I followed, and I thought that once I was inside, I would save a place for my father to sit next to me. I hadn't originally intended to sit next to him, and it occurred to me just how inconsiderate I sometimes was, that I would go somewhere where my own father was and not even sit next to him.

As I walked into the seminar room, I saw the many cafeteria-style tables all bedecked with white cloth and place settings. I headed for one seat which had an appealing lamp sitting with it. I sat down and also pulled out the chair at the place next to me, so I could reserve it for my father. I looked back at the entrance, waiting for him to enter.

 Since my father was disinclined to discuss his religious beliefs, we had no overt confrontations on the subject, leaving only an unspoken spiritual tenseness between us.

 Dream of: 21 January 1997 "Pure Foolishness"

I had returned for a visit to Portsmouth, where I hadn't been for a while. My sister and I were in a car which my father was driving close to downtown Portsmouth. One of them mentioned that a church service was going to be held later that night in a vacant lot on Gallia Street, a block west of the Gay Street House. As my father and my sister continued to talk about the church service, I could feel that they were hinting that I might want to go. When they finally came right out and asked if I would like to attend, I answered, "No."

They didn't let it drop; instead, they pressured me, wanting to know why I didn't want to attend the church service. I didn't want to proffer my reasons, and I didn't want to discuss the subject, but they insisted, until finally I blurted out, "If you want to go into the details, I will. I think it is foolishness – pure foolishness."

I hadn't wanted to say more, but since they wouldn't leave me alone, I thought I might as well tell them what I thought. The fact was, it bothered me that my own father and sister could believe the lies and nonsense of a typical church in Portsmouth. It was difficult to accept that my own relations had made so little effort to examine the nature of their existence, to search for the truth, and were willing to complacently accept the tenets and beliefs of some church. To me, this was the mark of a fool, to so blindly accept lies as the truth.

Unfortunately I knew talking with them or confronting them on this issue did absolutely no good. Their intransigence made them so foolish in my eyes; they blindly accepted their so-called faiths, and had no intention or desire of ever examining their lives more at length to search for the truth. So much of their lives was wasted on believing falsehoods, I felt confounded that they could be so foolish to embrace these beliefs. If they would only open their eyes a little and think about the nature of things, they should be able to see their error.

I couldn't talk with them about these matters, however, because they had no desire to open their eyes. Dialogue over the matter was pointless. Only because they were pressuring me had I even said anything at all.

Although I did not desire to judge my father an evil man, if he selfishly destroyed beauty, I could not honestly refrain from doing so.

Dream of: 14 February 1997 "Devastation"

I had stopped to visit my sister, who was living in a white frame two-story house. I walked around to the back of the house with my sister, who looked like her normal self, a thin brown-haired woman in her mid 30s. Once behind the house in the back yard, I first noticed a black metal clothes line stretched between two large black poles. I knew my father had given the clothes line and the poles to my sister. I also knew the poles and the clothes line were barely usable. A flange at the bottom of the poles was supposed to be bolted to the concrete slab on which the poles were standing, but the bolts were missing, so the poles were leaning, and the clothes line was drooping. The whole set-up appeared ready to fall over. My sister herself commented that the clothes line was just junk. I agreed and said that my father only ever gave us stuff he couldn't use any more.

My sister also began talking about something else which my father had asked her to do for him. As it turned out, my father owned the house next door to my sister's, as well as several other houses on the block. He had only recently moved a very old woman into the house right next door to my sister. As my sister spoke about it, I recalled having talked with my father, and his having told me about his intention to move the woman into the house. My father had told me that the woman was "visually impaired." I mentioned this to my sister, and she said the woman wasn't simply visually impaired, but that the woman was completely blind. Anyway, my father had asked my sister to help watch out for the old woman while the old woman lived in the house. My sister was now complaining about it, and I didn't blame her for complaining. It seemed unreasonable that my father would expect my sister to take care of a blind woman.

My sister and I walked back around to the front of the house. Not far from the front door stretched a hill. I recalled that this hill, also owned by my father, had been covered with large beautiful trees the last time I had been there, but now logs were lying everywhere on the side of the hill, and all the trees had been cut down. The loggers were still there, working on cutting down the last tree. I looked at the loggers, and seemed to recall having seen them there once before, before the trees had been cut. Now they were standing on the side of the hill, smiling down at me, sneering really, as if proud of their handiwork, knowing I had relished the trees. Seeing them there made me angry, but being angry at the loggers wouldn't do any good. The land belonged to my father, and he had told the loggers to cut down the trees. I knew my sister was also upset that the trees had been cut down. I told her we could do nothing because the land belonged to my father. He could do whatever he wanted; nevertheless I was upset to think he would have cut down all the beautiful trees.

One small maple tree, about two meters tall, had been left standing. At least it would grow taller than new trees which would just be starting up. But the one little tree was practically no relief for the devastation of the hillside.

Whatever evil destruction of beauty my father might commit before reaching the cemetery, I intended his legacy to be my beautifully written impressions of him.

Dream of: 22 February 1997 "Visiting Cemeteries"

My father and I were sitting at a kitchen table, discussing his new hobby: visiting cemeteries. My father would apparently just start driving around and when he would come to a cemetery, he would drive through it. He didn't actually get out of the car and look at the graves; he would just stay in the car and drive around in the cemetery.

I told him he ought to take the next step: making copies of tombstones. I knew people would sometimes use large pieces of paper and pieces of carbon to make a copy of a tombstone. In my mind I began to visualize how the paper would be held on the front of the tombstone, and the carbon rubbed over the front of the paper, leaving an impression of whatever had been written on the tombstone.

In my mental image, however, the letters left on the sheet resembled large dark strokes of beautiful Chinese calligraphy. The result was so beautiful, I thought I might even go to a cemetery and myself try to make a copy of a tombstone.

The intrigues of the world would force me to someday call upon the monetary savvy ingrained in me by my father to negotiate the exchange of my artistic ability for cash.

Dream of: 27 February 1997 "Artistic Ability"

I was aboard a large plane which didn't have the typical rows of passenger seats, but was divided into several rooms which looked like offices. Nobody else was in my room, although my mother and my father were supposed to be somewhere on the plane; I needed to find them.

The plane had just landed in Egypt, where my family and I were on a secret mission to try to save a man's life. The man was an Egyptian returning home to Egypt after having been absent a long time. He was a black-haired, heavy-set man (probably in his mid 40s). He and other members of his family were somewhere on the plane. The mission of my family and me was to give the man a gun. The gun was for the man's protection, because I had learned that someone was going to try to assassinate the man after he left the plane. The man was extremely popular; a crowd of thousands of people would throng around him and his family as they walked through the street. Someone in the crowd would then assassinate the man. But I had learned of the planned assassination, and I was now going to try to prevent it.

My mother (only about 40 years old) walked into the room. She was tall, slender and attractive. She had dark-black hair and was dressed in a long, tight-fitting, black dress. She immediately walked up to me and began talking in the most disdainful manner. I returned the sentiment. I was upset with her because she had boarded the plane without waiting for me, and I had been unable to find her until now.

I asked her about the gun, and she showed it to me: a coal-black hand-gun. I had originally thought I would be the one to deliver the gun to the Egyptian man, but now my mother seemed to think she should be the one. I didn't argue with her and I told her to go ahead. Without further delay, she walked out of the room and left me standing alone.

I looked around, trying to figure which way to leave. I walked over to a large door and tried to pull it open, but I was only able to pull the door part way; the door was made of steel and about 70 centimeters thick. Fixing my attention on the door, trying to understand why such a huge door would be needed on the plane, I began to realize I was no longer on the plane, but that I was actually in a room in the American Embassy in Egypt. When I also realized that my father had walked into the room, I turned to talk with him.

My father was also quite young (probably in his early 40s). He was thin and dressed in a suit. He seemed quite friendly, almost jovial, and I was glad to see him. However, I was also a little vexed with him about his involvement in our present mission, and I confronted him with the reasons for my dissatisfaction. It seemed to me that he had been trying to take credit for the whole mission to save the Egyptian man, even though my father actually had done practically nothing. I was the one who had discovered the assassination plot. And now my mother was going to deliver the gun. My father really had done nothing, and I told him so.

My father seemed to shuffle his feet and tacitly admit that I was speaking the truth, but he seemed unaffected by my modest tirade, as if my feelings didn't really matter. And as he began leading me to another room of the Embassy, I put the matter out of my mind, realizing that my role in the mission was essentially over, and that I now needed to concentrate on other matters. The first matter at hand was exchanging some money so I could head out into the street with some Egyptian money in my pocket. My father said he knew where this could be done.

He and I walked down a hallway and past a large empty room which looked like an exercise room. I thought perhaps ballet lessons might be given in the room for some of the embassy personnel. I had the feeling that many people in the embassy were artistically inclined, and this feeling was reinforced by what I saw next.

We came upon a woman (probably in her early 30s) sitting at a table at the side of the room. After my father indicated that she would be able to change some of my money for me, I walked up to her. She was thin and frail-looking, with light brown hair. I was most intrigued, however, by a large pad of drawing paper lying in front of her. The drawing paper was about a half meter wide, and on the first page were several drawings. I quickly recognized one drawing as a caricature of Leonid Brezhnev, the former leader of the Soviet Union. All the drawings were quite artistic, and as the woman flipped through the pages of the drawing pad, every page she displayed was covered with drawings. As she came to each page, she would pause and make some slight change in a drawing, then go on to the next page. Apparently this was her custom – to be continually working on the drawings.

My father had walked up right behind the woman, and looking at her drawings, he commented, "They say you like to draw."

I was embarrassed at just how lame his statement sounded. Of course she liked to draw – she had probably heard people say this same thing a hundred times.

At least, however, my father did get the woman's attention, and it quickly became clear that she was the person in the embassy who exchanged money. I laid some things I had been carrying on the table and I looked through my pockets for money. The woman had written "$50" on her tablet, and I assumed she thought I was going to exchange $50. I had a $100 bill with me, and I thought I would give that to her. But as I searched through my pockets, I could only find smaller bills, which along with the other objects in my pocket, I began pilling on the table.

When the woman noticed that I had also laid a postcard on the table, she picked it up, looked at the picture of the large brown mosque on the front of the card, and asked me where I had bought the card. I told her I had just come from Lebanon, where I had been for two days. I remembered that I had been on another extremely complicated mission in Lebanon. The mission had gone well and I had been able to leave quickly. I told the woman I had just been "in and out" of Lebanon. I hoped that such would also be the case there in Egypt: that I would just stay a day or two and leave.

Now that the woman was looking at my post card, I could tell she seemed interested in me. And seeing her artistic ability, I was also interested in her. I thought perhaps while I was there in Egypt, I might get to know her. Perhaps we could even spend some time together. That would certainly make the stay more enjoyable.

I pulled out my billfold and opened it. There was the $100 bill. I extracted the bill and handed it to the woman. She took it and quickly disappeared around the corner, apparently to obtain my Egyptian money for me. I picked up the other bills which I had piled on the table and straightened them out to put back into my billfold instead of carrying them around in pockets.

I could not discuss sex, my Achilles' heel, with my father, since sexual discussions remained taboo. Perhaps for mysterious reasons to which I would never be made privy, sex was also my father's Achilles' heel.

Dream of: 28 February 1997 "Achilles' Heel"

My wife Carolina and I had just arrived in Paris. We were walking through the streets, still carrying our bags, trying to figure out where we were going to stay. It seemed like springtime and a carnival atmosphere permeated the air. People were walking through the streets past the elegant ancient buildings which surrounded us. Everyone seemed happy and I understood why Parisians would not feel the need to travel: they had so many good reasons to stay in Paris. There was so much to do and see – I felt extremely happy. I had longed for so long to be in Paris and now I was finally there; I was unsure I would ever leave.

We needed to find a place to stay. Just ahead of us rose a huge monolithic monument which seemed to be a famous landmark. I looked on the map of Paris which I was carrying and saw that the monument was called "Achilles Heel." I wondered what the French word for "heel" was, but I couldn't think of it.

My main concern was finding a place to stay. I didn't think I knew anyone in Paris; but then I remembered that there might be one person: John Cooper. I seemed to recall hearing that Cooper had moved to Paris, and I thought back over who he was. I recalled how I had met him and his friend Mark Upton back when I had been in high school in Portsmouth more than 25 years ago. They had attended a small high school in the neighboring town of New Boston. Cooper and Upton had been gay and had been a couple while they had been in high school. They both had been quite intelligent, and when they had finally gone their separate ways, Upton had moved to Manhattan and Cooper to another big city. I also recalled how Upton had finally died in Manhattan of AIDS. I wondered how his death had affected his mother – a working woman who had doted on him and put him through college. But my real question was whether Cooper had moved to Paris. I couldn't quite remember; I finally decided that finding him would probably be too difficult.

My attention was distracted anyway, for as Carolina and I had been walking along a park-like area near the Achilles monument, a wreck had occurred in the street right in front of us. A car had scrapped the back fender of a police car, and then run into another car. The policeman was already standing outside his car; I thought to myself that of all cars, I would least want to run into a police car. The driver of the car which had caused the accident was also standing there: an attractive brown-haired woman dressed in a fuzzy green sweater and pants. I stared at her with complete contempt. For some reason – without even knowing the woman – I had conceived an ardent dislike of her, and I hoped she would be severely punished for her recklessness.

***

Carolina and I had found a secluded vacant lot, surrounded by old buildings, where we had decided to camp out for the night. We had also been joined by my father and a woman with him, as well as another man and woman who were with my father. The four of them had also journeyed to Paris for a visit, and my father had even driven his car: a brand new dark-brown Cadillac.

I was busily trying to decide exactly where we would stay on the lot, which resembled a parking lot, covered with concrete, except for several cordoned-off areas where plants were growing. And precisely the plants were occupying my attention. In each green area I noticed one plant which I found particularly offensive. Each of the ugly weeds was about a meter tall, and when I touched one, I found that it was only barely rooted in the ground. Unable to resist, I jerked up one plant. I then jerked up a second one and threw both plants on the ground, but then I began to worry that someone might come and accuse me of destroying the plants. So I picked up both plants, carried them to another small area of plants farther away from where we were, and set them upright so it wasn't obvious that they had been up-rooted. Satisfied that now no one would know what I had done, I returned to the others.

Since my father wanted to go somewhere, I got into the car with him and his companions and he began driving down the road. Almost immediately either someone in the car or someone on the radio made a comment about how many homosexuals lived in Paris. This immediately set the stage for a conflict between my father and me. I said the large number of gays simply demonstrated what an enlightened artistic city Paris was. My father made a snide comment, and I retorted that he was just showing how prejudiced he was. The word "prejudice" reverberated in my mind, and I thought how my father had so many prejudices against so many kinds of people. His prejudices seemed downright dirty.

At the same time, my father began driving very erratically, actually banged into a parked car, and without stopping, continued on. It looked as if one of the front lights of the Cadillac had been knocked out. I was appalled that he would simply crash into someone's car and not stop.

Suddenly something more important came to mind: I realized we had driven off and left Carolina standing back at the vacant lot. I quickly asked my father if he were going to return for her, so she could go with us; he said he wasn't. I was immediately angry and told him to stop the car. He suddenly turned the wheel of the car, skidded around and hit another parked car with one of the large fins on the back of the car (the fin looked like the old Cadillac fins of the 1950s). When the Cadillac came to a stop, I jumped out.

I looked back up the street; we had already traveled several blocks through a seedy desolate area of the city. I had no choice but to head back; I took off at a trot. I hadn't run far, however, when I heard something behind me. My father was driving the Cadillac right up on the sidewalk, following me. His front lights were on – except one had been knocked out. One of the back lights was also out.

What had my attention was my father's voice: apparently he had a loud speaker hooked up in the car, and he was calling me every name he could think of in the angriest crudest voice he could muster. I specifically heard him call out "faggot" as well as many other names.

He was also gaining on me, and I worried that he might even try to run over me. Up to my left I saw a small wooded space and I thought I might run in there. But that place also looked dangerous: thugs might be hiding in the woods. It looked as if my best bet was just to keep running and try to dodge out of the way if my father drove too close.

Since my father only obliquely indicated that I was in his will (without giving any details), the contents of that document remained for me an unsolved mystery clouded by our tumultuous relationship.

Dream of: 21 March 1997 "Being Disowned"

My father had summoned me to come and see him. When I went, a woman whom I loved accompanied me. Around 30 years old, she was slender and almost as tall as myself. After the woman and arrived to see my father, my father's detestation of the woman soon became apparent. Obviously he didn't want me to date the woman. His attitude incensed me. I walked straight up to him, – he looked as if he were probably in his 40s – grabbed his face and began squeezing it so hard that it began to contort. At the same time I told him there was no way I was going to stop dating the woman.

My father was quite rich; I knew if I continued to date the woman, he would disown me. But I had already made my decision. When I finally released his face and walked back to the woman, I noticed my mother also standing there. She looked young, as if she were in her 40s.

I gave the woman a hug, then took her left hand in my right hand. My mother, the woman and I walked out of the room and onto the sidewalk of a city street. Stores were all around; we appeared to be in the downtown area of a small town. Just as we walked out the door, I heard my father holler, "Steven!"

I thought that he might be calling me back, that perhaps he had only been testing me when he had indicated that he didn't like the woman, but I didn't even turn around. I just held onto the woman's hand and we walked away. Even though I was now sure my father had only been testing me, and that he wanted to make up, I didn't turn around. The three of us just kept walking.

We continued down the street to the next corner, then turned right. Suddenly I realized my pet Dalmatian Picasso wasn't with us. Since Picasso had been with us earlier, I thought I must have left him behind with my father. Realizing the street was filled with traffic, and worried that Picasso might get run over, I almost started to panic. I didn't know what I would do if I lost him. I turned and headed back down the street, hollering, "Picasso! Picasso!" Another dog was in the street, but it wasn't Picasso. Soon, however, I saw Picasso coming across the street toward me. But he looked as if he were limping, and I wondered if he had been hit by a car. I ran toward him, trying to determine if he were injured. He clearly seemed to be having trouble walking, but I couldn't tell for sure.

It seemed that my father's influence over me was so strong, even his death would not put an end to his ghostly presence.

Dream of: 28 March 1997 "The Living Dead"

My father had died. I was taking his death much harder than I would have expected. I had returned to his home, the Gay Street House where I was sitting in the large downstairs middle room. I was almost overcome with grief; I knew that once I started crying, I would be unable to stop. The death had been so sudden and unexpected, I was having extreme difficulty accepting it. I had been talking with my father only a few days earlier, and it now seemed as if I would have liked to have said so much more to him. I had always known he had been a big part of my life, but now that he was gone, the enormity of his position in my life was becoming clearer.

Still, it wasn't all bad. I had lived much of my life in hopes of pleasing him, and now I would no longer have to do that. For example, I might now quit school, because it seemed I was only going to school because he wanted me to. I was in my last year of high school, and I only had a few more days to go. It seemed so ridiculous that I would still be in high school since I already had a law degree. I didn't see how a high school diploma could possibly help me now in any way. So quitting school was the first thing I would do.

Quite a few other people were also sitting in the living room with me. We were all seated in chairs around the perimeter of the room; I found it only slightly odd that my father was also sitting in one chair. Although he was dead and cold, he was still able to move and join in with the conversation. He didn't seem quite like himself, however, and it wasn't possible to communicate well with him. He would occasionally speak in a forced and stilted manner which made him difficult to understand.

He stood up and announced he was going for a walk. I also stood and stepped up to him. When he reached out his hand to me for a handshake, I was unsure I should take it, thinking how cold it would probably feel. Nevertheless I clutched his outstretched hand, only to find that far from being cold, it was much warmer than a normal hand.

With difficulty I finally concluded that the Biblical command to "honor thy father" applied to all fathers, even evil fathers.

Dream of: 23 April 1997 "Reconciliation"

I had contracted a debilitating disease which was draining my strength, killing me. I certainly would die and I only had a few more weeks to live. Although I was expiring, I also came to realize that during the last weeks of life, I would be endued with incredible miraculous powers. I wouldn't receive any elated pleasure in the use of the powers, I would simply be using the powers because I had to. Almost as soon as I realized I had the powers, I had a vision. I had never had a vision in my life, and as I saw this vision, I realized the ability to evoke visions was one of the new powers which I now possessed. The vision wasn't complicated: I simply envisioned a middle-aged Hispanic woman who I knew was in great danger. Although I had never seen the woman before, I recognized her: she was the mother of a friend of my mother.

Although my mother was in the room with me at the time of my vision, she of course didn't see it. When I tried to tell my mother what I had seen, she showed no interest in hearing about it.

I couldn't waste any time. I sensed that the woman in my vision was real, and that I must reach her immediately if I were going to save her from the danger which threatened her. When I picked up a telephone, an operator immediately came on the line. When I began talking to the operator and tried to describe the Hispanic woman whom I needed to reach, I realized how fantastic and unreal my story must seem. As I attempted to explain to the operator that I had seen a vision, I realized the operator probably thought I was just crazy.

Afterwards, I came to understand that since I was going to be so weak during the next few weeks before my death, I would need some people to help me so that I would be able to use my incredible powers. I was standing among a group of people, trying to select who my helpers would be. I noticed one woman standing in front of me, and after looking at her for only a few moments, I spoke to her, calling her by her name, "Caryl." I recalled that Caryl had been one of my classmates in high school. I had never known her well. Although she had been in my class, she had always dated older fellows and had been too pretty and aloof to pay any attention to me. I hadn't seen her in all the years since high school. Nevertheless, now feeling a strong sense of closeness to her, I pulled her into my arms and hugged her. Her face was covered with acne and she seemed terribly frail. I instantly knew she would become one of my assistants and help me  perform my miracles during the coming weeks.

I stood back from Caryl and began reflecting for a moment on my new powers and the coming miracles. It occurred to me that the powers which I now possessed were almost identical to those which Jesus Christ was supposed to have manifested when he had been alive, and that I would be performing miracles identical to those which Christ had performed. I immediately saw the irony of this. I had long assumed that the miracles attributed to Christ had been mere fabrications and that it was impossible for a man to have performed such miracles. Now that I myself had similar powers, however, I had to reconcile my mind to the possibility that Christ had indeed been able to perform miracles. Now that I had such powers, it was easier to see how Christ could have also mastered such powers. In fact, perhaps many men down through history had had the power to perform miracles.

Later I was sitting in the back seat of a car parked in a parking lot. My father, who had been driving the car, had stepped out and left me there alone. After only a few seconds, I realized the car was starting to roll forward and I jumped into the front seat behind the steering wheel. I unwisely pushed the gear shift on the steering column all the way to the left. I thought by doing so, I was shifting the car into park. To my chagrin, however, the car continued moving even faster and finally smashed into the car parked in front of our car. My car continued to ram the other car like a bulldozer, finally pushing the car into a couple other parked cars.

Suddenly my father returned and opened the driver's door next to me. As he slid into the driver's seat, I scooted over to the passenger side. I tried to explain that I had merely been trying to help and that I had been trying to prevent the car from going forward. I now realized that instead of shifting the car into park, I had actually shifted it into a forward gear, but I didn't think the accident had been my fault because the gears on this car differed from the normal gears of a car. And something on the steering column had blocked my view of the letters on the column, the letters which signified the gears. This was all too complicated to try to explain, and I finally resigned myself to being judged guilty of wrecking the cars.

Afterwards, my father and I were riding down the road in the car. He was driving and I was sitting in the front passenger seat. I was still thinking about my powers and the work I needed to do. Due to my affliction, however, I was becoming increasingly weak. By now it was difficult to even breathe and I knew I didn't have long to live. Nevertheless, I still had enormous powers, and I needed to use them. I was also troubled because I was running out of money, and I knew I would need some cash just to stay alive. I might be able to make some money by giving lectures, but I was too weak to arrange any lectures myself; I still needed someone to help me.

I was also wondering what my father thought about my dire illness. Declining to frailty and emaciation, I almost resembled someone afflicted with AIDS. I didn't have AIDS, but I was somewhat concerned my father might presume that I did. He might conclude that I had contracted the disease due to a lascivious lifestyle. But my mode of living had had nothing to do with my disease, and I hoped he understood that.

As I gazed out the window on my right, I could see a wide river flowing next to the road and on the far bank of the river, I could discern the tall buildings of a large city. I thought that the expansive river must be the Ohio and that the city must be Cincinnati, but still unsure, I weakly asked my father, "Where are we?"

Some churches were mixed in with the buildings in the city; just as I was looking at the churches, my father asked, "Do you see your church?"

I responded, "I don't have a church."

I could hardly speak, my breath was so short. I was having extreme difficulty breathing, and I realized I was much closer to death than I had thought. I also realized if I were going to die, one last thing was extremely important to me: I wanted my father and me to be completely at peace with each other. With my remaining strength, I exerted myself to lean over to my father, put my arms around him and hug him as tightly as I could. I wasn't accustomed to hugging him or anyone else, and generally I shied away from physical contact with people, but when I hugged my father this time, I felt a closeness to him such as I had rarely known. In a weak voice I said, "Dad, one thing important beyond all others – well maybe not all others" (I added the words "maybe not all others" because I thought there was something that had to do with God which was more important than this) "before I die I want to reconcile with you."

Paradoxically, to free myself from my father's ignorance of my artistic abilities, I needed to appreciate his rich wisdom, as when he wisely advised me to learn the piano when I was twelve years old, and I ignorantly rebelled against such instruction.

Dream of: 20 October 1997 "Piano Dreams"

My father owned a spacious old white frame house which stood on a corner in Columbus, Ohio, a few blocks from The Ohio State University. He was having the house repaired so he could rent out rooms to boarders. Even though the interior of the house was dilapidated and under repair, people - including myself - were already living there.

I had only recently moved in, and only now did I have my first chance to walk around the rooms and examine the place more minutely. I was impressed by the high quality of the original structure. Obviously the house had once been a mansion, and like so many mansions, over the years had been converted into a rooming house. Under the layers of years lay a remarkable structure. Of course much work would be necessary to restore the place to its original luster. In one room the walls were covered with a hideous green paint, sloppily applied, with drippings-tracks globbing the walls.

The hard-wood floors were particularly seductive. The floor in one room had already been sanded to reveal the blond-grained brilliance of the boards, but the floors in the other rooms were still plastered with years of muck. The base boards and wood trimming on the doors and windows were also mired under layers of paint. Yet through it all, I could detect the fabulous treasure which lay beneath the grime. I wondered if sanding all the floors and all the woodwork would eventually be possible. Could the baseboards at the bottom of the walls be sanded while still nailed to the walls, or would they need to be removed first?

Kneeling down on my knees to examine the floors of one room, I found the wood to be much finer than I had expected. The wood looked like high quality walnut which normally would only be used in expensive cabinets and furniture. I had never seen floors with such beautiful wood. I wondered if all the floors were covered with the same wood. If so, the house was far better constructed than I had imagined.

Walking over to one window and looking outside, I was also impressed by what I observed out there. Just beyond the window, recessed in the ground, was a concrete pool, only about a half meter deep. Obviously the pool had originally been intended for exotic fish. Of course now the pool was falling apart, but clearly it could also be repaired and restored to its original shine.

Workers were already busily employed throughout the house, and the people who already lived in the house were mingling from room to room. It soon became clear that all the people living in the house were artists of one sort or another. That pleased me immensely, for I thought of myself as an artist - a painter. I was sure I would appreciate living in the same house with a group of artists. I had the feeling that one of them played the piano and I could even imagine being in the same room all the day with the piano player. While I would paint, I would listen to the piano player practice. I didn't think hearing the same piece played over and over would be tedious; rather I thought I would learn to appreciate listening to the improvements in the playing.

I just hoped I would be able to stay. Since I had only just arrived, I felt my position was still tenuous. I began to realize that one man was more or less in charge of the house and I watched him directing people from room to room. At the same time, he was pushing a large object (on rollers) which looked somewhat like a piano, but also somewhat like a desk. The man seemed to be using the object, even as he pushed it and as he directed the others in their labors.

When the man finally sat down, I also took a seat in an armchair directly across from him, facing him. He wasn't more than 30 years old. He was thin and had curly black hair. Something Jewish about him. He somewhat resembled my old college philosophy professor, Rembert Glass.

Before I could speak to him, I noticed two small tigers standing right in front of me. They were each probably only a meter long and had a pure beige skin like American mountain lions, but I identified them as tigers. Without warning – apparently at a command from the man sitting across from me – the tigers leaped at me - but they didn't touch me. As I shrank together, they jumped up on the back of my chair for a moment, then jumped off. Yet a third tiger was roaming around the room. I concluded that all three tigers belonged to the man and that he had trained them.

I was apprehensive that the man would allow the tigers to roam around the house like that. The tigers clearly had all their teeth and claws, and obviously they could be extremely dangerous. Somewhat uncertain about the safety of the house, I stood up and slipped out of the room. Finally, however, I returned to the room and walked up to the man. I sat down next to him and began talking.

Now that I was close to him, I saw how unassuming he actually was. He seemed to accept my presence in the house and he had no problem with my being there. I wanted to impress upon him my capacity to fit into a community of artists because I was also an artist. Unfortunately, however, I was now unsure of exactly what kind of artist I was. I wanted to be considered a writer, but I had never published anything, even though I had hopes that I would someday publish books of dreams. I blurted, "I've been writing dreams for 20 years."

I realized, however, that simply writing dreams didn't make me an artist, so I tried to explain to the man what I had in mind. I explained that even though I hadn't published anything, I was getting closer. I explained that my plan was to write books of dreams with each book concentrating on one topic. Because I had written so many dreams on my computer, I could riffle through the dreams and pick out those in which a certain word appeared. Wanting to give the fellow an example, I thought I would pick out a person who frequently appeared in my dreams and explain how I could write a book of dreams about that person. Instead of picking a person, however, I noticed a piano in the room and I explained to the man that I could go back through my dreams and pick out all the dreams in which a piano had appeared. I had written so many dreams, I could actually write a book of piano dreams.

The fellow seemed a bit bewildered by what I was saying. Obviously he had never heard of, or ever even contemplated, such a thing. I myself knew that the dream-book idea was rather strange, and that no one had ever done before what I was proposing, but I thought that such a book could be written, and that writing such books was my claim to art.

I stood up and began walking around again. Although I had been seeking the approval of the man in order to live in the house, it occurred to me I might not even need his approval. Since my father owned the house, I might just buy the house from my father. I figured the house would probably cost around $300,000 – just about what I had in assets. It might be best for me to simply try to buy the house. However, I was still not completely convinced I wanted to buy the house and live in it.

I walked outside and decided to get a better view of the neighborhood. To see better, I began floating in the liberated air, up to about as high as the third floor of the house, and then I floated down the quiet street. Many mansions were in this neighborhood, although most were also in need of repair. Some mansions had tall white columns on their porches. I thought the houses, especially the ones with columns, must have been extremely difficult to build.

When I floated back to my father's house, I was surprised to see the house was actually about 10 stories tall. The upper stories looked more like an ordinary apartment building, and I figured ordinary boarders, not artists, lived up there. If I owned the house, I would allow ordinary boarders to stay there, and I would collect rent from them.

A young girl hollered out to me that I had some mail. When I heard the girl I realized that I didn't like people knowing things like that – like when I had mail. That would be another problem with living with so many people – I wouldn't have as much privacy.

Finally, I saw my wife Carolina sitting outside in front of the house. I had forgotten she was with me. She looked a little lonely and uncertain. Still hovering above her, up in the air, I hollered down, "Are you happy yet?"

At least since July 18, 1962, when my seven year-old brother Adolph and I leapt into the swollen muddy current of Symmes Creek, and he was swept bobbing to his suffocating death, while I struggled back to the safety of the shore, I lived in confusion whether I should attempt to save my father from his own impetuous ignorance, or whether I should concentrate on saving myself, as I had done on that fateful day so long ago.

Dream of: 24 October 1997 "Lifesaver"

My father and I were standing on an overlook of the Ohio River at Portsmouth. Pointing below us, I indicated a strip of land which ran parallel to the edge of the river. I thought I had previously walked along the strip, which harbored pleasant wooded trails leading down to the shore of the river. I suggested to my father that he and I descend to the area of the strip and walk across it until we reached the shore of the river. He agreed and we descended.

When we reached the strip of land which we had been viewing from above, we found it far different from what I had imagined. Instead of finding a pleasant forest with trails, we soon found ourselves in the middle of a dense tropical jungle, almost impenetrable, with no trails in sight. Uncertain which way to proceed, I noticed an enormous tree in front of me, with boughs of waxy green leaves hanging to the ground. I led my father to the tree and we pushed our way through the drooping leaves until we reached a tent-like area underneath the tree which formed a canopy above us.

At least the way was passable in that area, and we now seemed to be treading in the right direction. We passed on under the tree and emerged into an area still dense with vegetation, but at least penetrable. I was particularly struck by the many different types of fruit hanging in profusion from the trees. I knew fruit in tropical jungle regions tasted much sweeter than fruit from the northern latitudes, and I thought I might sample some. First I saw a bunch of yellow plantains and thought of trying those, but finally I decided on a soft round fruit, about the size of an apple, with a satiny pink skin. I peeled off part of the skin and took a bite. However I quickly spat out the fruit; it wasn't sweet at all, almost tasteless, and I realized it might even be unhealthy.

As we continued to plow through the vegetation, I suddenly saw a stream in front of us. The stream was perhaps ten meters across, with rapidly moving water. I had completely forgotten about this stream, although now that I saw it I remembered it. I knew that the stream ran parallel to the Ohio River, and that the stream must first be crossed in order to reach the Ohio River. However, I also knew there was no ford, and I thought we would have to turn back.

Then I was surprised to see that someone had employed large rocks – each rock about a meter wide – to make a stepping rock bridge across the stream. The stepping bridge was nicely built, except some of the huge rocks were a little too low, and water was washing over them. And in one spot was a gap where a rock was lacking, allowing the water to rush through like a surging rapid.

I surveyed the rock bridge, trying to judge whether we could pass over it. If we were careful, we would probably still be able to step on the rocks which had water flowing over them, and to jump over the space where the one rock was missing. Since I was barefoot, and my father was wearing shoes, I thought it would be safer if I went first, and I told my father to follow me. Ignoring me, however, my father impetuously jumped out on the first rock ahead of me. There was nothing I could do as he rushed ahead across the rocks, lost his balance and slipped, falling into the deep pool of water on the downstream side of the rock bridge.

I was aghast. The water was so clear, I could see his body sinking toward the bottom, five or six meters below the surface. I expected him to make some effort to pull himself back to the surface, but when he simply continued to sink, I dove head-first into the water after him. By the time I reached him, he had sunk to the bottom and had slid back under some large rocks at the bottom of the stream. I stuck my hand under the rocks, hoping to reach him, and suddenly I felt his hand. Still alive, he grabbed my hand. Strengthening my grasp, I pulled him from under the rock, and began towing him back toward the surface.

We broke through to the air. I had saved him! Thinking that he would have drowned if I hadn't acted seemed strange. I had never thought I would be in a situation where I would save my own father's life, but it had happened and I felt good about it.

Although I agreed with my father upon the importance of money, money was not the center of my focus, and although my artistic needs compelled me to revolt from him as the Americans had from the British, perhaps someday, after the destruction, our mutual interest in property would form the basis of an orderly and agreeable peace between us.

Dream of: 31 October 1997 "Fairy Tale"

I was riding in the front passenger seat of a car which my father was driving. We appeared to be not in the present, but in colonial America, before the Revolution. Tall ornate red-brick homes with sparkling white eaves lined the quiet street which we were traveling. An atmosphere of orderliness and cleanliness pervaded the pleasant town and its well-tended yards.

Our enjoyable tour had consumed much of the day. When we finally stopped to pick up a young woman who was my sister (not my actual sister), I stepped out of the car so that she could sit in the front seat. Before I boarded the back seat, however, something caught my eye: sitting next to the car was a trash can, empty except for two paint-by-number pictures lodged in the bottom of the can. Giving over to my affection for these folksy paintings, I reached into the trash can and pulled out both pictures.

The paintings were rectangles – perhaps 50 centimeters wide by 30 centimeters tall. I set both flat on top of the trash can and perused them, finally focusing all my attention on only one. The painting was at first difficult to grasp. It was the kind of picture which when viewed from one direction shows one scene, but when viewed from another direction depicts a completely different scene. This effect had been accomplished by the surface structure of the painting – hundreds of tiny pyramids had been painted a different color on each side. Thus different scenes were revealed when viewed from different angles.

The overall picture was in the shape of a circle. Within the circle were the faces of many different men, all changing, depending on my viewpoint. However, the only face I was able to recognize – the face right in the center – was the face of Jesus Christ.

I knew immediately that I wanted to keep the pictures. I picked up both and put them in the car with me, adding the two pictures to four other paint-by-number pictures lying on the back seat, pictures which I had found earlier in the day. That I had been finding so many paint-by-number paintings was surprising; I knew paint-by-number was no longer in vogue, but I thought perhaps children in this town had taken up the art. I didn't say anything to my father about the paintings – I knew he would frown on such trivial interests.

My father did see the pictures, however, and he became angry about them. It appeared that to my father the pictures symbolized the way I was wasting time, failing to accomplish anything with my life. He even began comparing me to my sister, describing her as a hard-working woman who was always trying to make money. He complained that a person could be measured by what he did with his day, what he produced in a single day. He was trying to say that my sister was working and producing something every day, whereas I was doing nothing with my time, as my idle gathering together of paintings demonstrated.

To a certain extent, I could agree with him, and I understood what he was saying. At the same time, however, I knew he didn't know what he was talking about – he didn't know what I was doing with my time, or what I was trying to accomplish. In the past I would have continued to listen to what he had to say, but things had changed – it seemed as if I had revolted and broken away from him. I told him I simply wasn't going to listen to him.

That infuriated him. He raved that my not listening basically summed up my problems. The more he talked, the angrier he became until finally he was virtually ranting.

Ignoring him, I sat back in the seat and pondered what I was actually doing with my life. A refrain from a song kept passing through the back of my mind, but I couldn't quite catch it. I tried to focus on it, because I thought I might be able to use the song in my work: writing fairy tales. That was my work. Every day I wrote fairy tales and sent them out to people. Of course I had never told my father I had become a writer of fairy tales – he would never understand such an occupation. How could I expect him to understand – even I had doubts about what I was doing. Nevertheless, I felt that writing fairy tales was what I should be doing, and I intended to continue to do so.

I was even thinking of a fairy tale at the moment, one which had just come to me. I could vividly see a scene just outside the city limits of the town. A group of revolutionary soldiers had gathered their cannons together and were about to launch a surprise attack upon the city. Without warning, some of the surrounding pretty homes would be blown to pieces; no matter that women and children were inside – they also would be blasted to bits.

Only the bare outline of the fairy tale was beginning to emerge; the entire fairy tale was still unclear. I wanted to incorporate the song I had been hearing into the fairy tale. The song would be an important part of the tale.

Even though I could not share my dreams with my father, as the unbreakable bond of language binds England and America, so did the common history of my father and me, especially the history of the Gallia County Farm, bind me to him.

Dream of: 15 December 1997 "Coincidence"

While my father and another man were receiving a haircut in a barber shop, I walked around the nearby area (which seemed to be in a mall), and strolled into a library, thinking I might pick up a book, perhaps a book by Charles Dickens, perhaps Little Dorrit. It seemed as if I had already seen a movie based on the book and now I thought I would like to actually read it.

Instead of the book, however, I saw some record albums and began flipping through them. If I were going to listen to some music, I would like something with poetic lyrics; so I went straight to the Bob Dylan albums, where I found several albums which I thought I might like to hear. It seemed as if I already owned copies of the same albums, but I had stored them somewhere and I didn't have access to them any more.

I was surprised to discover an album by Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan – I hadn't known they had ever collaborated. Examining the album more closely, I saw that it only contained a couple songs on each side. Although I thought I might like to listen to it, I was afraid it might be all instrumental, and I wanted something with lyrics.

Buying an album, however, presented a problem: listening to albums wouldn't be practical for me right now because I was living with my father and my mother in the upstairs of a house. Since we all lived so close together, playing music without disturbing anyone would be difficult. So finally I abandoned the whole idea and walked out of the place without any albums.

I continued my promenade through the mall-like area until I walked into a clothing store, where I picked up a short-sleeved light-blue button-down shirt and put it on. I walked out, and was still buttoning the shirt when I arrived back at the barber shop where my father and the other man were just coming out. I had been thinking of getting a haircut myself, but I realized that my father and the other man were ready to leave and that there was no time for another haircut. Besides, I hadn't realized how late it was. The barber looked at his watch and said it was ten to seven.

***

As my father, the other man and I headed by car to our destination, the Gallia County Farm, I realized the entire episode at the barber shop and the mall had been a dream, and as we rode along, I began recounting the dream to my father. It took me a moment to remember the identity of the other man in the barber shop in the dream, but finally I recalled that he had been my mother's father Liston. As we finally pulled up to the rear door of the Farmhouse, my father mentioned it was ten till seven. I told him that that was an amazing coincidence, because it had been exactly ten to seven in the dream when I had left the barber shop.

The deaths of my two brothers, one by drowning, one by a crippling disease, somehow seemed to damage the relationship between my father and me more than either of us was able to comprehend.

Dream of: 30 December 1997 "Paddle-Wheel"

My father was driving a recreational vehicle in which several members of my family and I were riding. As we pulled down toward the bank of the Ohio River, I told my father I had recently purchased a large paddle-wheel boat which should be docked at the area which we were approaching. When we pulled up on the bank and were able to look out over the river, however, no boat was anywhere in sight. Instead, we saw dozens of camp sights along both sides of the river. Apparently people were flocking in for some scheduled event.

I immediately became concerned about my paddle-wheel boat. I told my father I had paid $15,000 for the boat, and that I had nothing to show for it except the title, which I pulled out and showed to him. Since I hadn't actually taken possession of the boat, I became alarmed that I might have been swindled. I could hardly believe I could have been so stupid as to give someone the money for the boat without actually receiving the boat at the same time. I was uncertain what I would do.

My father, looking for a place to park, spotted a parking spot on the opposite shore. The river wasn't wide there, about the width of a creek. Nevertheless, I was amazed when my father simply drove the RV into the muddy water and began floating to the other side. We had no problems, but by the time we reached the opposite bank, we were no longer in the RV, but simply swimming in the water. A half dozen or so members of my family huddled around my father close to the shore. I heard him refer to two of the boys as "Charlie" and "David." I knew I was somehow related to the two, but the relationship was unclear. I only remembered that one was crippled in some way, but I couldn't remember the exact nature of the problem.

My struggle to escape my father's recurring anger at me only seemed to provoke more anger.

Dream of: 18 January 1998 "Struggle To Escape"

Late at night, I had returned to the Logan Street House. My father and my mother, living in the House, were asleep in the front bedroom, while my sister, also living in the House, was in the middle bedroom. I lay down on a couch in the living room, intending to sleep; but no sooner had I lain down, than I heard my sister turn on the television. I stood up, walked into my sister's room, and asked her to turn off the television. My sister, fully clothed and talking on the phone, refused to comply.

I walked out of my sister's room and entered my parents' room. By now they were awake, and I asked them if they would order my sister to turn off the television. I mentioned that it was 12:30 at night. When they indicated they wouldn't ask my sister to turn off the television, I turned and walked out of the room. Miffed, I decided I was simply going to leave. I walked to the front door and opened it. Just as I was about to walk out, I heard my parents getting out of bed, and I could tell my father was angry. My mother caught me just before I walked out and he asked me where I was going. I said, "I'll probably go down on Front Street," where I knew of an old warehouse in which I had previously stayed.

I walked outside and headed for my Toyota Corolla, which was parked in front of the House. Before I could reach the car, however, my father roared out of the House and overtook me at the curb. Extremely belligerent, he demanded to know where the "stuff" was. I was uncertain what he meant, but I thought he might be referring to some beer. Earlier in the evening, while I had been away from the House, I had drunk a six-pack of beer, and I still had the smell of beer on my breath. But I didn't have any more beer left, so I didn't have any "stuff" which I could give him.

I was having trouble seeing my father because my hair was long, hanging below my eyes, blocking my vision. I feared my inability to see might become a problem: if my father hit me, I might not be able to see to defend myself. My fears were soon realized because when I didn't respond, my father attacked me and started a fight. After a short struggle, despite the impediment of my long hair, I knocked him down and screamed at him that he was a big bully. My mother and my sister walked out of the House and watched us. As my father lay on his back in front of me, I thought of pounding him in the face a couple times, but I refrained. I didn't want to fight – I just wanted to get away from him.

I turned away and headed toward the corner of the street, but I had difficulty walking, and by the time I reached the corner, I was crawling on my hands and knees. Just as I had reached the corner, I heard something behind me and saw that my father had walked up behind me and was pointing a gun at me. As I looked at him, he said, "Stevie, you're dead."

Although he seemed a little shaky and unsure of his aim, he pointed the gun right at me. I looked back at my mother and sister, hoping one of them might stop him from shooting me. My mother's mother Leacy was also standing nearby – I thought maybe she could stop my father. If I could just crawl around the corner, I might be able to escape. But my limbs felt so heavy, I could barely move.

The field of beauty became our unspoken battlefield, as my obsession with creating a work of beauty clashed with my father's compulsion to exploit beauty for himself.

Dream of: 05 March 1998 "No Aesthetics"

Early in the morning, I stepped out the side door of the House in New Boston and looked around me at the hilltop adorned with so many trees. With my father, my mother and my sister, I had spent the night in the House for the first time in many years.

Two other houses (owned by other families) were also atop this same hill. As I now stood beside our House, I could look a little ways down the road and see one of the other houses; the family who lived in the house was sitting beside it. I was surprised to see that an entire wall of the house was missing, so I could look straight inside. Since I had never been in the house, I was curious as to what it looked like inside. The house appeared to consist of one single large windowless room. Three beds sat at the back of the room, and other furniture sat around the rest of the room.

My mother had also stepped out of our House and was standing beside me. She looked young (not more than 40 years old). She seemed chipper and happy, and yelled "Hello" down to the neighbors sitting outside their house. My mother's friendliness toward the neighbors was uncharacteristic because my family had maintained a long feud with the neighbors; we weren't in the habit of talking with them. The neighbors reacted to my mother's greeting as might have been expected – they picked up their chairs and walked back inside their house without saying anything. An automatic door (like a large garage door) began lowering from the ceiling of the neighbor's house to close off the wall. That was the end of our contact with the neighbors.

The four of us – my father, my mother, my sister and I – began walking around among the large trees in front of our House. We all soon noticed that the tranquility of the area was being disturbed by a large truck or bulldozer grinding up the front road which led to the House. Nobody seemed to know what the machine could be. But slowly, I began to have an idea what it was. The details were beginning to return to me. I now recalled that my father had sold all the trees on the hill to a timber company, and that the time had probably arrived for the trees to be cut.

As a result of my father's feud with the neighbors, he had lost his easement rights to use the back road (the best road) to the top of the hill. As a result, over the years, my father had been unable to use the property as he would have liked. Although my father owned almost all the property on the hill (the neighbor's only owned the small lot on which their house was sitting), he had been blocked by his inability to use the back road. Only recently had he decided he would simply sell off the timber on the entire 200 acres. The neighbors – who had had the benefit of living in my father's forest for so long – would wake up one morning and find all the beautiful trees being cut down. It appeared that this was the morning. My suspicions were soon confirmed. The machine which had been lumbering up the hill finally reached the top where we were. It was a large tree-cutting machine, the kind which had two enormous pincher-type blades which would clamp together and cut the big trees. The machine already held one large tree in its maul which it had cut down.

Only now did my sister begin to realize what was happening. Although my father had told me of his selling the timber, he had kept the sale a secret from everyone else. My sister was now almost in a state of shock as she thought about what was going to happen. She apparently had thought she would one day own part of this property, and that she would be able to enjoy the beautiful trees. She even sputtered, "God told me...", and she proceeded to say that God had told her she would someday own this property and be able to enjoy these trees. I thought about how I had thought God had told me things in the past, and those things hadn't panned out. It seemed unfair to receive a promise from God, and then see the promise broken. But it had happened to me before, so I could understand how it could happen to my sister. I flippantly told my sister that God must have been wrong, even though the idea of God's being wrong didn't make any sense to me.

However, I began to empathize with my sister's feelings. Up until now, I had simply accepted that my father would cut down the trees, and I had said nothing in protest. But suddenly the gravity and finality of what he was doing struck home. All the beautiful trees around us would be chopped down, leaving nothing but the bare and bleak stumps to populate the hill. How could my father be so unappreciative of nature? Suddenly feeling angry, I turned to my father and blasted, "I can't believe it. You're going to destroy it. You have no aesthetics."

My search to discover and express myself in written form repeatedly led to understanding my father and his influence over me.

Dream of: 16 March 1998 "Ancestors"

While visiting a small town, my father and I had stopped in front of a store with a large vertical sign in front which read, "Collier's." We walked into the store, which appeared to be a somewhat disorganized hardware store. After glancing around, I stepped up to the front glass counter and looked inside it. Lying before me, inside the glass, were several old books which I quickly identified as diaries. I was immediately interested in one diary written by a "Dick Collier"; I asked the woman behind the counter if I could see it.

When the woman handed me the diary, I quickly leafed through it and was amazed by what I saw. The book turned out to be more of a scrap book than a diary, with sparse writing, but many pieces of old papers and objects stuck inside. It soon became clear that Dick Collier had been a soldier during World War I, and that he had kept many mementos of his life during that time. He had also recorded rather detailed information concerning his family tree, listing his family members and his ancestors. I was particularly interested in two old black-and-white pictures of elderly women who had been his ancestors.

All the books were for sale and the one on Dick Collier was priced at $150.00. The price seemed steep to me – should I buy it? This book might possibly give me vital information about my family tree. My knowledge of my ancestors only stretched back to my great-great-grandmother, Kate Collier. Kate Collier hadn't been married when she had given birth to my great-grandfather – thus my great-grandfather had been given his mother's name, "Collier." My father and I had always wanted to know more about Kate's parents, but had been unable to uncover any information. However, if I now bought this book I might be able to discover new information. If I were to scour the book, I might learn that Kate had been related to Dick Collier, and if that were the case, I might be able to learn who Kate's parents had been. One woman in the black-and-white photos might even turn out to be one of Kate's parents.

My father obviously thought $150.00 was too much to pay for the book; but I thought the pictures alone were worth that much. I knew that my father had an old photo of Kate and that he certainly wouldn't take $150.00 for it. So clearly if the two women in the photos in the diary turned out to be my ancestors, those pictures would be very valuable to us. I decided to buy the book.

I also wanted to buy another smaller book, for only $10.00, which seemed of interest to me. I told the woman behind the counter I would take both books and she rang them up for me on her cash register. She put the two books in a bag and told me the cost would be $98.00. I immediately thought she had made a mistake. Or perhaps I had received a discount which I had been unaware of. At any rate, I didn't say anything to correct the woman, and I simply handed her the money.

I was confident I had made the right decision by buying the book. When we were ready to leave, I told my father we would need to make copies of everything in the book so we wouldn't be handling the originals and possibly damaging them. I was anxious to get started making the copies and examining all the information in the books as soon as possible.

Despite all our differences, the 388-acre Gallia County Farm continued to be the tangible link between us as I continued to hope that I would one day inherit the Farm.

Dream of: 15 May 1998 "New Land"

My father was slowly driving me over one of the back roads of the Gallia County Farm. As we passed by the tall trees which lined both sides of the narrow gravel road, I noticed something blue tucked back in the forest. When we were closer to the blue object, I saw it was a spacious tent which someone had set up back there in that isolated area. Since no one was stirring around the tent, we simply continued past the tent without stopping.

Although we were still on the Farm, and although I thought I knew every detail about the Farm, the area in which we were driving seemed unfamiliar. What had previously been a dirt back road was now paved. The encroaching brush and bushes along the sides had been neatly trimmed back. A field on our right which I recalled being overgrown with weeds had been plowed.

When we reached an old shed on the left side of the road, I recalled the shed as being dilapidated and derelict; but now it was standing erect with fresh side boards. I studied the wood siding – how would I describe its color to someone? I might use the word "blonde", but I thought "blonde" was basically a synonym for "yellow", and the wood wasn't really yellow; it was more of a cream-colored brown.

After my father had stopped the car and we had both stepped out, he explained that a man who lived in a house across the street had worked on the shed. My father had allowed the man to cut down a large tree back in the woods to use on the siding. Across the street stood the large house about which my father was speaking. This was all quite a surprise to me, because I had been unaware any houses were back there in the woods. But far more surprising was a huge brick high school which also sat across the street. I had had no idea a school was back there. I wondered if I could I walk through the school and see what it was like inside. course I would be so much older than the students, I would probably not have much to say to them. Nevertheless, the idea of fresh minds right there on the Farm was tantalizing.

My father continued talking, telling me about his recent land acquisitions near the Farm. I was already aware he had bought a neighboring farm on one side of his Farm, but I was now surprised to hear that he had bought yet another farm on the other side. Together the two new farms totaled 500 acres. If I added those to the 384 acres of our Farm, my father now owed almost 900 acres of land.

That was an amazing amount of property. Obviously my father couldn't handle so much land himself, and just as obviously he wanted me to move back there and help him with it. It looked as if it were time to finally comply. I was uncertain exactly what we could do with all the land, but surely we could find some way to productively manage it. My biggest concern was my wife Carolina. I was uncertain she would want to move out there into the wilderness; but I thought I might be able to convince her.

Given the perfidious aspects of my father's nature, I had to be careful that my desire to inherit a little land did not burry me in a muddy grave.

Dream of: 22 November 1998 "Quicksand"

My father and I had been driving around Portsmouth and visiting different people . Finally we had gotten out of the car and begun talking to a blonde woman (probably in her late 20s). During the conversation, the woman suddenly asked me what it was like to be a homosexual. When I realized she was talking to me, and that she thought I was a homosexual, I was at first flabbergasted. But suddenly it occurred to me that my father might have previously told her I was gay. I turned to her and asked her if my suspicion were true. She now realized she had made a blunder, and she looked away without answering. I confronted my father and asked him if he had said this about me. He likewise looked away and declined to answer. But his silence told me everything. Obviously he had told the woman I was gay.

Angry, I turned, walked over to the car and boarded. My pet Dalmatians Picasso and Chaucer were in the car and together we waited for my father to return and begin driving the car. Once he was inside, he tried to be friendly, as if nothing had happened; but I had decided I wasn't going to speak to him. When he tried to engage me in conversation, I simply sat silent and wouldn't respond.

Continuing to be as friendly as he could, he told me he was going to show me an area in town where he had raised a garden. When he reached the spot, he drove onto what looked like a dirt lot with people standing around at different places, apparently tending their gardens. I immediately perceived a danger. It was clear to me that there had recently been a heavy rain, and what looked like firm ground was actually mud which resembled quicksand.

My father, however, seemed not to realize the danger and proceeded right through the middle of the field. In a matter of seconds we passed onto a pool of muddy brown quicksand and began sinking. The car turned upright so the rear sank first into the brown slime. The windows were all rolled up and I could see the brown mud all around us. I tried to keep from panicking, but I was terribly frightened. I could just imagine drowning in the oozing muck.

 I was also concerned about my dogs, who were definitely becoming frightened and agitated. My plan was to wait until the car was completely submerged, then slowly open the windows. I thought if I let the mud seep in slowly, I would be able to grab my dogs and swim up to the surface. But I was afraid we would be so far down, we wouldn't be able to make it.

Amazingly, however, the car acted as if it were in water instead of in mud. Like a bobber, the car went completely under the mud, then bobbed back up clear out of the mud and landed on the bank. Almost miraculously we had been saved.

I hoped my father now realized how dangerous the area was, and I hoped he would be more careful. But I immediately saw that once again he was driving too close to a pit of quicksand. I broke my silence and shouted at him to be careful, but he didn't seem to understand, and he paid me no mind. Realizing the danger, with my dogs in tow, I jumped out of the car.

 My father also seemed to realize the danger and also stepped from the car. Almost immediately the car (which now looked like a boat) splashed into a pool of blue water and turned upside down. Two black oars which had been lying in the boat floated on the water. I thought the boat was going to sink, until a helpful man standing on the shore was somehow able to snag the boat and pull it up on the shore. The man also began trying to retrieve the black oars floating on the water.

Even if my father did not want me to be honest with him about my feelings toward him, I needed to clarify those confused feelings to myself in order to know what I really felt about him.

Dream of: 20 April 1999 "Old Resentment"

My wife Carolina and I were at home in a large ranch-style house which we owned outright. We were in the living room with my father and several other people who had stopped by to visit. As we all lolled around, my pet Dalmatian Chaucer (also in the living room with us), became sick, and began retching as if he were going to vomit. As Carolina tried to help Chaucer, I looked for a paper to put in front of him so he wouldn't throw up on the floor. When I found a paper and turned back toward Chaucer, I noticed a large pile of dark brown feces right in the middle of the floor.

My father, meanwhile, upset because Chaucer was in the house, was trying to kick him and force him out of the room. I became extremely angry with my father that he was acting that way toward Chaucer, and I interjected myself between them so I could protect Chaucer. I made as if I were also trying to kick Chaucer, but I was only acting and I had no intention of actually kicking him. At the same time I began screaming at my father, and realizing the other people in the room were watching me, I hollered out that he was treating Chaucer the same way he used to treat me when I had been a small child. I exclaimed that when I had been four or five years old, my father used to kick me and beat me. All these years, since the time of my beatings, I had lived with this resentment for my father. Now, this was the final straw, that he was trying to treat my dog the same way he had treated me when I had been small. Finally, in anger I walked up to my father and called him a "fat pig."

Although my father rarely mentioned his will (and never with explicit details), the story of my relationship with him seemed ever more to focus on the contents of that mysterious document.

Dream of: 02 May 1999 "The Will"

My father and several other members of my family were gathered in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse. After I had talked with my father for awhile, I became uneasy with the way he was acting, and I began to suspect he might have cut me out of his will. I finally asked him about the will, and he meekly began telling me what property he had left to my sister – clearly he had left his principal properties to her. But I most wanted to know what he had decided to do with the Farm. Apprehensive, I asked him, and he told me he had left the Farm to my sister.

Just then my sister walked into the room. I immediately told her that our father was leaving everything to her, and that I was being left nothing. She was clearly pleased by the news and she didn't try to hide her happiness. I, on the other hand, was devastated. I knew my father's estate was worth approximately two million dollars, and I kept repeating to my sister, "Two million dollars. Two million dollars." I simply couldn't believe my sister would have two million dollars and I would be left with nothing.

I turned to my father and asked him how he could have done such a thing. I pointed out that he had long indicated that I would be included in his will. I also mentioned the only thing he ever talked about with me was money. I didn't understand how he could have led me to believe all these years that I would be in his will.

I saw no choice but to leave and never come back. Obviously my father didn't care anything about me, and I didn't want to be around people who didn't love me. My mother was also in the room. I thought at least she still loved me and I would continue to see her. But maybe even she could end up cutting me out of her will. I didn't think she would do such a thing. If she did, I would know she also didn't care about me, and I might even have to stop seeing her. I hoped such a thing wouldn't happen.

Although sharing with my father my passion for writing proved unfruitful, passionate writers had pointed the way to share my tears with the world.

Dream of: 29 June 1999 "Unshared Feelings"

While visiting the Gay Street House, I was surprised to discover a law office had been set up on the ground floor. A young lawyer (probably in his late 20s) was in charge of the office, and working for him was an attractive female lawyer (about the same age). The offices were well-arranged, impressively highlighted by the resplendent hardwood floors. I seemed to have some memory of somehow being connected with these lawyers, and I found a desk in the room on the Eighth Street side which I seemed to remember as belonging to me. Apparently if I wanted to practice law, all was ready and waiting for me, and I simply needed to sit down and begin. I even overheard the lawyer-in-charge talking to someone on a phone, explaining how I could work as competently as anyone in a large law firm. I was definitely tempted, especially since the female lawyer was so enticing.

As I looked outside the windows toward Eighth Street, I noticed several dogs running loose on the sidewalks and in the street. Fearing one might get hit by a car, I stepped out to see what was going on and saw perhaps 20 dogs running around. I walked down the steps to the sidewalk, but quickly turned around and raced back up the steps when I realized a black bear was among the dogs. Back on the porch, however, when I saw that I had made a mistake, and that the bear was simply a large dog, I walked back down to the dogs.

Although a couple people were with the dogs, the people had clearly lost control of the dogs. Two dogs began fighting, and soon a third dog jumped in. All three dogs were holding onto each other with their teeth dug in, possibly causing serious injury. I ran up to the dogs, thinking we might be able to grab their rear legs and hold the legs off the ground. I had read that this was a good method to break up a dog fight. Just as I reached them, however, all the dogs broke up, and stepped back from each other. One dog even walked up to me. He was dark brown, burly and low-built.

As the owners attempted to round up the dogs, a thin man (probably in his late 50s) walked up to me and began talking. He pointed up to the second story of the House at some yellow paint which had been painted over a section of the white walls and trim. He said he had done the painting. I thought the paint job was ghastly, but I didn't say so to him. After all, I reflected, my father had sold the House, and we no longer had any say about what happened to it.

I was sad that my father no longer owned the Gay Street House. It would have been interesting to completely restore the House and modernize it. I could even imagine adding a continually flowing fountain to the front yard, and installing a burglar alarm system throughout the entire House.

I turned away from the man and walked back inside, into the large middle room on the Gay Street side, and sat down on a couch. My father was sitting in a chair just to my right. When I mentioned that someone had painted the yellow on the House, he said he already knew about that, and he continued to explain that the man with whom I had spoken was a renter who lived in one of the upstairs room. My father said the man had used the yellow paint because the paint was manufactured by a corporation in which the man had bought a large amount of stock. My father added that the stock value had gone down and that the man had "lost a fortune."

As we sat, I picked up a thick hard-bound dictionary, and began looking up a word which I had recently come across in either Dante's Divine Comedy or Goethe's Faust. As soon as I had found the word and read its meaning, a flood of emotion swept over me. I could feel tears forming in my eyes, and I raised my right hand in front of my face so my father wouldn't see the tears.

I had suddenly realized just how important Dante and Goethe had become to me. Although the Divine Comedy and Faust were difficult to understand, they were no longer impenetrable. In fact, I now understood I couldn't have comprehended them before now, because I had needed so much preparation to grasp them. Now these works were more than just books to me, they were actually somehow part of me. What stunned me, however, was the realization that I also must write something. I clearly shared something with Dante and Goethe, inasmuch as like they, I also must write a meritorious book.

The intense joy of this emotional revelation was somewhat offset by the realization that my father would never be able to share my feelings. He would never read Dante or Goethe, and if he did, he wouldn't have the background to understand them. He would never understand what I was feeling, and my role in life. He would also probably not understand why all this made tears come to my eyes. I was saddened that I couldn't share this with him, but at the same time, I was beginning to feel as if I didn't need to hide my tears. If he didn't understand the tears, perhaps he could still at least accept them.

Bound to my father by our common interest in the Gallia County Farm, I would have liked to have shared with him an appreciation of the beauty of the natural world which surrounded us, and I became annoyed and dismayed by his unwillingness to appreciate the intricate beauty of nature.

Dream of: 18 July 1999 "Dinosaur"

I was in one of the upstairs rooms of the Gallia County Farmhouse (where I had been living), looking at a small table which I owned. I had previously placed the table (which had gold-colored metal legs and a plate glass top) in storage; but someone had carried the table upstairs there for me, and now I wondered where I could place it. Maybe I could set it near one of the windows, where people could sit and look outside. But it didn't look as if the table would fit well there. Maybe I could set it outside on the upstairs deck; I walked toward the upstairs door to see how the table would look out on the deck.

Just as I reached the door, however, I looked outside, and saw something moving in the large field beside the House. Looking more intently, I saw the object was a black tire being blown through the field by the wind. I was surprised the wind would be so strong as to move a tire.

Something else was standing in the field, something gray with white specks. When the object began moving, it looked like a large lizard-like creature with legs. Finally I concluded the animal was actually some kind of dinosaur.

Since I knew my father and another man were also upstairs in the next room, I hollered for my father to hurry and come look. I myself stepped out onto the upstairs deck to get a closer look. The animal was enormous – it had huge flat plates sticking out from its back (it looked like a stegosaurus, but I confusedly thought it was a brontosaurus). It was rapidly headed toward a wooded area; I knew it was going to disappear and that my father wouldn't see it if he didn't come immediately. I ran back into the house and screamed to my father, "There's a brontosaurs out back! He's almost gone! Damn it, where are you!"

I ran back out and looked toward the woods, which the animal had almost reached. Several other animals were also near the woods, including a couple lions, as if from a scene out of Africa. Quite an amazing sight. I was most concerned that the dinosaur, which had almost reached the wooded area, would disappear before my father came. I desperately wanted him to see this fantastic sight.

While still alive my father had bequeathed his anger to me, like an evil curse, and I was tormented by the fire of that anger.

Dream of: 23 October 1999 "The Chicken House"

My father and I were standing in the old chicken house, which used to stand at the bottom of the hill, below the Gallia County Farmhouse. I was quite upset with him. I reflected that I was now 27 years old and that I had a number of complaints concerning the way I had been brought up. Specifically, I was angry about the lack of attention my father had afforded me when I had been growing up. I stood right in front of him, close to his face, and bitterly complained, "You never talked to me about religion! You never talked to me about the Bible!"

I backed off and began striding back and forth in the narrow dingy chicken shed, muttering, "You never asked me about what I was studying in school, or my schoolwork. Never once did you help me with my homework."

I told him that he and I used to drive back and forth from the Farm to the little school in Centerville everyday, when he had been a teacher there, and he had never once asked me about these things. I explained that while I had been growing up, I had thought his lack of interest in me had been normal. Only when I had grown to an adult had I realized what had happened. Just now, at the age of 27, was I finally beginning to realize how little – practically nothing – my father had done with me when I had been growing up.

How differently I could have developed if my father had simply taken some interest in me. I might even have become interested in sports, such as basketball, but there had never been any interest by my father in anything which I was doing. Now I was very angry about it.

Only slowly did I appreciate that the image of my father which I carved in my mind would be evidence of the nature of my father's soul.

Dream of: 30 June 2000 "Mayan Baptism"

My father, who looked exactly like Peter Fonda (about 30 years old) was a minister in a Mayan temple. He and I, along with other people who had gathered around us, were standing in an open section of the huge temple where a pool of blue water lay in front of us. In the middle of the pool stood a stone pyramid, only about two meters high.

Two other people and I had journeyed there to be baptized by my father in the pool of water. The thought of being baptized was a bit alarming, especially since I didn't even know exactly what was entailed. To a large extent I was being baptized to please my father, since I knew he had long wanted me to be baptized. For myself, however, I was unsure I was making the right decision, and I felt utterly confused. I didn't even know what being baptized meant. I thought it had something to do with giving myself to God – but I wasn't even sure of that. I fretted that some questions might have to be answered as part of the rite, and that I wouldn't know how to answer the questions. The pyramid out in the middle of the water also concerned me. I had the feeling that during the baptism I would also have to place my body against the pyramid. This image raised vague memories of human sacrifice.

I needed time to think, and while no one was paying attention to me, I slipped off into another section of the temple and began walking around. I soon encountered a girl working on a dilapidated section of the temple which was constructed of smooth gray rocks. Some rocks had come loose, and the girl had gathered the loose rocks together to discard them. I looked at the pile of rocks and picked up one to examine.

The rock fascinated me. This temple was ancient. Throwing the rocks away seemed ridiculous. These rocks were  obviously valuable and I would like to have them. I became even more excited about obtaining the rocks when I found one with a face carved on it. Finally, in the pile, I found a statue, about 30 centimeters tall. It was beautiful – intricately carved from the gray rock. The statue appeared to be of a person carrying a globe in his outstretched hands. The globe was hollow and the statue closely resembled an Emmy statuette, except that this one was carved out of rock. I wanted it. I felt sure my father, who had power there in the temple, would let me have the rocks and the statue.

The girl also showed me a small child's wagon, with colorfully painted sides. She said it was also going to be thrown away. Obviously it was ancient and obviously it was also extremely valuable. I wanted it also.

Ultimately, I looked to the sentimental relationship between my father and me for the inspirational power to portray his image, relying less and less on his material support.

Dream of: 30 July 2000 "Melted Ballerina"

I was riding in the front passenger seat of a car which my father was driving along route 52, along the Ohio River, in the area where New Boston and Sciotoville meet. Unexpectedly, he turned off the highway and began driving up a dirt road ascending one of the high hills which lined the river in that area. I hadn't realized that road was there, and I was surprised when we emerged on top of the hill in a lush green pasture from which we could look out over the impressive river valley below. I was even more surprised when we continued driving and came upon a fair there atop the hill. All the while my father had been explaining exactly how the road wound up the hill and which direction to turn at intersections to reach this fair. Once we had reached the fair, however, I was more interested in getting out of the car and walking around than listening to my father. So when he parked the car, I jumped out and began strolling through the pulsating fair.

While I had been with my father, my thoughts had been somewhat preoccupied with the knowledge that my father was running for president of the United States, and had only recently picked Dick Cheney to be his candidate for vice president. I didn't know Cheney well and I had only spoken to him once or twice. I thought it would be beneficial if Cheney and I would get to know each other better. Thus, when I suddenly ran into Cheney at the fair, I saw our chance-encounter as an opportunity. He was just about to go through a door, which I opened for him. As I did so, I said, "Mr. Cheney." I had pronounced "Cheney" with a hard "ch", as I thought was proper. But he responded, "That's a good name but I like Cheney better", pronouncing "Cheney" with a soft "ch" so that it sounded like "Sheney." I was a bit taken aback. I wanted to respond, to continue the conversation, but before I could spit out another word, Cheney had ducked into a room and shut the door behind him.

Somewhat confused, I made my way back to the car, where I found my father waiting. I boarded and he drove off. I told him that I had run into Cheney, and that I was unsure what to think of the man. Cheney had seemed to me to be a rather dour man with no special interest. My father told me Cheney did have some interests. For example, Cheney liked to help his daughter enter little writing contests to win prizes. My father said the prizes were either "pens" or "pins." He only said the word once, but I couldn't tell which he was saying – "pens" or "pins" because I realized the two words sounded alike.

My father told me he had something for me which he had bought at the fair. He pulled out a small case and handed it to me. I opened the case and pulled out a rather elaborate pen. The pen was metal, and the top eight centimeters of the pen were in the shape of a ballerina. The tip of the pen looked like a fountain pen, and when I slightly turned the tip, a musical tune floated out. The pen didn't look as if it were expensive, but it was quite pleasing, and since my father had given it to me, I immediately attached sentimental value to it. My father had a second identical pen which he had bought for himself.

Also in the case was a small bottle of some kind of liquid which I assumed was cleaning fluid. I hesitantly opened the bottle, apprehensive that if I used the liquid on the pen, some damage might result. But I was curious as to the purpose of the liquid, and I poured some onto the ballerina portion of the pen. Immediately before my astonished eyes the ballerina began to melt, quickly dissolving into nothing, leaving only the lower half of the pen intact. The ballerina portion had completely disappeared, even revealing the screw socket on the lower portion of the pen where the top half had been screwed in.

I was aghast. I had truly appreciated that my father had bought me the pen, and now I had immediately destroyed it. I didn't want him to now feel as if he should give me his remaining pen, but I wanted a replacement, and I resolved that I would return to the fair and buy me another one. A replacement could have the same sentimental value, especially if I bought it immediately.

In late 1999, having been Christa's companion for around fifteen years, at the age of 67, my father took up a new girlfriend, 18 years his junior, who moved into his life like a bulldozer and violently altered my father's relationship with the rest of the world.

Dream of: 03 October 2000 "Bulldozers And Shotguns"

I had gone to the Gallia County Farm to visit my father. As he and I sat in the large walled-in porch area which he had built on the side of the Farmhouse, I asked him where his girlfriend Lucille was and he said that she had gone to Los Angeles to take care of some business for him, but that she would only be away for one night. I noted that she seemed to be traveling quite a bit lately and staying away from him. She also seemed to be exerting more influence in his business.

As we talked, we looked out the large windows onto the road at the bottom of the hill, and noticed four vehicles containing road crews coming down the road. Two bulldozers were traveling behind two dump trucks. The bulldozers were traveling very fast - perhaps 30-40 miles per hour - and were pushing large white rocks out of their path. Suddenly the two bulldozers crashed into the two dump trucks causing terrible-looking damage.

I stood up, walked outside, and headed down the hill to the crash sight  where a couple injured men were lying on the road. Another man stepped up to a blond-haired injured men and began twisting his neck as if he were trying to break it. When I hollered at the neck-twister and told him to stop, he turned his extremely ugly face toward me and he picked up a shotgun.

I jumped into a ditch, then took off running toward the Farmhouse. When I heard the shotgun fire, I fell to my hands and knees and crawled through the mud until I passed over a little ridge. I could see my father looking out the window of the Farmhouse and I hollered up to him to fetch a gun and help me. I thought he might be upset about something and he might not want to help me - but I felt sure he would. If my father would only start shooting at the man, the problem should be solved.

On November 8, 2000, at the age of 68, my father married my new step-mother, a pudgy, black-haired, high-school educated Kentuckian, who quickly asserted her dominance over my father.

Dream of: 18 November 2000 "Cracked Jade"

My father was showing me the improvements he had made on the Gallia County Farm. I hadn't visited the Farm in several months, and I hadn't even talked lately with my father. Thus, I was surprised to see that so much change had taken place. As I stood on the back porch of the Farmhouse, I could see that the long barn at the bottom of the hill had been torn down. I wondered what had happened to all the old legal files which I had stored in the barn.  I would have to ask my father about that.

More intriguing, however, was the concrete road which could be seen circling the hill behind the House. It looked as if the road ran all the way around the hill, and probably stretched to the top of the hill on the back side. Clearly a concrete road would have cost a fortune to build. I wondered about the wisdom of such a project.

***

My father had taken me to the top of the hill behind the Farmhouse, where I was surprised to find he was constructing a large building, apparently a lodge. As we walked through the immense edifice, I wondered what my father intended to do with this building. Apparently the building would have a restaurant and perhaps even rooms where people could spend the night. I imagined my father thought people would come out there to party. Perhaps he would charge admission of $10 per person. But, who would come out there? Surely the people in surrounding Gallia county would not pay $10 apiece to visit this building. And would people come from far away? This building, obviously terribly expensive, seemed ill-advised, and I could foresee it one day sitting empty, with spider webs dangling from the ceilings. Perhaps the building could be converted into a school, if enough children lived in the area.

***

Back in the Farmhouse, my father continued to show me around, pointing out the improvements he was making to the Farmhouse. He had even bought an elegant piece of jade pottery with the figure of a person sculpted on the top. When I looked more closely at the face, however, I saw that it was cracked and had a nick on one cheek. My father had probably bought the piece on sale; he typically sacrificed quality for price. The men working on the house, for example, were clearly not of the highest quality. The dozen or so men seemed to have no specialized skills, but were simply general workers who could be hired cheaply. One looked as if he might have some Negro blood, but all the others were white. I reflected that my father ordinarily didn't hire blacks.

I sat down at a table. On the table lay a sheet of paper which showed my fathers expenses for the projects on the Farm. I had read so many corporate balance sheets while buying and selling stocks, I could easily read the sheet. I quickly saw that my father had spent about a half million so far on his projects. Clearly this was too much money, but at least he wasn't near bankruptcy, and he had no debt. So even though the projects seem to be money-losers, at least he was still solvent.

As I sat at the table, I noticed several photographs pinned to the wall in front of me. All the photos showed pictures of my father and my step-mother (whom he had recently married). The photos made the situation much clearer. My father wasn't undertaking the improvements for himself, but for my step-mother, to impress her. Now I understood.

As my role as my father's judge crystallized in my mind, draining the fruit of my soul onto the written page in defense of myself became ever more urgent.

Dream of: 25 November 2000 "Lost Spirituality"

I was sitting in the living room of the House in Patriot. About 30-40 people were in the House, including many of my relatives. My father walked in. Even though he and I hadn't been getting along well lately, I stood up and shook his hand. We sat back down for a while and talked about the "will" of my grandfather, who had basically left all his money to me and my sister. It seemed as if my father might have also been a beneficiary under the will.

My father wanted to change the will in some way which concerned my first cousins (one of my cousins was even sitting in the room). I was in possession of the will, and since my grandfather had already died, I maintained that the will couldn't be changed now. Besides, I knew my father had no intention of helping anyone -- he simply wanted to change the will to make it look as if he were helping someone. He didn't plan to give anything to anyone. I told him that he could change the will if he wanted, but changing the will was against the law, and he could end up going to jail.

The other people in the House began singing a religious song. I listened to the lyrics and finally I began singing along, "Is the memory of his name draining cherries in my heart?"

I started to cry. I was moved by the song, but I was also sad because I thought there would be no reconciliation between me and my father this time.

My father and I stood up and walked outside. My father began dancing about. He had some disks in his back pocket, some computer cds, which seemed somehow to symbolize money. He said something about how it would have been better if he had given that money to me and my sister. I said, "No, you miss the point. You lost your spirit."

I could tell my words upset him. I was trying to make the point that somewhere along the line, he had lost his spirituality. He obviously knew what I was talking about. I saw no hope for us ever getting back together. I walked back inside, where I found my mother.

Unfocused on my true work of judging myself, I sometimes clung to ancient painful memories as the source of my crippled inability to control my emotions, and more often that not, still childishly focused on my father as the cause of my torment.

Dream of: 02 January 2001 "A Family Meal"

As I rode up to the House in Patriot, I reflected on how much time had passed since I had last been there. The Swivers' house across the street appeared to have deteriorated, and meter-high weeds spotted the yard. After I had stopped the car and stepped out, I noticed that the House in Patriot also looked different; small trees which I had never seen were growing in the yard. The trees appeared bulbous and somewhat deformed near their bases. The whole atmosphere was a bit foreboding.

I walked into the kitchen where my mother and her mother Leacy were preparing a meal. I was hungry and impatient for the food to be served; after waiting a while, I began complaining about how late it was – I figured it was probably 2 p.m., well after the time the noon meal should have been served. But when I looked at my wristwatch, it was actually even later than I had thought – twenty till three. Satisfied I had already waited longer than I should have, I grabbed a plate and loaded it down with typical fare, including some mashed potatoes and gravy. I then sat down at the head of the long table, which was covered with a white table cloth, and prepared to eat.

Instead of digging in, however, I waited for everyone else to first be seated. My father sat down on my right, while my mother, my grandmother, and my maternal grandfather Liston took their places at the table. Other people also sat down – about ten of us in all. Just when I was about to begin, I remembered that before I had sat down, I had been drinking some whiskey from a shot glass, and I stood up to look for the glass. I looked all around the room and walked over to the window sill where I thought the glass might be sitting, but I couldn't find it. When I finally did find the glass, it was empty. As I carried the glass back to my seat, I said I thought my mother had drunk the whiskey, but no one responded.

I sat down and picked up a piece of cake, which I was just about to eat, when I happened to pull the table toward me just a little, and to my utter chagrin, the table collapsed, the legs falling out from under it. I could see the problem – the legs were just flimsy little pieces of metal, hardly sufficient for such a large table. I didn't think the collapse of the table had been my fault, but my father immediately exploded in anger, accusing me of knocking over the table. I looked right at him and asked him if he were going to hit me the way he used to when I had been a little boy. I also became angry as I began recalling the way he had mistreated me all of my life.

We both stood up facing each other. He was probably in his early 30s, his hair was still dark black and he was thin. Just when it looked as if he were about to attack, I held my fists in front of me and pushed him back on his chest, screaming, "I hate you! I hate you!"

When he stepped away from me and left me alone, I turned my attention back to the table, where I was now surprised to see my crippled uncle George lying stretched on his back on the table, covered with a white sheet. His legs were stretched out straight, not bent back with polio the way I had always seen him during his life. He appeared to be in need of help and when I walked over to him, he spoke to me. Clearly he also disliked my father. He told me that my father had been living for a while in the House in Patriot, and that my father never did any work, never helped with anything. I was somewhat surprised to hear this, because I knew my father had a business in which he worked. But then I thought to myself that my father didn't actually do much work in his business.

I didn't want to be like my father, not working. I wanted to work. But the kind of work I wanted to do was unclear in my mind.

Paradoxically, freeing myself from my father's control was facilitated by tethering myself to the imaginary character of my father which inhabited my mind.

Dream of: 05 April 2001 "Free At Last"

My father and I were sitting in what appeared to be a cafeteria in a hospital, waiting for an appointment. He began talking about my not having a job and how I wasn't going to be doing anything. I immediately struck back; I told him that he had tried to control me all of my life, that he had always tried to tell me what to do. But now I was free of him and if I wanted to do nothing, then that was what I would do. I felt very good about this. At last I had broken his hold on me and I didn't need to justify what I was doing to him. If I didn't want to have a job, it was my business and not his.

An Amish fellow (about 20 years old) walked up and announced that some Amish people were going on a canoeing trip in the mountains for about a month. I thought I might also like to go. It seemed strange that the Amish would do such a thing; usually they were too reclusive to go on trips. If I went on the trip, I could talk with them about other religions. I might even try to convert the fellow away from being Amish, even as he would be trying to convert me into becoming Amish. For example, I might talk with him about Buddhism.

I told my father I might go with the Amish. He seemed reluctantly resigned to my doing whatever I wanted.

***

As if I were watching from afar, or seeing a vision, I could see myself and two other Amish men standing on the ground in the country. Other Amish were arriving by helicopter. After the helicopter set down, it was tethered to the ground, but the man flying the helicopter was inexperienced and the tether snapped. Snow was everywhere and the wind blew like a blizzard. Suddenly the helicopter was caught by the wind and blown away in the air. I could see the frightened looks on the faces of the people in the helicopter as it was blown away. It was an ugly situation.

Wanting to experience beauty in regard to my father, I discovered that freedom from him from him was the most beautiful experience of all.

Dream of: 11 April 2001 "Royal Wine"

My father and I were in his home, sitting in arm chairs, he on my left. Very overweight, he looked as if he were in his late 50s. As he talked, he lifted his feet and put them on my chair, completely unconcerned that he was encroaching on my space and making me uncomfortable. I tolerated his rudeness and tried to be as friendly as possible. Finally, he asked me if I would go to the kitchen and bring him a glass of "royal wine." I stood to fetch the wine for him, thinking to myself that the only people he liked having around him were people who would wait on him. I didn't fit into that category. I would fetch the wine for him, but I wouldn't stay around him long.

I was far from free, however, of my desire for the Gallia County Farm, even though my wind-blown dreams were far more important to me than the Farm (or my father) would ever be.

Dream of: 11 June 2001 "Nothing Creative"

While visiting my father in the Gallia County Farmhouse, I found an old kite which I had left there a long time ago. My father said he had wondered what I had intended to do with the kite. I hadn't been sure myself why I had brought the kite to the Farm, but I saw that now would be a good time to fly it. I looked for some twine, found a roll, and began working on the kite. The two sticks for the kite were broken and half of each stick was missing. Nevertheless, I was able to assemble the kite, and I headed for the door.

A young boy (about 5 years old) was also in the Farmhouse. He was a likeable little fellow, and I invited him to go outside with me. I was glad when he joined me; I enjoyed his company.

Outside the wind was perfect for kite flying. I soon had the kite in the air, and both the boy and I were enjoying watching it. However, I needed more twine to make the kite go higher; so finally I pulled the kite back in and headed back to the Farmhouse to look for more twine.

After I had entered the Farmhouse, just as I was about to walk into the living room, I overheard my father and my sister talking in the living room. They were unaware of my presence, and I could hear them discussing me and my dream web site. I was surprised to hear my father had been reading my dreams. It didn't matter to me if he read them; the site was open to the public; but it made me feel a little uncomfortable to learn that he had been reading the dreams without my knowledge. My father asked my sister if she had read any of my dreams lately, and he added, "Its getting worse."

He seemed concerned about me. But my sister's tone only reflected her absorption in herself, not any interest in me; she responded that she had been reading the dreams and she added rather self-importantly, "Usual vampire stuff."

I stepped into the room. My father was sitting in a chair and my sister was lazing under a cover on the couch, criticizing. I felt as if I needed to say something to defend my web site. My father didn't understand the site. He seemed curious, while my sister simply wanted to attack the site. I tried to explain that at least I was doing something creative. I reflected on my sister's lack of creative abilities; her only creative talent I could think of was a certain ability to arrange furniture in her house – hardly a talent to be proud of. I suggested I could become like they, and "…do like you do and do nothing creative. Just spend all your time on making money."

Indeed, it seemed as if they had little else in life, except money and material possessions, to interest them. My sister mused out loud, "Making money."

I turned my back and walked outside. Discussing the matter further was pointless. I had more important things to do: fly the kite. I looked up the hill toward where the old tobacco barn should be. Instead, the whole hill was overgrown with trees, except for a green field beside the house. From there I had a good view of the surrounding hills. This would be a good place to fly the kite.

My father's interruption of his spiritual calling as a minister so early in life guided me against interrupting my own spiritual calling.

Dream of: 21 June 2001 "Interrupted Hymn"

My mother, in the prime of life, was dressing me for church. I had put on a crisp white shirt, tie, and black pants, but no jacket. Everything felt fresh and clean. I headed for the door of the church, which was connected to the room where we were; my father, also in his prime, was the preacher. Just as I was about to walk through the door, my mother stopped me and told me to change belts, to take off the brown belt which I was wearing and put on a black one. Even though I didn't want to go through the trouble, I took off the brown belt and headed through the door, still putting on the black belt. I could see my mother was correct: the black belt did look much better; but I was worried my father would be upset because I was still dressing in the church.

Many people were in the church; I walked toward some men who were part of a group to which I belonged. The group had been undertaking some special studies so we could become something special. One man in the group opened his hymnal so I could see the hymn which everyone was about to start singing. The singing began and I sang along, reading the first line from the hymnal.

As we sang, I was looking up toward the pulpit where my father was standing. I wasn't looking at him; I was staring behind the pulpit at a mirror or a pane of glass in which I could see my reflection. I was impressed by how good I looked; I wasn't used to dressing up anymore. My white shirt looked particularly nice. And to top it off, I could look down at the tips of my collar and see little flat silver studs, a very distinctive addition to my attire.

As the singing continued, just as I was beginning to enjoy the hymn, my father suddenly halted the singing. It appeared only a few people had been singing; something was wrong. I couldn't quite figure out what the problem was, but apparently some people in my group were causing the problem. A member of my group, Camporesi (a friend of my wife Carolina, he anchored a news program on a Dallas television station where Carolina worked) stood up and announced that he was leaving the group. Another man from my group spoke up and began quarrelling with Camporesi. I just couldn't quite figure out what all the fuss was about; but clearly, for whatever reason, the singing was over.

Having inherited (so to speak) much of my black anger from my father, it was uncertain what else I must give up to be free of that accursed anger.

Dream of: 11 July 2001 "Angry His Whole Life"

My mother, several other people, and I walked into the kitchen of the Gay Street House. We had intended to simply pass through the kitchen - empty except for one chair in the corner - when I suddenly noticed that my father had sat down in the empty chair. I almost walked past him without even noticing him, but then I stopped, walked over to him and stood in front of him. We hadn't seen each other in a long time.

He looked about 50 years old; his hair was turning gray and he had a beard. I was going to shake his hand (I thought of hugging him, but I really didn't want to do that), but he remained sitting so we didn't even shake hands. Without looking at me, he began talking. Finally, he stood up, continuing to talk.

When he began criticizing me, I immediately stopped him and told him that I didn't want to hear any criticisms and that he could keep his criticisms to himself. If I wanted to be critical, I could call him fat, since he was so obese. In defense, he pointed to his stomach and said he had lost 15 pounds. Indeed he did look slimmer – I had to give him that. When he said nothing else, I continued to criticize him. I also told him if he wanted to talk about something, we could discuss what he intended to do with his estate, a subject which had caused much of our problems. He walked around behind me, pulled up my shirt and glanced at my back. I had no idea what he was looking at.

A woman came down the stairs that led from the second story into the kitchen. She had her hair wrapped in a towel so at first I didn't recognize her, but then I realized she was my step-mother. She began fiddling with something on the stove. I said hello to her and when she didn't answer I again said hello. Although she definitely heard me, again she didn't answer, and rather indignantly I blurted, "What, she's not speaking to me?"

She began hovering over my father and stayed pinned to his side. Obviously she was trying to control him father for her own purposes and just as obviously, he was allowing himself to be controlled. I still wanted to talk with him, but not in front of my step-mother. I wanted to go someplace else where he and I could talk alone. I could tell my father also wanted to talk with me. After he walked over to the door to the basement, opened it, and headed down the steps to the basement, I followed.

Once we were in the basement, I reflected how familiar the basement seemed to me; I remembered it well. As I was looking around, my father had disappeared into the shadows, but I could still hear his voice, as all the while he had continued to talk. As he had been talking, I had noticed his language seemed somehow strange. Finally, I realized that he was using "art" instead of "are", and that he was using other outdated expressions. Then I realized he must have converted to some kind of new religion that used "thee" and "thou" like certain religious sects do. The idea seemed farcical to me and I wondered if my step-mother had something to do with this ridiculous conversion. 

He stepped out in front of me and talked about how surprised he was that I had been away for so long and that I hadn't contacted him. He also talked about his surprise that I was willing to give up my interest in his estate. He said he could hardly believe I was willing to give up everything.

In a way he seemed to admire me for my decision, because he realized I had principles more important than money.

I had to admit his tone was conciliatory. Nevertheless, I told him the only sound I heard was anger. Becoming somewhat emotional, I could feel my eyes starting to water and I seemed to have trouble formulating my words, but I stopped my tears. He said he had wanted to call me and talk to me but that he had never brought himself to it.

He walked toward me as if he wanted to hug me, but I pushed him back.

I wanted to tell him that he had been angry his whole life, but that he had been angry at himself and that he had only taken out his anger on me. I simply was no longer going to be the brunt of his anger.

No saint, I sensed that the course my life had taken would entail the breaking and sacrifice of any interest which I might have had in the fantastically beautiful Gallia County Farm.

Dream of: 07 August 2001 "Outstretched Arms"

I was on the Gallia County Farm, which had changed so much, it hardly seemed like the same place anymore. Leaving the Farmhouse, I walked down to Symmes Creek at the bottom of the hill in front of the Farmhouse and I continued walking west through the field, with Symmes Creek on my right and the hill on my left. I was happy to be out in the country, happy to see the trees and the wildlife around me.

Suddenly something began running along the hill beside me, passing thorough some crags, disappearing and then reappearing again. It looked like some kind of bird, perhaps an ostrich or emu. Had my father started raising ostriches on the Farm? When I finally managed a clear view of the animal, I saw that it was a baby bird, actually two baby birds, all yellow with fluffy down. Then the mother appeared. She wasn't an ostrich at all; she looked more like a regular chicken, only she had a dark color and was clearly some kind of wild bird. I had no idea what kind of birds they were, but they certainly were pretty.

About 200 meters from the Farmhouse I reached an old fence line. The creek was closer to the hill there, and I had to walk along a narrow path between the hill and the creek. As I trudged along, I noticed a huge chain lying partially submerged in the creek, and I now recalled my father having told me about someone getting stuck out there, and having to be pulled out. I thought this must be the place.

I walked a bit further, until I finally found a big rock, and I sat down. I dozed off for a moment, and when I came to, I was shocked to find that the rock had moved, carrying me backward about ten meters into a long dark cave. I immediately jumped up and ran straight ahead toward the opening and rapidly exited. How could the rock have moved like that? Was it possible that I had sat down on the back of a turtle by mistake? The turtle explanation didn't quite ring true, but I couldn't come up with a better answer. I walked on.

Suddenly, up ahead of me, on a hill which seemed out of place for the Farm, a hill which I didn't even remember, towered some kind of statue or structure which I had never seen before. I couldn't quite make it out, but it at first reminded of a tall statue of Christ, with outstretched arms, such as the one overlooking Rio de Janeiro (or another one which I knew to exist on a hill in a South American town), but as I moved closer to the site, I saw that the structure wasn't a statue at all, but rather part of the ruins of an ancient castle, built of heavy white stones.

Now I recalled having heard my father tell me about the discovery of these ruins. The ruins, as well as the rest of the Farm, were now being visited by many people, so many in fact, that my father had begun printing up maps to the Farm and selling them for $1 each. He had told me that he was trying to find some way to capitalize on all the tourists who were flooding in.

When I reached the site of the ruins (on the other side of the creek, along the road which runs on that side of the creek), I found a large white-graveled parking area with many cars in it. Tourists were milling all about, poking here and there among the ruins. A tall circular tower was the most impressive structure. I could see now why my father was thinking of trying to make money from the tourists – why, I might even be able to make money myself: I could possibly set up a concession stand right there in the parking lot, selling refreshments and souvenirs.

More than in making money, however, I was interested in the site itself; obviously the castle needed to be treated with care, to be lovingly investigated. Thus, when I saw two men walking across the parking lot, each carrying a life-sized statue in their arms, I was appalled. Obviously they were ransacking the ruins. The head of one statue was particularly striking: the hair of its head was sticking out in little spikes, like rays emanating from the sun. How shocked and dismayed I felt when the head of the statue suddenly fell off the shoulders and crashed to the ground of the white-stoned parking lot. I rushed toward the man, shouting something about the "antiquities"; I could hardly stand to see them damaged.

I saw myself in my father, in that I had inherited my father's lust for material wealth to such a degree that at least in that regard, we almost seemed identical.

Dream of: 20 August 2001 "Jittery Will"

My father (whom I hadn't seen in quite a long while) and I were walking together through the hallway of a building. We passed by a large reception hall where some kind of benefit was going on for a man who had been a lawyer for 15 years. I wondered if I knew him. As we continued walking, my father began reproaching me for not having called him in such a long time; he seemed genuinely hurt. I shot back that he could have called me; however, I wanted him to know that I had been unhappy with our long silence and I said, I felt "bad." I mused as to whether I should have said "badly" instead of "bad."

We continued on to the elevator. Just as we boarded, a man walked out of the reception hall and boarded the elevator with us. He looked like someone with whom I might have once attended school in Portsmouth. I had wanted to continue talking with my father and to mention that I thought about him every day, but I couldn't pursue the conversation after the fellow had boarded the elevator with us.

When we reached our floor and stepped off the elevator, my father and I walked down a hallway. We seemed to be in a cheap but clean hotel. We were getting along better now. Since he hadn't talked with me in a while, he wanted to know how I had been supporting myself. I didn't want to go into details with him, but I told him I had been surviving with no problem.

I thought that we were beginning to communicate a little and that maybe we could talk about some causes of our problems. Perhaps now was the time to tell him that I didn't care for my step-mother and of my suspicions as to why she was with him. But just then we reached the door of a room; after he opened the door and walked in, I followed.

As soon as we entered, I was shocked to see my step-mother sitting at a hard back chair at a table straight in front of us. I certainly hadn't expected to see her there! I immediately and gruffly puffed out that my father hadn't told me that she was going to be there. Instead of responding, my father walked into a bathroom, leaving me alone in the room with my step-mother. I didn't say anything to her since I didn't want to talk with her. She smiled, putting on an act as if nothing were wrong.

I moved toward a couch, thinking of sitting down. Instead of sitting, however, I hollered into the bathroom to my father that I had to leave and that I would talk to him later. He quickly came out of the bathroom. He obviously wanted me to stay. I told him that I still wanted to talk to him but that I didn't want to talk in front of my step-mother. Without saying anything, my step-mother stood up, walked to the door and left.

I immediately launched into a speech. I told my father I didn't like my step-mother because she only had one thing on her mind: getting as much money from my father as she could. I told him she didn't like me, even though she acted as if she did. I was a threat to her because I was one of his heirs. I almost said "supposed heirs", but I refrained from being spiteful. I thought for a moment of mentioning my sister as also being one of my father's heirs, but I thought it best not to mention her. I told him that my step-mother's desire was to cut me out of any inheritance.

My father began talking. He seemed weary. He said that if I wanted, he would sign a paper which would guarantee me a dividend in his estate. I was surprised to hear this since I had assumed that he intended to cut me off completely. His intentions seemed quite different than I had expected. He said he already had what he called a "jittery will", which provided a dividend for me and my sister. The will was called a "jittery will" because he was still unsure what he wanted to do with his estate. If something unexpected should happen to him, however, he wanted to make sure I would receive something. This was all more than I had expected; nevertheless, I wanted him to know that precisely this kind of arrangement had been one of the reasons for our estrangement: I didn't want some kind of dividend, like a trust – I wanted the Gallia County Farm.

Although I had chosen a spiritual path, I remained tied to my father by gold and land and money which might still have the power to sway me from my path.

Dream of: 24 August 2001 "Spiritual Or Material"

I had unexpectedly encountered my father walking around a large house. He appeared rather grotesque, almost not human. He was wearing a heavy filthy fur coat which almost seemed to be part of his body. He was extremely obese, sweaty and dirty; and he appeared to be quite ill.

As he stood towering above me, we began talking and almost immediately we fell into an argument concerning his estate. Calming down, he asked me if I would prefer that he give me a spiritual bequest, or a material one. I looked at him and blurted out that I wanted the material. To myself, I thought asking him for something spiritual was absurd: he was spiritually bankrupt. He had nothing spiritual to give. On the other hand, he had hoarded away many material possessions. I told him I wanted the gold, the land and the money.

As our discussion turned to the topic of his will, he threatened to cut me out of the will. I was surprised by what he said since I had thought he had probably already cut me out long ago.

I wanted to continue the discussion, but I noticed my sister sitting in the room. Although she was sitting over to the side and acting as if she were reading or writing something, I knew she was listening to everything my father and I were saying. I told my father to wait a minute, and I walked over to her.

She was wearing a red dress and looked about 30 years old. I told her I would like for her to leave. She paid me no attention. I told her that I knew she would be happy if my father cut me out of his will, and that I now understood my being cut out of the will had always been her goal. She acted as if she didn't know what I was talking about and she indicated she wasn't going to leave. I explained to her that I was having a private conversation with my father. When she continued to be intransigent, I called her a selfish bitch. I shouted that she had done everything she could to drive a wedge between my father and me. I told her she had been the one who had originally instigated the conflict between him and myself. Still she refused to leave; obviously she was determined to try to hear everything that my father and I said to each other.

I walked back to my father. Together we walked out onto a porch where my sister couldn't hear us. When he said something about my doing something for him for the next six years, I knew he was offering me a reconciliation agreement, and I accepted. We embraced and he said he would keep me in his will. I wasn't completely satisfied with this, however, because I wanted to know what was in his will. As he mumbled off some Latin sentences, I understood that he was saying that his property would be evenly divided between my sister and myself. I asked if my step-mother was in the will, and he said, no, that she would only receive property which he gave her during his life.

Still hugging, we lay down next to each other. Even though he was dirty and sweaty, I felt good hugging him. We hugged for several minutes; I felt very close to him. All our problems had been resolved.

My sister, however, was another matter. The breach between her and me was permanent. I had seen her for what she was – selfish and self-centered; I would never embrace her again.

My father and I separated. I told him we could go to the Gallia County Farm, about an hour away by car. The question was whether we could go in his black pickup or my red BMW. He said he already planned to ride to the Farm with someone named Earl. I was uncertain whether I would ride along with him or go alone.

My relationship with my father seemed to mirror my problem with the universe: just as I needed to be attached to my father and free of him at the same time, so I needed to be attached to the universe and free of the universe at the same time.

Dream of: 13 October 2001 "Epistemology"

My father – who was a professional truck driver – and I had been riding for a long time (without talking) in a semi-truck which he was driving. As we rode along, I was mostly thinking about one of my recent experiences. I had been working for the U.S. Census Bureau, employed in bureaucratic activities. I hadn't needed to expend much effort at the Census Bureau: initially, I had been in charge of stocking census forms; then I had advanced to being in charge of recruiting other workers; finally I had moved up to an even higher position within the Census Bureau. However, at long last, my boss had summoned me and informed me that my job was finished and that I would be transferred to the White House.

I had proceeded to the White House, where I had met with an imposing man who was a professional negotiator for the White House. I had only talked with him briefly, and after I had departed from the White House, I had never been called back. Now – sitting in the truck with my father, and pondering – I realized what had happened: my boss at the Census Bureau had simply been trying to find another job for me because he hadn't wanted to tell me that I was no longer employed; but I had never actually been given a job at the White House; I had simply had an interview.

Now I had no job. I could still return to the White House and talk with the negotiator again. But if I did that, I would definitely need a new wardrobe – at least three suits and some sports jackets. I would probably need to spend around $2,000 for new clothes. But I was unsure I wanted to return to the White House; I would probably be subjected to background tests, and I was uncertain I would pass. I should probably simply look for work elsewhere.

Meanwhile, my father and I – still in the truck – had arrived in Columbus, Ohio. He mentioned that he later intended to drive to the Gallia County Farm and stay there for a couple days, and he wanted to know if I would like to go with him. He said he liked to go to the Farm to drink alcohol. I was uncertain I wanted to go. I certainly didn't want to go to the Farm simply to drink.

We drove through the streets of Columbus. Some shoe shine boys were standing on the sidewalk; one was only wearing sandals. Finally we pulled into a parking lot where my father parked his truck at night. A boy ran up to the door of the truck to get the key from my father.

***

I was sitting in a university classroom. The room was in the shape of an auditorium, with tiers of seats. I was sitting in the bottom front row, while my father was standing at the top, at the rear of the room. Perhaps 50 other preppy-looking students were also sitting in the room. One of my old high school classmates, Scott MacDonald, was sitting among the students. He was the only person I recognized.

One student stood up, walked to the front of the room and began addressing the rest of the class. He talked about the subject of the class: epistemology. I knew epistemology was the study of knowledge, but I knew little else about it. As the fellow talked in front of us, I understood nothing he was saying. In his hands he was holding a black book – an odd-looking book – about a meter square and about a two centimeters thick. Rather dramatically, he held the book over his head, and then stuck his head right through the book! – obviously the book had a hole in the middle. He simply stood there looking at us, with his head through the book. He was trying to make some kind of point, trying to teach us something about epistemology – but for the life of me, I had no idea what he was trying to say.

He called on one of the other students to speak. The student stood up and began talking. I hoped he didn't call on me because not only did I not know what I would say, but I also had a rather embarrassing erection.

When another student, a woman in the back of the room, stood to speak, I looked back at her, and I noticed my father was leaving. I hesitated, then I also stood to leave. I couldn't let my father leave without me. As I headed toward the door, I realized I had a sheet wrapped around me. My foot became tangled in the sheet. Finally I disentangled myself and proceeded toward the door.

Although, like my father, I was attached to the seducing beauty of the material world, I had already unhooked myself from that attachment to a degree which he would not even think of trying.

Dream of: 05 November 2001 "The Sunfish"

As I was walking through the hall of a huge house owned by my father, I looked through the windows of some of the doors which I was passing. One room seemed to contain a pond surrounded by grass, shrubs and trees – an outdoor scene – inside. The pond's water was crystal clear, and swimming in the pellucid water glided perhaps a dozen bluegills. Unfortunately, someone was standing on the bank, fishing in the water, trying to catch the little fish. At first I thought the fellow was one of my sister's sons; but then I realized he was my sister's ex-husband, James. He caught a fish even while I was watching – clearly he would soon deplete the pond.

I walked on through the hall for a while, and when I returned to the door where the pond was, I again looked for the fish – only one remained. A fishing line was in the water, and someone – whom I couldn't see – was pulling a fishing line through the water, loaded with bait, which the little bluegill was following. The bluegill finally grabbed the bait, and suddenly, James, with his fishing rod in hand, rose from the water (he had been completely submerged except for his floppy hat-covered head), pulled on the fishing line and began reeling in the little fish. Disgusted, I turned and walked on down the hall.

At the end of the hall, I found another room with a pond in it. This room I entered. My father was in the room; he had also been fishing. Lying on a table in front of me was a beautiful large sunfish, with a hook in its mouth. I immediately began telling my father about James' fishing in the other room, how only a few small bluegills were in the other pond, and how James had caught almost all of them. I complained that now we would have no fish in that pond. My father was obviously concerned; apparently he hadn't known James was catching all the bluegills. My father immediately walked out the door and headed down the hall. I could hear him when he reached the other room; he hollered into the room to James.

Now that I was alone in the room where my father had been fishing, I looked again at the sad sight of the dying sunfish. I made a snap decision. I picked up the sunfish and began trying to pull the hook from the mouth of the sunfish. The sunfish was still alive, but would die soon. I struggled trying not to hurt the fish, thinking how some people – morons – believed fish couldn't feel pain. When I finally extracted the hook from the fish, I held it in my hands and slipped it into a tank of water – about the size of a commode's tank – sitting nearby. The fish lay on its side on top of the water for a moment, then began moving. Within seconds, the sunfish began straightening up, began moving and finally disappeared in the water. It might still die, but at least now it had a chance.

Of course now I would have to explain what I had done to my father. Obviously he had planned to eat the fish. But I didn't think he would be terribly upset. Besides, now he would have a chance to fish again for the sunfish. And if he really wanted to eat some fish, we could simply buy some frozen fish in a store.

Not having yet emancipated myself from the anger which my father had engendered in me, improvidently, I sadistically enjoyed the dangerous power of my written word to flagellate him.

Dream of: 13 November 2001 "Dream Books"

I was in my father's home, anticipating the arrival of Jane Fonda, who was coming to visit me. I had met Fonda once before, but we had never talked about her movies, and now I hoped to discuss her films with her. As I tried to recall the movies in which Fonda had acted, I glanced at some LP movie soundtracks lying nearby. Two LPs had pictures of Fonda on the covers; but I had never seen those particular movies. I did manage to recall the scenes of another movie (The Doll's House) in which Fonda had acted. I knew the movie had been based on a play by Henrik Ibsen, but I couldn't remember the play's name. I thought the play might have been "Hedda Gabler." I definitely wanted to discuss this movie with Fonda.

I finally walked into a room where I found my father and Fonda (probably in her late 30s). I was surprised to see my father had already given Fonda a copy of the manuscript which I had assembled several years earlier – the manuscript containing the collection of my dreams about God. Fonda was holding the manuscript in her hand, but I couldn't tell if she had read any of it. I was rather apprehensive about what she would think about the manuscript. The manuscript had been an early attempt at compiling my dreams, and it might be difficult to understand. I would have preferred for Fonda to read the dreams on my website, where they had taken on better form and were easier to follow. Nevertheless, I was glad she might be reading what I had written.

My father soon became angry about something; he pulled off a brown-laced leather belt and threatened to hit me with it. I wasn't going to stand for it. I told him I would take the belt from him and hit him back. Despite my warning, he began hitting me with the belt. I quickly grabbed the belt from him and swung it at him. At the same time, Fonda began asking me questions about the book. I told her that I actually had prepared approximately 10 different books, and that the longest book was about my father. As we spoke, I noticed a boy sitting nearby (about 10 years old) who was my brother. I reflected that he had also appeared in many of my written dreams – enough for a book about him. I continued talking about my father, and I told Fonda he was constantly beating me in many of my dreams. As I talked, I continued hitting my father with the belt, and with each stroke – in syncopation – I spoke a word, describing, "… how…he's… angry… almost… all… the…time."

Although my father's final disposition of the Gallia County Farm would conclude the material side of my story about him, the disposition of my written story about him would conclude the spiritual side.

Dream of: 09 February 2002 "Bequests"

As I was riding in a car which my father was driving, he said he was thinking about having a meeting (he had a special name for the meeting) and telling everyone how he intended to distribute his estate when he died. He asked me if I thought this was a good idea and I replied, "Yes."

I thought the idea was excellent; I hadn't understood why he hadn't done this long ago, why he had continued to keep secret his intentions for his estate. Whatever he intended to do, it would be better to know now.

He had decided to have the meeting immediately and we quickly arrived at the location of the meeting. I entered and sat down in a room with perhaps 40-50 people, all of whom apparently had an interest in my father's estate. I was surprised to see so many, especially since I saw hardly anyone whom I recognized. I sensed that my sister, as well as her sons (my nephew David and my nephew Steven), were in the room, but I didn't see them.

My father was sitting in the front of the room. Another man was sitting near my father, probably my father's lawyer. My father began by introducing me. He said, "This is my son, Steven." I stood up. I felt strange, because I didn't know the people in the room. Everyone looked at me and I sat back down.

My father began passing out pieces of paper to the people in the room. Written on each piece of paper were the items which that person would receive. Of course my father clarified that his will hadn't actually been executed yet, that these were the bequests which he was presently intending to bequeath, but that circumstances might alter the actual will. My father mentioned the name of someone named "Sandy." I had never heard of her, but apparently she was receiving something from my father.

I opened my paper, looked at it (the items were hand-written) and I saw four or five numbered items. The first one was "The Farm." The rest were minor pieces of personal property. I could hardly believe what I was reading. The Gallia County Farm was going to be mine! I had long ago given up hope of receiving the Farm, which I had thought would be tied up in some kind of trust, or go to my sister. I was overwhelmed. I could feel tears forming in my eyes and soon the tears were falling down. I stood up, walked over to my father and said, "Thank you." Words seemed insignificant and these seemed like the only two words needed.

As I sat back down I could hear my sister in the background – she had just realized she hadn't received the Farm and from the sound of her voice I could tell she was upset.

What would I do now? I would definitely move to the Farm. If my wife Carolina didn't want to come with me, I would leave her. I would have moved to the Farm long ago, but I hadn't believed I would ultimately inherit it. Now that I was assured I would receive it, I could begin plans for the future. I would definitely live on the Farm, even if doing so meant leaving Carolina.

Now I could finally plant trees. I could promote wildlife. I would immediately stop any hunting on the Farm. No one, not even David or Steven, would be allowed to hunt. Of course they could visit the Farm anytime they wanted – but they wouldn't be allowed to kill animals. I could just envision different types of wild animals which could flourish on the Farm if the hunting were stopped.

I stood up and looked out the window. Only now did I realize I was on the Farm. We were all in a room built up in the air, apparently on high poles; I could look out the window and view a wide swath of the Farm. I was surprised to see the Farm almost completely surrounded by houses. Apparently much building had been occurring of late and whole communities had sprung up around the Farm. Nevertheless, the wildness of the Farm was still intact. Even though the Farm was surrounded by villages and houses, the Farm could still serve as a refuge for animals.

As I looked around, I suddenly realized I hadn't seen my step-mother. What had my father left to her? He had probably simply left her cash. Since I had only been given the Farm, ample other property was left for her. I was unconcerned about that; I had received what I wanted.

An outsider in my father's world, as he was in mine, I still traced more clues to my own identity to him than to any other person.

Dream of: 09 March 2002 "In His Element"

I groggily awoke in the small basement of the Gay Street House. What was I doing there? And where had I been sleeping? – there was no bed down there. An ironing board? I had been sleeping on an ironing board? Apparently so.

Jaggedly I began to retrace – I had returned to Portsmouth to work for my father. He owned and ran several businesses, and I was going to work as a salesman in one. Probably I would be working in his cellulose insulation business; not only would I sell insulation for houses, I would also install the insulation. I would work when I wanted, and I would be paid a commission for my sales; thus my father wouldn't have to pay me unless I sold something. The arrangement should work out well for both; he wouldn't have any out-of-pocket expense, and I wouldn't feel pressured. Besides, I had enough money so I didn't even have to work; I could just live on my savings.

I made my way upstairs. A bit of a carnival atmosphere up there. The entire first floor had been converted into offices. People scurrying. I ended up in a room with perhaps ten other fellows (mostly in their 20s); apparently all also worked for my father. They were dressed casually but not sloppily. Apparently they were also salesmen, probably working for commissions. They exuded talent – but were singularly unimpressive. A slothful lot who had nowhere else to go.

I continued on to the small room on the Gay Street side. Two other fellows were in the room. Perhaps this was the room where I would be working. One fellow (probably in his early 30s) pulled out a brass saxophone with silver keys and began playing. Was this my father's old saxophone? The sound was squeaky and amateurish, but at least the fellow was trying. Maybe I could bring in my flute and we could play together. I could even imagine having the flute in my hand. How did my mouth fit on the flute? Like a saxophone? I couldn't quite remember. I never played with anyone anymore. Doing so would be difficult, at best. But maybe…

I walked back through the House into the back middle room. A fellow whom I recognized crossed my path – my old classmate from high school, Phil Waddell! What was he doing here? He looked about 30 years old; his hair was still bright blond. He was smoking a cigarette little more than the butt. We grinned at each other and began talking. He also worked for my father. Grand. Maybe he and I could associate outside of the office. I used to like Waddell, although we had never been friends. I had heard he had become involved in drugs after high school. As we talked, the subject of drugs surfaced, and he soon told me he had a drug called "rumba" which he could sell me. I had never heard of rumba. He said it was a leafy substance which was smoked like marijuana. I asked him how much it cost and he said $70. I thought I would like to try some, but $70 seemed like too much money to me. I just happened to stick my right hand in my pants pocket and I pulled out a handful of green leafy substance. I immediately recalled that I had worn these pants once before and that I had stuck some marijuana in the pocket. I wouldn't need to buy any rumba – I already had some marijuana. Nevertheless, I wanted to see more of Waddell and I asked him if he would like to meet later that night. He said he would and after we agreed to rendezvous back there at the House at 9:00 p.m., he departed. Yes, I would like to see Waddell later; we would have a night on the town.

I walked back toward the Gay Street side of the House and entered a room where a meeting was about to begin. My father was sitting behind a brown wooden desk while approximately ten men sat around the room and looked in his direction. I headed toward a seat next to my father, but then I realized the seat had already been taken, so I sat in an easy chair in the corner about three meters from my father. The chair squeaked when I sat down.

My father seemed in his element. He was lying -- more than sitting -- in his chair. His obese stomach protruded into the air. He seemed in charge, but disengaged at the same time. It was as if he had built up this way of life, but he was unconnected. He liked having all these people around him, but he didn't relate to them. He was simply the man in charge; he gave orders, and others obeyed. He didn't try to understand his employees, and they didn't try to understand him. Nevertheless, although the personal relationships were hollow, my father's command was impressive, and I felt special because I was his son.

How much longer would he continue to operate a business? He was already 70 years old. He couldn't last much longer; but working seemed to give some meaning to his life. I wished he would live longer. I wished I could do something for him. If anything, I wished I could help him lose weight. Losing weight would be the best thing he could do.

The meeting began and a man sitting with his back to the wall began talking. Behind the man, pinned to the wall, hung a piece of paper with the Target department store logo on it – several red concentric circles. I thought the man had probably sold something to Target and the paper was evidence of the sale. The man recited several verses, then was silent. Then a second man spoke up, and he also recited some verses. My father looked over at me and said the men were reciting Bible verses. Probably part of some motivational technique which my father was using.

Where was my step-mother? I could imagine her being there, playing the role of the queen. Everyone would defer to her, since she was married to my father; but she was nowhere to be seen.

My father finally announced he was going to introduce the group to someone whom they didn't know. I immediately thought he was going to introduce me. He would probably even write my name on a blackboard behind him and write that I was a lawyer. He had always liked telling people that his son was a lawyer. Instead, he introduced the person sitting next to him. One by one the other people in the room walked up and shook the person's hand, and one by one they left the room without saying anything to me.

The last fellow to walk up, however, turned to me and asked who I was. I told him that my last name was "Collier" and that I was my father's son. He seemed impressed and he asked me if my father wanted me to be with him (my father). I confidently told him my father had always wanted me to be with him. The fellow reached out his hand; I took the hand and we shook. As I tried to disengage our hands, however, the fellow continued to hold on; soon it was painfully clear the fellow was trying to stealthily pull a ring off my little finger; a small silver ring with a red gemstone. He was almost successful, but I managed to pull away my hand in time. He turned and walked out.

I was dazed. Why would my father employ someone who would try to steal a ring off my finger? I wanted to talk with my father about these people. How would I describe my opinion of them? The word "losers" immediately came to mind, but I couldn't say that to my father -- he would be offended.

I turned to look for my father, but he was nowhere to be seen. Instead, several women (who also apparently worked for my father) had entered the room. I turned to two of them and began telling them about the fellow's trying to steal my ring. They weren't surprised; they said he often did that.

One woman caught my eye. She was black-haired and quite pretty, yet slightly plump – a Monica Lewinsky type. I thought I might get to know her later. But, having any contact with her would be unlikely – I was still married to Carolina.

As the women departed from the room, I began wondering how I looked. I needed to look in one of the big mirrors which hung over the many mantels in the House. I could already imagine what I would see: I would be about 30 years old and my hair would be quite short. I walked into the next room, looking for a mirror.

Although my final subjective judgment as to whether my father was evil or good might end up being colored by the final disposition of his material estate, the judgment contained in my written story should prove more objective.

Dream of: 19 March 2002 "The Devil"

While I was visiting my father and talking with him in a public place in Portsmouth, I noticed near us a chart which said that my father owned over 60% of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. I asked him about that and he said yes, he did. I could hardly believe it. After I talked more with him, he said he was a very wealthy fellow. I hadn't intended to ask him what he was going to do with his property when he died, but I blurted out anyway, "What are you going to do with it all?"

Somewhat agitated, he made it clear that he was going to leave me a substantial part of his estate when he died. At the same time, he didn't want to commit himself. He still wanted to see how I turned out.

We stood up and walked around. I still wanted to know more about his intentions. I wanted to tell him that his financial situation was so complicated, I needed to know what he intended to do. When I asked him if he owned part of Dreamland Pool in Portsmouth, he said yes, and he began talking about that. When he said there was a complicated formula involving his ownership of various properties, I thought I needed to know what that formula was.

The place where we were was crowded with people. He and I walked over to a wooden fence so we could have some privacy. As we climbed over the fence, I realized we were atop a high cliff on the other side of the fence. I looked away for an instant at some people standing nearby, and when I looked back for my father, he had disappeared. I looked and looked until I came to the conclusion that he must have fallen off the cliff. I asked a man there if he had pushed my father and the man said no. Nor had anyone seen him fall.

I looked down to the bottom of the cliff. We were around ten stories high. I spotted a set of stairs which led to the bottom of the cliff and I began descending the steps. Soon I could see my father's fat body lying on its back on the bottom step. A puddle of blood encircled his head.

I ran back up the stairs and jumped back over the fence. I was then surprised when someone wheeled up my father in a wheelchair. When I looked at his eyes, I couldn't tell if he was conscious, but he was obviously still alive. His eyes looked blank. Obviously he wouldn't survive. Somebody said, "He's the devil."

How ironic that if my father were ever remembered at all, it would only be through my words which he had so disdained.

Dream of: 04 June 2002 "Ragged"

I was chauffeuring my mother and my father – who were both quite old – from place to place in a car. When we stopped at the home of a family they knew, a man and a woman (probably in their late 50s) invited us in. The three of us walked into the house and we all sat down at a table. The man – who was quite thin – sat at the far end of the table. The son and daughter of the man and woman also joined us. The son was in his mid 20s while the daughter (who had curly black hair and was sitting on my left) was in her late teens. I had seen her years ago when she had been much younger. Now that she seemed much more mature, I thought I might like to get to know her.

Food was brought out. I wished we had brought something with us to offer; when visiting someone like that, it seemed polite to bring something. I would probably not eat much of anything. And how ragged my parents and I looked! We hadn't even combed our hair. And I had a hair about five centimeters long which was coming out above my left lip. I had recently shaved and I didn't know how I had missed the hair.

My father began talking. He was quite obese; I felt sorry for him. He began flailing his arms about, explaining that he was 70 years old and ill; his hands were shaking. The couple seemed surprised to learn of his illness. Neither my mother nor I said anything.

After some many years of interspersed anger, I was still unsure of my feelings for my father and still unprepared to take my final leave of him.

Dream of: 14 June 2002 "Eviction"

I was sitting on the carpeted floor of the room where I was living in a big old frame house. The room was bare except for a small television on the other side of the room. On the television was the mayor of the city giving a press conference. The mayor had spent the night in the high-rise hotel which was right next to this house. In the news-conference room were seated the players of the city's basketball team, all dressed in their game clothes. The mayor was complaining about the noise which he had heard in the hotel the night before. He said he had been awakened six times by people hollering out the windows. I wasn't that interested in what he was saying.

It was almost 1:30 p.m. I had slept in this room last night, but I still hadn't left the room all day. I was waiting for my father to leave first. I hardly ever saw him, even though this was his house and I had been living there for years; it seemed he wasn't there most of the time, even though he also lived there. This morning, however, he was there; I could hear him in the next room. I wanted to avoid seeing him; we didn't get along well and I didn't want a confrontation.

Finally he walked by the door to the hall – a ponderous double-door sliding-wood type. He was headed toward the door on the porch – but he stopped and walked into my room for a moment. He was carrying a small child and from his belt were hanging four or five small toys. He didn't look like himself. He was short and thin, with black hair, probably no more than 35 years old. He looked displeased to see me sitting there in the middle of the day.

He asked me why nobody seemed to pay any attention to my sister. I thought for a reply, then said it was probably because she always seemed to be angry about something. He seemed dissatisfied with my response and he said something snide to me. As he turned to leave I hollered out to him that he could pay some attention to someone; that he never had time because he was never there. He immediately became angry; he set the baby down and lunged at me. We began violently wrestling. I hollered at him that this was ridiculous, that I was 49 years old and that he was 60; to be fighting was insane. But even though I was the stronger, he didn't let up. I grabbed his head and beat it against the wall until he managed to break free and head to the door.

He didn't look injured. He screamed at me that I was going to have to move out of the house. After I hollered back that I wouldn't leave, he picked up the baby and slammed out. I began to worry: this was his house; if he wanted, he could have me evicted. Seeing my name in the paper as having a lawsuit filed against me for eviction would be embarrassing. But I was determined not to leave.

The status of my father's soul was always of less importance to me than the suffocating perils which threatened my own soul.

Dream of: 01 September 2002 "Enriching The Soul"

About a kilometer west of the Gallia County Farmhouse, where Symmes Creek made a sharp L-turn north, lay a wide spot in the Creek which used to serve as a swimming hole, but which in recent years had been taken over by beavers which had built an intricate dam there.

Now, I was in a small wooden house which had been built right on the west side of the L-corner, overlooking the old swimming hole. I was standing in the house, talking on the phone with my father, who was back in the Farmhouse. My father was talking about how he was having difficulty harvesting his tobacco crop – something about problems with the workers. Today he had harvested a small portion of the tobacco, but he was uncertain about how he would harvest the rest. I suggested that he might be better off to simply forget about the tobacco, that raising the tobacco might not be a good idea. He seemed puzzled that I would say such a thing and he asked me why. I replied, "Because tobacco kills people."

Silence on the other end. I went on to explain that tobacco might enrich his pocketbook; but I posed the question: "Does it enrich the soul?"

As I talked, I wandered over to the window overlooking the creek. I was immediately mesmerized by what I saw outside: a huge black snake swimming along the top of the water, going west and then turning north along the L-bend in the creek. I excitedly began describing the snake to my father; I had never seen a snake so big. Then I realized there were actually two snakes, one swimming in front of the other. Estimating the size, I told my father that the snakes were probably 50 feet long and eight inches in diameter in the middle; I also mentioned that the snakes were black with brown spots. I blurted out that he should come down there to see them.

The snakes swam along to a little water falls where the beaver dam normally was (only the water was flowing the opposite way from normal). The snakes slid over the water falls and then swam to the other side of the creek and into a little cove. Suddenly I screamed out to my father that yet a third black snake had appeared near the falls. The third snake swam over to the other two and all three snakes curled up together. I thought they might stay there; but suddenly – unexpectedly – they began rapidly moving toward my little wooden house. The front door was open to the room I was in and the snakes were headed toward the door! I was immediately frightened. The snakes were so big, they could squeeze me to death. Over the phone I hollered out to my father, "They're in the house!! They're in the room!!"

I thought I might be able to jump out the window and escape, but I feared one of the snakes would be waiting for me outside. I didn't know what to do.

Even as I seemed to sense an increasing a lack of feeling toward me from my father, I failed to perceive that my feelings for him had likewise slipped into an unresponsive void.

Dream of: 24 March 2003 "No Pain"

I had recently been sharing a large office room with several people; each of us maintained a desk in separate parts of the room. I wasn't thrilled with sharing the room, particularly since some of the others were rather sloppy. I contemplated confronting them about their messes, but I decided I would first clean up the area around my desk before I complained to anyone else about theirs.

Setting to the task, I quickly realized my area was just as messy as everyone else's. Books and papers seemed to be stacked everywhere. Clothes were even hanging around my desk.

As I proceeded, my father walked into the office and took a seat in my area. I was surprised to see him – he hardly ever visited me. At the moment I was feeling a bit resentful of him because I had recently needed some help, and he hadn't tried to assist me. I hadn't wanted to work in this office in the first place; if he had only helped me out a little, I wouldn't have been forced to work there.

So I lit into him. I stood in front of him and began a diatribe. I wanted to make one point in particular – a thought I had recently formulated. I had noticed that he seemed to be a lucky-go-lucky type of person who typically didn't seem bothered by much. I launched in at him and told him he felt no pain. I explained that he felt no pain because he didn't care about anyone. This was the revelation I had experienced: that pain was caused by concern about others. Since my father was unconcerned about anyone but himself, he felt no pain.

He sat listening – unresponsive.

In the summer of 2003, at the age of 71, my father (at my step-mother's instigation) began building the Hilltop House, a splendid home (atop The Hill in New Boston) which overlooked Portsmouth and the Ohio River.

Dream of: 04 June 2003 "Runaway Star"

I was watching work being done on the Hill in New Boston – my father was having the road worked on. Bulldozers were pushing dirt from higher spots into low spots, trying to level out the road. Obviously this was costing a lot of money. I had the feeling my father was thinking of stopping the operation because it was costing so much.

***

My father and I were standing in a room at the back of a large new house which he had built on top of the Hill in New Boston.  Through a long window on the front side of the room I could see down onto the Ohio River. On the other side of the room I could see through a door into the room at the front of the house. I caught some glimpses of the sun through the window and I said something to my father about wanting to go into the next room and look at the view.

A boy about 10 years old who was my brother was also in the room.

I walked into the next room and looked out the window. I needed a moment to grasp what I was seeing. What I had first thought was the sun wasn't the sun at all. Instead, a huge ball which somewhat resembled the sun was in the sky, closing in on the earth.

The surface of the ball looked like molten lava. Over orangish red lava floated dark patches of crusty black. The sight was spell-binding. What was it? My first thought was that it was a "runaway star." All around the edges of the object was thick black smoke. It seemed to be headed straight toward the earth; impact appeared to be imminent. How could this have happened so quickly? Was this the end of mankind?

I told my brother to turn on the television – surely someone could give us some news about what this was. He turned on the television. A somber voice began describing the runaway star and the impending disaster. It looked as if the end of the earth had arrived.

While my step-mother adroitly brain-washed my father, my mother's brain was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and I cluttered my brain with toys.

Dream of: 03 January 2004 "Brain-Washed"

I was in the kitchen of the House in Patriot, talking with a man on a phone. He was selling some collectibles, among which was a metal Spider-Man lunch box for which he only wanted $5. I wanted to buy it. However, we had a bad connection and I couldn't hear him well. I was listening to him for a while through an answering machine, but I finally picked up the phone. His voice kept coming and going. He said I could call his wife at another number, but I couldn't understand the information. His voice finally became so weak, I had to hang up.

I heard my father coming from the front living room. Since I had some of my things (mainly movie collectibles) spread out on the kitchen floor and the table, I began picking them up.

When my father walked into the adjoining room, we began talking (even though I didn't look at him because I was busily picking things up) about my mother, who was very ill. My father said he had been consulting some people about her and he had talked with one man who was some kind of doctor. My father liked the man, who had told my father something catastrophic would happen to my mother on December 3, at 1:00 p.m. Hardly able to believe what I had heard (it sounded to me like superstitious nonsense), I asked my father to repeat what he had said. When he did so, I told my father the man must be a "quack" if he had made such a prediction. My father immediately became angry and I realized I shouldn't have said anything. I tried to take back my words, but it was too late.

For the first time, I looked at my father. He looked to be in his mid 50s. He was dressed all in white in silky clothes which looked something like what an Indian from India might wear. His black hair was pulled back, perhaps in a pony tail. His whole bearing had radically changed. He seemed lethargic and distracted; he seemed to be losing his mind. I immediately concluded he had fallen in with some weird cult and been brain-washed. I was appalled – but I felt impotent, realizing I could do little to help him.

Just as I was about to carry my things into the front living room, seven or eight people came to the kitchen door and filed in. Immediately I could tell these were part of the cult my father had fallen into. They were dressed in ordinary clothes and all seemed to be in their late 30s. They made themselves at home in the kitchen and adjoining dining room. They paid me no mind. Some of my movie collectibles were still lying on the table. I thought they might see them and be interested, but they just pushed my things aside to make room for some things they were carrying.

I had never known of my father to participate in a group like this. I figured the group must go from house to house and talk with people. I definitely didn't care for them, but I saw nothing I could do now.

I walked into the front living room and set down the load I was carrying. As I sat on the gray-painted hardwood floor, I noticed some gray wires (something like telephone wires) lying near one wall. I tried to pick them up, but they seemed stuck. So I picked up a shovel sitting against a wall and chopped one wire in half. Immediately I knew I had made a mistake. I looked at the gray plastic wire and saw three metal wires inside: it was a cable wire. Now I recalled that my father had told me that he had recently had cable installed and that it had been very expensive.

Worse, as I looked at one of the three metal wires, it started smoking and melting. I worried I had created a fire hazard. What could I do? Could I find some kind of connector and reattach the wires I had severed? – I doubted it. But I had to do something – I couldn't leave the smoldering wire unattended in the room.

I wanted to be free, but freedom came at a cost.

Dream of: 28 January 2004 "Disinherited"

My wife Carolina and I were attending a banquet where many people, including my father, were present. As my father and I conversed, the subject of his will arose. I was upset because I had intuited that he had cut me out of his will. After we had exchanged heated words, he handed me a piece of paper with the figure $404,000 written on it and he said that was the amount that I was supposed to receive under his will. He then walked away and left me holding the paper.

I was impressed by the amount. Nevertheless, I wondered what would happen to the rest of his estate -- he was worth over 2 million dollars. How much were my sister and my step-mother going to receive? So even though I appreciated the amount being bequeathed to me, I wasn't altogether satisfied. As I pondered and continued to stare at the paper, I sensed my father moving around the room, and I knew he expected some sign of gratitude from me. However, I couldn't seem to bring myself to thank him.

Finally, he walked over to me, took the paper from my hand, and told me he had decided to completely cut me out of the will -- he wasn't going to give me anything. He spoke with an air of finality, as if nothing remained to be said. He indicated that he and I wouldn't see each other any more, and he turned to leave. I blurted out that this was what he had always wanted, and that he could now give all his property to my step-mother. He paid me no mind, and simply walked away.

The dazzling splendor of my father's new Hilltop House influenced my judgment concerning the real issue: was my father evil or good?

Dream of: 26 March 2004 "Divided Estate"

My wife Carolina had been in my father's house and had found his will. She hadn't had time to study the will in detail, but she was able to see the most significant parts. After I asked her about it, she told me my father was dividing his estate into seven parts -- one for my sister, one for me, one for each of his three grandchildren (my sister's children) and one each for his two step-sons (my step-mother's two sons, Steve and Ray). I asked Carolina if she had seen anything about the Gallia County Farm in the will, and she said there was a special clause giving me a life estate in the Farm.

I was upset to hear about the will. I would only be receiving one seventh of the estate and I would only receive a life estate in the Farm, not the actual title to the Farm. I was especially upset to think my father would be giving an equal portion to my step-mother's two sons. Obviously my step-mother had exerted considerable influence to achieve this result. This was particularly galling since my step-mother would also be receiving the new Hilltop House which my father had recently built.

I was also upset that my sister's children would each receive an equal share as I. That meant my sister and her progeny would receive the lion's share of everything.

I had been relegated to such a small portion, I almost felt like telling my father I didn't want anything.

***

I was sitting in the kitchen of the Hilltop House (only this was a gigantic mansion, a much larger house than the actual House). Dozens of people were milling about inside the House. I was surprised to see my father's second wife Kay (who looked about 35 years old) as well as his old girlfriend Christa (who looked about 50). Kay was walking around the kitchen while Christa was sitting across from me at the table. Apparently people had come to see the new Hilltop House, and many people from my father's past had shown up. Since my father (who was in the next room) always enjoyed having a throng of people around, I thought he must be relishing the gathering.

Food was piled on the table. Apparently my father was footing the bill for everything. It looked as if he had decided to run through his money in his final years. I didn't mind that -- if he wanted to spend his money that was his business. But I still felt wounded about the details of his will.

This house was magnificent. Unfortunately it would go to my step-mother. However, I thought I might as well try to enjoy it there while I could. Perhaps I could invite up my old high school buddies, Roger Anderson or Steve Buckner, and we could go mountain climbing in the range of mountains back behind the House.

***

My father and I had boarded a car which he was driving. We were riding around the top of the hills where the Hilltop House sat. I was surprised to see rows of new houses up there. Apparently my father had extensively developed the area. Most houses were tall two-story frames. My father said the houses sold for $200,000-$300,000 each. I thought that sounded cheap.

***

When we arrived at a building, instead of my father, his mother Mabel (only about 50 years old) was with me. When I expressed my concern to her about my father's will, she was sympathetic. At the moment, however, she was leading me to a shower stall because she wanted me to take a shower. The building was apparently a type of dormitory and I could see bunk beds with people sleeping in them in the same room as the shower stall. I felt uncomfortable there, but I began undressing in the stall so I could take my shower.

I found some modicum of freedom not in breaking my relationship with my father, but in accepting that my experiences with him were an indissoluble part of my spirit, just as his experiences with his father Cole had been an indissoluble part of my father's spirit, and Cole's experiences with his mother Stella had been an indissoluble part of Cole's spirit.

Dream of: 20 April 2004 "Stella"

I had recently bought some land in a little community located atop a high hill. Various buildings were scattered over the neighboring land.  My father (about 50 years old) showed up and I showed him a tractor which I had also recently bought from a man on the other side of the street. The tractor was a big old thing, something like a John Deer, only this one was rusty red. My father climbed onto the tractor and began driving. I also climbed onto the wheel frame and continued talking with him.

Two long-haired brown dogs ran alongside the tractor. One was a small young dog which I had only recently acquired. The small dog didn't know much, and I was afraid my father would run over it with one of the big tire wheels, but he didn't.

I thought my father knew a lot about tractors whereas I knew almost nothing. He drove in some steep areas, then bumped into trees and cars on purpose so the tractor would automatically change its direction, like a carnival bumper car. I was worried he would damage the cars but apparently no damage was done. I had paid around $10,000-$11,000 for the tractor and I was now concerned that I had made a bad deal. I hadn't even looked at other tractors and now I wished I had, but my father seemed satisfied with the tractor and he held up his hand in a high-five. I brushed his hand with mine. He was saying I had made a good deal, but he still needed to check the tractor more to make sure. He stopped for a bit to check on some sludge coming out of the tractor. The sludge looked gray to me, but he said the sludge was a pinkish color (which was good).

I was still sitting on the tractor when a man stepped up and made a comment about my buying up all the land there. I said that wasn't true. Then a second man stepped up and climbed onto the tractor. I held on as the second man began driving down some steep sections. I was worried the tractor might roll over, but the man seemed to know what he was doing.

Finally I climbed off and walked into a barn-like building. I entered a room on the second floor, lay down on an old dusty bed and noticed a little cabinet built into the wall. I was looking up from underneath and it looked as if part of the bottom was coming off and a little paper sack was hanging there. I was surprised to see the words "Stella" and "Cole" written on the bags. Since I knew that my great-grandmother's name was Stella and that my grandfather's name was Cole, I immediately concluded this was an old sack which used to belong to them. I pulled it out. Only about seven or eight centimeters tall, the sack was very fragile. It had some other writing on the side. I was excited, thinking my father would certainly be interested in seeing this.

I looked at the cabinet and pulled out another little bag. Then I opened the cabinet. Now I could see that there was a back panel and behind the back panel were some other things which looked as if they had been hidden there. I pulled off the fragile wood and found several rows of small items. I wondered if the people who lived there knew about this. Apparently not. I had made a discovery. I found a small sack full of golden rings, perhaps 15 rings, and other pieces of jewelry. I stuck it all in my left shirt pocket. I was probably going to keep it. I found an old can of shaving cream. It was in good shape and I thought it might be collectable. There were many more items.

I heard someone in the next room and I lay back on the bed as if I hadn't found anything. Then I got up and walked into the next room. Several small raccoons were sticking their noses through a door on the other side. They ran off. I hollered to the person in the next room, then I walked in. A boy and a woman were in there. This room was much cleaner and had all kinds of old things sitting around. Now I remembered I had actually inherited all this stuff, even the stuff I had found in the cabinet was mine.

The woman (who looked like Janice Soprano, the character played by the actress Aido Turturro in the television series "The Sopranos") said she was looking for a couple items which belonged to her. She had apparently lived there but she hadn't inherited anything and now she was bitter. She said she was looking for some "smards" which belonged to her. I wasn't sure what "smards" were, but I wasn't going to argue with her about them. Then I looked around the room. Down low on a table I saw some board games. The other fellow in the room was a boy (about 10 years old). I picked up the games and saw a couple games about movies. One game was called "James Kirk" and I figured it had to do with Star Trek. Another was "Rin Tin Tin." I picked it up and I told the fellow I collected movie board games. Prominently on the middle of the front cover were the words "Rudyard Kipling." I figured Rudyard Kipling had written the original story for "Rin Tin Tin." This board game was definitely a collectable since it displayed both the name of the show and the author's name on the cover. This game would definitely go well in my collection.

Just as I had been unable to save my brother Adolph from drowning those many years ago, I accepted that I could not save my father from drowning in his own stench.

Dream of: 05 September 2004 "Foul Stench"

I was having a meal with my father in a restaurant in downtown Portsmouth. As we ate, a man stepped up and spoke with my father for a few minutes, and after the man had left, my father began inputting some information about the man into a small silver electronic device (about three by three centimeters, flat and thin). My father typed the man's name and an ID word which the man had given to my father (but no telephone number). I told my father that he should check his device to be sure he could download (or upload?, I wondered) the info into his computer from the device; otherwise, someday he would lose the device and all the info. I myself had recently lost some info, so I knew the pain involved. I also told my father he should make sure he could transfer info from the computer ("vice-versa", I said) to the device. He paid me little mind, as if what I was saying was unimportant, and he went about his business. 

My father looked about 50 years old, and the way he was acting roughly resembled Kelsey Grammer.

We were sitting at a long cafeteria-like table. I was sitting on his right and another man about his age sat on his left. My father and the other man talked with each other, completely ignoring me. I busied myself with my meal, a couple of unappetizing lunch-meat sandwiches on buns.

Only gradually did I become attuned to a woman who had sat down next to me on my right, so close she was almost touching me. Since many other empty chairs were at the table, I concluded she must have purposely sat there to talk with me. I turned to her and opened a conversation. She immediately indicated she knew me. I looked at her more closely, searching her face for her identity. Finally I mumbled, "Judith?"

She nodded affirmatively and said, "Judith Ray."

Since I knew my friend Judith had had a different last name when I had known her almost 20 years before in Dallas, I concluded she must have married and changed her name; and she confirmed my surmise.

I was happy to see her. She looked in her early 30s, even younger than she had been when I had known her. Her features were far prettier than before -- I wondered if she had had cosmetic surgery, she was so pretty. I was surprised she was living in Portsmouth and I wondered how long she had been there. I wanted to know more about what she had been doing over the years. Did she still work as a legal secretary as she had when I had known her?

She was friendly, but a bit reticent. After a short conversation, she announced she had to leave. I quickly asked for her phone number, and when I did not receive it, I asked again. I wished she didn't have to leave so soon. I thought maybe she could join my father and me right now and we could go somewhere together for some entertainment.

As she was looking for paper and pen for her phone number, I stood and excused myself from the table. I hurried to the front desk of the restaurant -- I was looking for a newspaper, hoping to find in the entertainment section somewhere where we could all go. I saw a pile of Portsmouth newspapers (each containing two thin sections) under the front counter and I picked up one. I fumbled in my pocket for a quarter -- but then I noticed that the price was 75 cents (which seemed expensive to me), and I realized the paper was the Sunday edition. Since today was Saturday, I asked the man behind the counter if he had a Saturday paper with the entertainment section. He said no, and that the Sunday paper wouldn't help me. I laid the paper down and walked toward the door.

Next to the door was a machine which I thought was a newspaper machine. Only when I had put a quarter in the slot did I realize the machine was a jukebox. The insides whirled and a vinyl record began playing exquisite Latin music. I stepped outside onto the street, still looking for a newspaper. I walked a short ways until I realized I was running out of time: it was already 10 p.m. and by 11 p.m. everything in Portsmouth would be closed. 

I walked back toward the restaurant only to find my father already outside. The man who had been sitting and talking with my father inside was now standing with my father. The man seemed to be working for my father. The two of them started walking across a parking lot toward the car. 

Next to the parking lot was a swampy area with a pool of foul-looking water. Suddenly, without warning, my father ran toward the pool and jumped in feet first. He completely sank beneath the surface. I was disgusted. Why would he act so foolishly? Clearly he might drown. I vacillated, wondering if I should try to save him. His feet and legs might have sunk into the mud on the bottom. If I jumped in, I might also become stuck and drown. I decided not to jump in. Instead, I picked up a stick with several branches and pushed it into the water, thinking he might grab the stick and I could pull him out. I wished I had a straighter stronger stick.

As I groped, the other man also jumped into the foul stench, apparently intent on helping my father. He also sank beneath the surface, and for many seconds I probed with my stick with neither my father nor the other man in sight. I had crouched down and had even moved into the water up to my waist.

All was quiet; but gradually off in the water-weeds I thought I heard breathing and finally I saw two heads above the surface. Slowly both men climbed out of the water in their drenched clothes. I also stood and headed toward the car. I was disgusted; I still wanted to talk with Judith. I had the feeling she was standing near the restaurant door watching this whole sorry scene. Now, however, I was such a mess, I just headed toward the car, thinking I could talk with Judith another time.

As I stood by my increasingly ill mother (abandoned so many years before by my father), the gulf between my father and me widened.

Dream of: 16 September 2004 "Trust Fund"

I walked into a tenebrous basement bar, looking for my mother, whom I saw sitting at a corner table with my father. She looked about 40 years old, was slim and had dark black hair. As soon as I entered she stood and stumbled around. Obviously intoxicated on alcohol, she sat back down in a different seat at the corner table, still close to my father, who continued sitting at the corner table, staring out at the room. He was obese and sickly-looking, probably in his mid 60s. 

I sat down at a different table a couple tables away from them. I had planned on picking up my mother and I hadn't expected to see my father there. His presence made me uneasy: he and I had recently had a serious falling-out concerning my mother's estate. He wanted to see all her assets placed in a trust fund and I was dead-set against such a trust. I thought he wanted the trust fund set up so that I ultimately wouldn't receive anything from my mother's estate. 

He suddenly made some remark about the matter, and even though several people were sitting nearby, I harshly answered that he was simply trying to cut me out of my mother's estate. He made another comment and then he complained of my talking about the matter in public. I answered that he was the one who had begun the conversation. 

He stood up, then sat down again at a table closer to mine. As he did so, he mentioned something about the "war." I knew he was talking about the U.S. - Iraq War. I also knew that he supported the war, while I opposed it. Now, however, I realized several men were sitting against the wall and I quickly concluded that they also supported the war. My father was intimating that he could cause me problems in there by talking about my opposition to the war. These men might even attack me.

Curiously, several oriental men sitting behind my father began speaking. They were all probably in their mid 30s. I quickly concluded they were Vietnamese and I wondered whether they supported or opposed the Iraq War. 

I didn't want to pursue the subject of the war further, however; I simply wanted to retrieve my mother and depart. I wanted to get away from my father. I had no desire to be around him and I would be happy if I never saw him again. 

No matter what battles might have been fought between us, I dreaded the thought that my father would go to his grave while we were at war.

Dream of: 21 September 2004 "Dying?"

From the window of a room located on an upper story of a tall building, I was looking at a skyline which looked like that of Dallas. In the distance rose a huge plume of smoke. At first it looked like smoke from a fire, but then it looked more like the plume of an atomic bomb. When I looked out another building and in the distance saw a high-rise office building on fire, I concluded the city was under attack. I was still unsure whether an atomic bomb had been dropped; if so, it might be too late to escape. 

My father (probably in his mid 40s) walked in. My mother also entered but remained in the background. I told my father what I had seen, but when I tried to show him, I had trouble finding the windows from which to look. He tried to see, but he couldn't. We quickly decided to leave.

The three of us boarded a car and rode to an area of town where I owned an adobe-style building. After the car stopped, we all climbed out and walked into the building where I was surprised to see that the rooms were furnished, albeit shabbily. After I pulled out a hand gun, my father and I walked from room to room until we encountered a man in one room. When the man also picked up a gun, I pointed my gun at him and ordered him to put his gun down. When he did so, I lowered my gun and began questioning him. Finally we all walked outside. The building was next door to a church or a camping ground (I couldn't decide which) and the building seemed to be part of the other complex, even though I owned this building.

The fellow blamed Lee Seeley (one of my father's employees) for his being there. I wasn't clear about the details, but apparently Seeley had told the fellow he could stay there.

I was still in a hurry to get out of town and I decided not to bother the fellow right now. After I told him he could stay in the building, my father, my mother and I headed toward the car. My father walked ahead of my mother and me, out of our sight. When I suddenly heard a thud, I immediately knew my father had been hit by a car. My mother and I ran toward something which I saw lying on the side of the road up ahead of us. As I approached the object, I discovered it to be a large brown antlered deer, still alive. I stepped up next to it and touched it. I was apprehensive that it might still try to attack me, but it was too weak to stand.

Where was my father? I saw we were actually on an overpass and I concluded my father must have been knocked off to the road below. I retraced my steps and descended the bank to the road below. There I saw my father lying on the ground and I hurried to him. Was he dying? He and I hadn't been getting along well lately and I had hard feelings toward him, but I still cared what happened to him. If he were dying, should I tell him I still cared about him?

I reached him and crouched next to him. He was obviously injured but fully conscious and even in a cheerful mood. He seemed glad to see me. 

If I could not free myself of anything else regarding my father, I would be successful if I could merely be free of the anger which he had engendered in me.

Dream of: 27 September 2004 "Family Pictures"

I was in the House in Patriot, busily shuffling back and forth between the House and my father's car which was parked out front, loading the trunk with my possessions. I had been living in Ohio, but was now planning to haul all my belongings back to Texas, and my father was going to drive me there. My mother, my sister, and my brother Chris intended to go with us. 

I had just carried out a load and had returned to the living room, when my father (about 40 years old) stepped up on the front porch and kicked a package from the porch floor into the living room. I recognized the package as containing some family pictures. Obviously my father was angry about the pictures; he stepped into the room and demanded to know why I was taking them.

I stood in front of him and told him that I wasn't taking the pictures, that he was the one who had pulled the package out of storage -- not I.

Obviously enraged, he looked as if he intended to strike me. I was afraid, but I suddenly knew I would no longer tolerate his abuse. I now knew it was against the law for him to hit me and I blurted, "If you hit me, I'll call the police."

I had thought about saying, "If you hit me, I'll have you arrested." I also thought I could have him arrested if he hit anyone else in the family.

He was fuming and he didn't seem to know what to do. He could tell I wasn't bluffing. I waited for him to strike, but I thought he was going to back off. 

The enthralling beauty of the view of Portsmouth and the Ohio River from my father's Hilltop House seemed to assuage any concerns my father might have experienced concerning the lives and deaths of others.

Dream of: 29 October 2004 "Unconcerned"

My father had built a new house atop a high hill. A dirt road wound up to the house. As I was standing at the bottom of the hill -- preparing to walk to the top -- my father's old girlfriend, Christa, stepped up and indicated she would like to walk up with me. I wasn't particularly thrilled with the idea, especially since I knew my father was now married to my step-mother. Nevertheless, Christa accompanied me and together we trudged the forested dirt road to the top of the hill. 

Once on top, we walked into the house and found my father. Fortunately, my step-mother wasn't there at the moment. Nevertheless, my father was obviously unhappy to see Christa and he wanted her to leave. Christa, however, refused. She maintained she had something which she wished to discuss with my father and she wouldn't budge. When I saw a car pulling up the dirt road to the house, I thought my step-mother might be arriving. I was relieved when I saw a family in the car; they looked as if they were dressed in their Sunday clothes and were out for a ride. Apparently people sometimes liked to drive up to the new house just to look at it. I soon noticed car after car driving up the hill and around the house. 

Worried that my step-mother could show up at any time, I finally told Christa she had to leave. She didn't want to, but after she had dropped a couple coins on the floor, she turned, walked out the door, and headed back down the hill. 

The road to the house was extremely steep and some cars still arriving seemed to be having problems reaching the top. When I heard the engine of a car which seemed to be having difficulty, I looked outside and saw a green Volkswagen bug heading back down the hill. A landslide of mud had slowly begun pressing down on the car pushing the car toward the steep edge of the road. A man walking along the road appeared in danger of also being swallowed by the landslide. 

I called my father to me to see what was happening. We weren't looking through a window, but through a large hole in the side and floor of the house. We were now positioned so we were directly above the road and were looking straight down at the green Volkswagen below us. I could see the man in the car, who looked on the verge of panic.

Suddenly the mud pushed the car over the steep edge of the road. The cliff was extremely high -- perhaps a kilometer straight down to the bottom, where the descent ended in a winding creek. The car bounced off crags and trees, sometimes passing out of sight then reappearing as it crashed toward the creek below. When the car was about half way down the cliff, I noticed a second person in the car, a boy probably 10-12 years old. He was sitting in the back seat reading a book, even though he was obviously terrified and probably headed toward his doom. My father said the boy was reading simply to keep calm. 

My father seemed unmoved by the spectacle. He made a comment about how he would have to hire someone to come up and repair the road, but he seemed unconcerned about the fate of the green Volkswagen and its passengers.

I wondered if I could do something to help the people in the car. I certainly couldn't jump from that height; and if I climbed back down the road, I would certainly arrive too late.

I was a bit surprised when my sister (probably 16-17 years old) walked over to the hole and also began looking down. By now I was just barely hanging on, poised precariously on the top of the hole. I realized with one wrong move I could plunge to my death. When my sister walked up close to the edge of the hole, I said to her, "Stand back. One slip and you're dead."

Even if my father and I were destined to never reconcile, I would find solace that even evil could be beautifully described.

Dream of: 01 January 2005 "A Grecian Urn"

I was riding a train in Germany. I had been there a few days and I was planning to stay quite a while. An attractive woman (probably in her late 20s) was sitting next to me on my right. She and I had become quite friendly and we were having a long conversation when I became aware that I had an erection -- not only an erection, my penis was sticking out of my unzippered pants. I didn't do anything about it at first, but finally I said something and the woman looked as if she had been aware of it all along and simply hadn't said anything. I put my penis back in my pants and zipped up. However the bulge was still there. I told the woman I wasn't sexually aroused, I simply couldn't get rid of this erection. She didn't criticize me and we continued our conversation. 

She handed me a volume of Encyclopedia Britannia. I thought I might be able to hold the book in front of my erection if we had to stand to get off train. She said she had been looking in the encyclopedia for the entry on John Keats and she asked me if I knew who John Keats was. I smugly thought to myself that I knew who Keats was and I mentioned to her that he had written "Ode to a Grecian Urn." I thought I might even know a few lines from the poem and I hoped she was duly impressed. I began leafing through the book looking for Keats. 

Another fellow (probably in his mid 20s) stepped up looking for a seat. At first I thought he was my old high school classmate and friend, Roger Anderson, but looking closer, I realized he wasn't Anderson. He sat down in a seat behind us. A second fellow nearby began talking about how he loved Germany and he pointed out the window to a German town sitting on a high hill in the distance. It looked beautiful. He said when he had first arrived, his plane had landed in that town and he loved it there. 

Suddenly my father (only about 40 years old) stepped up in the aisle next to me. He was thin and in good shape. I could hardly believe he was there -- I certainly hadn't expected him. He got right to the point. He said I would need to remove all my things from the Gallia County Farm tomorrow. I was flabbergasted because I had stored a lot of things on the Farm. He and I hadn't been getting along well lately, but I hadn't expected him to do anything like this. He said he and my step-mother had already stacked all my things together in one spot and he intimated that if I did not get them tomorrow, he would destroy them. 

This seemed so despicable to me. I tried to explain that I wasn't going back to the United States for quite a while. I certainly didn't see how I could buy a plane ticket and fly back tomorrow. But he was adamant. I tried to decide whether going back was even worth it. Maybe it would be better to just let him destroy everything. I knew he and I would never reconcile. I leaned over toward him and whispered, "You bastard." 

He looked surprised and angry. I immediately regretted what I had said, not because I was sorry I had said it (because I believed that it was true and that he was an evil man), but because I knew he would now retaliate against me like he always did if he were offended. I just wished I didn't have to be around him anymore; but I hated to see my possessions on the Farm destroyed.

Obsessed with mining the truth from my mind, I had difficulty comprehending that my father simply was not interested in knowing the truth about what I thought of him.

Dream of: 08 January 2005 "Breaking Silence"

Whether by accident or design, I had met my father in a restaurant and we had sat down for a meal together. We hadn't talked with each other for a long time because of an argument we had had. I now decided if we were going to talk again, I wasn't going to fall into our previous pattern of not talking about things which really mattered. I told him I wanted to talk about the truth, and the first thing I told him was that I utterly despised him, that I just couldn't stand him. I thought I needed to get that sentiment out in the open first, and that I would now tell him exactly why I despised him.

As I was about to continue, my sister walked up and sat down on my right (my father was sitting directly across from me). As she also began partaking of the meal, I told my father I was going to continue my conversation in front of my sister. He seemed displeased, but he wasn't going to stop me this time. I began by saying that the biggest problem in this family was the continual hiding of things. Nothing was brought out into the open. I was going to change that. 

I began explaining to my sister the cause of the recent dispute between my father and me. To begin, I interjected that I also despised my step -mother. I said that my step-mother was conniving and that she was trying to divest my father of as much property as she could. She had already obtained title to the new Hilltop House, and she was now at the heart of the present dispute.

I explained to my sister that my father and I had been talking on the telephone and my father had told me he intended to give my step-mother the coal rights on the Gallia County Farm. When I had heard this, I had told my father his giving the coal rights to my step-mother "bothered me" -- that was all I had said. I now explained to my sister that I had been bothered because my father had previously assured me he would never give my step-mother any interest in the Farm. My father now spoke up and said he had never said any such thing. 

I continued talking, and I pointed out that once before my father had thought of giving my step-mother an interest in the coal rights on the Farm. At that time, he had even prepared a document which would transfer those rights. Subsequently, he had thought better of the matter and he had decided not to give my step-mother any coal rights. At that time he had shown me the document which he had prepared, and he had told me that he had been mentally sick to have ever even thought of transferring the coal rights to my step-mother, and that he would never give her any rights to the coal. 

Then, when I had subsequently been talking with him on the phone and he had informed me that he had decided to give the coal rights to my step-mother, I had told him his doing so "bothered me." I told my sister that when I had said this, my father had gone berserk. He now just sat at the table and didn't deny anything I was saying. 

I continued, "And then, after that, he tried to take my mother's money in order to punish me."

I explained to my sister that he had taken my mother's life savings and had tried to put the money into a trust account with my sister as sole trustee. He had only done this to punish me. When he had realized certain legal problems impeded the formation of the trust account (I informed my sister), he had tried to keep the money for himself. 

My sister didn't say anything; she simply continued eating.

I wanted to make clear my reasons for being angry with my father, and I wanted to make clear that in the future, if I were going to associate with him in any manner, I wasn't going to remain silent about how I felt about things. 

Clearly my father now wanted to reconcile in some way, but I wasn't sure I wanted to. I was only sure that if I were going to be around him, I wasn't going to meekly stand by and not say how I felt about things, the way he wanted. If I were going to be around him, things were definitely going to be different. 

Convinced that my father and I would never resolve our differences, I became resigned to remaining silent about those issues which divided us.

Dream of: 01 February 2005 "Ignoring Differences"

I was in the front passenger seat of a car which my father (about 50 years old) was driving  along Swauger Valley Road in Sciotoville, Ohio. About 20 meters up the side of a hill on our left were piles of coal which had been mined there. Both my father and I tried to see the mine entrance, but we couldn't.

Rock cliffs ran along the road and veins of coal could be seen in the cliffs. Some veins were round, about a meter in diameter. I mentioned to my father that those round veins must be the result of large trees which had fallen there and been compressed into coal. He indicated that he agreed. I thought he should know a little about coal, since I thought he was mining some coal on some of his land. This subject, however, was painful for me, because he and I hadn't been on speaking terms for several months, and I thought if I were going to have a relationship with him, I would have to be involved in the coal operation. I didn't think he wanted me involved with the coal, however, so I doubted we would have much to do with each other. Nevertheless, just our being in the same car together was an enormous change in our relationship. We still weren't talking about any of the problems we had with each other, or trying to resolve any problems; but maybe that was for the best. Maybe it was best not to discuss anything, and to simply go on as if nothing had happened. Our differences would never be resolved and perhaps it was best to simply ignore them.

Suddenly my attention was drawn to an area off to the side. We were now on a highway in a more open area with rolling green hills. Off to the left several deer were standing on the side of the hill. I pointed them out to my father. I noticed more and more deer, and I began counting. I also noticed a brown pony running with the deer. I had never seen so many deer in one spot -- I counted 23. About half were gray and half were brown.

The area was surrounded by new development and roads. It looked as if only this small section had been left for the deer so they had all congregated there. They kept running and turned down a little road on our left, running right along the road. One deer was lying in the road: it had been hit by a car. I thought it was dead, but then it moved. I felt so sorry for it, but I knew there was nothing I could do for it. We kept on going. 

Although I had long been concerned about my father's ultimate fate, my central concern had been my own fate.

Dream of: 02 February 2005 "Failure To Communicate"

My father and I were standing near the Gallia County Farmhouse. He was complaining about why we didn't get along. We hadn't been talking lately, but his reasons seemed askew to me. He didn't understand, I blurted out, that the real problem was that we couldn't communicate. I couldn't tell him how I really felt about him because he always became so angry if I criticized him in any way whatsoever.

From where we were standing, I could see the tobacco field, with the tobacco plants and their wide green leaves. Here was just one example of what I was talking about: I thought his raising tobacco and making money from tobacco was deplorable. Yet I couldn't tell him that, because he would explode in a fit of rage.

Another thing that bothered me was his continuing to allow hunting deer on the Farm. Yet there was nothing I could do about it and if I would bring up the subject, he would just ignore me or become angry.

As we had been talking we had moved up the road away from the Farmhouse to the section of land on the other side of the road and we were now out among the trees. Even as I had been thinking about hunting deer, I noticed several deer had gathered around us. I was especially interested in the deer, because I knew I had recently dreamed about deer, and I thought maybe now I could figure out why. I was surprised to see the deer come so close to us without their being frightened. When I saw that three or four of the deer were bucks with fairly large antlers, as a precaution I pulled myself up on the rock cliff behind me, several meters above them.

My father, however, stayed below, and soon I was shocked as the deer began savagely attacking him. I couldn't see well, but I could discern that the deer had knocked him to the ground and were viciously goring him with their antlers. He was screaming for help, but I knew I couldn't go down to him, or I would suffer the same fate as he.

My greed for the Gallia County Farm hampered the development of my spiritual power.

Dream of: 06 February 2005 "Lord Of The Rings"

I had arrived at the Gallia County Farmhouse so I could clear out all the possessions which I had stored there. Since my father and I were no longer getting along, I thought it best to remove my things. The idea of leaving the Farmhouse for good made me sad -- like leaving an old friend. I found the key, walked inside, and went upstairs. As I was looking for a DVD copy of The Lord of the Rings which I had left there, I heard my father downstairs. Since I thought I should explain to him why I was there, I walked downstairs and found my father (about 40 years old), my step-mother (dressed in green and likewise about 40 years old), and some of my stepmother's young grandchildren, on the back porch.

My father sat down and I began explaining to him that I had come to move out some of my possessions. My stepmother hovered about, looking as if she were in control of the place. My father didn't say anything. Since I was moving out anyway, I thought I might mention something else that had been bothering me: I blurted out, "You've never given me anything!"

That was almost true: in all the years that my father had known me, the only things I possessed which he had ever given me were a cheap pocket knife and an old broken pocket watch. To emphasize what I was saying, I wanted to pull out the cheap knife and show it to him -- I kept it on my key chain. When I searched in my pockets, however, I couldn't find the knife. Fed up, I just wanted out of there -- I just wanted to gather my things and leave. 

Unable to achieve meaningful communication with my father, I was still intrigued by his effect upon me and the role which he had played in shaping my character.

Dream of: 16 March 2005 "The Bully"

I had temporarily moved into the 29th Street House with my mother. After living there a few days, I was surprised to see my father (about 50 years old) show up. He spent the night and slept with my mother in the front bedroom.

The next morning I was in the living room and he walked in. He was unfriendly and didn't speak. He just walked from room to room as if he owned the place. I tried to avoid him, but he approached me and began complaining about the way I had cut the grass the day before. I thought to myself that his complaining was so typical. He himself had done nothing around there to help out, yet he was complaining about work I had done. At least I had done something.

I turned to him and asked him if my step-mother knew he had spent the night there with my mother. He looked surprised. He hadn't expected me to counter him in any way. I knew he had a long history of being unfaithful with whatever woman he happened to be. Obviously he was now being unfaithful to my step-mother. I wondered how he would react if I told my step-mother.

I turned and walked up the stairs to the second floor. I had barely reached the top when I heard him rushing up the stairs after me. He was furious. Obviously he was going to attack me. As he stormed toward me I blurted out that he was nothing but a "bully." I told him he had always been a bully and he always would be a bully.

My mother and my sister had followed him up the stairs. My mother looked haggard. I told him to look at her and what he had done to her. He had used her up over the years. I told him he had "sucked the life out of her."

I then gestured to my sister. I said she knew what I was saying was true, but she wouldn't say anything because she didn't want "to lose her inheritance." She remained quiet.

My father doubled up his fists as if he were going to hit me. I prepared to defend myself and I doubled mine. I slowly moved my right fist toward his face and lightly touched his face with my fist. He fell over on his side, but immediately stood back up. He seemed uncertain now what to do. Clearly he had thought he could bully me without my defending myself; but now that he saw I might fight back, he was having second thoughts.

I retained my anger for my father, even while I continued to feel entitled to part of his estate.

Dream of: 19 March 2005 "One Hundred Million Dollars"

My father (about 40 years old) and I were sitting down talking with each other. I became irritated as he was talking about his finances. He said he now had 100 million dollars. I was astounded that he had saved so much and I couldn't figure out where he had accumulated so much money. What angered me, however, was that he had never shared any of his wealth with me. When I confronted him with that fact, he seemed surprised. I pulled out my key chain and showed him the pocket knife hanging on the chain. I said the only thing he had ever given me was that little pocket knife and an old broken watch that had belonged to his father (I couldn't remember his father Cole's name). I told him to think back over the years, and he would realize that he had never given me any gifts. The only other thing I could remember was an old car he had once given me after he had worn it out. 

He seemed surprised, as if he had never realized that he hadn't given me anything. I wondered if he might now decide to change that. If he had 100 million, if he only gave me a million it would still be a small amount for him, but would be an enormous amount for me. He didn't seem inclined to do that however. He was only concerned with talking about how much money he had, not with giving any of it to me.

As I became more and more resigned to never receiving any part of my father's estate, I had less and less reason to maintain our vacuous communication.

Dream of: 23 April 2005 "Feeling Badly"

Carolina, my mother and I in were in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse. I was gathering up some of my things to move out of the Farmhouse. I was hoping to move my stuff out while my father wasn't there, since I didn't want to see him. I didn't expect him there today, thus I was surprised when I looked out the window and saw a gray SUV pulling a blue sports car coming down the road. I knew my father was driving the SUV. Apparently he had just bought the sports car and he was pulling it out to the Farm. I was dismayed to see him and I knew I would now have to leave. Once he had parked, he walked in through the kitchen door and said, "Hello, Steven."

My grandmother Mabel (around 60 years old) and my sister were with him (he looked in his mid 40s). They all stood around the kitchen.  I could tell that my father was glad I was there and that I was welcome to stay, even though he didn't say anything else to me, but I was determined to leave.

I walked over to my grandmother and hugged her. She sensed something was wrong, and she wanted to know if it had anything to do with her. I blurted out, "I feel badly toward you."

Then I told her I felt badly toward all of them. She wanted to know why. I told her I felt badly toward her because she had given the entire Farm to my father and now he wasn't going to give any of the Farm to me. She seemed stunned, as if that hadn't been her intention. My father didn't say anything, and his silence seemed to confirm what I had said. My sister also remained silent, obviously pleased with the situation since she thought if I didn't receive any of the Farm, she might receive a bigger portion.

I wanted to leave as quickly as I could. I walked back into the living room and I gathered up my things from the floor. Then I walked upstairs to the front corner bedroom to finish packing.  My father followed me up to the bedroom and he began asking me some questions about someone. Abruptly I realized the man asking me the questions wasn't my father at all, but a step-relative whom I didn't even know. He said something about his having a relationship with a woman and that the two of them could tell when the other was lying. He then said he didn't understand why my father hadn't slapped me when I had said what I had downstairs. I understood why my father hadn't slapped me: my father knew I would no longer allow him to slap me without my slapping him back.

I was in a hurry. I just wanted out of there.

The final fate of the Gallia County Farm, however, still remained in doubt and apparently that mystery would only be solved upon the death of my father.

Dream of: 03 June 2005 "Under Stress"

I was in a room with perhaps 20-30 people, including many relatives. My father (about 60 years old) was sitting on my left in a chair and I was sitting facing him looking at his profile. He was obese but healthy. He had laid his right arm on my legs, but he wasn't talking to me.

I wanted to get something straight with all these people: I wanted to explain why I had left Ohio. I first wanted to make clear that my father had been under a lot of stress. In my mind I had four or five reasons for his stress which I began explaining. I said that within the last year his mother (my grandmother Mabel) had died, and then his great-grandson had died. I couldn't think of the other reasons for my father's stress, but it seemed as if he had suffered some calamities. I thought his house on the "Indian Tree" property (land he had bought close to the Gallia County Farm) had burned down (but I discounted that because he had collected insurance). I also thought maybe there had been a brush fire on the Farm (but that would have been minor).

My point, however, was that my father was under a great deal of stress, and while he had been under this stress, he had tried to take over my life. He had insisted that I leave my wife Carolina, that I move to the Farm, and that I begin practicing law. I turned to him and asked if that was true. In front of everyone, he admitted that what I had said was true.

I continued to explain that because I hadn't allowed him to control my life, he had become angry, and I had left.

I looked around the room. My mother's sister-in-law Jesse (only about 40 years old) was sitting in front of us and listening with several other relatives. On the other side of the room a very attractive woman (about 25 years old) was lying on a couch. I didn't know her but apparently she lived close to the Farm. She began talking. I couldn't understand what she was saying, but it sounded as if she were saying she would have liked to have visited me on the Farm.

A radio was playing and I asked the fellow playing it to turn if off. He turned it down, but I still couldn't hear well. The attractive woman continued talking and she said something about "guinea dogs." I had no idea what she meant, but I liked her looks and I wished I had met her before while I had still been staying on the Farm.

As my father grew older and more feeble, his need to have me close to him seemed to increase and our icey relationship thawed somewhat.

Dream of: 28 November 2005 "The Importance Of Closeness"

I had brought my mother's sister-in-law, Jesse, to visit my father in the plain drab room where he was apparently living alone. Jesse didn't know that my father and I were on bad terms, and I wasn't even sure why she and I had come. I was ready to leave as soon as I arrived, even though my father didn't want me to leave.

My father began talking with Jesse about my brother Chris and my brother Adolph. He had a little box which contained some papers and some small pieces of silver jewelry which had belonged to Chris. He seemed to cherish the jewelry, and he seemed to want to keep it with him in a safe place. There were only about six pieces of jewelry and I had bought three of them for Chris. I reflected to myself that my father hadn't bought anything for Chris or Adolph while they had been alive. I walked over to the box, picked up the three pieces and told him I had bought them for Chris shortly before he had died. He seemed surprised. I put the jewelry back in the box. I decided I would let my father keep the jewelry, even though his keeping the pieces I had bought somewhat upset me.

I blurted out that he wasn't going to leave me anything as an inheritance. He said that was true, that he was going to leave everything to his other children. I pointed out that all his other children were dead except my sister, which meant he would leave everything to her. He seemed surprised that my sister was the only other sibling left.

I told Jesse to get ready. I still had to take her out of there. She seemed dazed and confused. My father (who had been sitting down) suddenly jumped up and screamed out that he still might leave me something. He seemed small and pathetic there in the almost bare room. He rushed toward me, threw his arms around me and hugged me. He seemed to be crying. As he held me, he mumbled something about how important the closeness was. His actions seemed a little strange to me since he had almost never shown any inclination to hold me.

I pried him away, but I was a little kinder and I told him he could go with us if he wanted. However when I opened the door to leave, I saw a definite problem. The room was on the second floor and outside we had to descend a wooden stairs with about 20 steps to reach the bottom. The stairs were crowded with people trying to come up with a lot of small children.

I wasn't worried about going down the stairs myself, but my father and Jesse were daunted. Jesse was particularly frightened. She started down the stairs, clinging to the rails, then finally sat down and curled up. I walked to her, picked her up in my arms and carried her down to the bottom where I laid her in the snow which covered the ground. Then I headed back up for my father. He was having a terrible time. I grabbed him by the clothes and kept him from sliding down the stairs, but his weight pulled me and we descended rather quickly. When we reached the bottom, he fell down and sprawled out on the snow -- but he wasn't hurt. He and Jesse stood up and began walking away. I started to walk with them, but before we left, I wanted to show them how well I could manage the stairs. So I ran back up the stairs. No people were on the stairs now, but a line of people was waiting at the bottom to climb the stairs, like people waiting for a ride at a fair. I saw my mother's brother, Ronald, in the line. He also saw me, but he turned his head away and he didn't seem to want to speak.

I ran up the stairs in my heavy shoes. When I reached the top I hollered out to my father, "Dad, watch me go down!"

Then I slid down the stairs, just hitting the edges, of the steps. I was very fast. I had no problem, even though the stairs were covered with ice. It was exhilarating.

Over time, my compassion for my father had become measured by the material wealth which I anticipated receiving from him.

Dream of: 17 January 2006 "Broken Watch"

I was at the house of my father (about 60 years old), whom I had once again starting seeing. He was sitting up in a bed and his wife (my step-mother) was also in the room. When my father told my step-mother to go get something for him, she scurried out of the room. He then turned to me and told me to go get his pills for him.

I stood up and walked into the next room to fetch the pills. I found the pills and also saw a bottle of high blood pressure pills, which I didn't pick up because he hadn't asked for those. I remembered how in the past, my father would often command me to fetch things for him, as if I were his lackey. Even though I had since decided I wasn't going to be his servant anymore, I brought his pills back to him and set them down in front of him. I sat down and said, "I'm not going to do that anymore."

He acted offended and wanted to know why. I told him I simply wasn't going to run around and wait on him anymore. He looked off into the distance. I could tell he was going to make some threat about my inheritance, or try to intimidate me in some other way. He blurted out, "So I never paid for your college?"

I responded, "No."

I did recall that he had helped me some financially when I had been in college, but I had later repaid him. He had never really given me anything. I leaned toward him, looked him in the eye, and asked him if he wanted to know what he had ever given me. He looked at me quizzically. I told him the only things he had ever given me were "an old broken watch and an old broken radio."

What could I do with those, I asked myself. I looked at him and said, "So don't threaten me. Believe me, I can take care of myself." 

He sat there musing. I couldn't tell what he thought. I finally stood up and walked out of the room.

Looking down for miles and miles on the beautiful Ohio River from the heights of my father's Hilltop House, I sometimes forgot the tension which existed between us.

Dream of: 09 February 2006 "Walking The Ohio"

My mother (about 40 years old) was driving a car in which I was sitting in the front passenger seat. We were headed to the Gallia County Farm. As we rode along, I could hear my father talking to my mother. His voice seemed to be coming out of the radio speakers, as if he were talking to her on a telephone. 

Apparently my father was very sick and would soon die. My mother asked him if he had made all his final arrangements. In a weak voice, he answered, "Yes." He said he had taken care of everything and divided up all his property. He said it had all worked out fine, except for one thing. I knew he was referring to me. My mother asked him about the Farm. He said it would leave it to "a son." I thought he probably meant my nephew Steven or my nephew David, since he probably thought of them as his sons. I certainly didn't think he was referring to me.

He sounded sad. My mother asked if he had done everything the way he had originally planned, and again he said yes, except for one thing. I knew he was talking about me. He said the president of the United States would probably have to decide what to do with $50,000-$60,000. I figured that he was probably going to leave that paltry amount to me, but that he would even tie that up so I would have difficulty obtaining it. 

Referring to his ex-girlfriend, Christa Conkel, he said "Conkel" would be happy and he talked about how he hadn't paid Christa as much as he should have when she used to work for him in his business. He was making up for that in his will. I wasn't sure what my mother thought about that, because I knew she didn't like Christa.

He sounded a bit bitter and sad at the same time. He said someone should have been with him, that he liked to wake up and see someone sitting there. 

I didn't think he knew I was in the car listening to what he was saying, but abruptly with a scratchy voice, he said, "Steven, will you come over and help me walk the Ohio."

I knew he was speaking figuratively of the Ohio River, as if he and I could walk together along the pleasant shores of the river. I could hardly say anything, but finally I gulped, "Yes."

I thought he was in his new Hilltop House. I thought I should probably go up there right now. By now, we had reached the Farm. We would have to turn around and drive all the way back to New Boston if I were going to see him. I thought I should go quickly - he didn't sound as if he would last long.

Mining my imagination was proving costly, but I would not trade it for all the material wealth of the world.

Dream of: 17 June 2006 "Coal Mine Wealth"

I was in the front passenger seat of a car which my father was driving on a gravel road in the country. My pet Dalmatian Picasso was also in the car with us. We began winding up a hill and when we had almost reached the top, the road became so steep, the car began tilting backwards. The front wheels came off the ground and the car didn't stabilize until it was standing almost straight up and down, with the front up in the air.

I was able to stand up in the car and I began moving around. I thought I might climb out the window and try to pull down the front of the car. I was afraid the car might tumble all the way back down the long hill. Finally, however, the car came down and we were able to pass over the top of the hill.

We were still riding on a little country road when we reached an area with coal mines all around us. Coal was clearly being cut straight out of the mountains. The mountains were slashed open and coal was everywhere. All kinds of people were working there. I thought if I ever needed a job, I could probably find a job working at one of these coal mines. I started talking with my father and I was surprised to learn that he owned these coal mines.

He drove a little further until he pulled into a little general store. He stopped the car and we stepped out. Picasso, my father and I walked through the store until we came to a room with stairs leading upward. I told Picasso to "stay" and he stayed at the bottom of the stairs while my father and I walked on up. We ended up in a rustic room over top the store. Four or five men dressed in suits were sitting around the perimeter of the room. I quickly concluded these men were political figures in this little county. I wasn't sure, but I thought the county was either Gallia County or Scioto County, Ohio.

I sat down and the men began talking about my father's coal mines. It quickly became clear that with all his coal mines, my father was the most powerful man in this little county.

A map was on the wall. Since I wanted to know exactly where we were, I asked someone if he could point out our location on the map. I thought we were in Scioto County, but when the man stood up by the map, it turned out we were in Meigs County, Ohio. The man pointed to a large area where my father's coal mines were located.

I asked my father if he owned the land or if he just leased the land. He told me he owned the land and he told me how many acres he owned. Someone mentioned the price of each acre and I began calculating the total value: I came up with a figure of two billion dollars. Amazed, I repeated the words "two billion." That was an incredible amount of money. Apparently, however, my father was worth two billion dollars.

I mumbled that he had done a good job of keeping this secret all the years. He acknowledged that he had.

I was starting to worry about Picasso being left alone downstairs and I told my father I was going to have to go back downstairs and take care of Picasso. I stood up and walked out of the room. On the way, I began worrying that someone might have shot Picasso or hurt him somehow.

As I headed down the stairs, I thought how I hadn't expected my father to bequeath anything to me when he died. But if he had two billion dollars, surely he would leave me a little bit. I thought I could probably even tell Carolina that I would at least receive a couple million, practically nothing out of two billion. Two million, however, would be an enormous sum for me. I could tell Carolina that she had divorced me just a little bit too soon (we had divorced in April 2006). 

Although I was ready to test the power of my imagination, my father's admonitions continued to discourage me from doing so.

Dream of: 23 August 2006 "The Admonition"

I was enjoying flying and floating through the rooms of the Gallia County Farmhouse in front of some members of my family. Finally I flew outside and started singing a song which began  "Mama mia ..." My voice sounded excellent, as if I were singing an operatic aria. My father and my sister also floated outside, but they couldn't fly as well as I.

I looked down toward the bottom of the hill, at the bridge which crosses Symmes Creek, and I thought I might fly down there. When my father realized what I intended, he told me not to fly down to the alfalfa field, meaning I shouldn't fly down around the bridge. I didn't intend to listen to him; I saw no reason in the world why I couldn't fly down to the bridge and I responded, "You mean I can't fly down to the alfalfa field?"

My sister flew past me and she saw that I intended to fly down to the bridge despite my father's warning. She asked, "Are you going to think about me?"

Obviously she wanted me to give some thought to her. I answered, however, that no, that was the whole idea of flying down there, that I wasn't going to think about anything -- I was simply going to fly around.

Having decided to go against my father's admonition, I swooped down to the bottom of the hill. Suddenly I saw an old beat-up car -- menacing looking -- coming down the road. Abruptly I lost my power to fly and I landed on the ground. The car passed right beside me and headed up a road leading to the Farmhouse.

I had lost almost all my power, even to walk. I started crawling, barely, up the front steps toward the Farmhouse. My sister was up on the hill close to the Farmhouse, encouraging me, saying, "You can do it."

The car, meanwhile, had reached the top of the hill, turned around, and was getting ready to come back down. I was afraid the car might come right down the steps toward me. I hoped I still retained enough power to jump straight up in the air so the car wouldn't hit me. I thought to myself, "Trapped like a rat."

Although I wanted to view the Gallia County Farm as my beautiful home nestled in the verdant hills, my father's failure to recognize my innate powers made the Farm seem more like a golden cage to which I compulsively returned.

Dream of: 12 September 2006 "Magic Powers"

I had walked from the Gallia County Farm to a neighboring farm. As I strolled around a hilly area, I noticed dozens of piles of brush and trees being burned. I concluded the farmer on this land was burning the wood to clear the land. I walked to the top of a high hill, where I spotted a couple fellows dressed in orange outfits busily burning the piles of wood. I figured they probably didn't want me up there.

Since I was so high up on the hill, I decided I would simply fly off. On a steep slope, I simply stretched out my arms, fell forward, and easily flew down toward the bottom of the hill. Once I reached the bottom, I continued flying around the whole area. I flew all the way back to the Farm and even flew inside the Farmhouse, where I continued to fly inside.

My father (about 50 years old) was inside the Farmhouse. He was talking to someone about me, criticizing me, and leveling a constant barrage of criticism against me. As I continued flying, I told him that the only thing he ever did was criticize me -- he never said anything good about me. He only spewed a constant flow of criticism. He continued talking to someone else, and said, "Steven thinks he has magic powers just because he can fly."

I was amazed that he couldn't even appreciate the fact that I could fly. Even my flying he criticized. He then stated that the only benefit he could derive from me was if I would die and he could inherit something from me. He then mentioned my deceased brother, Adolph, and he said he had never had any problems with Dolfie. In my father's eyes, Dolfie had been almost perfect. I, however, was completely different.

My father's true angry character continued to manifest itself in the truthful center of my soul.

Dream of: 05 October 2006 "Swearing To God"

I was staying in a house where my mother was living. The only thing in the living room was a mattress on the floor, and I was lying on the mattress. When my mother walked into the room, I spoke to her. I knew my father (50-60 years old) was in the adjoining room, the kitchen. He overheard something which I said to my mother and he became angry. In an absolute rage he rushed into the room and raised his fist as if he were going to hit me. Lying on my back on the mattress, I looked at him and said, "I swear to God if you hit me, I'll never forgive you."

He stopped. Even though his rage was almost uncontrollable, he looked as if he weren't going to hit me. I continued talking. I told him I was a grown man. I wasn't a child anymore and he had no right to come in there and hit me. I thought to myself that if he did hit me, I would press charges against him and have him arrested for assault. I could probably also sue him in civil court for assault.

I had decided that his hitting me all my life was ridiculous. Here I was a grown man, and he still continued to hit me. I simply wasn't going to put up with it any longer.

Given the undying anger which continued between my father and me, I anticipated that his last will and testament would slice away any remaining material connection between us.

Dream of: 29 October 2006 "Dick Schleicher"

I was sitting in a classroom with 15-20 other people, while my father (50-55 years old) was seated at a desk at the front of the class. We had assembled for the reading of the will of my father's step-father Clarence. My father, who had already seen the will, pulled it out and quickly informed everybody that nobody there would receive anything and that my  grandfather had left his entire estate to one person, a man named "Dick Schleicher."

I was stunned. Who was Dick Schleicher? And what was my father thinking? I looked at my father and incredulously asked him if my grandfather had left anything to him. He repeated what he had already said -- everything went to Dick Schleicher.

People began getting up and leaving. I stood up and walked over to my father. I wanted to see the will for myself. He handed it to me -- it was several pages. I quickly noticed two things: the will had been written in 1978 and it had been prepared by Smith (a Portsmouth attorney). I blurted out that Smith had known all these years about my grandfather's intention but he had never said anything. Of course, I reflected that Smith, being an attorney, had a duty to keep silent. Nevertheless, it seemed odd that Smith had written my grandfather's will.

More puzzling, however, was the identity of Dick Schleicher. My father had no idea who Dick Schleicher was. My mind began racing. Perhaps Dick Schleicher was dead. Perhaps he couldn't be found. In that case, the estate would be divided according to intestate distribution. Such a distribution wouldn't help me, however. My father's mother Mabel was still alive and she would inherit almost everything. I would still get nothing.

Still, everything going to an unknown man seemed unfair. Nothing had been left to my grandmother nor to my step-uncle Ivan (Clarence's son) nor to the children of my step-aunt Lou (Clarence's deceased daughter). Everything had gone to an unknown Dick Schleicher in a will made almost 30 years ago -- it just didn't seem right.

I would at least inherit some of my father's imagination, which during his life he had locked up and stored away, just as he had stored away the saxophone which he had played as a teenager.

Dream of: 12 December 2006 "Imaginary Saxophone"

I was imagining what it would be like to play the saxophone. I remembered I had played the sax for a while when I had been younger. My imagination became so vivid, I actually seemed to be playing one. I was standing on the front porch of a house, blowing away on the sax, not loud, but enough to bring out the sound. I could play little tunes which I enjoyed hearing. People across the street even seemed to be listening to me.

I was enjoying myself, even though I again realized I had only been imagining I was playing. I recalled my father used to have a saxophone -- I wondered what had happened to it. He had probably stashed the saxophone away somewhere, like so many things in his life. He never shared his possessions, just kept them hidden away. No good ever came of his things. It would have been nice if he could have given me that saxophone and I had could have learned to play it. However, such was not the case.

My imagination was shattered by reality when I learned that my father was allowing the son of my greedy step-mother to cut down the thousands of beautiful trees which bedecked the Gallia County Farm.

Dream of: 16 December 2006 "Vehement Feelings"

My brother Chris (about 10 years old, afflicted with muscular dystrophy) and I were in a house which somewhat resembled the House in Patriot. It was Sunday. Chris was happy because my father's aunt Dorothy (the sister of my father's father, Cole) was supposed to visit him there today. I realized how just a little thing like someone coming to see him made Chris happy. He was alone most of the time and this was a happy event for him.

As we were waiting, my father (about 40 years old) walked into the room. He was tall and slender. He wanted to talk with me, but I just glared at him. I walked over to him and told him I knew what he had done. I was referring to the fact that he was logging the Gallia County Farm, and that he was letting my step-mother's sons manage the logging. I immediately told him I didn't want to ever have anything else to do with him. He stood there. He seemed a little in shock, but at the same time he seemed to have expected I would react this way. He seemed to want to talk with me and reconcile, but I told him there was no way. I told him we were finished. I meant what I said. I knew this was the final break between him and me. We would never reconcile again.

Other relatives had begun entering the house. As they arrived, I somewhat vehemently told some of them what my father had done. No one else, however, seemed particularly concerned.

I had the vague impression that my mother's brothers Ronald and Liston were in the room. They weren't concerned -- they already seemed to know what my father was like.

Finally, my mother (about 50 years old) walked in. She seemed a bit upset by what I was saying. I told her that my father had done the same thing to her, that he had taken her property, and that she no longer knew what she had.

My father had already walked out of the room. Only my mother and I were left in the room. I picked up a brick-trowel (the kind with the round tip) with a little mortar on it, and I threw the trowel down on the hardwood floor. The tip of the trowel sunk into the floor a couple centimeters so the trowel was standing straight up. The mortar which had been on the trowel had fallen off onto the floor. I had thrown down the trowel to emphasize the vehemence of my feelings.

At least the shock of my father's logging the Gallia County Farm allowed me to more clearly see the truth of who my father was and what he worshipped.

Dream of: 13 March 2007 "Worshiping Money"

I had spent the night at a park in a small mobile house-trailer which I owned. When I awoke the next morning, all kinds of birds were making noise in the park. One bird on the ground looked like an eagle, except it was white.

I remembered I had a marijuana joint in the back of the trailer. I thought about finding it to smoke, but I didn't want to smoke it yet.

I got behind the driving wheel of the trailer and started moving it around, trying to park it better. After I had parked the trailer and walked to the back of the trailer, other people began showing up, including my father and my sister. My father sat down. It was quite obvious that I wasn't speaking with him. People began talking and I told them I had been forced to park the house-trailer there because there was no where else for me to park. I was referring to the fact that I couldn't go to the Gallia County Farm anymore because of my father. Everyone quickly caught on to what I meant.

I knew that my father had given control of the Farm to my step-brother Alex and that Alex was cutting the trees off the Farm and selling them. Finally the question arose of why I wasn't talking with my father. I said my father knew why -- it was all very clear. I said it was because he had "sold the beauty."

My father stood up as if he were ready to leave, but I pushed him back and said, "You worship money. Money is your God."

My sister looked shocked by my words.

Through a window I could see my sister's son David (probably in his mid 20s) and some other relatives of my sister standing outside and looking in. Everyone seemed stunned by what I had said to my father, but I really didn't care what they thought. I just wanted to put my thoughts out in the open.

My father left and I turned to my sister (she only looked about 15 years old) and I asked her if she knew what my father had done to the Farm. Obviously she did: she started crying. Clearly she was upset by what he had done. She also couldn't go to the Farm anymore. I asked her if she knew to whom he had given the trees and she said she did. She added that she thought my father was going to sell the Farm to my step-mother or to Alex. I told her my father would only receive pennies for the Farm from them. My sister agreed, but there was nothing she could do about it at that point. Finally she walked out.

I thought to myself that I was glad I hadn't smoked the joint before everyone had come in. They surely would have smelled the smoke. I was at least thankful for that.

My nephew David walked in. A woman (apparently David's girlfriend or wife) also walked in. They were much friendlier than normal.

I had a box with some printed material which had three holes in the pages so the material could be put in a binder. I started working on the material, getting it ready to put in a binder, even though I didn't have a binder at the moment. When David began helping me, I told him I didn't have the binder.

As I worked on the material, I began thinking about everything which had just happened, and I concluded it had all been a dream. I said to David, "I've got to report this dream."

I told David that he had even been in the dream and that I had seen him outside the window when I had been dreaming. I started looking around the room for my tape recorder so I could record the dream, but I couldn't find the recorder anywhere.

I protected my imagination from my father by escaping from him.

Dream of: 10 April 2007 "Cracking My Skull"

I was at a picnic where some of my relatives were present, including my father, who was very angry with me about something. I talked with him and basically told him that there was nothing which he could do to me and that he couldn't control me. I walked away from him. I was looking for the loudspeaker system which was available for broadcasts in the picnic area. I wanted to announce on the system that I loved everybody except my father. I wanted the people to know that I loved them all, but I definitely didn't love my father. I wanted to clearly say, "I love everybody except Leroy."

I ran into my father's first-cousin Don, and I began talking with him. Suddenly my father showed up again. Someone (who almost seem like a big round ball) was with him. The person grabbed my head and began pressing it so hard, I was afraid he might crack my skull. I barely managed to slip away from him. When a second person tried to grab me, I realized my father had hired these people and he was trying to hurt me. I hollered out, "Don! Don't leave! They're trying to hurt me!"

I ran and tried to escape. I ran past some houses into a wooded area. Unsure what to do, I tried to imagine what to do next. I didn't know where this episode was going to end. I only knew I had to escape from my father. My mind was foggy about whether I had a car or someplace to go. I could only focus on running into the forest and hiding until I could escape.

Yet so great was the hold of the Gallia County Farm upon my imagination, I remained captivated by the surviving beauty of its undulating hills, even though stripped by my father of their glorious wood.

Dream of: 23 April 2007 "Collusion"

While I was in the main lobby of the courthouse in Scioto County, Ohio, I realized the Gallia County Farm was in the process of being auctioned off by the district attorney. I stood and watched in astonishment as someone bid in the Farm for $25,000. Afterward I walked over to the district attorney and I tried to determine what had happened. I couldn't figure it out. I asked the district attorney if he would show me the file so I could see how many liens were on the Farm. I thought there was a bank lien and second lien for some small loan. I told him there could only be two liens at the most, but he pointed to a tab in his file and said there were some 15 liens. He pulled out a paper with some of the amounts and creditors scribbled down. One was for $187,000. Another was for an amount almost as large. One lien was a "water lien" for $200,000. I told him I had heard about the water lien before, but that it was "bogus." Some of the other liens were also for substantial amounts. I was shocked. I knew my father had sold off all the timber on the Farm, but I had had no idea all these liens were against the property. I couldn't understand how my father had chalked up so much debt. I was also surprised that no creditors had shown up at the foreclosure sale.

I asked the district attorney if he could tell me who had bought the property. He nodded to a man sitting on the bench near him. I looked at the man who was tall and slender, perhaps 30 years old. I turned to the man and we started talking. He seemed foreign and I had the feeling he might be Russian. I quickly began to have a feeling of what had happened. I figured that my father must have colluded with the man to buy the property in order to cut off the liens. After the sale, my father would procure the property from the man without the liens. The idea was simple: have a foreclosure sale to wipe off the liens, then buy the property back free of liens. Clearly this would be illegal. My father was committing a crime.

 I was standing and the man was sitting. I looked at him and told him I would pay him $30,000 cash for the property. He showed interest, but he wanted more details. The district attorney was listening to the conversation. I wanted to show the district attorney that the man was colluding with my father. I knew I couldn't simply give the man $30,000 right now, given the haziness of the deal, but I told the man that I would give him the money in five days when we could get a title company to give me title insurance.

The man stood up. All his teeth were rotten. He seemed uncertain what to do. He walked over to a black phone and made a call. I told the district attorney to try to listen so he could hear my father's voice and thus have a case against my father and the man. I told the district attorney that we could later obtain evidence of who had received the call. I walked over near the man and listened closely. Yes, I could hear my father's voice on the phone. My father was screaming that his son was trying to steal his property from him.

I looked around for the district attorney. Here was conclusive evidence. But the district attorney had disappeared. I rushed to a neighboring room, but I couldn't find the district attorney. I walked back to the man, who was still talking, and I took the phone from him. The word "colluding" kept running through my mind. Into the receiver I said, "This is your son. You colluded with this patsy? You think you can get away with this?"

 My father uttered a few unintelligible words.

Although I did not know what evil was, nor did I believe in an evil force in the universe, more than ever, my imagination leaned toward believing that my father was an evil man.

Dream of: 18 May 2007 "Thoughts From Satan"

I awoke in the morning in the Gallia County Farmhouse. I had arrived on the Farm the previous night in the dark and I had been unable to see anything outside. Since I had heard that my father had cut down all the trees on the Farm, I was surprised when I looked outside and saw many trees still left standing. The big oak trees behind where the old milk house used to stand were still there. I saw a big maple with red leaves as in autumn. I could see some stumps on the surrounding hills, but many trees were still standing.

My father was also on the Farm and we had gotten along the previous night. I hadn't said anything to him about the trees. Now that I was able to see, however, I could see the devastation he had caused. At least he hadn't cut all the trees as I had thought he had, but the more I looked, the more stumps I saw and the angrier I became.

I finally walked down to the milk house where I found my father, my sister and my sister's husband (both probably in their mid 30s). In front of my sister and my brother-in-law, I confronted my father about the trees. When I asked my father about what he had done, he nonchalantly strolled around as if it didn't matter and as if he hadn't done that much damage. I spurted out that he had been in "my most recent dream." But then I reflected that he hadn't actually been in my most recent dream, and I corrected myself, telling him he had been in a dream "a while ago." I told him that in the dream I had told him that he worshipped money. I said that in the dream I had said to him, "You worship money. Money is your God."

He brushed me off as if it were nothing. I was surprised he wasn't becoming angry by what I was telling him. I myself wasn't angry, but I wanted to vent my feelings. I just wanted to tell him what I really thought about him. I asked him how he could have done this and I brought up my step mother. I told him he was greedy and he had just wanted the money from the trees to buy something for my step-mother. I also knew my step-mother's sons had been involved in cutting the trees. I asked him how much her sons had received and he answered, "About a third."

He pulled out a pack of cigarettes and offered me one. Only two cigarettes were in the pack. He was getting ready to take one out of the pack himself so he could smoke it. I grabbed the pack from him to stop him from getting one. All the while, he didn't become angry.

My sister and my brother-in-law had been listening to everything. I could tell that they felt the same as I, that they felt betrayed. They, however, were afraid to say anything to my father. I perceived that they at least felt a little happy that I was confronting him because they themselves were afraid to do so.

I stepped up close to him. Our noses were only a couple centimeters away from each other as I starred at him right in his eyes. I told him he had destroyed the Farm. I asked him when the thought of cutting the trees had occurred to him. I said, "Where did these thoughts come from? They came from Satan. They came from the Devil. You are evil. You are evil."

Up till then my words hadn't affected him. He had ignored everything I had said. My last words however, seemed to have some tiny effect upon him.

Whatever my father did, whoever he was, a unique indissoluble tie existed between us which could never be undone, but which could be loosened so as not to strangle me.

Dream of: 27 May 2007 "Connected By Association"

My father, my sister, and I were sitting on the front porch of the Gallia County Farm. Abruptly I realized I hadn't been paying attention to whether the trees had been cut down on the Farm, even though I had heard about the tree-cutting. I looked around from the vantage point of the porch, but I didn't see many fallen trees. Some trees were lying on the ground, but many were still standing.

After my father, my sister and I boarded some kind of vehicle which my father was driving, we headed toward the old swimming hole, and I began to see the devastation, including huge trees lying on the hillside above the swimming hole. My father headed down a road behind the Farm to an area which I had never seen. On the way, I told him that greed had driven him to destroy the Farm.

We reached a quaint hilltop area where I had never been. When I saw a house with a red roof off in the distance, I realized I was looking at the far-away Farmhouse. I surveyed the surrounding tree-covered hillsides and saw some patches of trees which had all turned brown. I asked my father if the lumbermen who had come in to cut the trees had also sprayed the trees. He answered, "Yes."

I realized the brown trees were on the Farm. I couldn't understand why the lumbermen had sprayed whole areas and killed all the trees. As I looked at the devastation of the Farm, I became angrier and angrier. I looked at my father and told him phrases had been recurring in my mind lately. I said the phrases, "Money is your God" and "You worship money" and a third phrase, "You are evil" had been coming into my mind about my father.

I continued. I wanted to start telling him what I really thought about things. I told him he had cut the trees for my step-mother, and my step-mother was a whore. I thought those words would bother him, but he seemed unphased. I told him I had most difficulty believing he had let my step-mother's son Alex go up to the Farm and cut the trees. My father's actions seemed unconceivable. He mentioned that he had made one million dollars from the timber on the Farm and that Alex had made five hundred thousand. I told him the lumber on the Farm had been worth much more than that. If he had done it right, he probably could have received four or five million for it.

He seemed to be in his own little world. Nothing seemed to be bothering him and he continued driving without paying any attention to what I was saying.

We reached a picturesque little village, stopped the car, and stepped out. Right next to us was a barn. A tractor slowly began coming out of the open barn door, but no one was on the tractor, even though I knew that Alex was somehow guiding the tractor. Even though I couldn't see Alex, I hollered out to him. I wanted to confront him about his role in cutting the timber on the Farm and maybe even have a fight with him. My father said something about Alex, intimating that Alex was really stupid, that his head was almost hollow with no brain in it. I found his comments strange since my father had entrusted Alex with timber on the Farm. Apparently, however, my father had learned that Alex couldn't be trusted. Alex had taken advantage of my father and now my father was having severe regrets about what he had done.

My father and I became separated and I walked around for a while in the little village. I wanted to find a better viewpoint from where I could see the Farm. As I walked past little shops on the fairy-tale street, I lost my way. When I spotted a little shop which appeared to be a bar, I walked into the rustic room. About 10 people were standing around. They looked intelligent, as if this were some sort of resort area. They all turned their heads and focused on me. One fellow walked up, did a little dance in front of me and asked me what I wanted. I asked if he had any brown beer. I also asked if I could buy beer in a cup, carry it around and drink it on the streets. He wasn't sure, but he seemed to think it was permitted. I asked him to give me my beer in a cup. I intended to take it with me and drink it outside.

This bar seemed like an interesting place to get to know people. I thought I could tell them I was the son of the man who owned the Farm where all the trees had been cut, but I was ashamed of that fact and I didn't want to bring it up. I didn't want to be connected by association with my father. I picked up my beer and headed out.

Hatred of people is an evil emotion, even if the people hated are evil.

Dream of: 26 June 2007 "Abandoned"

I was in the back seat of a car which my father (about 60 years old, his hair still black) was driving to the Gallia County Farm where I was going to stay overnight. On the way, we started talking about my mother and I immediately began challenging him. I reminded him that he had said he was going to help my mother when she started getting sick with Alzheimer's, but that he had ultimately simply left her. He immediately became upset and defensive and he said he had never said he would help her. He said if he had ever said anything like that, he had meant that I was going to help her. I just couldn't believe he was saying something like that. I told him he never even went to see her and I said, "She doesn't understand why you abandoned her."

We had reached the crossroads at Wolf Run where we needed to turn left unto Wolf Run to go to the Farm. By now, my father was so angry, he said that he was going to drop me off there, and that he wasn't going to take me anywhere anymore. It was getting dark and we were still several kilometers from the Farm. I was upset that he was going to dump me off out there in the middle of nowhere. He stopped the car, turned around toward me, and held his fist right in my face. I responded, "I hate you."

I opened the door to get out and I added, "I hope you die on the way home."

He looked at me and smirked. I had the feeling he just couldn't wait to get back to my step-mother and tell her what I had said.

After I stepped out of the car, he turned the car to the right and drove off. I stood thinking. It was getting dark and the walk would be long. Maybe I wouldn't even go to the Farm. If I went back to my right, I wasn't too far from the village of Rio Grande. I might go there and find a motel for the night. My grandmother Mabel and my step-grandfather Clarence were up on the Farm. People would be calling up to the Farm looking for me and my grandparents would tell them I hadn't shown up. People would start to worry something had happened to me. Then my father would regret leaving me out in the middle of nowhere. I thought I might call my mother and tell her where I was so she wouldn't be worried.

Suddenly I recalled I had left my car in Rio Grande. I could just get in my car and drive back to Texas. I didn't need anything else in Ohio.

It was already dark. Abruptly I started hearing music which seemed to be right in front of me. At first  I thought I might just be imagining the music, but then it became louder. I moved forward slightly and the music became louder yet. I began thinking a car must be parked there in the dark. Suddenly I realized, however, my eyes were closed. I opened my eyes and there in front of me I could barely make out the outline of a house or barn. It looked as if I were close to where someone was living. I tentatively said, "Hello?"

My happy efforts to cultivate beauty and happiness blossomed, even as my father's ignorant attempts to silence me failed.

Dream of: 18 August 2007 "Being Strangled"

I was in a two-story frame house which I owned and was working on in Portsmouth. My father, my mother, and my sister were living with me in the house. I had been working in a downstairs room, but at the moment I had three big machines (something like sanders) which I was using to redo the wood floor in one of the upstairs rooms. The whole room was messed up and electric cords were strung about.

I walked outside into the hallway. Close to the stairs I pried up a board about 30 centimeters square. Underneath the board was a heat register through which heat was flowing into the upstairs. Apparently someone had put the board over the heat register. I looked down into the heat duct, thinking I might find something there, but the only thing I saw was a little white handle. On the back of the board, however, was some writing which looked like a little poem, the title of which was "Doubt." I looked at the board more closely and saw it was the type of little board which could be bought in novelty stores with little verses on them, so I didn't think it was anything important.

I walked into my mother's bedroom and found her there. She was about 40 years old. We were expecting my father to come home and I knew he was going to be extremely angry about the repairs I was making in the house. I told her it was only out of the goodness of my heart that I was letting my father live in the house. Of course he didn't appreciate anything.

My mother had a little stand with three shelves on it. She put some little porcelain pots containing dirt on each shelf. She put something in the pots and suddenly beautiful little flowers shot up out of the dirt and bloomed right in front of us. I was astounded -- I had never seen anything quite like that. She and I were both happy.

The gloom of my father's imminent return was still hanging over us, however, because we knew he was going to be angry. I told my mother that if my father hit me, I was going to call the police, I was going to have him arrested, and I was going to sue him. I knew he was going to be so angry that he was going to want to hit me, but I was determined I wasn't going to take any more abuse from him.

Suddenly we heard my father come in below. My mother immediately ran over to a pile of stuff in the corner, crawled behind the stuff and hid. She was acting comically, but at the same time she was serious.

When my father walked up the stairs, I walked out into the hall and met him. He had black hair and was about 40 years old. He glanced around (obviously very angry) and said he wanted to talk to me downstairs. He walked down the stairs and I walked down behind him. We walked into the living room. On the way, he had picked up a board, a light board probably made of balsa wood, probably two meters long. He looked as if he wanted to hit me with the board and he said, "Goddamn ...." I had never used that word around him, but as he walked past me, I said, "Well, Goddamn it ... too." I was just trying to mock him. That made him even angrier.

My sister (about 15 years old) was standing in the living room. My mother then also walked into the living room and my father immediately began hitting my mother on the head with the board. The wood was so light, the blows weren't hurting her.

I was getting ready to call the police and tell them my father had been hitting my mother. Since I wanted to know if my sister would testify that she had seen my father hit my mother with the board, I asked, "Will you testify to that?"

She answered, "Yes."

I told him if he hit me that I was going to call the police (I had my little silver cell phone in my hand) and that I would sue him. My father then took the board and hit me with it in the legs. It didn't hurt at all, but I immediately started dialing 911. He acted as if my calling the police didn't matter to him, but I could tell he was very angry about it. As I waited for someone to answer, he reached over and grabbed my throat. He wasn't actually strangling me, but he had his hand on my throat as if he were going to strangle me. Nevertheless, I could feel the pressure of his hand and I thought he was trying to cut me off and keep me from talking. I thought when someone answered the phone, I would say to the police "Help, I'm being strangled."

My true battle was no longer with my father, but with myself, to follow my dreams and create a beautiful description of the evil destruction of beauty.

Dream of: 08 September 2007 "Destruction Of Beauty"

I was in the back seat of a car which Seeley (a long-time employee of my father) was driving. My father (about 60 years old, with black hair) was sitting in the front passenger seat. We were headed to the Gallia County Farm. My father and I were talking even though we weren't on friendly terms. He mentioned that he and I had been at "war" with each other, and that the war had availed me nothing.

We had just reached the 40 acre tract of land on the north side of the Farm. Seeley pulled up and stopped the car. As I stepped out of the car, I told my father his statement wasn't true because I had "retained my dignity." He looked at me as if I were being stupid.

Everything that had happened began to come back to me. I remembered the cause of our problem. I remembered he had cut down the trees on the Farm and had destroyed the Farm. I hadn't been on the Farm since he had cut the trees and when I looked up for the first time, I saw the hill in front of me was devastated. A few trees were left standing, but mostly only stumps remained. The land was not yet overgrown with brush; a few patches of green grass remained. I groaned to my father that he had destroyed the Farm. I told him there was "evil" in him. I hadn't wanted to say that at first, but the more I looked at the devastation before me, the more clearly I saw that my father was an evil man. I told him that he was an evil person and that I dreamed about his being evil.

I told him he had destroyed the one beautiful thing in his life which mattered. The money didn't matter to me. It was the destruction of the beauty which saddened me so.

I started walking up the hill. Since I had come all the way out there, I wanted to see how he had destroyed the entire Farm. The sight was sickening. Some gulleys had been filled with dead trees and limbs. I tried to pass over one gully. All the while I kept hollering back to my father that he was evil, and finally I screamed, "I hate you! I hate you!"

He remained at the bottom of the hill, looking up at me. Some other people had shown up and gathered around him. One was a black-haired woman who I thought was a doctor. She was speaking to him.

I hollered down to him that the worst thing he had done was giving everything to my step-mother and her sons. What he had done was simply unbelievable. After all the promises he had made to his own family over the years, in the end in had completely destroyed the beauty of the Farm without caring about his own family.

I saw clearly that he and I would never reconcile. The break between us would last forever. Nothing could bring back what he had destroyed.

The Farm's mystical hold of me weakened after the destruction of the beauty, yet the its hold on me was still ferociously strong.

Dream of: 06 October 2007 "The Return"

I had gone to the Gallia County Farm with my mother. She and I had been sitting in the Farmhouse for quite a while before I realized I hadn't even gone outside yet to see how badly the Farm looked since my father had cut down the trees. I walked outside and looked out over the hills which didn't look as bad as I had anticipated. The big oak trees at the bottom of the hill behind the old milk house were still standing, and the trees were still erect on the hill on the east side of the Farmhouse. The big hill behind the Farmhouse had been cleared of trees, and the hills back where my one-room Cabin stood looked as if they had been cut. I tried to see my Cabin, but I couldn't see that far without binoculars. I wondered if my father had torn down the Cabin. I thought I might walk up to the Cabin and see if it was still there.

My father wasn't there at the moment, but apparently he wanted my mother to start living in the Farmhouse and he wanted me to stay with her. He was having trouble finding anyone else to stay there. I was surprised that I was even considering staying on the Farm again because I had thought I would never again return. I had thought I would just drop by this one time for a visit, and then head down to Mexico. If I did decide to stay on the Farm, I would have to make it perfectly clear to my father that if it didn't work out, I would be leaving immediately for Mexico.

I continued walking around the Farmhouse. The field on the west side of the Farmhouse (between the old tobacco barn and the Farmhouse) was filled with old cars. I climbed into one car and drove around through the other cars in the field and slowly realized the cars must belong to one of my step-mother's sons, either Alex or Henry (I didn't know which). I knew they collected old cars and most of these cars were probably from the 1950s. Many of the cars were in excellent condition and were obviously valuable. I wondered where Henry or Alex had acquired so much money to buy all these cars. I thought maybe their real father had helped them buy the cars. I reflected how my father had never helped me do anything like that. He wasn't inclined to help me with anything.

I drove back to the Farmhouse. I could see one big tree still standing in the field at the bottom of the hill behind the Farmhouse. The limbs had been cut off and it looked as if people were still cutting on it. If I decided to stay there on the Farm, I would have to make clear to my father that I didn't want any tree-cutting going on while I was there. I knew Henry and Alex had been taking all the trees, and if they continued doing so while I was there, I was sure there would be friction between us.

I got out of the car and walked around to the front of the Farmhouse. The old wall which held up the front yard was still there. I walked down to the bottom of the wall and lay down on the ground. My brother Chris (about 10 years old and a little pudgy) stepped up to the top of the wall. A stack of briars which someone had cut down was lying at the top. He playfully picked up one of the briar branches and threw it down on top of me. I picked up one and tried to throw it back at him. We both continued throwing several branches of briars at each other. It was good to see him.

Suddenly he slipped and fell off the wall into a patch of briars. I immediately worried he might have broken his arm or some other bone, but he started to pull himself to his feet as if he were uninjured.

As my marriage to Carolina peacefully ended, I took up with Michelle, a beautiful young adventuress of whom my father strongly and wisely disapproved.

Dream of: 25 October 2007 "Heart Examination"

I was in an appealing brick house where my mother was living. While she and I were in the living room, my father showed up and sat down. Although he and I hadn't been talking lately, a conversation ensued, and he indicated he wanted to know why I was so angry with him. He couldn't understand it.

He said he knew I thought he was evil. I knew I had dreamed about his being evil, and I thought someone must have told him about those dreams, although I wasn't quite sure how the word had circulated back to him. Obviously he was bothered that I would think him evil.

I decided it was time to tell him why I thought he was evil. Sitting straight across from him, I looked at him and told him that he had "destroyed the beauty" of the Gallia County Farm because he had allowed the two sons of my step-mother (his third wife) to cut down all the beautiful trees on the Farm and reap the profit from the lumber. I told him I couldn't understand how he could have destroyed the Farm after he had always implied his family would inherit it. How could he have devastated the Farm for the benefit of my step-mother's children?

I could only see one possible justification for his having cut the trees: it was possible he planned to drill for oil on the Farm. If so, cutting the trees before drilling would make sense.

I knew by calling him evil, I would be cut out of any benefits from the oil. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to take that chance and to say what I thought. I stood up and told him I knew he had never intended to give me anything. I thought of pointing out that he had given me practically nothing in my life. I reflected on the red Honda Dream Motorcycle he had once given me, but I didn't want to bring up the motorcycle. Instead, I decided to talk of the things I still had which he had given me. I told him I only had two possessions which he had ever given me: a little pocket knife like the ones he handed out to customers in his car-port business; and an old pocket watch which had once belonged to his father, my grandfather Cole. Those were the only two items I had received from him.

He seemed surprised by what I had said, but he finally seemed to understand my anger.

I stood up and walked out of the house. It was raining outside. I walked around the block in the rain, then returned to the house, but remained outside. I thought I might go up into the attic and hide back in the recesses so I wouldn't have to be in contact with my father. I wondered what would happen if my parents came to the attic to look for me and if I jumped out of my hiding place and scared them. Fearing I might cause them to have a heart attack, I decided I probably shouldn't try that.

I sought shelter from the rain under a long wooden deck attached to the back of the house. As I sat in the grass under the deck, I could hear my parents inside, still talking about our problems. When they finally walked outside onto the deck up above me and hollered for me, I stepped out from under the deck to where my father could see me. He didn't look exactly like my father. He was probably in his mid 60s, stout and heavy (but not as fat as usual), and he looked a bit like the narrator from the movie, Rocky Horror Picture Show.

He walked down to where I was. In one hand I was holding a buckeye and a round piece of cardboard about the size of a bottle cap. When I raised my hand as if I were going to throw the buckeye (I only intended to throw the buckeye on the ground), my father mistakenly thought I intended to throw the buckeye at him. Frightened by my actions, he jumped back and started walking away. After I threw the buckeye and the piece of cardboard on the ground so he could see what I had, he realized he had misinterpreted my action and he walked back to me.

I wanted to leave again. I started walking way, but he walked along beside me. Suddenly he blurted out that he would go 50-50 with me on the Farm (apparently indicating his willingness to give me half the Farm). I burst out crying that he had already destroyed the Farm and I sobbed, "You destroyed the beauty."

At the same time, I thought 50% wouldn't be bad - at least I would have something. Immediately I also began thinking about my new young girlfriend, Michelle, who I thought would be impressed to see me owning 50% of a big farm.

My father and I were walking straight toward a hedgerow of bushes. Just as I reached the bushes, he said he would give me 50% of the Farm in December if I would "demonstrate my love" for him right now. I wasn't sure I could do that, even though I wanted the 50%.

He brought up Michelle (whom he called "Vickie") and he said I was on the "poor boy's circuit." He was implying that although I wasn't that poor, I acted as if I were poor. He said Michelle, however, had realized I wasn't poor.

He added yet another condition to my receiving 50% of the Farm. He said he would have to wait until December to see if Michelle had tuberculosis.

He made another condition pertaining to Michelle. As he spoke, he gave the Farm a name which I didn't fully understand: "________ Fountain." He said, "I will call the _____  experts to _____ Fountain." I couldn't understand the word before experts and he had to repeat the sentence three times until I finally understood he was saying, "I will call the heart experts to ________ Fountain." Clearly he meant he wanted to have Michelle's heart examined before he would give me a 50% interest in the Farm. I couldn't figure out why my father would want to check Michelle's heart.

Obviously, however, he wanted to check Michelle out. Apparently he didn't think she really cared about me and he wanted to have her heart examined. He clearly wanted to make sure about Michelle before giving me an interest in the Farm.

Thou shalt honor they father except if thy father is evil.

Dream of: 31 December 2007 "Bible Stories"

I was in a clothing store, looking at some clothes on a table around which other people were also gathered. A well-coifed black-haired woman (probably in her late 50s) who worked in the store stepped up to me. While she and the other people were well dressed, I had my shirt unbuttoned so my chest was bare. I thought I looked a little tacky. When the woman asked me if I used to live in Gallia County, I said yea, that I was just getting ready to go to Gallia County for a visit.

Continuing to chat with the woman, I learned that she knew my father. She quickly made clear that she didn't care for him. She mentioned several reasons why she didn't like him and she spoke of things which he had done to people in the past, including something wrong which he had done with a house. I wasn't sure to what she was referring. The other people standing around the table didn't know what we were talking about.

I finally told the woman that my father and I didn't get along. I told her that I hadn't seen him for a year and a half, but that I had recently gone to his house, spoken with him, and found him in much pain. He had had his prostate removed and he had recently had a hip surgery. The woman was glad to hear that he was suffering, as if he deserved to suffer. I said, "He's in a lot of pain."

The woman said, "He's in good hands."

Then she said something about a story in the Bible which she thought pertained to my father. Her comment made me wonder which story in the Bible might pertain to me.

 Making the small step forward of resolving my conflict with my father would allow me to make the great leap forward to exploring my inner mind.

Dream of: 14 January 2009 "In Outer Space"

After taking some pills and drinking quite a bit of alcohol, I passed out. When I awoke, I realized I was on a space ship which looked like a space shuttle and I began to recall that my father had obtained the space ship for a trip into outer space. Realizing I was already in outer space was exhilarating and scary at the same time.  I looked around, trying to figure out what part of the ship I was on, but I couldn't make it out. At first I couldn't even see a way out of the small room I was in, but finally I spotted a set of stairs leading up. I walked up the stairs until I reached an area of the space ship where I was able to walk around.

In an area which appeared to be in the rear of the ship, I found a window covered with something which looked like cardboard. I lifted off the cardboard and tried to look out, but it was too dark outside. I looked out another window and was able to see some bright stars, but I couldn't see well because it appeared foggy outside.

I continued walking through the ship until I passed through a bathroom, the floor of which was covered with old raggedy carpeting. The whole ship began to resemble an old second-hand house-trailer. Nothing was modern.

Finally I reached the front of the ship, climbed up more stairs, and ended up in the control cabin.  My father (probably in his mid 40s), my mother, and a couple children (apparently my siblings) were in the cabin. I thought my father might need some help piloting the ship. I figured that he had probably been controlling the ship for a while and was probably tired. I thought I might help him.

I looked out the window and saw how dark it was outside, as if it were night. I also noticed the window was open and I made a comment about it. The window appeared to have a screen and I could feel fresh air coming in, which I thought was strange because I hadn't thought there was any air in outer space. Nevertheless, a cool breeze issued through the window.

I asked my father if he had obtained the space ship from a second-hand store. He didn't answer. He was friendly, but he didn't say much. I asked him where we were going and whether we were going to the dark side of the moon. He said no. I asked him if we were going into outer space, and again he said no.

When I looked out a window and saw white cumulus clouds not far below us, I said something about how we were "just above the clouds." I had thought we were already in outer space, but now I realized we were only up above the clouds. When I asked my father when we were going to land, he said something about my needing to speak Spanish. I didn't know what he was talking about, but finally I realized we were going to land somewhere in Mexico.

He said something about making a mistake because it was going to be the Fourth of July and he didn't think anything would be open. I thought to myself that it didn't make any difference if it was the Fourth of July because the Mexicans didn't care about the Fourth of July. I said, "In Mexico its just like any other day."

I thought the United States government had watched the space ship take off and I thought I might even be interviewed at some point. I thought if I mentioned someone else's name in the interview, I might mention my old girlfriend Vickie (a very intelligent girl I dated for a couple months in 1978). I had often wondered what had become of Vickie. I would say something like, "I'd like to know what ever happened to Vickie." I might also mention that I had become a lawyer and that now I had been in outer space.

My rocky relationship with my father had distracted me from dealing with a more pressing issue: sex.

Dream of: 11 May 2009 "Oh You Sexy Man"

I was with my father and my mother (both about 40 years old) on the Gallia County Farm where I had been thinking about living for a while. My father said that if he and my mother went to work during the day, I would have to leave while they were gone. I thought the arrangement should be just the opposite, that I should stay on the Farm while they were gone so we wouldn't get in each other's way. When I told my father what I thought, he said he would be very disappointed if I stayed on the Farm while they went to work. Since they were probably going to go to work, I realized I would probably have to leave. It still didn't make sense to me.

***

I climbed into the back seat of a car which my father was driving. Another man was sitting in the front passenger seat. As we headed down the road, I looked out the window and could see the skyline of New York City ahead of us. I identified one building as the new World Trade Center. It was tall and resembled the building in San Francisco which is shaped like a pyramid. As I looked at the building, I mentioned to my father that the building seemed to be sinking a bit into the ground, going lower and lower. Suddenly the building toppled over and I hollered out to my father that the World Trade Center had fallen.

I reached over the front seat and turned the knobs on the radio, trying to hear some  report about the World Trade Center, but nobody was saying anything about it yet. I thought the news was so fresh, it hadn't yet made it to the radio.

When my father steered the car toward the fallen building, I thought maybe he intended to go there right then. We were driving along a city street where many children were apparently on their way to school. Some were standing in lines and we could hear the children talking excitedly, saying, "World Trade Center. World Trade Center." Some children were crying and I felt like crying myself. I thought to myself, "What a shame."

I reflected on all the people who must have been killed in the building. Obviously the Moslems must have attacked again. I said, "I don't care what he does."

I was referring to George W. Bush. I had previously thought bombing the Moslems was a mistake, but now I was so angry by what had happened, I didn't care if Bush bombed the Moslems.

I began to realize the city in front of us was not New York City, but Luxembourg. I thought the Moslems might have attacked Luxembourg because of a song which had recently come out called, "Oh You Sexy Man You."

I knew the Moslems hated anything to do with songs and sex, and I thought the song might have prompted them to attack the World Trade Center in Luxembourg.

The psychic pain which my father caused me seemed largely related to my desire to possess his material possessions.

Dream of: 16 May 2009 "Pain In The Neck"

I was riding in a car in Portsmouth with my father and my mother, lying down with my back toward my father. He started talking to me and mentioned a gun which I had which he said belonged to him. He said I could give him a "pre-close deposit" on the gun, which meant he wanted me to pay him for the gun.

I recalled that I did have a little black handgun which belonged to him. I had forgotten about the gun, and the more I thought about it, it seemed as if I had given the gun away to someone. The gun had disappeared. I didn't know where it was or what condition it was in. I didn't know what to say about it.

He mentioned a toaster which I apparently had which also belonged to him. The more he talked, the angrier I became. Finally I angrily asked him how much he wanted for the gun. He said he would take $75 for it. I asked him how much he wanted for the toaster and he said he wanted $50 for the toaster. I calculated the total came to $125 and I thought I would simply give him the money.

I asked him if there was anything else I had which he wanted me to pay for. He mentioned my 1999 white Ford Escort and said he would like for me to obtain insurance on the car. I suddenly remembered the car actually did belong to him. The car wasn't fully insured -- I only carried liability insurance.

I became so angry by what he had said, I blurted out, "I don't need a car."

I thought I would simply give the car back to him. I knew I only had a couple thousand dollars in cash and I therefore wouldn't be able to buy another car. I said, "I can walk."

I told him I would give him back all the stuff I had, which he apparently needed so badly. I added, "You certainly don't want a son."

As we had been talking, he had put his hand on my back and he was pressing his thumb into the left side of my back, near the shoulder blade. For some reason, I couldn't move, and his thumb was beginning to cause me pain. I wanted him to take his thumb away. Instead, he began pressing his other thumb into my neck. I was unable to move and his thumbs were causing me pain.

He increased the pressure. It was almost electrifying and I felt paralyzed. I thought I might holler out "Mom!", to tell my mother what he was doing, but I was so paralyzed, I couldn't speak.

With great effort, I finally managed to roll back on top of him, breaking his hold on me.

Despite my animosity toward my father, I did not want to see him die.

Dream of: 02 June 2009 "The Fall"

I was taking a tall slender woman (probably in her mid 30s) to the Gallia County Farm. She was going to help me price a bunch of stuff which I had stored on the Farm and which I intended to sell. I wanted to show her how to price it fast. When we arrived at the Farm, I discovered that my father (probably in his late 30s) had set up a ladder to the second floor of the Farmhouse and was standing up there on a platform, doing some kind of work on the Farmhouse. I started climbing up the ladder to reach my father, and the woman was following me up the ladder.

I reached the platform and stood up by my father. We were getting along well and he seemed happy to see me. I noticed he was smoking a cigarette. Suddenly he backed up too far and he fell off the side of the platform. I watched as he fell. He looked so far away when he smashed into the ground. He fell on his back and his body looked like a small pile of dog feces. I kept saying, "Oh, no, no, no."

I started climbing down the ladder. I knew he was either dead or terribly injured. I felt terrible. 

Hatred of my father was a cruel slave driver from which I struggled to emancipate myself.

Dream of: 24 August 2009 "No Feelings"

I was in a neat well-kept house where my mother was living. My father (only about 50 years old) was there. Thinner than usual, he looked healthy. Even though he wanted to be with me, I didn't want to be with him, and I thought to myself that I was going to tell him what I thought about him. I first told him I thought he was greedy, then ranted over and over about his greed. I asked him who was going to come to his funeral. He looked off stoically into the air. I asked him if his step-children and my sister would attend his funeral. I said they were the only ones. (In the back of my mind I wondered who would come to my funeral).

I told him I didn't want to see him anymore. He didn't seem surprised. I tried to explain my feelings. I told him that he was the one who had started all the problems. After he had persuaded me to return to Portsmouth and had led me to believe that we were going to get along, he had kicked me out of his house and had kicked me off the Gallia County Farm, even after he had told me I could leave my possessions on the Farm. I told him that there was no reason for us to see each other any more, that we had no real connections since my grandmother Mabel had died. There was nothing to hold us together.

I remembered I still had stored in his house a few possessions which I needed to retrieve.

He spoke and said he thought I had been reading W.B. Dubois. I told him I knew Dubois was a political writer and that he had had an influence on Abraham Lincoln. He looked at me as if my words proved I had been reading Dubois. Actually, I didn't know who Dubois was - I only had a vague idea.

I continued trying to think whether I needed to say anything else to him, because I didn't want to see him anymore. Finally I moved up close to his face and stared him in the face. I wanted to say, "I have no feelings for you."

I didn't want to say I hated him or that I didn't like him; I just wanted to say I had no feelings for him.

Greed can exert a powerful effect upon a person's emotions toward someone.

Dream of: 29 October 2009 "On Vacation"

I was riding in the front passenger seat of a car which my father was driving. He was only about 40 years old and still had black hair. I was feeling very antagonistic toward him, and even while he was driving, it seemed as if I were sitting right in front of him, staring him in the face. I said, "I don't love you," then added, "I don't like you," and finally blurted, "I hate you!"

He seemed unmoved by what I was saying, as if whatever I said didn't matter. We continued riding around until he asked me about my finances. I had forgotten that he had been giving me about $100 a week; I figured he would now cut off that supply of money. I reflected that the money was helpful, but I really didn't need it because I had enough money of my own to live on.

He started talking about what he was going to do with his property when he died. I didn't think there was any hope that I would receive anything. He told me he had already decided to give all his property away to people "who went on vacations." He mentioned "55%", but I wasn't sure what that meant.

He finally pulled into the Kroger's parking lot on Eighth and Gay Streets in Portsmouth. He was still talking about his property when we both stepped out of the car right next to the Kroger gas station. A big crane was sitting on the gas station lot, and it appeared as if someone was using the crane to put gas in the person's car. Suddenly the crane shifted, hit my father in the head, and knocked him to the ground flat on his face. I thought he might be dead. When I walked over to him, I saw a piece of paper lying next to him and I picked it up. I thought the paper contained information about his scheme to give away all his property. I thought I would keep the paper, reasoning that he might not yet have put his plan to give away his property into effect.

I screamed at the fellow operating the crane and pointed out what he had done. A couple other men were standing nearby. One was a black man about 40 years old. I thought I needed to find out who they were because they had witnessed what had happened. I figured there was some liability involved. I knew someone needed to call 911 and I reached in my pocket for my cell phone. I didn't know what else I could do for him. I was more concerned, however, in obtaining the information from the two witnesses than in helping my father.

Finally, however, my father simply stood back up. He seemed dazed, but uninjured. It looked as if he would be alright after all.

Instead of concentrating on my own affairs, I was still working on the door to my father's office and riding in the backseat of his car.

Dream of: 07 December 2009 "Incompetent"

As my father and I walked through a hardware store, I recalled I needed a 3/8" drill bit. I told my father what I needed and he looked with me until we found some black bits, which he said were good ones. I picked up one which was obviously too big, then saw more in another rack and picked up one which was 3/8." My father asked me why I needed the bit and I told him I needed to repair a piece of aluminum-colored metal which I had attached to the bottom of a door. He knew what I was talking about because the door was in his office and I had been working for him when I had repaired the door. He started severely criticizing the work I had done on the door and said that the piece of metal had been too big and that I should have placed a much smaller piece on the door. He characterized my work as "incompetent."

I was enraged. I threw down the bit, realizing that I didn't need it anyway, that I could just use a small nail to repair the piece of metal. I told my father I would soon be finished with the work which I was doing for him and then I would be completely done working for him.

We walked out of the store and boarded a small white car. I  climbed into the back seat while my father climbed in behind the steering wheel and began driving. He soon scooted over into the passenger seat, however, and began working on the passenger window, which was loose. When I saw he was having difficulty trying to drive at the same time he was working on the window, I reached over the back seat and took hold of the steering wheel. We were on a little two-lane country road and suddenly I saw a car coming straight toward me in my lane. I could see the driver: a light-skinned black man (around 40 years old) who seemed oblivious of what he was doing. I thought I could swerve over into the left lane but I knew that would be dangerous because he might do the same thing. So instead, I swerved off the road to the right. After the other car passed us, I started swerving back onto the road. I had to hurry because just ahead I could see a deep ravine along the road and I knew we would crash into the ravine if I didn't make it back onto the road. I safely made it back onto the road.

I watched the other car continue down the road still in the wrong lane until it finally turned off into another road.

My father seemed unconcerned about the entire incident. I blathered on about how we had almost been killed. I told him he needed to scoot back over into the driving seat because I couldn't reach the brakes, but he remained where he was. I again told him to move because I could see a stop sign up ahead, but he still didn't budge. We passed the stop sign which I then realized was for a side road and not for me, but then we started heading down a hill with a stop sign at the bottom. I could see traffic on the intersecting road at the bottom and I knew we desperately needed to put on the brakes or I would run through the stop sign and possibly hit another car. I pleaded with my father to please move over into the driving seat so he could put on the brakes. Finally he saw the danger and started scooting back into the driver's seat.

The extent to which my father had molded my sexual nature was a subject I needed to explore, although I would not be able to depend on my father for any help in that exploration.

Dream of: 30 April 2010 "Old Picture"

My father (in his mid 40s) and I were in the Gay Street House. He was planning to sell the House and he was on the phone talking with someone. I didn't think he knew what the House was actually worth, but I figured he could receive around $250,000 for it. He was talking, however, as if he might be able to sell the House for as much as $1,000,000.

I walked through the House to look it over. I thought the cluttered House needed to be straightened up and the old furniture needed to be replaced. My mother was living in one room of the House. Since she had become feeble and wasn't really able to take care of herself, I said I was going to help clean up the House. As I began cleaning, I told my father the House didn't look bad, despite the clutter and old furniture. As I picked up some of my mother's clothes, I thought it seemed as if another woman might be living with her. I found stamps and coins lying on the floor and gathered them up. When I picked up some pictures, I realized one was of a girl named Regina whom I had known when I had been a teenager (about 40 years before). I said to my father, "Here's a picture of Regina."

As I handed the picture to my father, I realized that in the picture Regina had been wearing a button-up top which was open so one of her breasts was visible. I waited for my father to hand the picture back to me, and when I finally asked him where the picture was, he said that he had done something with it, that it wasn't his kind of picture. I realized he wanted to get rid of the picture and apparently he had done something with it. I then noticed that he had some papers stuck down inside his pants so the papers were sticking out the top of the pants.

I would have liked to have kept the picture. I knew I had once had sex with Regina years before. I didn't have any pictures of her and I would have liked to be reminded of what she looked like, but it looked as if my father were now going to keep the picture and I didn't know how I could retrieve it. I thought I might be able to later steal the picture, but that would be difficult. 

Those things which a man finds beautiful speak to the character of the man.

Dream of: 28 August 2010 "Beautification Project"

My father (lying on a couch) and I were talking together in the living room of the House in Patriot. He looked about 60 years old and appeared to be in good health. Even though I hadn't seen him in a long time, he was exceptionally friendly. I had simply showed up unannounced and had begun talking with him. We didn't even mention that I hadn't visited him in a long time - we just talked friendly the way we used to do.

He said he didn't like to do much anymore, except sometimes drink a hot drink (tea?). One other thing also obviously still interested him: coal. He said he wished the government would start a "beautification project" which involved coal. He maintained that coal could be used to beautify things. I found his comments strange. I had difficulty imagining coal being able to make anything more beautiful.

I told my father I would bet that most Americans had never even seen a piece of coal. Trying to remember the last time I myself had seen a piece of coal, I told him I probably hadn't seen a piece of coal in 10 years. But I seemed to remember having seen a piece of coal when I had visited the Gallia County Farm just a couple months previously. I had found a piece of coal lying on the ground on the Farm.

I knew my father had been wanting to mine coal on the Farm. I asked him how that project was coming along.

Although difficult to judge, the divorce of my father and my mother appears to be the source of the critical rift between him and me.

Dream of: 09 September 2010 "Not Necessarily Derogatory"

My father was lying beside me in a bed in which I was also lying. He was only about 40 years old and still had black hair. I was writing a letter on a greeting card to my mother. I wrote five or six lines, including a reference to my father which could be taken as derogatory, but not necessarily so. At the same time I was writing, I seemed to be reading the letter out loud so my father could hear it.

Without finishing the letter, I stood up from the bed, intending to leave my father. Suddenly, however, my father awoke and wanted me to give him the letter so he could read it. I refused. He stood up out of the bed and I thought that he was going to try to take the letter from me and that I was going to have to fight him. I was already imagining in my mind what it would be like if I had to hit him. I could imagine beating on his face and injuring him. I thought if the police came I would have difficulty explaining why I had been forced to fight with him. It was a tense situation.

By letting go and walking away, perhaps I could find that which I desired most: peace of mind.

Dream of: 08 November 2010 "Baptists And Catholics"

I was in the Gallia County Farmhouse with my father, my mother, my sister, and my paternal grandmother Mabel. We were all sitting at a table in the kitchen and talking among ourselves. My father (only about 50 years old, still with black hair) seemed very sad. He was sitting straight across from me. When the subject arose of what my father was going to do with his property when he died, he looked at me and said he wasn't going to give me anything. I became angry and I asked him to whom he planned to give his property. When he said he was going to give it to "the baptists", I could hardly believe that he intended to give his property to some kind of baptist group.

We all stood up and walked around. I started talking to my sister about what my father had said, but I referred to the baptists as "the catholics." When I asked my sister if she knew that my father was going to give all his money to the catholics, she said she did. She was also very upset about it.

I thought half of my father's property actually belonged to my mother. I thought perhaps she could step in and at least give her half to my sister and me. My mother, however, seemed distracted, as if she didn't know anything about it.

I was thinking that my grandmother still owned the Gallia County Farm and that she didn't have to give the Farm to my father. Finally, my grandmother said she had lost faith in me. I didn't know what she was talking about, but I thought she might be referring to my never having had children. I asked her if she still had faith in my step-uncle Ivan. I knew she and my step-grandfather Clarence intended to give something to Ivan. She looked extremely angry and I realized I wasn't going to be able to count on her for anything.

I thought I was simply going to leave. Remembering that I had brought some comic books with me, I thought I would leave the comic books in the Farmhouse and return for them later. I thought I would simply hitchhike back to Portsmouth. I didn't want to have anything to do with anybody, although I realized that at least my sister felt the same way I did. After I asked my sister what she knew about everything, she and I walked out onto the front porch, which was high up in the air so I could look far down over the side. I looked down toward Symmes Creek, saw men working down there, and realized they had torn down the bridge in front of the Farmhouse. Apparently the men were replacing the old bridge with a new one.

My sister pulled out a newspaper and began trying to explain where my father's money was going to go. She said it was going to the U.S. Treasury. I was very upset. I said that the Treasury was the same place where all the taxes went and that the money was used for all kinds of things, such as wars. I pointed to the workers on the bridge and said they would probably get some of the money. She then pointed out a picture in the newspaper of a statue for the Treasury. She wrote some figures on the picture which indicated how much my father had already given to the Treasury. It looked as if he had already given $61,000. I thought to myself that he had already handed over tens of thousands of dollars to the Treasury.

Then my sister simply threw the newspaper off the porch and it landed on the ground far below. I knew she had been doing my father's accounting work for years, so she knew a lot about what was going on. When she started to throw some unused postage stamps off the porch, I stopped her. I picked up the stamps and put them in a bag which was full of all kinds of unused stamps which I thought belonged to my father. I thought the stamps should be saved, even though I was unsure I would ever receive any of them.

As my sister and I continued talking, I realized we were on the same side. I knew my father had previously told her what he intended to do with everything, but I had only found out just now.

I didn't see much more I could do. I figured I would simply take off walking and hitchhike back to Portsmouth. I was unsure, however, how I was going to be able to cross the bridge. It looked as if there might be enough left of the bridge for me to cross, but I was uncertain.

I hoped in the twilight of my father's life that he might finally see some beauty in something that I created.

Dream of: 07 December 2010 "Stained Glass"

My father and I were sitting in the middle living room of the Summerdale Drive House (the ranch style house in Texas where I lived from 1993 to 2006). I was looking through a book which contained pictures of stained glass windows. I had been thinking lately of making a stained glass window and installing it in the House. Finally I came to a page which showed a large stained glass window which consisted of five or six panels, each panel about two meters tall and about a half meter wide. Each panel depicted the life-size image of a person. All the panels were very colorful and the people in the panels seemed to be abstract and seemed to portray different professions.

I spread the magazine out in front of my father so he could see it. I realized the panels in the magazine were about the same size as the rear window in the House, and I thought it might be possible to make such a window and install it there. My father looked at the photo and we talked about the possibility of making such a window. He seemed interested and I thought maybe we could even work together on such a project. He said, however, that I wouldn't want to install it in the Summerdale Drive House because such a window should be installed in a larger and more opulent house. I agreed with him.

I still had my dreams, some of which were happy ones, and I still had hope that my father would make some of my dreams come true.

Dream of: 25 April 2011 "Settling Down"

 Michelle (my young blond-haired girlfriend) and I were standing in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse. I was looking out the windows toward Symmes Creek and toward the national forest area on the other side of the creek. I had been on the Farm all day and I only now realized that I hadn't seen any traffic headed to the forest today. That was odd because I knew a new resort area had been built back in the woods on the other side of Symmes Creek. I couldn't figure out why no one was going there today.

I suddenly realized how happy I was on the Farm and I finally felt ready to make the decision to settle down there. I had been vacillating for quite some time between moving to the Farm or moving to Europe, probably Italy. I now clearly saw that I should choose the Farm. That didn't mean I couldn't travel to Europe and spend time there; but I wanted to live on the Farm.

I felt happy on the Farm. Michelle made me feel happy and I loved having her on the Farm with me. I still had many years to live and maybe Michelle would spend some of that time with me on the Farm. If not, I would probably still meet many people in my life whose company I could share on the Farm.

I might even try to become licensed to practice law in Ohio. I could start by getting to know some lawyers in Gallipolis. I would need one of them to vouch for me if I applied for an Ohio law license.

I needed to talk to my father as soon as possible and let him know my decision. I couldn't move to the Farm without his permission, but I thought he would be willing to give it.

 

 

All dreams in this dream memoir are actual dreams and as such do not describe actual facts

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