Dream of: 29 September 1986 (2) "Black Hands"
My first-cousin Jimmy Halley had a car which had a rear like a pick-up truck. Since I had received his permission to use the car, I took it one day without telling him and drove it to Montreal, Canada. When I arrived, I thought I was actually in West Berlin, Germany.
The only person whom I knew who lived in Berlin was my old high school friend, Roger Anderson. I met Roger at a restaurant; I was happy to see him and I was glad I had a connection in Berlin. We sat down and talked until the conversation turned to Berlin. I told Roger that I had been in Berlin once before and that I had realized immediately that Berlin was the city for me. I had never been in another city where I felt so much at home. I liked being near the political conflict permeating Berlin. I told Roger only one other city could compare to Berlin in that regard—Hong Kong. I would not feel at home in Hong Kong because I did not speak Chinese or Japanese.
Roger seemed like a successful dignified business person who had managed to settle into Berlin. Some of Roger's traits reminded me somewhat both of Steve Weinstein (whom I first met int the tenth grade) and of Austin Stout (whom I first met in the seventh grade). Roger began to express some concern about what I was going to do in Berlin. I told him I was going to look for work and I said, "I'm going to find some interesting work. I don't think it will be that difficult, although it won't be easy."
I told him I was not entirely sure what I was going to do. We continued talking about Berlin in general. I told Roger that one could not really get the feel of Berlin without actually being in Berlin. One could read about Berlin in the newspapers, but one could not grasp the details without actually being here. Roger said it was not uncommon for someone to hang themselves close to the Berlin wall in protest of the wall.
When we finally walked out into the parking lot together, I told Roger I would contact him as soon as I had a place to stay; I did not yet have anyplace where he could reach me. Roger boarded his car and pulled off.
I walked over to my car. For the first time I noticed quite a bit of stuff in the back which I had not seen before. Some orange extension cord and other tools were there which I suddenly realized Jimmy might need.
I thought I only had about $1,300, so obviously I was going to have to find work fairly quickly if I hoped to be able to survive in Berlin. I hopped into the car and drove off, but instead of looking for a place to stay, I drove to Portsmouth and parked the car in the upstairs living room of the Gay Street House. The rear part of the car was able to be converted into a bed, which I did. I then lay down on the bed.
A television program was on in the room; on the show, a fellow who had piles of coins stacked around him was talking about silver. He was interviewing people to determine how many silver coins they carried around and how many they had at home. He showed his hands and pointed out how black his hands were—to show people how silver wore away on a person's hands. He explained that that was the reason silver was being taken out of circulation—so it would not be lost. I reflected that our coin collection at the House was worth thousands of dollars and I pictured rows of silver coins stacked up.
I began thinking how glad I was that I had brought the truck back. Actually, I did not even need the truck. I had no possessions with me except a change of clothes. If I wanted to return to Montreal, perhaps I would simply hitchhike. However, I was having difficulty believing I was actually back in Portsmouth. What was I doing here? It was a depressing feeling.
My father and Jimmy walked into the room. I continued lying in the bed without moving. They both seemed tall and business-like. Jimmy was wearing a gray suit and my father was wearing a dark-colored suit. Jimmy seemed like a lawyer and reminded me of lawyers I had known somewhere. I was sure they noticed me because I was lying right in the middle of the room, but they did not say anything. I felt relieved because apparently Jimmy had not needed the car while I had been gone.
As I continued to pretend I was sleeping, I reflected how glad I was that I had left the room in a neat condition before lying down. I had not left books lying around on the floor by the bed as I used to do. I used to begin reading books and leave them lying unfinished by my bed, but now I had become neater.
Jimmy finally left; I rose and spoke with my father. He said he was thinking about going to Montreal himself. He pulled out a newspaper and showed me an ad for a trip to Montreal. The price for the trip was $286 and included three days of hotel expenses in one of the very best hotels in Montreal. I asked him if the price included air fair to Montreal and he said it did. It seemed like a bargain to me.
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