before I start. I don’t usually have dreams. In fact I haven’t had a dream in a long time. Years. I suppose it’s safe to state I don’t have dreams. Sounds a bit grim, but it is what it is. Lately, I’ve been able to have these lucid dreams. The interesting thing about that is… I’ve never had lucid dreams before. They’re the dreams where you can control your own body instead of watching it unfold like a movie. I was surprised when I’d learnt there was even an option like lucid dreams. All of my previous dreams felt like a rip-off only I knew I couldn’t get a refund. But alas, dreams are just dreams. I knew of a guy who had a dream once. He was killed because of it. So I guess that inducts dreams into having a hand in reality. Go figure.
So in my dream, I’m a homeless man. A bum. The sort that traveled from place to place. A real bum is a traveler, but a bum is a homeless person that still hangs onto the hope of a home so he sets up a cardboard makeshift shack of some sort with most of the features of a home, and is strangely territorial about it. A tourist in his own life. A traveler is not a tourist. I digress.
I found myself in a metropolis of sorts. It’s night. It looked and felt like LA. It probably was. Light to mild traffic, so I’d say about 10-ish. There’s very little foot-traffic so it must be a feared area. You know those areas a seemingly normal person is afraid of walking trough? Homeless persons and bums congregate these areas. You can identify them if there’s a bus stop or a bench you feel you shouldn’t touch with your bare skin or nice clothes. I was about to go to sleep on one of these said benches. I know, I know -who dreams that they’re about to go to sleep? This guy. It was a nice cool night, I’d been walking a long distance and there was an empty bench. I figured I could catch a wink or two before a cop car rolled up, shine a flashlight on me to see who I was, then tell me I couldn’t sleep there and to go home. People do exist who are terrible judges. Most are. So I closed my eyes.
Not more than a moment later, the sound of clicking boot-heels come tick-tockin’ up the sidewalk. ‘Here we go,’ I thought. I sit up. I had the bum uniform fully on; the dirty white sneakers and cologne of hard knocks, if the copper was mildly perceptive it should be a quick shooing. I direct my eyes straight ahead refusing to acknowledge the officer with them. It’s not that I’m a disrespectful person by nature, but let’s face it; he was gonna kick me off a street because I already looked guilty. I smelled guilty. The heels stopped. He said nothing. A power play. A tough guy. It never matters.
To cut the shit I decided to turn towards this tough guy. This tough guy turned out to be a girl. That was a strange development. She looked to be about my age. Minus her dark, thick eyebrows she had an attractive face. She was almost as tall as I was, and almost as gangly. She looked healthier. Probably was, compared to my state. She was probably teased when she was grade school. She looked nervous. But that could also have been due to the fact I was a smelly hobo which made me wonder what she wanted from me. So I asked her,
‘What do you want?’
‘Sorry to bother you, but can you tell me how to get to Union Station?’
‘I’m not bothered, I wasn’t doing much anyway. You have two options. One, you walk straight down this street for 9 or 10 blocks then cut a right about 2 or 3 more blocks.’
‘Wow, that’s a long walk.’ She said un-enthused.
‘Which brings us to option two. Take the Civic Station Metro on 1st and Hill to Union Station.’
‘Okay, where’s 1st and Hill?’
You see this corner we’re both on here?’
‘Well, it’s on the opposite corner of this block, but two blocks that way.’
‘I’m sorry. What?’
‘Umm… let me think. Okay, got it. Go two blocks that way, and go one block to the left. There should be a bunch of Mexicans gathered around the entrance. They’re nice, don’t worry. They’re all getting off of work and just waiting for the buses.’
‘Hope that helps.’
‘It does. You almost lost me with the whole opposite corner of the block, two blocks over thing.’
‘Yeah… I don’t know why I said it like that. I may have been out trying to impress you. Subconsciously, I mean.’ I admitted. She gave a courtesy laugh.
‘Well, thank you.’
‘Anytime you can find me.’
She started a few steps toward 1st and Hill and then stopped. I’m a sucker for legs and will say I could watch her walk forever. Then she started towards me again and almost caught me looking, but my quick thinking shot my eyes forward again before she noticed.
‘Excuse me, sorry to bother you again.’
‘Still un-bothered and still not doing much.’
‘Well, I was wondering if you could use a few bucks.’ she said nervously. It’s a sight people don’t see often on the streets. Someone nervously offering a few bucks to a bum. In bills.
‘Sure I could. I could use some soap.’ I said. She laughed again but stopped herself and started digging into her pockets. They never can tell when I was cracking a joke. I don’t believe elephants belong in a room.
‘I meant, for like, food or other stuff.’
‘I was joking. Well, I was serious, but it’s a joke too, see?’
‘A serious joke, really?’ she mused.
‘Oh I take nothing more serious than joking. And what do you mean, other stuff?’
She ummed in search of the least narrow-minded answer.
‘What? Like booze and drugs?’
‘Well… if that’s the kind of stuff you’re into…’ she conceded forgetting my oath to oracular humor.
‘I’m joking again,’ I relieved, ‘I was actually serious about the soap. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m incredibly filthy.’
‘And pungent.’ we both laughed.
What sort of dream consists of a bum talking to a tall girl? This one. Don’t make that face, this was only the beginning. Sometimes a good conversation is an adventure in and of itself. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you haven’t had a good conversation. Think on the times you spoke with your loved ones. Now subtract the arguments and the trivial trifles and you’ve got a good conversation. Full of laughter and chuckles because of an absence of ego. An ego lacking of both sides with nothing to gain but the connection to another person. Another mind. Honest. Honest because I knew I was a bum, and she wasn’t. It’s sad what the segregation of classes can do. Can still do. This is the world we’re forced to live in. Well, in the USA, at least.
It turned out she was on her way to North Hollywood to stay with some friends. She found herself closer to friends than she did parents. Her parents made her uneasy. She disagreed with them on different aspects of life. We all do. It’s like there’s a shield that divides better ways of thinking from the old presumably proven ways which time still has yet to prove i.e. separation of class. Old money vs. all else, that kind of thing. Then again, what do I know? I was just a bum who couldn’t even dream. She and her friends just wanted to have fun and enjoy themselves. They were mostly jobless, but jobless because the job market is a tough place to enjoy yourself in. Those with the jobs were actually the ones who were more miserable. They were mindless jobs that paid like a warm hungover turd. Satisfying, yet still shit. But they bought the drinks anyway because there was nothing else they could do. She had dropped out of school because she couldn’t afford it. Instead of asking for gas and food money like she did when she was 15, she asked for bus fare and beer money at 25. Omitting the beer part because hardworking voters feel directionless youth don’t deserve to drown worries they have no right to have. Of course, I’m not an expert. I never read any government studies or anything. Again, I’m just a bum in the dream. Before I knew it, I was walking with her to the train station. I made up something about making sure she got there in one piece. Which isn’t fully a lie because it isn’t safe in any city for a woman to be walking the street alone. Not all homeless people are as easygoing as me. Some still have wants and desires.
I stopped her from purchasing a train ticket to get on the train because I knew the patrols change at night. The coppers won’t be at the stops checking tickets at night because there are more crazy people at night. The crazy people seem to target cops or other uniformed authorities over ordinary people. If the option was there. We walked straight through toward the platform. There weren’t any cops as I’d predicted. And there weren’t crazy people either. Now this is the part of my dream that became a weird dream. In my lucid dreams I could control my entire body, but I don’t realize it’s a dream. I hear you’re supposed to know it was a dream, but everything seemed normal to me. That’s why I said it was probably LA. It was a bit more scifi-y.
Union Station wasn’t like Union Station where the platforms were off to either side down this long wide hall. This Union Station towered towards the heavens. There were about 3 or 4 platforms on each level up the cylindrical tower. I wasn’t sure because I didn’t count. I didn’t count because it seemed normal to me. She and I were going to the 11th floor, platform 3. Orange line, I think… Or was it platform 4’s blue line? It doesn’t matter.
We decided to take the stairs because the elevators had lines. But we’d gotten into one of them, they’d seem to elevate over the city from the outside of the building because the lifts have only a pane of glass separating you from being in the view. It was gorgeous at night as I’m sure it would have been on a sunny day as well. We still got to see the view going up the stairs. But we got to feel the wind too, which I thought was better. I also think we both secretly enjoyed each other’s company and the best way to optimize the short amount of we had was to hike a flight of stairs.
It seemed hard to believe at the time that this woman would hike 11 flights of stairs with me, a bum. I’m not going to use the excuse of this being just a dream, because of my aforementioned friend who was martyred for his. But I believe that there are some people out there that are genuinely appreciative of another person with a good heart because a good heart is only the mask to an even greater soul. What moron doesn’t want to be in the company of someone of that caliber even just for a moment. Knowing both our situations I can safely say we believed we would never see each other again. The only thing that seemed unrealistic were the floating trains full of potentially great people I hadn’t met yet that flew to and fro in all directions of this tower that was Union Station. Unrealistic, so far, at least.
‘What made you homeless?’ she asked.
‘You say it like I was forced into it by something else.’
‘It was by choice?’
‘I was forced into it.’ I mused.
‘What was it? If you don’t mind me asking.’
‘I don’t mind. It’s because of people like you.’
‘What do you mean?’ she sounded shocked.
‘Not in the way that context sounded. A better way to say it would be, “for people like you.” I gave up everything I had because they drove me to push on in life.’
‘You don’t mean you’re just waiting around to die, are you?’
‘Nope, not at all.’
‘Then, what do you mean?’
‘You’ll think I’m crazy if I told you.’
‘I told you about the crazy shit in my life.’
‘True, but some of my closest friends even thought I was insane, and I don’t even know you.’
‘You care what they think?’
‘At first I did, they were my friends. But now, not so much.’
‘Then what makes you think you’ll care what I think?’
‘Hmm… touche, young lady. I won’t and don’t.’
‘So… tell me.’
After some thought, I conceded, ‘Alright. I didn’t want to push on in a life that I didn’t agree to living. I don’t mean to say that I wish I was never born. Quite the opposite, actually. I’m glad I was born. I didn’t see why some people seem to have authority over other people. We’re all so dependent on these people to govern our lives.’
‘Everybody has to work.’
‘Everybody does have to work. But nobody has the right to work everybody over.’
‘So your homelessness is a form of anarchy?’
‘Nothing so idealistic as that. I don’t think at least, I mean I never liked punk bands. Or anything.’
‘Punk music isn’t the same as punk sounds.’
‘Touche again. Jonathan Richman was the Godfather of punk. I love that guy.’
‘I love Jonathan Richman!’
‘No way.’ I stated skeptically.
‘Everyone’s heard Roadrunner.’
‘The soundtrack to There’s Something About Mary. The Berserkley Years. And I love Jonathan Goes Country, which was pretty dark despite sounding to uppity. Filled with heroin references like most of his songs.’
‘Holy shit, you’re really a Richman fan.’
‘Of course. I can tell what good music is on my own, thank you. Half the Modern Lovers that started with Jonathan split and joined The Cars. The other half joined… what was it…’
I’d always hated talking to people about music because whenever I’d tried to I would find myself stuck listening to someone tell me about what the members of the band did instead of the music itself. Those conversations just made it apparent that they wasted time finding out what the lyrics meant to the person that wrote it instead of finding out what a song means to the listener personally. A real artists creates for others rather than themselves. Good songs are fundamentally the same, because it’s the same message throughout history. What that message is, is for each person to discover on their own because no one’d believe it if you told them. Once you get it, you get the poetry, which we’ve all lost somewhere down the line. There are people who listen to music, there are people that write and or play music, and then there are people who believe in music. Now I had no idea whether or not this woman felt that way I did about music, but there she was proclaiming her enjoyment of one of my favorite creators no one has heard of. Get back to the dream! Alright, alright, sheesh.
‘See? You’re a little punk. An unorthodox punk.’ she established
‘Shit does happens that way, I guess.’
‘haha, it really does.’
‘Alright, so now that we’ve established I don’t want to firebomb society, I just saw a more simpler way of dealing with it.’
‘Becoming a bum.’
‘No. Well, yes. Passivity. Instead of arguing with the people in charge about our rights, I figured it was easier to just ignore them.’
‘You think the government would go away if you ignored them?’
‘Me? Not really. But if we all just stopped working for one day, they’d be hit very hard. They need the people in order to have authority. If we all just turned our heads and said fuck this instead of fuck you, they’d crawl right back to us.’
‘People shouldn’t fear the government, the government should fear the people.’
‘Yeah, that thing. Philosophy was the people’s plan B since the beginning. But some of us are too hotheaded to see it.’
‘I see your point. You’re saying if we all just stopped giving a fuck, we’d stop getting fucked.’
‘Not immediately, but that’ll at least force them to finally listen to the hotheaded ones. They’ll naturally take charge because they’re too pissed to not do anything.’
‘Saving the Economy, by anonymous bum of America.’ she joked.
‘Pretty much, but i’m not assertive. I don’t handle resistance very well.’
‘Haha, that’s so like you intellectuals. Always thinking but never having the balls to do anything.’
‘If you see it that way. But I had the balls to give everything up to become a bum and to cease condoning the grip they’d had on us since birth. You yourself can’t afford school, yet I can tell you’re not an idiot. I’m not too foolish but I can’t exactly land a job, along with your other friends. Your friends who hate their jobs, want to kill themselves until they get off of work. And your friends that are happy with a job, well they’re emotional states go up and down just as quickly as these elevators, ready to snap at any moment like a paperclip. I’m not doing anything about it? I shit the system out of my life which is the best thing any of us can do. The best part is, I step over no one to do it.’
That struck her silent.
‘You can say so if you think I’m a crazy homeless man. You were warned.’
‘Well… I’ve never spoken to another homeless man before. So… I don’t know where they stand.’
‘Me neither… some smell worse than I do.’
‘Yeah, you do smell pretty bad.’
‘Yeah, pungent, was the word I believe.’
‘But, there’s a lot of sense in your what your saying, but I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired of these fucking stairs.’
‘I was hoping you’d say something about that, I’m completely beat.’
‘My thighs are on fire. How many floors did we make it up?’
‘Um… 5, I think.’
‘Really? That’s it? Fuck.’
‘You want to take a break?’
‘If you don’t mind.’
‘Mind? Of course I don’t mind. I’d have been sleeping by now. I didn’t even have to come here.’ I joked while over-exaggerating my hyperventilation. We both sat on the steps.
‘I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude but could you sit a little farther away?’
‘Oh yeah, of course. That was inconsiderate of me.’ I moved two steps up.
We sat there breathing and rubbing our own thighs. She offered me a cigarette but apparently, I wasn’t a smoker in my dream. And I also wasn’t any tougher of a person in my dreams because she and I heard footsteps coming up the stairs from one of the platforms below us, and I got scared. We looked at each other as the footsteps neared, and I gave her a look that reminded her that I wasn’t a crazy PCP-smoking hobo. Then the shoes came around the corner and planted in those shoes were the feet of another homeless man. He was black and older, and… mangy was the best way to describe him.
‘Hi!’ I said surprisingly afraid.
‘Well, hello there,’ said the black homeless man, ‘and to you, young lady.’
‘Lemme axe you a question.’
‘Uh, okay.’ she said.
‘Would you like to buy some tape? Each roll you buy comes with a tape gun.’
‘Oh, no thank you.’
‘Now hold on a minute, you ain’t seen my tape yet. It’s good tape.’
‘That’s alright, I’m not really um, in need of any tape right now.’
‘You’ll change your mind when you see the tape, just give it a chance.’
‘Alright. Let me see your tape, I guess.’
‘There we go!’ the black homeless man pulled out a ratty used cardboard box full of tape guns from behind his back. ‘There’s two rows, twelve tape guns total, you can even have the box.’
‘Those are nice tape guns but I don’t really need them.’
‘What? Which one you don’t need?’
‘Well, sir, I don’t need all or any of them.’
‘Come on, I’ll tell you what, I will give you all twelve for the price of one.’
‘I really don’t need tape right now.’
‘How do you know you won’t need tape later? Now this is a really good deal, young lady.’ he look to me, ‘tell her how good a deal twelve for one is.’
‘Uh… well statistically, that is a good deal.’ I stated. She then shot a look at me. The one with the eye.
‘Alright, how much for one?’
‘Are you kid… I’m not paying you ten dollars for twelve tape guns I don’t need now! Or later! Probably.’
‘Now hold on, that’s just for the one tape. but if you buy that one, I’ll give you the gun that it comes with, along with the other 11 tapes, with the guns for those. For free. That’s a good deal right there, see, I’m the one that’s lost money,’ he looked at me again, ‘tell her I lose profit.’
‘Uhhh… well technically…’
”Shut up! Alright, I’ll take it, but I’m only giving you 2 dollars.’ she yelled.
‘Are you playing me?’
she glared at him. ‘2 dollars.’
‘Make it 5 at least.’
‘If i give you 5, will you stop talking and just leave us alone?’
They made the transaction. Then the black homeless man insisted he wrap it for her. She was too haggled for more debate so she gestured for him to do so speedily. He took a tape gun, with the roll of tape attached, and began taping the entire box shut. She gave it one look and shrugged her shoulder as though this couldn’t be happening. But I was watching. The guy looked like he was enjoying it too. Then he gave her the box and purported the resistance the box now had of the rain and other doings o’ nature. Then he left. She then glared at me, the other homeless man. I tried to look in any other direction than in the direction of her eyes.
‘Look at me.’
‘Because you’re armed with twelve fully loaded tape guns.’
We found ourselves bursting with laughter a moment later. We started upward again leaving behind a pair of tape trails spiraling up the stairs.
‘Do you believe in God?’ I asked.
‘In a way. I believe in our intellect to decide whether or not we want to believe in things.’
‘Well, I mean like Jesus Christ and his old man and things like that.’
‘You mean whether I’m a Christian or whatever?’
‘Then no.’ she stated
‘But you believe in him in another way?’
‘I don’t believe in their idea of hell and Satan or anything like that.’
‘You don’t believe in the eternal abyss of despair of Dante’s Inferno?’
‘Ha, no. Dante wrote that because he was imprisoned for not believing it. So he wrote the book personifying the 9 circles of hell that was the church. That was his revenge, and his skill comes from mocking his captors right under their noses. But I don’t think he ever intended for the church to begin using the 9 circles to scare people into converting. So he sort of screwed it up for the world too. But I like Jesus, he seems like a really nice guy.’
‘Hold on, is that stuff true?’
‘Of course it is. I like history, and I always do my own research now that I can’t afford schooling. I think it’s always why he named it the Divine Comedy. He never did anything wrong but have his own beliefs.
‘Wow, I never thought of it that way before. You know, I’ve always thought that. But with the bible. I think they took it seriously like the bible was a non-fiction book.’
‘That’s exactly what they did with it.’ she confirmed. ‘I hope I didn’t convert you into the dark lord’s army.’
‘Oh no. I don’t believe in the dark lord. If anything, I feel for the guy. It seemed like he was punished for having his own beliefs too. He never had horns or red skin and goat legs or anything. He was a regular dude with wings who thought for himself. Everyone called him crazy.’
‘Everyone calls you crazy! You’re the devil!’
‘Yeah, right. I’m the homeless devil that supports non-violent anarchy and reads Thoreau.’
‘Haha. Well it’s hard to believe when we find out the Romans just rewrote the Greek pantheon.’
‘My own research again.’
‘Touche, I do my own research too. Call me crazy, but does Prometheus sound a bit like Satan to you?’
‘I’ve always thought that too! Call me crazy!’ she exclaimed with genuine excitement.
‘Hey crazy, I need a need another gun, this one’s out.’ she tossed me a new gun.
‘Do you believe in God?’
‘I guess you could say that, but plural.’
‘Ooooh, a polytheist?’
‘Stop that. Nothing like that.’
‘You believe in many gods, right? Like the eastern religions.’
‘Well, sort of. I don’t think the stories are meant to be taken literally is all.’
‘So what do your Gods do?’
‘Umm… some of them sleep I guess. Until they wake up.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well people like Ghandi for example.’
‘You think Ghandi is a God?’
‘Stop using the word God! It’s really a silly word to use.’
‘What would you rather?’
‘I don’t know, a Lover. not in a sexual way, but a lover and believer in mankind. Like Ghandi and whoever else that was really for the people.’
‘Alright, alright, you call your Gods, Lovers, is what you’re saying.’
‘Okay, now you’re twisting my words and making me sound like a weirdo.’
‘You already are a weirdo! and those were your words.’
‘Okay, fine. FINE. People like Ghandi and Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr and Nikola Tesla, loved mankind people. I think every century, people like these come along and get snuffed out by some jackass. But it’s not that they loved mankind and said a few words, but they believed in mankind to the point where their deaths were seen as martyrdom. In the olden days, they would saint their asses or deify them almost immediately. We’ve sort of done that to them to, but we cut out the sainting shit a while ago. But they were still great human beings. I can’t rally people like they can cause I like a good rum and coke now and then, but I live their words everyday. Before the saints became saints themselves, they were the Greek gods. They didn’t have superpowers or anything, they were just regular dudes and ladies like you and me but they weren’t afraid of doing great things that another person would be afraid of. I don’t know, but it just seems infinitely more logical than what the cloth has done in the last 500 years.’
‘Oh that’s those New Age weirdo things isn’t it?’
‘In a way, yes. But I’ve never met one that didn’t sound pompous or didn’t channel some dude from the bible. Maybe they can, I don’t know. I’ve done some weird shit too I guess.’
‘Oh, come on.’
‘No way, I’m already sounding like I’ll drink the kool-aid.’
‘So you guys DO drink the kool-aid!’
‘What? No! we don’t even meet. I’ve just read some of the shit they post on forums. What am I saying, They’re not assholes or anything, they’re actually very kind people. It’s just to an awakened person, that’s what they call it when you’ve seen the light or whatever, it’s easy to spot out which are still sleeping and which aren’t. And people have been waking up in droves these last few decades.’
‘Are you awake?’ she asked
‘I’d rather not say.’
‘Oh why not?’
‘Because I know there’s nothing to be sure about with things like religion. I just want to be the most neutral guy ever.’
‘Haha, can you channel Jesus or Noah or Apollo?’
‘This isn’t funny.’
‘Liar!’ she shouted. Some of her saliva hit my eyeball, ‘oh my god, gods! I didn’t mean to spit in your eye!’
‘Haha, it’s alright. You’re right though. It is kinda funny. I don’t know if I’ve channeled those guys.’
‘Whoa, hold on. What do you mean, those guys.?
‘Oh no you don’t! Tell me! Are you awake?!’
‘Calm down! Sheesh! I am, I am. Why else would I go full throttle and bum it on the streets talking about love? I’m not crazy you know.’
‘Um… I plead the fifth right now about what you just said.’ she joked.
‘Who can you summon up with your little seances?’
‘You’re really enjoying this aren’t you?’
‘Would it really matter?’
‘If you’re happy, I’m happy.’
‘Then tell me, you filthy lovebum.’
‘Haha! Lovebum! That’s funny. Alright. He or she goes by the name G.’
‘What? G? Just G?’
‘Okay… and what does G say to you?’
‘Um… what I need to hear I guess. G’s sort of like my personal… er… whatever G is.’
‘Is it a voice inside your head? Like Joan of Arc?’
‘Not really, it’s strange. I sort of have to piece the messages together from artistic things people create and random things. Like, they trigger an old memory I had of something else that the symbol reminded me of. From then on it’s like word jumble. When I figure out the correct message, I get this little vibrating feeling inside me.’
‘I’m sorry, G puts a vibrator inside you when you get it right?’
‘Fuck you! You know what! I’m done talking about it!’
‘I’m kidding! So touchy! Why you mad?’
‘I huffed a moment, but laughed anyway. ‘You’re right on that burn though, I so set that one up for you!’
‘Haha, yeah you did!’
‘Okay so this vibration feeling, don’t laugh…’
‘…feeling let’s me know the answer is right.’
‘What if the vibrator…VIBRATION… is like a wrong buzzer going off inside you.’
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath before I answered, ‘because I know in my heart it’s right. I’m not sure what it is exactly, they say our spirit guides are a higher form of our consciousness or another you from another dimension or some shit like that, but I do know for certain that G and I are tied together very strongly here and now. I never feel lonely anymore. G’s my best friend, is funny, and is much, much smarter than I am. G’s always with me, even though I have no idea who G is. G even watches me poop.’
By now we had been standing at the 11th floor platform waiting for the no. 3 shuttle, the one she needed to take after all. The tower was 33 stories high and didn’t feel like regular stories at all. Over the ledge we could see that we were far higher up than we would in a normal 11th floor.
She looked at me without a word, only smiling. She was probably dumbstruck by the insanity I’d just spewed out of my mouth. She spewed back,
‘Have you ever seen Vanilla Sky?’
‘Are you kidding? That’s my favorite movie.’
‘Me too,’ she said not surprised, ‘it’s not like, the greatest movie in the world, but something catches me about it.’
‘Like it resonates with you.’
‘Yeah. I mean, I’ve always wondered if we’re not all David Aames in the movie. Just waiting to wake up. And you come along and tell me you’re awake and have a sidekick named G.’
‘Well I never said I was awake awake because I’m still not sure. It sounds crazy but it makes sense to me. There’s this thing called the Dark Night of the Soul. It’s like a test your guide gives you. G gave me this test. And it’s every bit if not more grim than it sounds.’
‘And what happens with this, Dark Night of the Soul?‘
‘I’m not sure if it was the same for everyone because we don’t talk about it to each other, but you’re basically tested to see whether you’re willing to live your life for the good of the world, the universe rather than continue living your life for yourself.’
‘How did G test you?’
‘Let’s just say I passed.’
‘No, no you can’t drop a bomb like that on me and expect not to get some of the radiation! You have to tell me.’
‘Argh…. how about I say, G tested me on whether or not I would die for the world, the universe. I think people who fail this test go nuts.’
‘Whoooa, Some real Gethsemene stuff, huh?’
‘Yeah, I guess so.’
‘How do you know you passed?’
‘I… uh… was reassured?’
‘Stars were doing weird stuff that night, and believe me, I know. I felt a strange surge through my body, a sense of relief like a load was lifted, and I felt the spirits cheering, like I’d graduated college or something, I dunno. I was by myself of course.’
‘And this is why your friends think you’re crazy.’ she stated as a matter of fact-ly.
‘What if G’s an evil spirit that came here to fuck with you, and you’re just cursed? I mean, you do smell like a dumpster and sleep on benches. AND I caught you looking at my ass when I came back to offer you money.’
‘Whoa! I was looking at your legs!’
‘I haven’t lied to you all night!’
‘I’m wearing jeans!’
We both started laughing.
‘As for G,’ I continued, ‘G doesn’t ask me to do anything that hurts or induces fear upon anyone else. G’s always been there to keep me calm and confident. G back’s me up when real people turn their backs. I trust G. I trust G with my life and I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier. Can you imagine a world where no one scared you with bullshit or hurt you for some irrational reason? Everyone’d work because we all have to work. But we work together. We’d have no need for money. We already had all the power we needed in the world. There’d be no ego because we’d stop giving a shit about transitory things like cars, shoes, and apple products. G helped me murder my ego that night. It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.’
She’d walked around the platform because the shuttle hadn’t arrived yet. I followed her and noticed she was walking toward a candlelight vigil. They set those up when someone unjustly dies, and usually for a stupid reason. She stood over a 4×6 framed photo of a young girl. As I walked closer a few tears had fallen onto the frame obscuring the face. of the young girl in the photo. I didn’t know the girl in the photo, but my attention was more drawn to the fact the tears that had fallen on the photo were as black as ink. Maybe she was pouring ink on the photo. She then picked up the photo and did a weird skip dance.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m living my life with love.’
‘Put that picture back, it belongs to someone.’
‘Yeah, it belongs to me now.’
‘I’m serious, don’t disrespect the dead.’
‘You know full well we can’t disrespect the dead by loving them.’
‘Now you sound crazy.’
‘Really? Let’s ask G if I’m crazy.’
‘What’s the matter? I was just kidding’
‘I don’t know. I can’t breathe.”
Then there was a rumble and upon the platform was the number 3 shuttle coming in.
‘You’ll be fine.’ she said, and just like that, I was fine.
‘Whoa, that was weird.’
‘You never asked G whether or not I was crazy.’ she reminded me. Suddenly a horde of people came pouring out of train, all faceless, and wearing black suits or dresses. She asked again, ‘ask G quick!’
‘I can’t right now…’ and suddenly I was caught in the waves of the exiting passengers and separated from her like the tide pulls away from the shore.
‘ASK G IF I’M NUTSO!’
‘I TOLD YOU I CAN’T! WHAT’S YOUR NAME?!” the wave of black separated, some for the lifts and the others down the stairs. It was more like a wave because it barely seemed like anyone was walking, I could’ve choked on someone’s tie or bonnet. Bonnet?? ‘YOUR NAME!!’
‘YOU REALLY DON’T REMEMBER ME?! ASK G!’
And I suddenly woke up to the song Turn, Smile, Shift, by Phantom Planet. I usually listen to music all night when I sleep, because it feels more soothing than meditating. I never meditated more than two minutes, on the toilet. It was such a nice dream, let alone any at all. But the employed Phantom Planet song has this heavy note of despair in it, which was appropriate in it welcoming me back into this world. Was that woman in my dream who I think it was? I’ve no idea.