Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dream State (Part Two)

A few months ago I posted the first section of a novel I was writing called Dream State. You can go back to past posts to find it. This is the next section.

My first attempted rescue: Beaten but not whipped.

Pablo Carrillo, the dude in the car, didn’t realize his life was in danger. Nor did he think the gringo who knocked on his door that afternoon was anything worth mentioning to his wife, Phyllis. It wasn’t until the gringo started hanging around the corner deli near his apartment that he started to take the situation seriously, and not in the way the gringo had wanted, but in a way that could get the gringo hurt. At least, this is the impression I got from him when he grabbed me by the shirt and pushed me down in the corner of the store.
“Get out of my neighborhood, you understand me?”
“I’m trying to tell you you’re in danger!”
Carrillo hauled back, held his fist above my head ready to let loose.
“You think I want to be here?” I asked. “I hate this. I hate this.”
Carrillo lowered his fist, looked at the deli guy watching us.
“What are you looking at?”
The deli guy picked up a telephone and began to dial.
“Now you get the fuck out of my face or I swear I’ll put you deep in the ground.”
“It’s a bridge,” I started desperately, trying to sound as sincere and foreboding as possible, “I see a bridge and you’re crossing it. You have on a suit. A wedding? Are you going to a –“
The vision began playing in my head. All I could see was the truck coming at me. I was behind the dashboard, and the truck comes so fast he doesn’t have time to react. In an instant I feel the impact. My chest heaves, I try to catch my breath. My body convulses and contorts as the car wraps around me.
Carrillo stepped back, his fist still balled. I could feel the blood come to my mouth, my lip bleeding.
“You’re sick, dude. I didn’t even hit you! Get yourself to a fucking hospital.” Carrillo ran out of the store. I laughed to myself, but the pain in my chest was overwhelming. I saw black.
My face was cold. Numbness snaked up the side of my head from my ear to the top of my skull. I sat up, brushed pebbles from my cheek. I’d seen him crash and die. There was nothing I could do to stop it. It came, it happened and it finished, like a ride in an amusement park. It did what it was programmed to do and that was that. I’d tracked him down for nothing. He and Phyllis were going to crash on that bridge and fall into the river on their way to a wedding and there was nothing anyone could do about it. I turned my head and saw the deli guy looking at me from his window. No doubt he’d dragged me to the street, empathetic fucker. Yeah, I see you.
“I love you, too,” I said out loud, knowing he couldn’t hear me.
He turned away.
Okay, so there had to be a way to channel this stuff, synthesize it into a form I could deal with rather than chasing some guy until he thinks I’m nuts. Anyway, that’s what I was thinking. That was the plan, until I finally got it down to a science. You want facts and figures? I can give you that. You want times and places? I can give you that, too. You want to know who; it’s going to cost you. Cuz that’s what I do. Well, sort of. That was just three months ago, years from the time I’d had my first dream.

The Case of Emma

Cabrillo was not my first attempt to understand the reality of what I was dreaming. My first few dreams had faded as quickly as they’d come. Actually, Cabrillo came immediately after another set of disturbing dreams about a young woman named, Emma. The dreams by this time were longer, more concise. I began to see little details, such as the time of day or night, the weather, what they were wearing. And I just happen to wake up right away. That was the key to remembering.
In the case of Emma, I’d dreamed her death twice the first week, then three times the next week, then every night and twice during the day in the last week, when they stopped. I hadn’t connected her to anything real. Outside of enduring a horrible recurring nightmare, and a slightly bloodied nose, I just figured she was a mythical being I’d made up. I did however, out of curiosity, call a young woman I thought might be Emma and tried to warn her. She didn’t take it well. I tired to have a serious conversation with her, but she was spooked beyond imagination. I’d even given her my name and phone number in case she changed her mind and wanted to work with me. The more she resisted the more I attacked. I followed her to school, to work, to the dentist. I ran into her at a restaurant, in the subway, near a bus stop. One day the dreams just stopped and I was free, able move on. Or so I thought. A week or so later I was having lunch at a local restaurant and I saw her picture on the wall. On it was a memorial poem dedicated to her memory; her photo graced the bottom half of the poster. My heart stopped when I saw the picture. She had a straight white smile, shoulder length dirty blonde hair and was wearing chef whites, just as I had seen her in my dreams. The tag line below the picture stated she’d died on January 7th of that year, the victim of a brutal late night mugging in midtown Manhattan. I didn’t have to be told the details. I’d seen it several times. Now I knew for certain I was dreaming reality before it happened. In essence, I was a time traveler. A spirit roaming the dark halls of time, plucking out this event or that, all relating to the death of someone I didn’t even know existed before my subconscious brought me to them.

Fast forward a few weeks.

Once I’d started to put things together, figure out what I could do with this “gift,” I placed an ad in the Village Voice under “psychic readings.” In it I detailed my ability to dream the future and warn paying customers of what may be. The only problem was I didn’t know if it was a lie or not, because I’d never tried it on anyone in particular. I’d always been brought to a stranger in my dreams, as if guided by some unknown force, and it always took me a few days to track them down. Each time I’d ended up with nothing but heartache and hurt for my troubles. Funny thing is, I was always shocked and amazed that I could track down the subjects in my dreams. They never believed me. Would you? So, the hell with it, I was going into the dream business for real and make some money. Get rewarded for services rendered.


  1. Very interesting. I think for those who have had the experience of dreaming about the future this narrative has credibility and fascination. I had a dream once that the son and second child of an Ormond was in great danger. I saw what I thought was a dump truck and the kid being thrown out, but one child I thought was like my son was safe. I was living in Phoenix and the Ormonds were in Utah and had very bad tempers. I thought if I tried to warn them they would reject it. Two of them had worked for my dad. Well the last one who worked for my dad had a son 14 who came down to his rancher brothers to vacation and work. He was allowed to drive Burns truck and was with Burn's son who had been one of my son Raymond's childhood friends. He drove too fast on those roads, tipped over, and his head hit a rock through his side window and he was killed. The other boy was thrown out but not hurt. He was the second child, only son of that Ormond.

  2. Yikes! Gerry, you are sensitive. I have found the more I ignore that part of me the better. I end up chasing rabbits and shadows otherwise. But occasionally, I'll just have a strong feeling. I did dream the Patriots would beat the Steelers and go on to win the Super Bowl in the 2000 season. Saw the whole thing in a 30 second dream! I should have bet the house but I didn't. Other times those feelings just come over me and I know I can't ignore it.