Good morning, everybody.
I was in a bedroom with two or three other guys. We were all probably dressed the same way: in jeans, but no shirts. I lay back on a bed. One man probably lay on another bed, at right angles to me. But sometimes I may have been laying next to the man, not at right angles to him. Another man may have been somewhere off to my right, though I may never have seen him.
Another man was just walking out of the room. He was tall, wiry, but with a kind of worn-out looking body, and bald, with a young yet old face. He looked a little crazy, though he either masked or tried to mask that look with a glance of calm or serenity in his blue eyes.
The man had just bragged about something he'd done. I had called out, in a lazy voice, that I didn't believe he'd actually done the thing. The man gave me a serene, almost playful, look, groan-laughed something at me, and walked out the door. I could tell the man was really offended by what I'd just said. I myself couldn't believe I'd said it.
But now the man walked back into the room. He had a "switchblade" pulled out -- actually, it was just the nail file/nail cleaner implement on a normal pair of nail clippers. He still had the serene look in his eyes. But he also had the look of a killer. He came at me, obviously angry, and told me that he'd show me that what he'd said was true.
The man stood over me, maybe holding me down. He was running the "switchblade" around my nipples, as if he intended to cut them off. He was also running it around my stomach in a horizontal oval, as if he were searching for the correct spot to plunge the "switchblade" into my flesh. He was working himself into a greater frenzy, eventually shouting that he'd show me what he'd said was true.
I didn't struggle against the man, or if I did struggle, my struggles were weak. I figured I was probably going to die. But then the other two (?) men in the room jumped up and pulled the man off of me. The man may still have been holding onto me: I seemed to come with him as the other two men pulled him to the door.
Now I had broken free and stepped away from the man enough so that I felt like I could get enough reaction time to defend myself against him. I grabbed the man (he was like some meter-long, scrunched-up, capsule-shaped version of a man now) and threw him against the wall. I may have been hoping to smash him or break him. I shouted that now it was my turn to show him something.
I felt ashamed for brutalizing the man. I was trying to get back a feeling of strength, of being able to protect myself. But, I knew, the only reason I was now able to do this stuff to the man was because he was in an extremely weakened condition. The two other men had gotten the man to this point. If the man were still at his full strength, I wouldn't be able to treat him the way I was treating him right now. But I tried to put those thoughts out of my mind, and just convince myself that I was being strong by beating this man right now.
It was a brisk morning, with the sunlight probably dimmed and made pale by some wisps of clouds in the sky. I was out walking in a suburban residential area. I came to a street corner which joined with the corner of a house's backyard. There may have been a broken chain link fence bordering the backyard, with a lot of gaps in the fence. Or there may have been no fence, only a few occasional steel poles marking where the fence used to be.
A white and grey, scruffy-haired dog, maybe about knee-high, came running up through the backyard to bark at me. The dog seemed to want to get even more violent with me, maybe even attack me. But then the two owners came walking up from the front end of the back yard. The husband came from the left side of the yard; the wife, from the right. The dog, seeing the two owners, stood back from me.
There was a gigantic water dish (or an old tire filled with water?) at my feet. The dog stopped at the water dish, as if it only wanted to drink the water. But it didn't even look down at the water. It just kept barking at me.
The wife stayed at a distance from me. But the husband, though never reaching me, always seemed to be advancing and approaching. The wife seemed young and pretty, with an athletic, strong body and luxurious, blonde hair. The husband looked a little older, a little more worn, and kind of prissy-faced, like a guy who took too much pride in being "fine" and "intellectual."
The husband may have said something to me about how the dog would never attack me. But something about what the man said made me think that he had given me justification, if the dog got too violent with me, to get violent with the dog.
I now had a gigantic wrench in my right hand. I was planning on swinging it at the dog. But I couldn't figure out how to step back to get enough distance to swing the wrench at the dog without hitting the dog. I didn't want to injure the dog unless I absolutely had to. But I felt like the only way for me to calm the dog down was by doing something like showing it how violent I could get and how I actually could hurt the dog. So I wanted to swing the wrench.
I was sick of hearing the dog bark. I was starting to feel like it might be good to hit the dog with the wrench, after all. The husband, still approaching me, but still distant, was talking about how the dog was just acting violent, and how he'd never hurt anybody. The man was now saying things in a way to make me feel like I should be more patient with the dog.
But now I grabbed the dog with one hand by his muzzle. The dog's muzzle was all wet, as if the dog had been drinking from the water dish. I held the dog's mouth shut, so it couldn't bark. The dog may have been struggling, but it may also, finally, have been afraid.
I probably began tapping the dog on the skull with the huge wrench, letting the dog know, somehow, that if it didn't calm down pretty soon, I'd start swinging harder and harder, until I finally began smashing the dog's skull.
I was walking along a stone or concrete path in a riverside park. The river, which was like the Hudson River, was on my right. On my left was a lawny area. There was an occasional tree just to the left of the path. I had probably walked out onto this path after having just crossed under a small bridge.
Just after the bridge there was a chestnut tree. The tree looked normal, but at least one of its limbs drooped all the way to the ground. The branches of this limb twisted along the ground like a grapevine or creeping ivy. The leafs of the tree looked like flowers, somehow, and a pink, coral-like network of stems and blossoms came out from the center of the leafs.
Something about these flowers may have worried me. I may have thought they were poisonous. But I recognized the characteristic look of the leafs of this tree: the palmate, five-leafed structure seemed to me to be that of a chestnut. But I couldn't tell for sure if this was a chestnut or some kind of poisonous tree that I shouldn't be anywhere near.
I called my old boss from a few years ago, BS, on my cell phone. As I spoke with BS I continued walking along the path, far past the tree, and, apparently, not coming up on any trees like that tree.
I tried not to sound worried. I simply told BS that I had forgotten whether five-leafed trees were chestnuts or whether they were something else. But BS could tell I was worried. He asked me if I was calling because I was worried about something poisoning me. He told me something like, "I'll give you the answer to this question. But, really, you have to start remembering that not everything is poisonous to you. Not everything is going to kill you."
I walked around a curve that ran to the left. There seemed to be a little more activity in the distance, like people out on a pier, putting some event together, or people sitting out on a plaza and enjoying the day.
BS was still talking to me. He began to get a little excited. He started talking about my work habits. He mentioned what had set me back, emotionally, while I was working with him, and how he felt that had hindered my chances of making it through the layoffs at my company. He then spoke about the emotional mistakes I had made at my following job, and how they could have been alleviated by a little less paranoia and a little more trust.
BS was still talking, but my phone was breaking up. I was losing reception. Finally my phone hung up altogether. I looked around. I was headed down into a tunnel. I said, "Oh, I'm going down into a tunnel, I'm going to lose you," as if I were still talking to BS and I were giving him the courtesy warning.
Now I was actually in a car. I was heading quickly down into the tunnel. At first the tunnel just looked like some long airplane hangar, with tall corrugated-steel walls and ceilings. I could even see light peering through from the cracks between the walls and the ceiling. But as we plunged deeper and deeper downward, at a faster and faster rate, the walls became thick and solid, like heavy concrete. I may eventually have plunged into total darkness.
I now stood in a huge, stately, but somewhat worn-down or neglected, train station. I stood near a row of tall-backed, hefty, wooden benches. The floors and the tall walls were made of heavy stone. Windows lined the tops of the walls, letting in a bit of pale, blue-grey light. There was no other light in the station.
I knew I was now back where I could get some phone reception. I thought I would call BS back. I pulled out my phone, which may have looked like an old BlackBerry. As soon as I looked at the screen, a new email message popped up. It may have been popping up "in real time," like I was actually watching it as it was being typed by BS.
The message looked crazy. The typing was wild, with all kinds of frenetic expressions and strange uses of punctuation to accentuate a feeling of excitement and importance. I may possibly have thought that BS was writing me this wild email because he had lost contact with me and he was now worried that I hadn't wanted to listen to his ideas in the first place.
Instead of reading the message, I decided to call BS, like I had originally planned. But, possibly, before I had even picked up the phone, BS may have been on the phone. I told BS something like, "I lost reception. But I have it now. So I can listen to you again."
BS started talking to me again about how I needed to be more trusting and less paranoid. But it seemed like the context of the conversation had changed somehow. I no longer felt like the context BS was using applied to me anymore. He wasn't really talking about my working situation. And that, I think, was what I really wanted to hear about.