You Should be Dead!
Dream | June 14, 2008
As far back in this dream as I remember right now, I was kid, maybe 12 years, on a highway in the afternoon. The highway slopes through a shallow valley or gorge, like Kaukonahua Road meets Farrington Highway, heading towards Pa'ala Kai Market and Hale'iwa. I think I wanted an ice cream bar. I remember craving one, and Zeca was with me and we were scheming something. We had found invisble cardboard boxes embedded in a low sky. They're supposed to be filled with ice cream bars or ice cream candy bars or something. They're above me so that their contents would fall on me if this was at all logical, but they're empty, except for one, which had O'Henrys. As a teen I had gorged upon them after one Halloween. The O'Henrys spilled out on me but the bus is coming over a low hill and I'm near a bus stop and the driver will stop and scold me, so I shove them back inside and close the hinged doors of the box in the darkening sky before the bus comes and runs me over.
The dream shifts in that lazy, blurry way. A car passes on the road and I'm in my ol' T-bird and I must be in college again. Some girlfriend is in the car with me (she reminds me of a disheveled Cameron Diaz from Being John Malkovich) and we're driving along this highway and I think I have to be doing homework in my car or something. So we stop into a gas station. It's dark by now and the lights of the station's mini-mart are shining bright. For some reason I think there is a third person in the car, like a friend of ours, but I'm not sure.
So we pull in and park next to the mini-mart, and I go inside. The guy behind the counter is sort of dumpy-looking with a belly who might've ridden a Harley at some point in his life and still wears a greasy vest over a grubby shirt. He's balding, jaded, and chewing on a toothpick, just eyeballing something or other in the store. As I'm walking in another car pulls up out of the corner of my eye and parks across from us, but at an angle facing the entrance to the mini-mart. I can see a couple guys inside. They look crazy, like white-trash skinheads who'd rob a gas station mini-mart for fun. As I'm walking in, one of them, a gnarly looking guy who doesn't look too bright but does look very dangerous and very probably psychopathic, gets out of the car and is coming in behind me.
So I'm in the middle of the store and I'm about to turn into one of the aisles to get whatever I'm here for. As I turn, some crazy old bag lady with dirty blonde hair and weird shit draped around her body (like a hose or some flexible pipes, sheets or shredded clothes, and other indiscernible junk), pulls a gun and screams something about a holdup or gimme all the money or something. The skinhead guy behind me stops, like he was gonna do the same thing but is unsure now that someone else is already doing it.
The guy behind the counter is unfazed. He's actually annoyed. "I told you midnight!"
She lowers her gun with a confused look on her face and kinda meanders out of the scene. She probably didn't know what time was anymore.
All this was rather surprising to me, so I turned around and left the building. The attendant was saying something terse to the crazy skinhead guy that I only partially caught and don't remember now.
I walked back to the car and said to her that the place had almost gotten robbed and that it might happen at midnight. "The attendant is probably sick of working there and wants a cut if he allows people to rob the place repeatedly."
"I wanna see!" she says. She gets out and we take a few steps towards the door. For some reason I was thinking time was gonna go back to the first time I walked inside, or perhaps that time would lurch forward to midnight when the deal would go down.
But neither happened. Instead, about twenty red-uniformed Canadian bicyclists pulled up and were crowding into the building through the double doors. The crazy skinheads picked this exact moment to start opening fire outside as they tried to rush through the door. It was some sort of weird chaos and as we bolted back to the car bullets were whizzing everywhere and even along the side of the car so that I couldn't open up the door for a second. People were scattering everywhere and there was shouting and general noise.
We jumped in the car and I fumbled with the keys, hoping they wouldn't shoot my windshield. The car was firing up and I jammed it into gear, it lurched forward but I was giving it too much gas and there was that annoying lag for a few seconds as the engine sputtered and we seemed to slowly turn out of harm's way before the gears caught and the engine surged. Then we were peeling out of the lot and down the dark highway, heading back the way we came.
We were yelling to each other in joy, having escaped that weird scene. Something like, "We did it! We got away!" And then I said (very oddly) "As long as there's just the two of us in here!"
That was when the crazy skinhead lunged his head between us from the backseat. One eye was squinting evily and he looked angry with his ugly profile. He scared the bejeesus out of both of us and she screamed loudly. We were still speeding down the highway and she was saying, "We'll get you a car. You don't need to come with us!"
He said something like, "I'm gonna need a gun. You got a gun in this car?"
Why would I have a gun? "Naw, I don't have a gun" I said. But my hand was busy in the center console. I did have a gun. A gun I had fired earlier, at some point in the dream, or maybe that was a new memory I had just conceived. I had even put a few .22 bullets in it from a box. I remember.
It wasn't in the center console, it was between my legs, nestled down in my crotch! How did it get there? How many bullets were left in it? I took a chance and pulled it out with one hand, trying to find the handle in the darkness by feeling it, and trying to hold it properly so I could aim it at this guy in the backseat while speeding along a dark road. Did I even have my lights on?
I found the handle, I aimed the gun at his greasy forehead, which sloped back and gave him a primitive look of nihilistic insanity. He didn't seem to comprehend what I was doing for a second while I squeezed the trigger.
But at that angle it was hard to hold the gun straight and squeeze the trigger, so I pulled the hammer back and squeezed again. The gun went off in the direction of his face and the noise was pretty loud in the close quarters, but his face was still intact. I squeezed again and again, two or three shots, then empty chambers clicking. Fuck!
He said something but I didn't hear because I slammed on the brakes and skidded off the road. We hadn't even stopped when I turned around and began hitting him in the forehead with the gun as hard as I could, over and over again.
"Hey don't do that man," he said.
"This isn't right!" I shouted. "You should be dead!"
Then she said something like we looked good together. Like we were a team or something, and this was the beginning of a movie where we would become buddies and have all sorts of crazy adventures. Me being more rational down-to-earth guy, and he being the violent psychopath. Odd couple of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. I was waking up now and thinking that it had been turned into a cheezy sitcom.