Dream of: 23 August 1997 "Haze"

My wife Carolina and I were in a car which I was driving with difficulty. When I reached an intersection, I just drove around in a circle, uncertain which of the four roads to take. Finally I did take one, but almost immediately I had misgivings. Ahead of me was a long tunnel, fully lit, which appeared to be going under a river. I could hear a voice telling me not to go into the tunnel. But it was to late. I was speeding along a downward slope, and I couldn't stop. I pressed on the brakes, but they weren't working; I just kept picking up speed. Finally I began ramming my car into the left side of the tunnel wall, scraping along, trying to break my speed. But that also didn't help much. I thought I might have to actually stick my leg out the door and try to use my foot as a brake.

***

Carolina and I had arrived on the scene of a car wreck in which someone had been killed. The scene was by the side of a quiet road in a public park. Although the wreck had happened earlier that day, the body and the car had already been removed. Now a gawking crowd had gathered around the scene. So many people were showing up, that the sight had already been turned into a tourist attraction, almost with a carnival atmosphere. It seemed that the person who had been killed had been famous, an actor with the last name of "Hayes."

Carolina and I decided to take a look at the scene and we stepped into the queue of people. Slow and winding back and forth. A large picture of the deceased was displayed prominently. A tall blonde-haired handsome fellow. I had seen the face before, but I couldn't remember any movies in which he had acted. He had something to do with Danny DeVito, but I didn't know if DeVito had acted with him, been in the crash with him, or what.

A counter had already been set up where mementos of the dead actor were being sold. I noticed a stack of books lying on the counter, thin hard-covered books with black dust covers. Clearly a book couldn't have been written so quickly about a man who had only died today; but when I looked more closely, I saw that the book appeared to have been written by the actor's daughter, some time in the past. The books had just been hauled out to be sold here today.

I hadn't planned to buy anything, but I did end up purchasing a pair of black jeans which were on sale for the occasion. Normally the jeans were 20% off, but today they were 40% off. I bought them for only around $5.

Carolina and I finally wound our way up to the exact spot where the wreck had occurred. Looked down at the white concrete, trying to visualize what the wreck must have been like, but I was unable to imagine what had happened. Finally we had seen enough and we turned to leave. As I walked away, I reflected that if this many people showed up today, the place would really be crowded tomorrow when the news got out. People would be flooding in.

***

Carolina and I took a taxi from the crash scene. Although it was late at night, we ended up in a small mall where all the store fronts were constructed of dark wood, a western motif. We strolled into a clothing store and I began looking around, while Carolina went off her own way. A young fellow wearing strange attire, long socks up over his knees, sidled up near me. He looked gay and I didn't want him near me. Just as quickly he disappeared and I continued shopping.

I finally found something I wanted and when I was ready to pay, I had to get in another queue. Along with what I was buying in the store, I was stuck carrying the sack with the black jeans. They were getting heavy and I held them on my shoulders to carry them better. But gradually they began slipping off my back, and I asked a young woman standing at the check-out counter to please take them for me. She did so, and immediately she looked into the package with the black jeans. I could tell that she was snooping to make sure I hadn't shoplifted anything. I didn't mind. She looked at the price tag on the jeans and commented that they had been 40% off. She seemed to be implying that there was something wrong with buying pants at discount just because someone had died.

I began talking with some other people in the line about the fact that I had been at the wreck sight. Spoke with three different people in a friendly voluble way. Not usually so friendly. I wondered if I had been drinking something. Did not recall having drunk anything but I sometimes became more friendly when I drank alcohol. One woman (probably in her 30s) said she was a writer and she would have to write something tomorrow about the deceased. She didn't know much to write. I said I knew she what she meant. I told her that I had recognized his face when I had seen the picture at the crash sight, and that I had heard of his having been in a couple horror movies; but I had never seen him act myself.

I spoke to a couple other people as I waited. When my turn finally came to pay, and I was ready to leave, I said goodbye to everyone and at least one person said goodbye to me. It was extremely strange that I would be so friendly with people I didn't even know, even to the point of saying goodbye to them.

I stepped out of the clothing store and began looking for Carolina. It looked as if all the other stores were already closed. I wondered what the policy on keeping these stores open was. Did they stay open until everyone left? It might be a good policy to keep a store open even after the last person left, say for an hour more. But if a store did that, it might end up staying open all night, if people kept coming and going.

Carolina was nowhere in sight, so I finally whistled for her. She immediately poked her head out from one of the stores and came to me. At the same time, another person walked up and informed us that the bail was "up" on Carolina's car. I knew we had paid someone some bail money for Carolina's car, and the person was informing us that we had passed the time limit to get the bail money back. That was bad news. But I knew the person was right: we had waited too long and now we wouldn't be able to get the money back.

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