When I was a kid, 5 or younger, which is the pivotal time in which I divide my childhood based on where I lived, and how much school I attended, I had a dream.
I don’t know if the dream spawned from a movie that my irresponsible babysitter (whom I adored) let me watch, or if it was an original manifestation, or if dreams can ever really be an original manifestation. Maybe dreams are only ever mashups forever, making their careers that way, like Girl Talk or Moby.
Anyway in this dream I was driving with my dad in his silver Nissan truck. I was in the front seat, the way 80s kids always were. I loved that truck, and I never really knew why, maybe because he loved it. It would eventually meet its fateful demise when somebody stole it from the drydock parking lot and went on a drunken bender with it. It was found off the road, mangled.
We were driving on this old dirt road in the woods. The road was nice and wide, not too heavily forested, but definitely a remote area. In the dream, the grass on the side of the road was so bright green, and the dirt in the road was a contrasting light brown, and the two colors sang off each other, like old friends, or lovers.
The wheels kicked dirt behind us into oblivion, and we cruised for nothing more than the drive itself.
In the dream there was no music, but to insert another memory into a memory: I remember when my dad went to the McAllister mall and bought the beach boys cassette tape with Kokomo on it, and it immediately became my favorite song until I collided very abruptly with another cassette that starred Alvin and the chipmunks, singing country songs smartly titled “Chipmunks in low places”.
My dad also once told me, around the same time in my life, that his favorite song ever was “American Pie” and then he played it for me in the same silver pickup and I listened to the wordy ballad, only understanding some of it, but loving all of it.
This dream would have had a very strange soundtrack.
The truck rolled, and the sun blazed and the grass sang to the road about whisky and rye and we were alive and happy under a cloudless blue sky.
Then the truck stopped. And we were on the side of the road. We looked into the forest and saw a large cement building. It’s right angles in sharp contrast with nature’s geometry. It was probably 30 feet long, about 10 feet high, and went back inside about 20 feet deep. It had 3 walls. The open side faced the road. A remote, cement, haunted, baseball dugout.
We approached, and I could see the bottom had no bottom at all really, instead, inside was a bunch of floating human skulls. We stood in front of the structure, listening to the wind in the leaves and the buzz of the forest. The cement waterbed of skulls bobbed and clunked like a sort of demented wind chime.
In the back corner, on the wall, was the stone face of an anthropomorphic goat, and from the goat’s mouth poured water, which ran down an algae-stained wall, supplying the pool for the floating skulls below.
I looked up at my dad and he stared quietly for a minute, before wordlessly stepping inside. He started walking on the skulls toward the goat’s head. They held his weight, which seemed impossible. He made some small hand motion, a signal for me to stay, and he continued on the skulls toward the back wall.
He walked slowly, with a calculated gait, measuring each step on each white skull. The skulls flexed and bobbed under his feet and as he approached the face on the wall, the water stopped. The forest yawned a silence, as if someone muted the world, and my father fell through the water, splashing as he went out of sight. The face spewed a violent red blood, which flooded the skulls below, sending a red wave through the structure, and I stood motionless, staring in a quiet disbelief.
Self-Isolation – Day 60: The guy (6 feet) behind me at Pita Pit ordered crispy onions on his pita, and I basically haven’t been able to think about anything else since.