Photograph by Timm Suess


In last night’s dream, I was hanging out with Jeff H., a guy I used to skateboard with in my adolescence. We were on Limekiln Pike across from a house where a group of kids were playing hardcore music in a rock band. I don’t know if I was a teen myself or not, but I had a guitar with me and wanted to play with them, but my skills were rusty, and I couldn’t keep up with their pace. I had mixed feelings about trying to recapture something I used to be good at but no longer could do. Had I tried my hand at too many things in my life? I wondered. Was this the reason I’d never been successful at any one thing, because I’d spread myself too thin? A package arrived for me in the mail that contained tapes for learning Spanish, which was just another example of me ordering something with the intention of broadening my horizons that I simply wouldn’t have the time to be really good at. There were also a bunch of hardcore cassettes in the package, and I thought, I didn’t order these. I have to stop ordering things when I’m drunk.

Then, I had somewhere to be. I was walking along in a heavily trafficked tunnel underneath the city out by Penn. There was a girl in the tunnel wearing a think flimsy black dress, more a scrim really. She looked to be ill and in need of help, so I stopped. It was dim in the tunnel and whenever someone passed her wearing white clothes, their clothes started to glow. Instantly, I knew what had happened: she was from the future and suffering from radiation poisoning, and everyone who passed her was infected as well. I tried to help her and we turned around to go back to the hospital, but authorities had quarantined the tunnel. I begged them for help, for milk and iodine drops, but it was too late and people in the tunnel started dying.

In the last section of my dream, I was hanging out with this guy Ryan F. who I went to junior high with. We were at his parents’ house, which was near Cedarbrook in the dream and not on Paxson Ave, as it really was. I decided I had something to do over at Cheltenham High, and I rode my skateboard there, but I was doing it very badly, wobbly, falling off. Nathan C., a coworker was at Cheltenham, in the parking lot, was riding his board as well, and was really good at it, which embarrassed me, so I stopped riding and picked up the board and walked. Near the entrance, there was a party. For some reason, I was carrying a K Bar knife with me, but I was trying to conceal, because I knew I shouldn’t have it here. At the party, I had a few drinks out of a plastic red cup, the party was kind of a keg-er, and as I kept getting drunker, it was harder to conceal the knife. So I picked it up and did the best I could and decided to head back to Ryan’s. I said goodbye to another guy I went to high school with, Sean L. who was at the party randomly, and on my way out someone invited me to a show in the auditorium. I declined and tried calling my childhood best friend Zack to ask what I should do about the knife, but he didn’t answer, either because he wasn’t home or didn’t live there anymore. By the time I reached Ryan’s again, I realized my mistake. I had two knives. I had picked up someone else’s off the ground, and I worried that it was a murder weapon I’d just contaminated with my prints. I asked Ryan for help cleaning it off, and he couldn’t get all the substances on it off, so I took it and finished washing it. With that done, I took my guitar and started playing U2’s “One” as a singalong, but neither one of us could sing it. Instead, his sister joined us and had a wonderful voice. She should sing in my band, I thought.