The prison was in the woods, along a major highway with no towns around, a lot like the supermax security prison that I used to pass while driving to Saratoga NY from my home town in Vermont. Nothing for miles and miles and miles, and then a traffic light, a big steel gate to the left, and a whole bunch of flood lights in the distance. There were signs for miles that read, “State Law - Do Not Pick Up Hitch Hikers.”
The beginning of each dream was marked with the telling of my story in a different style, Lester’s dream had a very straight forward style, utilized voice-over to explain the scenery, everything was laid out with no mystery to it; cause and effect, clean edges, cut and dry, like I was playing a part in a movie, stabbing guards at the music swells and firing shotguns out of the windows of my speeding muscle car with reckless abandon and rockstar attitude. The story line was simple, I win a lot of money from Milo at poker, break his jaw after he spits on me demanding his money back, bribe a cop, rip myself to shreds while climbing the barbed wire fence in a thunder storm, steal a fast car with a stash of shotguns in the backseat, blow shit up, get run off the road by a ex military semi driver with a long gray beard and a mesh camo hat, start a shoot out with the cops in the middle of the highway, and go down in a blaze of glory surrounded by blood stains, shotgun shells, and overturned cars.
Milo’s story was a twisted cartoon, an animated dream, more like a Gorillaz music video rather than a movie, with flashing red lights and speed racer style blurred backgrounds, screeching tires and freeze frame explosions. The plot was slightly different. I lose all my money to Lester at poker, spit some highly flammable alcoholic concoction at him as he gloats about his winnings, set him on fire (a la Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), sneak past guards as they put him out, climb a make shift ladder of rusty razor wire that I have hammered into a tree, swim down river during a thunder storm, hours later I wash ashore near a rundown motel, and steal a shiny brown muscle car with a backseat full of shotguns from the parking lot. I am discovered missing and pursued all night by a buxom brunette police detective with one of those rotating red police lights on her dash board who can somehow talk directly with me as she chases me, frogger style, across a desert landscape of somersaulting bystander’s vehicles and burned out old western ghost towns. This story ends in a Mexican standoff in an abandon saloon when the whole place, the brunette and I, along with a duffle bag full of guns and a barrel of gasoline, go up in flames.
Skree’s story is a horror flick; grainy, disjointed, nonsensical and full to the brim with jump cuts, images of dripping water, insects eating meat, close ups of my eyes through matted wet hair. Only a few images from Skree’s story have stuck in my head since I woke up. 1) I’m standing perfectly upright in the corner of the shower, fully dressed in a straightjacket and black sweat pants but no shoes, the water is showering on me, the drain is clogged, the water has risen up to my ankles, and someone is talking about a dead inmate. There is a little puff of blood that rises from the clogged drain, mingles with the rest of the water for a few seconds, and is quickly sucked back down the drain. 2) I am standing perfectly upright in the corner of a prison cell watching Lester and Milo play poker. I am wearing the same straightjacket, black sweat pants and no shoes. I am soaking wet. I watch a millipede crawl across the poker table. I focus on Lester’s scars, some of them look like bite marks, some like burns, some like cuts, some like the result of bad child hood acne. I don’t care that I know what will happen as Lester is scrapping together the last of Milo’s money and stuffing it into his socks and Milo is sneaking a mouth full of liquid from a small flask he’s been keeping in the elastic belt loop of his orange inmate pants. 3) I am standing perfectly upright, restrained and barefoot in the rain, in front of a large barbed wire fence by an old tree with rusty razor wire wrapped around it. There are torn pieces of orange cloth at the top and lightning reveals blood on the wire. I am suddenly on the other side of the fence looking back at the prison. There is a pulsing police light illuminating the falling rain in strobe flashes of red. I am no longer wearing a straightjacket. 4) I am standing perfectly upright, reading aloud the license plate of a shiny brown muscle car as it squeals off into the distance. It’s raining and I am talking into a payphone. 5) I am standing perfectly upright at the edge of the woods by a highway. An eighteen-wheeler has slammed a now bullet riddled and thrashed muscle car into the guard rail and there is a fire fight going on between a swarm of police and Lester in the middle of the lanes littered with upended burning cars. I watch Lester fall to his knees as he is overwhelmed and I sink back into the woods. 6) I am standing perfectly upright across a dirt road from an old saloon in a ghost town in the desert. A brunette with a gun enters and I hear gunshots. Seconds later, there is a large explosion and the building is engulfed in flames. I walk into the desert. 7) I am standing perfectly upright behind the counter of a fastfood joint, wearing a clean red collared shirt, black slacks, and a brown apron with a unrecognizable logo across the chest. My hair is neat and well groomed and I have a pedestrian look about me, unremarkable in everyway. There is a puddle of water at my feet and a millipede crawls across the counter as I say, “Are you ready to order?”
So that was my dream. I usually can’t remember them with such detail, but this one was really good, and thrilling to be part of, thrice, so I remembered a lot of it.