The Man in a Dream

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
He is lost in a sort of a long dream. What is the reality? Where is he? Who is who? What is everybody doing?

Submitted: October 20, 2018

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Submitted: October 20, 2018

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The Man in a Dream

 

When he opened his eyes, he could not remember where he was, when it was, or even who he was! The only thing he could recall at that moment was, strangely enough, that there was no bathroom attached to the place where he was lying. He gently got up and put on his clothes. He then opened the door gently and stepped out.

The corridor was wide and shiny. There were many lights along the way, making it almost as bright as daylight. He had reached almost the end of it when he noticed a sign on a door: ‘Bath Room’.  He pushed it open and walked in.

“Hi!” said a tall half-naked man as he entered, “Didju have a good night’s sleep?”

He nodded gently. “I guess,” he said as he slipped into one of the toilet stalls.

“You haven’t got a headache or anything like that, have you?” the tall man asked him when he got out. “I saw you when you came in last night.”

He shook his head before he took a glance at the fellow. The man looked quite familiar, but he could not think of his name. He now had his towel on his shoulder, apparently ready to leave the place. “You should take a good long shower, I think,” he said. “It’ll do you good!” he added before he pulled the bathroom door open half way. “You were sure having a goodtime, but you probably don’t remember much of it, do you?”

He nodded his head a few times in agreement. Now, however, he was beginning to recall a few things. He saw himself in a place surrounded by trees. Several people were sitting around giggling. He was laughing too. The only difference was that he was lying flat on the ground!

He then saw a dead man’s face gazing at him. His eyes were blank and inert. He looked like he had been terrified before dying.

He shook his head hard a few times.

 “You were laughing and joking with everyone,” the tall man added. “But you looked like you were half asleep.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I must’ve drunk some sort of liquor I guess….”

His memory seemed to be gradually coming back. He saw himself sitting in the back of a truck surrounded by a few people. The wind was blowing hard and he could feel the cool breeze, which seemed to be carrying particles of water with it. He could also hear the sound of waves from somewhere. “We’re on the bridge, man,” said someone sitting in front of him on the other side of the truck. “You should cover your head if you don wano catch cold.” The man’s voice sounded quite familiar. He then heard his own voice, “You sound like you’ve been in the back of a truck a million times, Bill!”

“His father was a homeless truck driver!” said someone else chuckling. “He was actually born on the back of a truck!”

“His specialty is pizza-lifting and getting a kick in the ass, though,” added a third person giggling.

 He seemed to remember the names of those people. He could also recall  that episode. They were all sitting in a pizza joint despite the fact that none of them had any money. Bill had told them of a special method that he was going to use to get everybody ‘something good’ to eat. He had then asked them to sit in the front of the café, order some coffee and wait. “I’m goino getchu some ‘pizza or a roasted chicken’ for dinner,” he had said. They had not even finished half of their coffee when they heard a lot of noise coming from the backside  of the little restaurant, and then saw  Bill flying in the air, shot like football by a huge colored man, who was following and kicking him in the ass repeatedly. Then they saw a whole roasted chicken flying in the air above Bill’s head! He hit the ground before the chicken fell in front of him. He then moved forward quickly, picked up the chicken and ran as fast as he could!

 When they returned to Ahmad’s little apartment that night, Bill had already eaten half of the chicken!

“Not such a bad roommate for Ahmad!” he mumbled to himself. “Without him, he would’ve had nothing to eat tonight!”

It had been an hour after they had eaten their food when Hassan called to tell them about the sit-in at the hotel in San Francisco.

The truck was now reaching the end of the bridge. “Which one is longer, Ahmad,” he asked, “Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate?”


“I think this one is, Hooman,” Ahmad answered.“Golden Gate is a bit shorter, Hooman.”

“I used to work there, you know,” he heard himself mumble. “I mean on the other side of Golden Gate. Two of my first places of work were on that side.”

“Yeah,” said Bill, “I worked there too, once; as a garbage man. In contrast to yours, Hooman, my pay was pretty good!”

They got off near the hotel and thanked the driver. “Kick ’em in the ass a hundred times for me, man,” the driver said, almost shouting.  “I’d come with you myself if I were free!” he yelled before he drove off.

A small crowd had already gathered in front of the hotel.  A few of the members of the 'Persian Students Association', sent by Hassan, were standing among the rather large group of colored people assembling there. Soon the crowd grew much bigger and they all began shouting slogans and singing songs in chorus.  Half an hour later, the mass was big enough to force its way into the hotel and fill its lobbies. Then they formed a line and began to march around the hotel corridors and lobbies while singing songs and shouting anti-racist slogans.

“God,” he thought as he walked into the shower room. “It feels like it all happened half an hour ago! Why in the world don’t I remember how I got back?”

As water began flowing on his head, his mind started to clear up . He could now remember a time during the previous night when he was marching ahead of a large group. Everybody repeated the slogans a few seconds after he shouted them and, then, they all waited for him to yell the next one. “I guess they liked my tone of voice or something,” he mumbled to himself as shower water gushed over his head and shoulders. “It was really exciting!” he thought, “It looked like I was actually leading the crowd! That’s why the hotel guys treated me with so much respect the next afternoon after they had decided to give in.”

 “The hotel authorities have made a decision,” their representative declared, “to hire five colored workers this very day! We thank you all for your justified concern. There is no need for you to worry about this problem any longer.”

“That was the end of the demonstration,” he thought to himself. “But what happened after that?”

Everything was vague from then on. All he could remember was their getting on a van to go over the bridge from San Francisco to Berkeley. He was exhausted and starving. The last thing he had eaten was a piece of the roasted chicken Bill had fetched from the Pizza joint. He could not recall anything related to their trip back to Berkeley. He only  remembered that they got off on Shattuck Avenue.

 “What then?” he asked himself. “Where did everybody go?”

There was a long way from where they got off, to his room at 'International House'!

“Hey guys!”  Ahmad’s voice rang in his ear, “How about celebrating our victory!”

“We haven’t got any money, remember?” said 'Khosro' slapping Ahmad on the back of the head softly. We haven’t eaten anything since last night because of it!”

“I’ll take care of that,” said Dr.Taba who had joined them during the demonstration. “You can pay me back the next time I’ll see you at our ‘National Front’ meeting.” He then smiled, “Besides, I don’t have to pay the guy at the liquor store right away. He is a neighbor of mine! We can get our debt cleared up later on.”

Now, there were smiles on everyone’s lips.

He could also vaguely remember a group of people walking up a hill, everyone carrying a bottle in his hand.

“God!” he mumbled to himself, “Whatever happened after that…!?”

He stayed under the shower for some time  trying to remember what had taken place then. “It looks like,” he thought eventually, “I have to go back to my room without remembering that!  I’ve got to think of something to tell the Japanese guy, though.”  He suddenly recalled the man’s name. “Nino Ninomya!” he said loudly a few times. “He’s a nice fellow. Maybe I can get it out of him without admitting that Iinished. Some of these guys from other groups are big drinkers. We need to give them good service because we may need their help to set up our Persian House. Can you go fetch some more wine quickly before we run out of it?”

“I’ll get it,” he heard himself say, “but getting it quickly…I don’t know! I think I’ve had a glass or two more than my  capacity.”

Hassan laughed. “Ok,” he said, “Let me see if Khosro, or Ahmad can go!”

“It’s ok,” he heard himself say as he stood up, “I’ll go …if you aren’t in a big hurry!”

Hassan smiled. “Have you got money?”

“Yeah,” he heard himself say. “For that kind of cheap wine, I’ve got plenty!” 

The next thing he could remember was that he was holding two big containers of wine walking out of the store. “This much wine for just two bucks!” he mumbled to himself, “It’s amazing…!”

When he staggered back to the party place, however, the house was rather quiet. There was no sound of singing or shouting. The only noise he could hear was something like a number of people moaning together. He held his head near the door and listened. He suddenly heard someone scream. “The cops must’ve raided the place!” he mumbled to himself. “Are they beating one of our guys?” He pushed the door gently, but it would not open. He gathered all his strength to turn the doorknob and press push it at the same time. The door moved slowly and went partly open. A long chain, however, was preventing it from opening further. No sound could now be heard from the inside. “It’s as quiet as a graveyard!” he mumbled to himself.“Where have they all gone all of a sudden?”

He stuck his nose through the opening and took a quick look. On a large sofa across the big hall, he could now see two naked bodies one on top of the other, their faces turned towards him with eyes gazing and mouths wide open.

“Sorry, old boy,” he muttered as he shook his head in total confusion. He gently closed the door and turned around.

“Who was the naked guy?” he asked himself. “His face looked…extremely familiar!” He shook his head a few more times as he began walking slowly away from the door. He then stopped and listened. The place was still as quiet as before, but a lot of noise was coming from somewhere outside. There seemed to be a party, or something, going on next door!

“God damn it!” he said rather loudly as he began walking out of the building.

“Who was it?” he repeated to himself as he went up the stairs of the next house. “He sure looked very, very familiar!”

 

“Who was he, really?” he asked himself again as he walked out of the bathroom.

“Hello, Herman,” said someone passing by laughing. “You had a jolly good time last night, didnchu?”

He nodded and walked on.

Nino was still in bed when he entered. “Hi,” he said in a very sleepy voice. “Sorry, I’m in bed, Herman,” he said. “I went to sleep long after you did… last night.”

“I’m sorry,” Hooman said. “I guess I had a couple of shots too many at the party last night.”

Nino was sitting on his bed gazing at him. “So, you went to a party…last night, huh?”

“Yeah!” said Hooman. “I told them that I had drunk more than I should but…they sent me to get more drinks. So I guess I was too exhausted, or something.”

“Where was this party held?” asked Nino with suspicion “In a hotel…someplace over the hills, I suppose?”

“No, not really,” said Hooman. “Actually, it was somewhere near Telegraph Avenue; not too far away from here.”

“Oh, yeah!?” said Nino looking stunned.  “But the guys who brought you here said that…you were having a sort of a…get-together on one of the Berkeley hills!”

“No!” Hooman said as he sat on his bed, “A funny thing happened…at the party too!” he added to stress his stand. “Mr. Ketabchi sent me to get some more wine, and, on the way back, I made a mistake and went next door to some poor guy’s house while he was making love!”

Nino was now looking at him with more suspicion. “So, last night,” he said nodding his head repeatedly, “You went to a party on Telegraph Avenue and then went next door and…” He stopped, shook his head and suddenly said, “Damn it! Is that what happened? I thought it was too dark to see anything…”

Hooman nodded his head a few times. “Yes! It was really too dark,” he said, “Also, I had had a bit too much to drink. That’s why I asked my friends to come along with me here…just in case I needed help.”

“Yeah!” said Nino, now busy putting on his clothes. “You’re absolutely right! Two of your buddies came along with you and I talked to them both. But…that was not last night! It was three days ago! It was after the party your Student Association was holding along with some other groups to make common plans!”

Hooman shook his head. “No, I don’t think…”  But, he was now beginning to remember a few more things.  He could see himself with a group walking up a hill…not up the stairs. They were even carrying big sticks so that they would not slide down the steep road.

“I guess…you’re right,” he admitted. “There are a few things that…I still don’t remember properly.”

“Of-course there are!” said Nino. “You couldn’t remember my name when you came in. You also acted a bit like you were drunk, but other than that, you were much different from the way you were last night!”

“Yeah,” said Hooman using a paper towel to dry his thick hair, which was still a bit damp, trying to look indifferent. He then said, “When we came out of that hotel, we got ourselves some liquor and went up...”

There was a long pause before Nino cut in with a smile on his lips to complete Hooman’s statement, “You went up the hill and  you drank wine on empty stomach until you collapsed, right?”

Hooman shrugged his shoulders without saying anything.

“I guess you don’t remember the rest of the story, then, right?” asked Nino.

Hooman shrugged his shoulders again.

“Ok,” said Nino, “Let me tell you the remainder of the story. You drank and finished your bottles on empty stomach as you went up the hill. So you all got high. Only you got more sloshed because you were not as used to drinking as the others. You, therefore, fell off your feet on the way back and hit your head against something. That was why they had to carry you on their shoulders all the way back to this place. You were so drunk when you got here that you didn’t even recognize me!”

“Sorry, old man,” said Hooman, shaking his head, “I think you are quite right. But, as you said yourself, that was the second time this thing happened. As I remember things now, the first time it took place, I opened the door of a house by mistake when I was coming back from the liquor store, and saw a naked man lying on top of a nude girl. I thought the guy’s face was very familiar, even then, but since I had had too much to drink, it took me three days to discover that the man in my dream, wearing  no clothes, and  lying on top of the naked girl, was my own roommate -- you!”

 

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Herman Azadi. All rights reserved.

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