Waiting In Line Dream, Cleveland, OH, 2016.9.12

Stepped up to the counter in a hospital and gave the guy my two prescriptions. He diddled and dawdled forever and frowned a lot, looked a bit like the actor Wes Bentley in American Beauty who filmed the dancing bag. Some of his friends came along the hall behind me and he talked to them awhile through the glass, ignoring me, then when they went through the exit door, he glanced at me and went with them. I waited for over an hour.

His manager came up and said someone would help me shortly and I snapped someone’s already helping me but he went in that door to talk to his friends and never came out. Manager looked angry and I felt bad for getting the clerk in trouble.

A young woman with long straight hair came up to help me. She pulled out a bag of peanuts in shells and cracked one open, and pills fell out instead of peanuts. The pills were irregular sizes and shapes, reminded me of brain worms. She made me eat one, then started cracking the rest of the peanuts to release the rest of my pills. Told her she didn’t have to do that, I could do it later, it wasn’t an efficient use of her time. She smiled at me in appreciation and left with the peanuts and never came back.

I crawled through the window and went looking for her. Found a large group of people in a meeting in back and looked at all their faces one by one, found her, she slumped down to avoid me, found her again, she laughed.

Was back at the window, wife hugging me from behind. Other folk came and went without actually helping me. I beat my fists on the counter, shook the partition, but then quit because it was counter productive and I felt ashamed of my outburst.

Then while ignoring me, they started helping people to my right through my window, giving them forms and pills, telling me not to worry, it’d just be a minute.

Finally a line of 13 people came out, arms around each others waists, all laughing, and did a little chorus line dance step – they were all the people who hadn’t helped me and I thought this must be some sort of psychological experiment I’m unwillingly involved in.

They disappeared, and a large black maintenance worker lugged two huge black garbage bags out and dumped them on the floor next to me. Out came a bunch of moist four-inch-square jiggling black chunks and I realized these were the remains of the people who failed to help me, and I wondered why the chunks were black since all the people who’d failed to help me were white. He went back and brought out the corpse of the straight-haired girl – her clothes were disheveled and exposed her shaved pudenda. He tossed her in a corner and a small white boy who was waiting for a doctor to see his mother started wrestling with her in front of a glass office full of African Americans in black suits and I hoped the wrestling didn’t disturb their meeting.

Then I woke with the theme song of Zorba the Greek in my ears.

Waiting in line for service in waking life is bad enough – but waiting in line in dream?


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