Thursday, February 25, 2010
My father had everyone’s pay in a flat leather case, but he had decided that he was going to give the case to a courier for delivery. I tried to convince him that the courier would steal the money. Although there was doubt in his expression, he insisted that wouldn’t happen. Still hoping to persuade him, I followed him through the back entrance into a gloomy institutional kitchen. No one was around. We passed through a set of swinging doors with round windows in them. Suddenly there was about twenty feet of space between us. He met and whispered briefly with a very tall man in a suit. Then I followed him back outside. We were standing in the shade of huge buildings held up by granite columns. I tried again to tell him that the money would be stolen and that he would be held responsible. But he seemed powerless, as if the decision were now out of his hands. About that time, we were joined by the courier. She was about thirty-five, and clearly someone that shouldn’t be trusted. My father handed her the case. Once again, a large space opened between us, and I tried to guess which route she would take away from the buildings. There were several narrow passageways that led directly to the road, but she surprised me by taking the long way around. In no time at all, she had run on ahead of me, and was rounding the base of a mountain. I started to run after her, knowing full well that when I try to run in dreams I often have trouble gaining traction, or I run on my hands... so I stopped running and stood up to take a deep breath, trying to remember how to run properly — and then I was off again... until I was distracted by some cucumber plants alongside the road... the cucumbers were ripe, and if no one picked them they would be wasted... my father loved cucumbers... and then I remembered he was no longer alive. I felt one. It was soft. On closer examination, I found something wrong with all of them. I looked up in time to see the woman disappear as she followed the bend in the road.
In the Forum: Gerald Locklin’s “Beer.”