Thursday, March 27, 2003

This is that dream. I wrote it down, but looking back, I hadn't yet started a blog, apparently. But here it is.

Diversion - Bad Day

I rounded the last step and stood at the front of my car looking fumbling around in my pockets for the car keys. I couldn't believe my division had been downsized, we were all laid off. It had started out as a good day, I came in early, found a parking space right by the stairs on a lower floor than usual. Less walking down to the second-floor to cross over in the bridge to office building. One of these days I was going to get a promotion and be able to park all the way down on the second floor in a reserved parking space. The lay-off was temporary. I'd find work quickly. Either back here in another division or at one of their competitors who'd been calling me for months, offering me more money. I'd always said no, choosing to be loyal to the company who had stood by me all these many years. I would come back later and pack, but right now I needed to get away. I had just pulled my keys out of my pocket when I heard a pop and felt myself being turned around. My keys went dinging and clinking across the floor and out of my field of vision. Suddenly I was facing away from my car and almost immediately my legs gave way.

I was confused. What was happening and why was I suddenly sitting, legs straight out, leaning against the front bumper of my car? What was the dull thudding in my head and why was everything hazy and hurting? I looked at my hand. It was coated with something sticky. Red. Blood? From where? Then I realized it was on my shirt as well. Why was I bleeding? I didn't understand. I tried to force myself to get up, but it just wasn't working. I looked at my arm and tried to raise it, but it wouldn't move. Why won't my arm move, I thought, starting to panic. What was happening? I felt movement and suddenly my upper torso was laying sideways. My car had moved. Why? I willed my body to get up, but still it would not move. The dull thudding was so heavy and hurt my head so bad. Somehow, suddenly I was standing. Only my body still lay on the floor. Two teenagers with hats turned backwards were sitting in my car, laughing. I guessed they couldn't see me.

The engine started and the car backed up. From here it was pretty obvious that I had been shot. Had they shot me? Or had they just discovered the car keys and used the remote to figure out which car they belonged to? I wasn't sure I'd ever know. The car continued to slowly back up, and then suddenly lurched to a stop. Then, wheels spinning, it launched forward racing down the ramp, towards the exit. I felt so cold. My keycard was still in the car. They'd be able to get out of the parking garage. I'm not even sure if they saw my body, laying at the foot of the car, now mostly obscured by the concrete barrier designed to keep cars from driving into walls while parking.

Another car started park in the space, but then stopped, halfway into the space. Someone got out. I recognized him, he worked in finance. He walked towards my body and when he saw the profile of my face, cursed. From the rear left passenger window a head peered out and inquired as to the hold-up. "It's that guy from Marketing. I think he's shot." In a flash, the other two got out of the car. The other guy took a quick look, cursed and ran off shouting that he was getting security and that someone should call 911. The woman took a quick glance and turned around, repulsed. I shouted at them to help me, but they didn't. The man pulled out his cell phone and called 911.

Others from my department came up the stairs carrying boxes. Suddenly, there were six or seven people there peering down at me with a mixture of curiosity, sadness and fear. The woman from accounting was at the back of the car, head in her arms shaking, sick. They began discussing the lay-offs, wondering if I had killed myself. I screamed at them to help me but they didn't seem to be able to hear me. Someone asked where my car was and someone else said that I usually parked a few floors up. "I parked right here! Someone stole my car! They probably shot me! Go find them!" I shouted to only the wind. So I tried to grab one of the guy's wrists, but it was like grabbing in to solid steel. I couldn't move it. I had been expecting my hand to go right through his body, but I couldn't do anything. I had no ability to physically affect anything.

A cell phone began ringing and everyone became really quiet as they realized it was mine, laying between my knees, face up. Someone reached for it and someone shouted "Don't touch it!" and they pulled back quickly. Another woman peered down at the phone and began to cry. "It's his wife," she said reading the caller id screen. After four rings, the phone was quiet, having shuffled the call off to the voicemail where my wife would hear my voice, not knowing that she'd never really hear my voice again.

Or would she? Why was I still here? Was I dead? Was this what it was like to be a ghost? Even now, I didn't believe in ghosts. I figured my body must not yet be completely dead or I'd be on my way up to see St. Peter. I tried punching one of the guys in the arm but my blow just glanced off. I felt no pain, but he apparently felt nothing either. "It's not fair!" I began shouting. "It's not fair! It's not fair! It's not fair!" They began to resume their debate over whether or not it was a suicide, and if so, where the gun might be. Someone suggested checking under the nearby cars, but someone else said that nothing should be done until the police arrived.

I sat down in my body again, trying to make it move. Anything. An eyelid, a finger, the corner of my mouth, anything. Nothing. I shouted "It's not fair! I didn't kill myself! Tell my wife I didn't kill myself! I'm still here! Help me! It's not fair!" The discouragement and despair welled up inside me. I went to church regularly, I had a close relationship with God, one I had come to the conclusion was going to be a life-long struggle to be a more caring, sensitive and Christ-like person. I knew I couldn't be perfect, but I knew some of my actions and ways of life needed changing. But I was working on it. So what was I doing here? I knew bad things happened to good people, but why me? "It's not fair!" I shouted again. The jinging of keys signified the arrival of security and concensus was starting to lean towards the idea that I had committed suicide. I climbed up on top of a car and jumped on the roof shouting "I'm not dead!". The roof didn't yield at all to my jumping and no one turned towards me. The dull thudding was getting louder and things were getting even more hazy. I was crying. I could hear the sound of sirens in the distance, but all I wanted to do was sleep.

"It's not fair," I whimpered, laying down on my side next to my body, hands under my head. The concrete was cold and hard but I just wanted to sleep. Maybe I'd soon get to see my two Grandfathers in Heaven. I just hoped my wife would know that I'd never kill myself. Ever. It was so cold. I was so tired. And then I closed my eyes.
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