The Other Eye: The Dream I Had Last Night

An actual dream.


As I left the shop, I turned the corner and headed east on Addison Street. It had begun to snow heavily – Lake Effect Snow – and I looked westward to see if there was a bus in sight, but there wasn’t, so I began to walk. I was thinking about food, where to get some good food, as there are so many options in Chicago, and ways to get there easily and economically, even though you may have to cover vast distances. I reached into my pocket and played with the coins and a dollar folded into a tiny square. It was firm and hard, like a rock. I was headed toward the Addison Street “El” station, a walkable distance from where I was. That would connect me to several possible routes in search of food – something that would satisfy my palette. As I headed eastward, the weather changed abruptly, from snow to heat and a bright sun. I walked on the right side of Addison Street, as I was headed eastward. The west side of the street was barren. And then, to my left and in a narrow space, my encounter with others began. First, an elderly but fit and mad Greek man, holding a sheet of paper, and reciting loudly in two languages. I tried to catch what I could of his words and picked out some Greek words and marveled at his madness. What would Plato think? I wondered. Just beyond him, to my right was a common fence, made of steel, and on the other side of it, near its edge, I spotted three Black men who appeared to have been crucified on three young trees, not much taller than them, but with sufficient branches to hang from. As I approached them, I realized that they were not nailed to the trees, but hanging on them in a last attempt to find the strength they no longer possessed, but still remain alive. Thus, one arm was raised and hanging from the limb of the tree – hanging on, but the rest of the body had no more strength and hung, the head slumped to the right, the legs, loose and bent at the knee. As I slowly walked past them, I wondered if I would ever be able to paint what I had seen.