Off the sidewalk

Last night I dreamed. I was walking down the sidewalk, a familiar sidewalk, maybe in my neighborhood or near where I work. Half-familiar.

I looked down and, laying on the cement, I saw a turd. A human turd. Actually, technically, two of them, or one that had been broken in half.

I stepped over it, bouncing a little bit on my feet because I saw it almost too late to avoid it…

…and I bounced much higher than I expected. In fact, I felt lighter than air. When I touched down again, I pushed harder, and I launched myself into space.

I was flying!

I looked down and I saw the buildings and sidewalk where I had just been bound to the earth. I flew away and I saw a green field and a large stand of trees. I enjoyed the feeling of freedom.

I was flying at a right angle to a road, a winding country road, a single stripe of asphalt that followed the rolling hills. I turned to follow the road, staying above the power lines. A lot of times, when I dream of flying, I get tangled in the power lines. Not this time. I was above them.

It grew dark. I looked back along the road and I saw a car, a big black American sedan from an earlier era. A dark shape through the tinted windshield leaned out the side window, and pointed at me.

He was pointing a gun, a handgun. At me.

I started twisting and diving and changing directions, to avoid his shot. I knew that there was no way he could hit me as long as I could get to cover. Not with his handgun. Not while he was driving.

I looked back and he’d pulled over. Exited the vehicle. And he reached inside and pulled out a large rifle with a scope on it. The scope glowed bright in the darkness.

With the scope, he might be able to hit me. I started to get scared. I turned and dove and rose high. I was pushing myself to my limit.

I looked back. He fired. I could see the white-hot bullet tracing a trajectory towards me. I pulled back, stopping in mid-air briefly, then changing direction once again.

The bullet sped past me.

I flew as fast as I could go towards the woods. I knew I could lose this guy in the trees, if only I could reach it in time.

He fired several more shots. I could see their path through the sky. He was getting better aim, guessing my pattern, getting used to how I was choosing to escape. I poured on the speed, dove in among the branches, stopped, hid behind a thick trunk, looked back.

He was strolling through the woods, rifle in hand. He was close.

…and then I woke up. I’d like to think I escaped.

So this morning, on my way to work, I was walking along the sidewalk, the familiar sidewalk, and I looked down, and I saw a turd. Just like my dream.

Just like my dream, I skipped over it. Bounced a little.

And I stayed stuck on the ground.

Gravity always wins.