I'm thrilled that I remembered that dream because so few make it into the old memory bank. But when I do, I have enjoyed some doozies. My all-time favorite dream was incredibly vivid and detailed. It happened when I was at Brooklyn College, (1974-1977).
For the sake of clarification, a "revenuer" is a government tax agent. My only knowledge of the term comes the revenuers who hunt down illegal moonshine stills.
|ASSOCIATED, BUT NOT LIMITED TO APPALACHIAN HILLBILLIES, "MOONSHINE,"(aka, WHITE LIGHTNING, MOUNTAIN DEW, HOOCH OR TENNESSEE WHITE WHISKEY), IS LIQUOR, (MADE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON) THAT IS NEITHER TESTED FOR QUALITY STANDARDS NOR TAXED.|
|IN ADDITION TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES, THE RUNNERS HAD TO DODGE THE GOVERNMENT REVENUERS.|
|SOMETIMES ONLY THE DRIVER'S SEAT WAS LEFT INTACT.|
|MANY EARLY RACERS MADE THEM SELF EASY TARGETS BECAUSE THEY USED THE SAME CAR ON THE TRACK AS THEY USED FOR HAULING "SHINE."|
Like a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde or Robin Hood, some high-profile race car drivers were known criminals. To the delight and respect of their family, friends and fans, these speed demons flaunted their avocation despite the risk of imprisonment.
|PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS MOONSHINE RUNNER WHO SERVED HIS TIME AND BECAME A PIONEER OF NASCAR, WAS JUNIOR JOHNSON.|
The nighttime scene opens with me walking (alone), towards a palatial theater. It has all the glitz and glamor of a Hollywood premiere. On each side of the marquee, two giant floodlights, mounted on flatbed trucks, scan the heavens.
In sneakers, jeans and a flannel shirt, I pass the box office and enter the fancy vestibule. Bejeweled women in slinky evening gowns and men in tuxedos interrupt their discussion to watch me go by. At the entrance, a uniformed usher smiles as I go through without him asking me for my ticket.
I find a seat in the nearly full balcony. The chatter of the audience dies down as the lights dim. The last vestige of conversation behind me ends as the curtain opens to unveil the blank screen. Slowly, an extreme close-up of a single, bright, yellow banana materializes, (in addition to being an obvious phallic symbol, bananas are my least favorite food...the mere smell nauseates me).
Ever so slightly, the camera pans back. Soon, a second banana attached to the first is revealed. The process repeats itself to include five, nine, twelve bananas. Eventually an entire bunch is visible. The camera continues to broaden its shot as a second bunch, attached to the first, comes into focus. Then a third, fourth etc. A collective gasp of astonishment is heard in the theater as the viewers perceive that the collective banana bunches now form an upper case, "N."
The composition on the screen is still widening as an upper case, "A," also made of banana bunches appears to the right of the "N." Whispering grips the audience as a banana cluster shaped like a "Z," comes into view. Finally, the letter, "I" is seen and the word, "NAZI," constructed of bananas, fills the entire movie screen. Within seconds, the image fades to black and the tiny word "finis," appears. Then the house lights come up.
The exiting audience is a buzz. When I get outside it is daytime. A rush of my fellow film revenuers charge forward to ask my opinion. After a short exchange with them, they invite me to a diner. I said, "No. It's time to get to work." I flag down an old fashion, yellow, Marathon taxi and get in.
For quite some time, the cabbie zooms through residential streets and screeches each sharp turn. At a narrow alley, the cab makes a left. The roadway is so tight that I sense that could touch the tall, blank, brick walls on each side. After several minutes, the dark, claustrophobic street comes to a dead end. The driver calmly puts the cab in reverse and floors the accelerator. The backwards thrill-ride comes to an end when he backs into the normal street. The cabbie puts the car in drive and passes the street we went down. At the next left, he squeezes into an identical alley.
When the driver gets to this dead end, I get out and walk up a short stairway. At the head of the steps, I find myself at the corner of Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue, in Brooklyn. I turn left and walk past the Nostrand Theater. On the corner, I go into a pet shop. In addition to caged puppies, kittens and birds...miniature elephants, (all of them were baby blue except one yellow one), freely walk about the store.
An Asian man behind a Plexiglas window signals me. The yellow elephant rubs its face against my knee as the man, without speaking, slides a Manila envelope through the transom. Back on the street, I summon a boxy, yellow Mercedes-Benz taxicab. Before telling the driver where to go, I look inside the envelope and find my assignment.
In the countryside, we are soon traveling parallel with a babbling brook. I see an old, galvanized metal trashcan bobbing along in the current. Then I notice another one behind it. I look ahead and in the distance, I see more. I get out of the taxi and go down the incline, to the water's edge. I need to put one foot into the stream, in order to grab a garbage can. I lift the lid and discover, a pile of fluorescent, amber-colored, movie theater-sized film spools.
I want the cabbie to drive me further but the taxi has been abandoned. I take one step up the embankment but the cab makes a U-Turn on its own and leaves me behind. I walk beside the small river for a long time. On the horizon, I see a medieval castle with the stream forming a moat around it. I walk-up one side of the twin earthen paths that rise up towards the entrance. A heavy wooden gate which doubles as a door when up, acts like a drawbridge. I fear that I will fall into the waters below and gingerly tip-toe across, into the castle.
From the shadows, I look straight ahead into the sunlight and see a Feudal-era fair...but there are no people and no sounds. To my left and right, a circular tunnel-like area rims the castle grounds. To my left, I hear a faint moan. I walk through the semi-darkness towards the sound. The right wall has evidence that it was once a horse paddock. Every ten feet, the left wall has vertical slits in the masonry with a well-worn stone platform beneath each one. I picture defending archers shooting their arrows at attacking marauders from these stations.
The sound is clear to me as the sun rays sift through the archers slits. My pace picks up around the next bend when I understand that I am hearing tortured groaning. In one of the horse stalls, I see a slight, barely clothed old man with a long white beard, chained upside down, by one ankle, to the wall. At the same time, I am too startled to speak as I think I hear a young girl's laughter.
The prisoner then murmured, "They are coming back. Run, run for your life." At the opposite wall, I stood up on a stone platform and looked through a slit. Five, blond, hippie girls in flowing white sundresses and a much shorter dark haired man approach. When they got a little closer, I recognized the man, Charles Manson.
The prisoner's hoarse voice crackled, "Don't be a fool. Save yourself." I couldn't leave him there. I squatted next to him and leaned close to his face. Before I could offer him help, he spit on me and yelled, "Go!" I ran. Through the darkness, I hurried towards the entrance. Outside, I flew down the ramp. I was almost at the bottom when a female blared, "There he is. Get him!"
I ran to an enormous pasture. I saw about a hundred golden haystacks and thought if I could make it there, I could hide. I passed by ten piles before angling to the right and stopping. I was huffing and puffing as Manson and the girls neared the first haystack. I watched them sing and dance during their malevolent search for me. When they weren't looking, I scurried to a farther stack.
Behind me was another huge field and on the far side of it was a big hotel. I scrambled back to the last hay pile. I decided to wait until I caught my breath before making a mad, half mile dash to sanctuary. It was then that a little nerdy boy appeared from behind the next hay bale. He reminded me of Poindexter from the, "FELIX THE CAT," cartoon. He was wearing a black and yellow beanie that suggested he attended an English Prep School as well as black Bermuda shorts and long black socks that revealed only his knees.
|WHEN POINDEXTER STARTED GIGGLING, I SAW THROUGH HIS COKE-BOTTLE GLASSES, THAT HE HAD AN EVIL EYE.|