I had a perfectly normal dream just now. Nothing special, unusual or funny about it whatsoever.

* * * * *

I’m my present adult age, and I’m riding my bike around Eisenhower High School in Yakima, looking for either an English teacher or a football coach because I’ve recently enrolled there. My friends B and C are riding around with me. No one seems to be on campus, but there are these two older guys who are trying to get in too, so they join our little group. We see a secretary through the window, but once we realize that there are no faculty members on campus, the two other guys go their separate ways.

B, C and I ride to the parking lot and see a personalized curb that says, “Don ‘Five Pumps’ Smith” (referring to the number of ‘pumps’ before he had an orgasm) on it in red, white and blue.  His last name isn’t really Smith, but I’m obscuring it because it’s someone—not a friend, incidentally—from my real-life high school class.  Anyway, the three of us laugh at it and continue to ride around. Before long, a blue and white Chevrolet four-wheel-drive pickup pulls into the space, and we ride over to investigate. Donnie ‘Smith’ opens the door, jumps out, and reaches back in to turn off the engine.

“We were wondering whose spot that was,” I say. By way of a response, he removes the gas cap and an extremely loud song starts playing. He replaces the gas cap, which stops the music, but the key is still in the ignition, so that makes a different loud noise. He reaches into the truck, removes the keys from the ignition, puts them in his pocket, and turns back to the three of us.

“What’re you guys doing at the school?” he asks.

“I’m enrolling here to play football,” I tell him, which in real life I never did, outside of our neighborhood.

“Can he do it?” Donnie asks my friend J, who suddenly appears behind me.

“I don’t know,” J says.

“How many goals have you scored?” Donnie asks me. I don’t know why he’s suddenly asking me about soccer rather than football, so I don’t say anything. A somewhat awkward silence follows.

“Well,” J pipes up, “he may not be very strong, but he can go up the middle.”

This bizarre answer seems to satisfy Donnie, who asks J, “Yeah, but how many goals has he scored? Hey, you guys want a ride?” We drop our bikes and eagerly jump in the back of his truck. “I heard your CD,” Donnie says, and I didn’t think you guys’d be into this.” He climbs in, starts the truck, and drives away with us in the back. In less than two minutes’ time, we’re out of town and barreling down a steep, wooded fire road at around seventy miles per hour. The truck is so heavy, and the suspension so high, that the ride is completely smooth, no matter what huge rocks or potholes we encounter along the way. A railroad trestle that crosses over the road forces us to stop and get out of the truck, so we climb up the trestle to continue our journey and find out where the tracks lead. We run along the tracks until they meet with the dirt road again, at which point we climb back down and continue on foot, since we ditched the truck and left our bikes.

We jog along the road until we come to a green and white one-story ranch house next to the point at which the road suddenly comes to a dead end. There are no signs or anything, the road just stops. A woman walks out of the house, talking on a land-line phone attached to the end of a very stretched handset cable. She covers the receiver with her hand and yells to us, in a Southern accent, “Y’all had plenty of warning this was a dead end.”

“We didn’t, actually,” I tell her. “Sorry about that.”

“Well, you might as well come in,” she says. “Y’all want something to eat? I was just having dinner.”

Each of the four of us mumbles his own variation on the theme of, “Well, sure, but we don’t want to put you out,” as she leads us, single-file, to the kitchen and says,”Y’all can figure out some way to pay me later.”

We aren’t quite sure what she means by that, and B and I exchange furtive glances after a quick search of our empty pockets. We slowly file into the kitchen, and I say I need to wash my hands. The woman instantly passes me a bottle of dish soap. I squirt some in my hand and pass the bottle back to her. I reach to turn on the faucet and notice that both sinks are full; one with a dirty pan and the other with hot grease a foot deep, in which are cooking a bunch of fried chicken, some potatoes and carrots, and some doughnuts underneath. I turn to B and say, “This is gonna be amazing,” then turn back to the woman and ask, “Wow, you use real oil to deep-fry all this stuff?”

“That’s right,” she replies. We all stare aimlessly at the sink full of food for a while, and that’s when I wake up.