A Journal of my adventures in the world I inhabit while I'm asleep.
I'm back East, visiting my family. I run into a couple old friends I haven't seen in a while. Ray and Dave invite me to go to Atlantic City with them, they're going to the casinos. We pick up some beer, snacks, and cigarettes for the ride, then hit the road in Ray's van. We leave at about 11:00 at night, Ray says we should be at the casino by about 2:30 AM. I decide to ride in back, try to catch a nap on the ride out.
Ray is driving like a madman; Dave tells him to slow down. We're going 100 miles an hour driving cross-town. Ray slows down until we get on the highway, then speeds back up. Dave starts complaining about his driving again. I'm not saying anything, but I'm chain smoking Marlboro Reds, it doesn't look like I'm going to catch a nap tonight. (I quit years ago but I still smoke in my dreams sometimes, especially when I'm stressed in real life.)
We get off the highway in New Jersey outside of Atlantic City. We arrive at the scene of a horrible traffic accident. It looks like a Camaro convertible sideswiped a parked dump truck at a high rate of speed, bounced off and slammed into a telephone pole. We drive past slowly. The passenger is mangled beyond recognition, obviously dead. The driver is torn up and bloody too, but I can see his left arm moving, although the lower half of it is broken and bent backwards.
We pull over in front of the car, to see if there's anything we can do. We're pretty shook up over the whole thing. As we're getting out of the van, the paramedics show up. Ray and Dave decide to stop in the all-night store we're parked in front of, to get cigarettes and something to drink. I tell them I'll wait outside. I don't really want to look at the scene of the accident, but I find myself involuntarily turning around to do so anyway.
The paramedics have the survivor strapped to a stretcher and are carrying him towards the ambulance. I zip my jacket and turn my collar up in back, to ward off the chill of the night. I light another cigarette, notice I only have five left. I'm trying to decide if I should run into the store and buy another pack, or wait until we get to the casino.