Prologue

April 27, 2015

I tried telling this story to the cops once but I still got arrested. It was the drunk and mysterious version that first came to mind when I was digging in my wallet for my license but found Dustin’s old memorial service thing instead.

“HE WAS MY BEST FRIEND, YA’ KNOW… DUSTIN ESSRY… HE WAS ONLY 13 WHEN HE DIED, TOO… LEG BONE CANCER… HE’S WHY I STARTED DOIN’ MUSIC, THOUGH —”

“STEP OUT OF THE CAR, SIR.”

“AND THOSE DREAMS HE HAD… LIKE HE KNEW IT ALL SOMEHOW… BEFORE HE DIED, I MEAN… SEPTEMPER TWENY SEVEN… NINETEEN SEVNY EIGHT.”

And not that what I was saying had anything to do with me being wasted or even waiting at the light for too long, which is why they pulled me over in the first place. But what happened with Dustin was my big excuse back then, so I was hoping they’d feel sorry for me and let me off, I guess.

Dustin was just a better person, though. And I don’t just mean it in the usual way — like he was the nicest guy you ever want to meet or something; even though he was, actually. But he was just one of those people where you know they’re for real right up front… like genuine. Selfless. And that’s the one thing that’s bothered me ever since — the fact that you meet people all the time who might deserve it. The kind that live on for years with all their selfish bullshit. Jesus, I’m probably one of them. But then someone like Dustin gets taken away early. It just doesn’t make any sense.

So I’ve started to think that what he told me before he died might have actually happened, about the strange dreams he said he had and everything he described to me after that. And yeah, I still feel guilty since at the time I never believed him.

But with those song lyrics that came to me recently, the ones so similar to what he told me back then, along with all the songs I’ve written through the years that always lead back to me dealing with Dustin’s death to begin with… Well, the more I go over it in my mind, the more I see a connection.

And it’s not like I believe in that old bullshit adage, that everything happens for a reason, because it doesn’t. But when certain things line up like this, the kind of things too personal for it to be just random, well, that’s when it makes you wonder. Had you asked me back then, though, I might have told you a whole different story…Pg:2

To Dream of Another Life

The dreams that will come to you when you’re wide open
To let them into your mind happens more oftentimes
Not while you’re waiting, no not while you’re waiting for anything
And we’ve all got a story of some happy ending
Like the man who lived next to the man who lost everything
And outside these games we play, does losing or winning mean anything

And the sun shines today
And God is in the garden
As I lie awake and dream of another life

Back in 1718 I lost all my hope then
I was drowned in this river and brought back to life again
For all I know now I will die on the day I find hope again
Because the devil here worships just one man’s religion
With a shadow cast over the light that may reach him
You show me an angel and I’ll show you a devil that follows him

And the sun shines today
And God is in the garden
As I lie awake and dream of another life

And above the door I found keys that were left behind
To hold back the fear that I’ve locked myself in behind
And outside this room I will find some new fear I can hide behind
If we all started over with just one new decision
That was made for the sake of or in spite of my living here
And for all I know now I will question the truth
From the meaning I’ve found for all that I can do

When the sun shines today
And God is in the garden
As I lie awake and dream of another life

I

March 1980

So I guess I’m supposed to tell you what happened a few years ago, around the time before Dustin died. That was the older version of me talking before, by the way, so you can probably tell everything I ended up thinking was pretty stupid. I mean, I could hardly understand all the dream crap when it happened so I’m not sure what he meant, really. But I just figure I’ll tell you my side so you know the truth at least. That stuff about me writing songs later was kind of cool, though, I guess.

Anyway, all I know at this point is that I still miss Dustin a lot, and I wish my parents would have never moved us out here to Bumfuck Egypt Apache Junction since it sucks so bad. Phoenix was the best, though, and that’s where we were living at the time, so I should probably just tell you about that first.Pg:3

It was just better there, I think. Like maybe how it feels if you’re living near the ocean, just with a bunch of huge rocks instead. Like wherever you were at, you could see Camelback Mountain. Or just “the mountain” is what we called it. We lived right there at the face of it, too. Not in the rich neighborhoods, but down around 44th and Camelback, which was where everything happened most of the time anyway.

It was the perfect corner, though. There was a Circle K with a liquor store right next to it; a Shell station across from that with a cigarette machine outside so you could get smokes if you wanted; a Jack in the Crack, a little park to hang out in, and even a back alley that ran behind the park fence for a perfect escape route. I mean, what more could a little 13-year-old asshole need? Actually, I wasn’t a complete asshole yet, but I’ll just tell you about all that later. We were still bored, though— just like here in the Junction. I hear it’s boring no matter where you’re at, though, really.

Anyway, it was on that Saturday, sometime around that last April before Dustin died when he first brought it up, about all the dream crap, I mean. I remember it rained for like two days straight right before that, too, so when it finally started to clear up we couldn’t wait to get out. Dustin came by my house around noon, and since his parents had let him out, my mom gave in pretty quick.

“Ok, but only for a while — and no bikes,” she said.

“Just going up to Circle K to mess around!” I yelled, halfway out the front door already.

But Dustin had just told me about a flash flood that tore up one of the roads up near the mountain so our plan was to go check it out. My older brother was out front smoking a cigarette when we left, though.

“Liar,” he said.

“Shut up, Mike,” I muttered, as me and Dustin started walking up the sidewalk.

“WHAT?” he yelled, and it looked like he might come after us, so we took off running at that point and I could still hear him yelling some stuff as we made it to the alley at the end of the street. Something about me being a little shithead, but I couldn’t make out the rest. Pg:4

“My brother does the same thing,” Dustin said. “It’s like he knows when I’m lying or something. He’s like one of those Santa’s helpers.” He laughed.

“Yeah, mine’s like a fucking Kris Kringle.” I was convinced my brother had special powers at that point. Then Dustin started singing that “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” song, and just making stuff up as he went.

“Wait. He knows when you’re a shithead, he knows when you’re a fake, you know he’s still a jackass, so you better be good for that ol’ fucker’s sake…”

It was pretty funny, though, so we both took turns trading off verses about each other’s brother as we made our way up the alley till we finally got bored with it.

I needed to stop by Circle K first so I could at least say I went there, but when we got to the corner there was an ambulance parked out in front of the liquor store with a bunch of people around. We pushed our way through the crowd to try to see what had happened, and after a while they wheeled some old guy out on a stretcher with one of those masks on his face.

“Heart attack,” the lady said next to us.

Jesus, I thought.

But then the paramedics were just standing there, not even helping the guy, so we kind of got bored just waiting around. So we went over to Circle, got a couple of Freezies, checked the payphones for change, and then went back again to see if anything had happened. The paramedics were still standing there, but now the cops were there asking the liquor store guy a bunch of questions.

While we were waiting, I took a couple big drinks off my Freezie and then realized I went too far. I knew there was nothing I could do about it either, so I just stood there with my head down.

“Ahhhhhhh!” I yelled.

“What?” Dustin asked, since people were looking at us.

“Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh!” I kept yelling, but I couldn’t help it, really.

“Seriously, what’s wrong?” Dustin asked again.

“Freeze ache,” I said finally, as the pain started to fade. I was afraid to even take another drink so I just threw it out.

And then they were loading the guy in the ambulance so we decided to start heading up towards the mountain after that. We checked the smoke machine at the gas station before we left, but there were way too many people around to try and buy any, let alone stick your arm up inside if you wanted to steal a pack. So we headed out to the corner and as we were waiting to cross Camelback Road, we could see the ambulance pulling out of the parking lot.Pg:5

“No sirens,” Dustin said. “Means the guy didn’t make it.”

And I thought he was joking at first, but then he looked all serious, and I heard it was true later, too — that if somebody dies before they get to the hospital they don’t even bother running the sirens anymore, I guess. It was just weird, though, since Dustin was the one that told me about it.

Anyway, as we were walking up 44th, it looked like it was going to rain again, probably, but we were pretty sure we could make it there and back before it got too bad. There was still a bunch of water along the road, though, so for every car that passed we had to worry if some asshole was going to try to spray us.

Dustin’s brother had told him that it was Solano Drive that got washed out up near Echo Canyon, so we decided to cut up through the Canyon Estates to try to get there faster. It always felt weird in those rich neighborhoods, though, like people were staring out the windows at us, so instead of feeling weird about it we just jumped someone’s fence and started hiking up a wash that was going in the same direction.

You could see how the flood really ripped through there, too. There were all sorts of cactus torn up, and a bunch of sand and broken trees piled up everywhere. And it even started to rain a little while we were down there, and all I could think of was another flash flood coming through at any second. Dustin said it had to rain a lot harder for it to happen, though, and I knew he was right, probably, but still.

But we hiked up the wash as far as we could, even though when we climbed up the bank at the end we were still pretty far from Echo Canyon. We were right there close to the mountain after that, though, and it was just hard to believe how big it was, really. I mean, even the boulders down closer to us were as big as mine or Dustin’s house, probably. And with that huge rock face shooting up into the sky like that, and with the clouds coming in around it and everything — it was pretty awesome.

But that’s when we were just standing there in that desert field above the wash, just checking everything out for a minute.Pg:6

“We’re way off from Solano Drive,” I said as I threw a rock in the other direction.

Dustin looked up as it started to rain a little harder. “We should probably get back,” he said.

And then I chucked another rock and it kind of flew past Dustin’s head by accident, but that’s when it started pouring like crazy, so we ran for cover under the big eucalyptus trees that were lined up along the wash. There were some bigger ones towards the middle with the roots all bunched together so we found a place to stay dry there, no problem.

“Shouldn’t throw stuff,” Dustin said as we got in out of the rain, brushing off our hair and our jackets. I told him I was sorry but he still seemed kind of pissed.

There was a bunch of garbage and cigarette butts laying under the trees, like maybe somebody had a fort there at some point, and it looked like the water had flooded up over the bank the day before, too. Dustin found a scrap of paper and showed me where you could kind of see half a naked lady with some writing underneath.

“She wasn’t used… to… being with… men who…” he read over the sound of the rain.

“Jesus,” I said, trying to imagine what else might have been there.

But then the rain started coming down even harder after that, and the wind was blowing like crazy all of a sudden, so we just sat up against one of the big trees in the middle and tried to stay dry.

I kept noticing all the cigarette butts laying around, thinking of the half pack of Dorals I had stashed in the brick fence in our side yard, the ones I couldn’t get to since my stupid brother was there when we left.

But that’s when Dustin got up all of a sudden and walked out to where the rain was coming down and just stood there looking out at the wash. And I guess it was kind of weird since he wasn’t saying anything at first, but I wasn’t really paying attention, either, and then he just started telling me this stuff.

“You ever have a dream where people are talking?” he asked.

“What, like a nightmare?” I said, thinking it was funny, but then I remembered all the bad dreams I was having a few years before that, so I felt kind of weird after I said it.Pg:7

Dustin looked back and seemed excited. “No, it wasn’t like that,” he said, “but everything seemed so real, so I was kind of scared I was awake at first. But it was like I was standing on the side of this mountain,” he explained, “and you could see the ocean down below. And there were these huge trees all around — a lot bigger than these,” he said, looking up, “but then we were just standing there, watching these big waves coming in and — ”

“Who?” I asked.

“And there were these weird-looking plants everywhere, too, like all different colors… but they weren’t like flowers — ”

“Who was there, though?” I asked again, and I was getting kind of irritated since the whole thing just sounded stupid.

“Ok, yeah, I was just going to say, there was this old guy there, kind of like a scientist, or an inventor, maybe. At least it seemed like it from all the stuff he was saying.”

I scoffed. “It wasn’t Greenwald, was it?” Greenwald was this 7th grade science teacher we had who was a real asshole, and especially to me for some reason.

Dustin gave me a disgusted look. “No, it wasn’t him,” he said, “it was just weird, though… I mean, he wasn’t like a normal person.”

The rain was still coming down pretty hard and you could see the wash had started to flood down below us. Dustin came back and sat down next to me, wiping his face with the inside of his jacket.

“Really, though,” he said, “and it was like I was awake the whole time, too… just like we’re sitting here. And then the guy just started telling me this stuff.” Dustin shook his head.

I rubbed my face a little so he couldn’t see me laughing, but I guess he could tell anyway.

“What, you don’t believe me?” he asked.

“No, I do. I just… I mean, I believe you.” I said. But I didn’t really.

Dustin gave me this irritated look and then leaned back and pulled this folded-up yellow piece of paper from his front pocket.

“I’m serious, though,” he said, “I even wrote a lot of it down so I could remember.”

“Let me see it.” I said as I tried to grab it from him, but he pulled it away too fast. I could see some stuff written though, and some weird-looking drawings he had scratched in blue ink as he flattened the sheet out against his knee. Pg:8

“I had the same dream a couple times now,” Dustin said, “and every time the guy kind of says the same thing, just in a different way, I guess. And it’s not like I even know what it’s about, really. I mean, I do… I mean, I understand, I think. But it’s not like in class where you just follow along in the book or something.”

I laughed again and didn’t even try to hide it this time, since I was thinking of being in Greenwald’s class and how he mumbled so bad you could barely hear him. Then he’d get all pissed if you asked a question and say you weren’t listening.

“What an asshole,” I blurted, but Dustin just ignored me and started reading from his paper what the guy told him.

“At first he said all this stuff about the plants and the trees and the waves that were there, and how everything was together somehow. And then he said how the universe goes on forever and that everything was a part of that, too. And then he kept saying how I’m not what I think… I mean, that I’m not just the stuff I think about… like before I ever learned anything at school, or from my parents or anything… I mean, back when I was really little, I guess… and like that’s how we start off connected to everything.”

Dustin looked over at me and then looked down across his notes like he missed something.

“Wait. Ok… then he said that nobody ever believes him… I mean, that everybody thinks they know everything already… but that they don’t, really… and so I should be open, though.” Dustin said.

I laughed again. “Open to what — Jack in the Crack?” I said, and I thought it was a total burn but Dustin just stayed serious.

“I don’t know… to everything, I guess. He said it was like a car or a motorcycle engine, or like how a radio works… I mean, that nobody ever knew that stuff was there before, either….”

Dustin stopped all of a sudden, then folded up his paper and put it back in his pocket. “That was pretty much it,” he said. I could tell he was lying, though.

But then he got all quiet after that, and I guess I did, too, since it just felt weird after everything he was saying. And the storm was getting worse and a bunch of dark clouds were coming in over the mountain so we decided to make a run for it.Pg:9

Dustin took off first, and as I followed him out through the trees and down along all the flooded street towards 44th, I remember thinking everything he told me was just stupid. I mean, it was like some story he came up with to try to sound cool or to just mess with me or something. And then I could barely see him through the rain as we were running back towards Camelback Road, but I didn’t even care if I lost him at that point.

Because that’s when I remembered what he was saying about the universe going on forever and it kind of scared the crap out of me, to be honest. Because that’s what I was having all the bad dreams about before… I mean, they weren’t even dreams, really, since the worst part was just lying there at night, scared to death — since I couldn’t stop thinking about it. But all that happened way before me and Dustin ever met, and I knew I had never told him about it, either, so it was just weird when he brought it up like that. But that’s when I started getting that same, sick feeling again.

So for the whole rest of the way home, and then even when I got in the front door and my mom started yelling, I just kept going over it in my head… Because how was it even possible? I mean, for the universe to keep going on forever like that, and —

“Look at you. You’re soaking wet,” my mom said. But I wasn’t really listening. Because it had to end at some point… the universe, I mean. But then even if it did end, it still didn’t make any sense… because what was beyond that, then? And —

“You’re going to catch pneumonia,” she added, but that’s what she always told me. And even if it were true, I mean, even if there was really something beyond all that, then that would mean there was no end… and how could there be no end?… Because it had to end at some point…

Until later that night as I was lying awake in bed, and with the storm getting worse and the thunder crashing down around our house, I guess I kind of freaked out about the whole thing again. And I know it probably sounds like I was just being a baby about the whole thing, but I swear, you try and think about it for a while. It’ll scare the living crap out of you. I remember waking my mom up a couple times that night, too, till she finally let me sleep with the light on.Pg:10

I felt a lot better the next day, though, for some reason. The storm was gone, so it was back to being hot again, as usual, and I think I was just messing around in the side yard that morning or something. But I wasn’t really that worried about it anymore, at least.

But then Dustin called and wanted to go back up to the same place, but on our bikes this time, and I knew he’d probably bring it all up again, so I just told him I was grounded, even though I wasn’t really.

And then I guess I said some stuff to my mom about him, about how stupid he was acting lately, I thought, and how he always got everything he wanted all the time, too, thinking she’d understand, maybe. But then she just ended up saying the same thing she always did — and about all my friends, really — that “maybe you and (insert name) have been hanging around each other too much lately, anyway.” Only this time I sort of agreed with her.

So with the day to myself I decided to just go to my fort for a while. And I might as well tell you about that, too, since that’s where I was hanging out a lot back then. It was just down the canal from our house in that dead orchard with all the weeds around — like right before you get to Camelback Road to your right there. I mean, everybody knows about it now, but I’m just saying so in case you ever go there you can find it maybe. But that was back when I was still trying to keep it a secret, and I might not even have found the place myself if I hadn’t ate it on my bike that time.

You should have seen it, too. I was riding along the canal with no hands, which was pretty stupid, I guess, but I was trying to read one of those Bazooka gum comic fortunes, like, fortune or something like that, but that’s when I lost control and went flying over the handlebars and slid face first down into that ditch right next to the orchard. And I guess I was lucky I didn’t fly right into the goddamned canal, like my dad said later. I did scratch my arms up pretty bad and I got the air knocked out of me, too, I think. Pg:11

But as I was cleaning myself off and checking to see if my bike was alright (even though it was a total piece of crap, anyway, so I didn’t care what happened to it, really), I looked over and noticed some wood showing through the trees towards the middle of the orchard. It was pretty hard to get back there, too, but I pushed my bike ahead of me and was able to clear a path through all the weeds until I got up close and could see there was an old fort somebody must have built in there. And it didn’t even look that great at first, to be honest, and I still had to break through a bunch of branches and weeds that were covering the entrance, but once I got inside there it was pretty awesome.

I mean, it was like standing under this huge tree umbrella, with the trunk in the middle and the branches coming down all around from above. I could even fit my bike in there the place was so big. There were a couple sheets of plywood on the ground, so it was kind of like having a floor, in a way, and some smaller sheets were set up around the sides to keep all the weeds back, I guess. The weeds were really thick coming up over the boards, too, and the way they met up with all the branches coming down — there was no way anybody could see you in there. There was some garbage left behind from whoever was there before, but it was mostly just some rusted beer cans and cardboard and stuff so it wasn’t that bad, really. There was even an old plastic paint bucket you could sit on if you wanted.

Anyway, it was the greatest place I had ever found, so I was afraid if I told anybody they might ruin it. I mean, I had planned on telling Dustin, I guess, but that was around the same time he started acting weird so I hadn’t even told him yet.

But like I was saying, that was that day right after he first brought up all the dream crap, and I remember lying to him about being grounded because I felt bad about it ever since. There was a lot going on, though, so it wasn’t just the stuff about Dustin. And my mom had said I had to keep checking in from then on, too, so I actually was kind of grounded in a way. I still had enough time to go to my fort, though.Pg:12

So I grabbed a couple Pop-Tarts, borrowed my dad’s transistor radio, and managed to sneak a few smokes from my stash in the side yard before I left. I always just hid a few in my sock so I wouldn’t get busted with a whole pack. But as I headed out of the driveway, I noticed my front tire was low so I had to go up to the gas station to fill it up first.

But that’s when I started worrying that Dustin was going to see me, or that someone else might see me and that it might get back to him, somehow. So when I got to the alley, I stopped to eat a Pop-Tart and just came up with some story to tell him just in case. And I can’t even remember what it was, exactly… something like… my mom said I was still grounded for being out in the rain for so long… but that it was ok if I went up to the gas station to fill up my tire real quick, but only if I came back right away… but that I couldn’t go out in the rain ever again, or something like that.

And I knew it sounded stupid, and that he wouldn’t believe me, anyway, but I went over it a couple times before I got up there, thinking I was going to see him, probably. Nobody was around, though, so once I fixed my tire, I got a Freezie at Circle and then headed back towards the fort through the alley again, since I was still trying to stay hidden.

It was pretty awesome back there, too, though, by the way, since the back alley was just for garbage trucks to pick up garbage, really, so nobody ever went back there but us. And you never had to worry about the trucks coming through, either, since they came by so early and only once a week, I think. But it was this perfect dirt street that ran behind all the houses, with weeds and broken stuff everywhere, and bunch of garbage cans you could kick out on if you wanted.

It was way better on a motocross bike, though, and all I had was that little piece-of-crap, orange ten-speed back then, which was probably why my tire was leaking in the first place since there were stickers everywhere and it couldn’t handle it. I still went through there all the time, though, and even on a piece-of-crap bike like I had you could do a banzai run if you wanted. Just flying down the gravel pathways, switching back and forth between the high, dry grass, dodging all the garbage cans and whatever else might have been there, and you just try to get through as fast as you can.Pg:13

I didn’t feel like doing a banzai that day, though. I was just trying to stay on the gravel so my tire would last, and something was bothering me ever since I left the corner, anyway. I mean, it was all the stuff my sister Llory was saying about becoming a compulsive liar and how certain people just start doing it without even knowing it.

“Because that’s how it happens,” she said. “You start off with your first lie, and even though you feel completely justified, it just leads to another one after that, and then you have to lie again to cover the last one, and then it just goes on from there until your whole life becomes a lie and you end up living in a complete nightmare.”

I mean, that’s kind of what she said, at least, so I was worried I was becoming a compulsive liar ever since. And I had just made up that whole story to tell Dustin, along with saying I was grounded when I wasn’t in the first place.

My sister was older than me, though, so she was always saying stuff like that, trying to scare me into doing the right thing, I guess. So I figured there was a chance she just made up the whole compulsive liar thing to try and stop me from lying so much. But then she’d be lying, too, is what I started to think, until I remembered when she told me how white lies were ok, though, since they were the kind of lies that never hurt people, or something like that. But that’s all I was doing then, is telling white lies, really.

But it wasn’t just the stuff about Dustin, like I said, so when I got to my fort I started thinking about everything else for awhile.

Like about Pam Athena, who was this girl from Greece that sat ahead of me in one of my classes, and I guess I kind of liked her but I was never sure if she liked me, since she always had this disgusted look on her face for some reason… And then that fat-ass Eddy Ludd had been bothering me again, and he was actually one of my best friends before that, but then he was just being an asshole to me all the time, and there was nothing I could do about it, either. And, no, I never called him a fat-ass to his face, but I kind of wish I would have, now that I think of it… And then my dad had been yelling at my brother all week, saying he had to get the hell out again for some reason, but that meant I was never going to see him again, probably, even though he told me he’d be around still, but I still didn’t believe him. Because my brother had been living on his own before that, till the guys he was living with burned down the house where they were living at, so my dad was just being a jerk about the whole thing, really. And my sister had moved out a few months before, so I never really got to see her at all anymore, even though she still came around with her friends once in a while, but I never knew when I was going to see her, though… And then Greenwald was bothering me all the time, like I said, and then that stuff with Dustin, and he was acting weird even before all that dream crap happened…Pg:14

But then I was down in my fort, and I had a smoke lit already, and I had my dad’s radio hanging from one of the branches from above, and I knew no one could see me in there, either, so they wouldn’t know where the music was coming from… And then I started thinking about some other stuff all of a sudden, and I could imagine like I was one of those guys on TV or something… and it was nice in the shade, and I had my paint bucket to sit on, and I was just sitting there smoking and thinking about different stuff, but I swear it was like I was one of those guys somehow… so I just sat there and listened to the radio after that, and I smoked like I was one of Kelly’s heroes, or James T. West or that guy in High Plains Drifter, or even the Fonz would have been cool, I guess… but he didn’t smoke, I don’t think, or at least they never showed it on TV if he did… but that last episode where he jumped that shark was just stupid… And then I was back to being myself again, like my life was some weird movie, but I was the one that was starring in it or something…

And the songs on the radio were playing along to everything I was thinking and the words they were singing were exactly how I was feeling (like that older version of myself loves that stupid old Dylan song now “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”). But back then it was “On And On” into “Night Moves” and “One Is the Loneliest Number” and “Baker Street” and “Year of the Cat” and “Hotel California” and “How Deep Is Your Love” and “Baby Come Back” and “Take It To The Limit” and “Fire And Rain” and “Yesterday” and “Philadelphia Freedom.” And then “Blinded by the Light” again, and “Daniel” and “Rhiannon” and “Space Oddity” and “Sarah’s Smile” and “Imaginary Lover” and “Doctor My Eyes” and “Evil Woman” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Benny And The Jets” and “My Life,” and even that song “Love Is Like Oxygen” was kind of cool…

But I felt a lot better after I listened for a while. And I felt like I could ask Pam Athena to dance and not be nervous or even care if she said no, and maybe my brother could stay at the house with us and that my parents would be nice to him from then on, and maybe my sister would even come back home… And that Eddy Ludd would get off my ass, and that Greenwald would get in trouble somehow, and that Dustin would stop acting so weird, and that school would be easier… and that my parents would love me still, and maybe I could be more like those guys on TV, the ones who didn’t seem to care at all… Pg:15

And then a car was going by really loud up on Camelback Road, and it brought me back to listening to another song on the radio, and: “Are you reelin’ in the years…” the guy was singing, and I swear he said something about “have you had enough of lying” at the end. So I lit another smoke and got up for a while, and then I started thinking about the actual sound of the music that was coming through the radio… and it reminded me of what Dustin was saying, or what that guy had told him in his dream, I guess… and I noticed how the antenna was pointed towards the sky, and I had never really thought about it before, about how it all worked, I mean. And then I guess I felt a little sick again, to be honest, kind of like I did the night before when I freaked out about everything… and I knew I should probably get back, anyway, but I was still thinking about some other stuff, though…

Like that sound I never heard before, and that beautiful orange light, and how I followed it down the hall, and how I found the dining room table on fire where my mom had left a candle burning, and the flames were almost to the ceiling, so I ran into my parents’ room, and in my mind I was screaming, but I knew they couldn’t hear me because I couldn’t even say the words to tell them what was wrong, so I shook my dad really hard, and then everybody was yelling because I still couldn’t say a word, but I led them to the fire, and my dad pulled in the hose from outside and stopped it all, somehow. But I was the hero my mom said, even though I couldn’t say a word… and if I could only do that every night… to be the hero, I mean… but then the house would get burnt down, eventually… And then that dream I had later… where I was floating on a raft out in the middle of the ocean, but I knew it was just this idea I had of what the ocean was like since I’d never really even been to the ocean before… but it looked like it went on forever, too… I mean, even though I knew it didn’t since I learned about it in school… Pg:16

But what was I saying again, anyway… Oh yeah, my tire ended up going flat so I had to walk my bike all the way home.

Click here: What the scientist actually said in Dustin’s dream.

Singularity

What we don’t know
Is that time can stand still
And that restless men wait patiently
As the violence unfolds
And good people mean well
And the choice is in our memory

And the blood will flow back in our veins
We’ll redesign life’s destiny
As people first refuse to change
It’s just the fools and their machines
Making radio waves

And what we don’t know
Is that luck first started
When a gambling man refused to play
And the smartest thief said
If you want more money
Then the greatest scam is honesty

And the blood will flow back in our veins
We’ll redesign life’s destiny
As people first refuse to change
It’s just the fools and their machines
Making radio waves

And what we don’t know
Is the universe ends
In a galaxy six feet away
And through all the ages
Till the great perfection
It’s in every mistake we’ve ever made

Continue to Part II