More Things in Heaven and Hell

A Weird Dream and Weirder Reality

from Ralph's POV

So one night I had a really weird dream. Maybe I had too much spicy sausage pizza for dinner and it gave me indigestion. Mom always said that could happen. Anyway, in this dream I was in a room with a lot of books all around and there were these other people in there with me. This kind of weird old lady showed up and mumbled some stuff I didn’t understand and all of a sudden these tentacle things reached out of a fireplace and grabbed her and she’s gone. Goofy stuff. Well, the next day I didn’t think anything about it until I was downtown after visiting the training center and I meet up with all the people that appeared in the dream. I swear I never met or even saw any of these guys ever before, but somehow we all got together. And we all had the same exact dream. I was really bugged by this. It was kind of creepy, but I really don’t believe in astrology psychics or crystal balls or stuff like that so there had to be some reason it happened and I wanted to know what it was. It was just the weirdest thing that ever happened to me. I decided to go along with the group because I think the Spanish dude, he’s a wrestler, might be able to get me a job. I really need some cash. My unemployment will run out next month, I think.

Somebody (I can’t remember which one) figured out that the room in the dream was in the Cleveland library and so we wound up finding the room and we were looking around in there when things got really out of hand. A crazy woman comes in and stabs one of the other people, a Middle Eastern or Pakistani guy (I don’t know really what country he’s from), and I thought she might attack one of the others. My dad always said don’t ever hit a girl, but this was one mean bitch, you know, and I thought maybe I could knock the knife away. Me and the bicycle dude and Rex went at her and she got KO’d. The cops came and so we decided to go grab a bite to eat and catch our breath.

Rex loaned me a couple bucks so I had some eggs and ice water. I got to keep up my protein, even though I’m not really in training. Rex is a loud, kind of rude guy with some strong opinions. I wonder if he’s one of those skinhead Nazis. He doesn’t like foreigners at all. He keeps picking on the Spanish wrestler. Sometimes he gets on my nerves, but he did give me a ride a couple times so I guess he’s not all bad. Foreign people are not all bad either. I met a lot of them at the Games. There was a Jamaican guy who I fought. Beat the hell out of him, but then I ran into him at Closing Ceremonies and he asked to see the gold medal and then he slapped me on the back and gave me his warmup jacket. He was the happiest fighter I ever saw. Really cool guy.

Anyway, they were all in the restaurant looking at this old book that the bicycle guy borrowed from the library. I think it was written in another language, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I flunked Spanish in high school. It’s too bad because I think maybe the Spanish wrestler and I could talk in Spanish if I knew it better. He’s pretty cool, I think. We fought a little when we met, not serious, but just showing off our moves. I went easy on him, but he’s not bad. He must make some decent money. He dresses up.

The group decided to go back to library again and they messed around with the book and this candle they found. I didn’t get that. I mean, there was plenty of light in there. There was something weird about the mirrors, I guess. All I know is that the girl and I peeked at one of the pages and I got a little sick. I think my blood sugar might have dropped or something. Might have been some vertigo, too, I suppose. Lew Benson got me with that right hook at Nationals and ever since then I sometimes get a little dizzy. Don’t tell that, though, because they might not let me fight again. I’ve heard of that happening to boxers.

The bicycle dude found a note in one of the other books with an address on River Road. We decided to check it out and wound up at Squire’s Castle. I hadn’t been there in years, but it was just the same as it looked when my fourth grade class went there. We hiked around and then ate bag lunches. Man, that was a long time ago. The other folks went up to the castle, but I hung out near the parking lot with Rex. He really fusses with his car. It’s a Mustang. It’s nice, so I don’t blame him for being so fussy about it. I almost bought a Camaro before I got laid off. I got to get a car as soon as I can. Dad lets me drive the Mercury and he doesn’t complain as long as I pay for the gas and run him and Mom to their doctor appointments whenever they need to go. Man, I hope the Spanish guy can get me some work pretty soon.

The others came back and then we went on a drive around Willoughby and stopped in at that nursing home on Euclid. Van Gorder, I think it’s called. I think we have to find out about a bell. Maybe they read about that in the book. The girl was able to read some parts of that book. She’s in college and she seems pretty smart. I guess she’s okay looking. I mean, I’m not going to ask her out or anything. I don’t think she’s my type. But she’s nice enough. Kind of shy I think. Anyway, I still kind of have a thing for Patty Reese. She graduated from North and I think she went in the Navy or Army. She was a runner. A really good one. Awesome legs. I’d like to see those legs again sometime.

We went back to the Castle. I think the bicycle guy wanted some more drugs. That’s really a shame, you know. I never smoked, drank, or did any drugs. You can’t do that and be a winner, Pete always said. That bicycle guy should stop that and start some kind of conditioning program. There’s no better high than being in peak physical shape, that’s what I think.

Well, Rex and I were hanging out near the car again when another nasty dude shows up with a sword. Yeah, a friggin’ sword! We tag teamed him, but this guy was TOUGH.

[to be continued]



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