Monday, September 15, 2008

The Meter Reading Train Truck Nightmare

I was back at the paper and with the City – an odd combination of two old jobs. We were running through Ketchum and I was driving the newspaper’s ancient ‘Train Truck’. The previous crew had twisted the left side rear view mirror so it was hanging inside the van, and blocking my vision as I tried to drive. I never considered twisting the mirror back so it faced out again, as I figured “this is the way things are now.” I kept asking Jeff (my old meter reading partner) to look out for pedestrians as this was giving us yet another blind spot in the front of our pale white truck. Plus, it had been lightly raining, making the streets slick.

The mirror grew larger and now all I could see was my own face as I almost hit someone. Then a few minutes later, it happened again, around the same time someone whipped out a cell phone to call the cops about me going through a red light. (The van was adorned with company logos so I was an easy mark if I broke any laws)

I felt like I had really pissed of the last guy that I almost hit. Pedestrians in Ketchum are accustomed to having large vehicles, screech on their brakes as they saunter into cross walks on last second whims. It ain’t like New York. Sometimes they’ll proceed through crosswalks without ever establishing eye contact with the big rig drivers while waving tiny red flags they presume are cut from the same cloth as Superman’s cape. The problem with that is occasionally someone screeches their brakes too late making the sound bear more resemblance to an owl’s death call.

We stopped off at a bathroom, where I encountered the man who I almost hit. He asked a few lightly probing questions, and then when we came outside he wanted to fight me. When I wouldn’t fight, he went over to my personal truck parked next to the meter reading- paper van and tried to pull out the steering column. He was strong, but only managed to damage it and not actually pull it out. He also messed with the transmission, clunking it from above. He was doing this to tick me off enough so that I would fight, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. Why would I want to fight him, if I already almost killed him in the crosswalk –hadn’t I already done enough? After this, I sincerely apologized for almost hitting him and demonstrated how blind spots work; when pedestrians are traveling in juxtaposition with blind spots at moving angles; by diagramming the van’s inner dimensions with a pointer.

My co-workers (now transformed into a moving crew) dropped me off at the old newspaper office to report what happened. No one was around, but there were some strange rectangular beers sitting in the changing room. I was tempted to crack one open and carried it around for a while, before gently placing it back. No sense in drinking on top of everything else that had gone wrong.


Earlier in the dream, we had bundles of Friday papers, but now were also offering home delivery to a select few houses. I had been contemplating whether to make a grand effort to expand our delivery efforts to individual homes, but saw that by doing so, we were going to be up against some logistical nightmares.


  1. Something interesting I noticed today, is that the red traffic light I went through in the dream has been out of service all day, due to a severe fire in the surrounding area.

  2. The mirror image was interesting, suggesting self-reflection, then leading to confrontation, and allowing to reflect on how to respond to aggression. Standing up to him without either fighting or fleeing was a good choice, deflating his energy. Antagonists in dreams typically want us to flee.


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