School Bus

Last night I dreamt I was driving a bus full of prisoners. Where I’m not entirely sure, we had no clear direction. It was a school bus and I was the new driver. I was going the wrong direction at some point and had to find a big open circle to turn around in. 3 point turn. a dirt cul-de-sac with homes circled around it, long driveways leading up to them. And as we headed back out in the direction we had just come from we passed a dead river. It appeared to be a toxic river, an after-war river. Orange banks, bubbling water, algae, rust. We stopped because there were bodies in it and on the banks. One was on his knees in the middle of the water, bent over a rusted metal box like he was praying. Except he was face down and blue. We turned his head to look at him and his eyes were whitish gray, mouth gaped open, face cut of all oxygen. He was cold blue.

I asked one of the prisoners if he knew who this man was. The prisoner said no, but I knew he knew. I knew he had killed this man. It was his ghost, guilt, weight. A graveyard of mistakes perhaps?

As I climbed back into the seat, as I took over this new job of driving prisoners around I cleared a spot for my soda. The cup holder was filled with bits of paper, an old cigarette, dirt and crumbs and I did the best I could to clean it out, throwing the paper and cigarette out the door. What was left was the residue, the grime. Behind me a group of prisoners were trying to offer me food, but I had seen in my rear view mirror that they had laced it with something, that they were trying to poison me and I knew I didn’t want it.

There was a strange weight to this dream. I hadn’t realized until I wrote it out this morning in my journal and felt infinitely lighter. But the feeling remains that I feel oddly lost at the moment.

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