Mario Villalobos

Ducks, Dicks, and Death

The other night I dreamt of my arrest and subsequent arraignment. The prosecutor filed two charges against me, both of which I don’t remember, but I knew they were serious. Murder serious. Fortunately, I posted bail, left the building, and felt glad I could walk around the world freely. On one of these walks, I stepped on a receipt. When I looked at it, I knew it was the proof I needed to absolve me of at least one of the charges. I showed it to my lawyer and he grew excited. He then warned me that I still had one more charge still hanging over my head. So I walked and walked, looking at the floor, looking at the sky, looking at all the faces passing me by, but I couldn’t find the proof I needed to prove my innocence. Sadly, I never did because I woke up.

It was around 3am, and as I lied in bed thinking through the dream, I reflected on the day and remembered a conversation I had with a friend. She told me about an altercation between another friend and a teacher. We had a new student enter the 9th grade that day, and she and a friend went down the hall looking for an empty locker to claim it as her own. The teacher saw her and thought she was snooping through other kids’ lockers, so she yelled at her and almost made her cry. At the same time, my other friend walked down the hall and saw the teacher yelling at the new student. When she saw the new student on the verge of tears, my friend confronted the teacher and told her that the student was new and that she was simply looking for a free locker like she was told. The teacher, as we found out later, felt so offended that she lodged a complaint to the superintendent. In it, she complained that she felt afraid for her safety. This teacher has a history of over exaggeration, but unfortunately, she is also very effective at getting her way.

My friend and I were both very concerned that our other friend could lose her job. I felt angry that the teacher had a high chance of not only getting her way but also taking the job of someone I cared about. Why do people who do the right thing always get shit on the most? So I told my friend that if the teacher got her way and took my friend’s job, then she would take mine, too.

I’m very tired. I’m tired of people proselytizing their values onto others but doing the opposite, sometimes in the same breath. I’m tired of all the men (and it’s usually always men) in positions of power who don’t fight to do the right thing because it’s too much work, or because it might offend some people, or because it might cost them their job. Why believe in anything if you’re not going to fight for anything?

So I thought about this event in relation to my dream, and I wondered if maybe my subconscious was warning me not to tie my job to the fate of my friends. I thought maybe those were the charges filed against me in my dream, and the receipt represented my job and the income I could lose if I went through with my threat. And the second charge, the one I didn’t have time to find absolution for, was my friend’s fate, the fate that currently lies in limbo. As I lied in bed and realized that this could be the meaning of my dream, I said, Okay, I won’t tie my job to hers. I then went to sleep and woke up a few hours later.

Change has to come from within, and it’s hard when even my subconscious is against me, against who I want to be. But like I always say, if it’s not hard, it’s not worth doing. So here goes.