THE BOSS'S GUTS
Dreamed 1993/6/3 by Chris Wayan
Wake in the night in terrible pain. Burping up alcohol. Scorching pains, apparently severe gas and cramping in either stomach or small intestine. On and on. Want to vomit but can't. Drink a little water. For an hour, gas and cramps. Shit a little but mostly huge volumes of gas. Finally return to bed still in pain but too tired to care. Lying flat, pain worsens again, fart more. Finally it fades to bearable, and I sleep.
What caused this? Drank no alcohol, ate nothing unusual. Ran a bit today, enjoyed stretching my legs--maybe too soon after eating? Can't think of anything else.
I don't recall my dreams that night. My sleep was pretty broken up.
I still feel rather sick the next day, so I ask my dreams again, just before bed--what's triggering such painful gut attacks? And this time, I get an answer.
I'm in a mining town during the Great Depression, a drab company town run like a plantation. The workers are destitute: they weren't fully paid last month and they haven't been paid at all this month.
Their boss shows up in a little truck. They gather and yell at him "Where's our money?" They also have safety complaints and want workflow changes for greater efficiency, but he won't even LISTEN to his workers, let alone implement their demands. He just poormouths! "Boys, times are hard and the company's on the edge. Tthe money just ain't there." Then he drops by the mine headquarters and the company story and comes out with bulging sacks while his driver holds a shotgun and looks at us with little shark eyes. We all know it's cash in the sacks. He's stiffing his own workers!
I feel a sudden rage... I can't let this go on.
So... I bike alongside his truck as the boss rides slowly away. I start jabbing through the truck wall and floor with a screwdriver, at the boss and his driver. Cheap metal, and the screwdriver goes right through if I aim for a scuffed point, which there are lots of--old bullet-pocks from the labor wars!
"OW!" yells the Boss. Good! Keep poking them in the ass and legs and lower back. And, incredibly, they never catch on where the pain is coming from, think it's internal. "Musta been somethin' we ate--God, what a dump, ya can't even drink the water." "Nah, nah, that's the truck. It's shortin' out again, I think."
Finally they stop the truck, arguing about the "malfunction"... and still ignoring me! Well, as long as they're treating me as invisible, I pry open the back of the truck and check out the sacks.
Money. Thousands! I peel off a thick wad, and know it's exactly the amount for next month's rent, for every worker in town--about $7500.
I bike off with it. Figure the boss's goons will eventually come looking, and itching to retaliate, even if they can't prove it was anyone here.
I get an inspiration. Instead of hiding the money in any of the miner's houses where the goons might search, I bike to my parents' house, in 1993 California, and hide it in their bedroom--on the nightstand by their bed. Where my father's Playboy magazines used to be. It was good enough for soft porn, so why not for soft money?
Much later, when things have cooled down in the company town, I retrieve the cash. Still uneasy with it. Dunno what to do--won't they trace it? It's all $100 bills. How to distribute it to the miners? Maybe I could deposit and withdraw it again gradually, laundering it through my own account here in 1993. But my Credit Union is 40 miles away. Awkward!
Wake with cunning plans, how to launder and spend the stolen-back payroll.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
So I MAKE myself sick, stab myself with pain! Because I'm such a stingy bastard, my own body's mad at me.
Is the money cash, or energy? I'm unsure--but I do get the central message, that the illness isn't a malfunction but an angry message from a part that feels quite justified in its attacks.
And they won't stop till I give hard-working parts their due.
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