I walked into a grocery store with a group of friends, and a little boy of about twelve or fourteen was standing in the door facing me directly. He held a gun pointed at me saying he'd shoot.
"Don't do that; you don't want to do that." My calm surprised me, almost as an observer, as I gently and easily walked toward him as though there was no danger between him and me.
I think I must've been between sleeping and being awake, because the dream has a couple of endings. The next thing I remember was holding his face in my hands and kissing him the way his mother or his grandma would and giving him the most tender hug you can imagine. And he started crying with shaking heaves. I remember thinking about how I didn't know him a second ago, but now I knew everything about him that was important. And that's all he wanted the whole time. I knew that he was desperately afraid. And I knew that he needed love. And I knew that he wanted to be heard and known. And I heard him, and I knew him.
The other ending was that I came toward him, and like one too brave for the moment swept away the gun, only to have the boy shot in his own foot before the gun was gotten away. And somehow, he was in the hospital with sepsis from this gunshot wound. And there was only one thing to do, because he was going to die. At this point, I was a guy. I don't know how or when that happened, but I was definitely a man. Maybe it's because subconsciously, I can't handle the idea of a girl walking alone in a city looking for a homeless guy. I walked and walked through the city, over bridges, and I asked for his dad. And I found him. He looked just like the homeless guy in The Ultimate Gift. And I told him that his son was dying and took him to his son. The nurse asked him if he was the father; there were decisions that needed to be made. And the man said, "I'm no more this boy's father than this guy is," pointing to me.
And that's all I remember. But later that day, the washing machine made a loud noise, and I remembered my dream. I hoped nobody'd been shot and that I wouldn't have to play the hero. But I was okay with having to. Afterall, I practiced this morning.
In other news, I wish I could take that man up there out for a beer and a nice meal. And I wish I could just switch to a man for certain occasions like in my dream. Then I definitely wouldn't get married. I could be my own protector like Superman. Don't mess with Clark Kent; that's all I have to say.