by Stephen Reid Andrews
All rights reserved in the author
Insteadnof my seizure dream materializing into the peaceful image where my wife hands me the wrapped gift or the image of the graveyard. I’m in a convenience store. I have only been in a convenience store once since I woke up from my coma. However, despite my efforts to avoid going out in public, I feel like I have been to this convenience store before.
My sister is with me, and she is wearing the same outfit that she has on to drive me to
today. My brother Trevor is in the store as well. He is wearing his regular ensemble
of a green polo shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops. The store attendant is
behind a counter, with donuts to her side. A Marlboro cigarette sign is posted
neatly over her head, where the sign looks awkwardly out of place. The
attendant is short, with short dark hair and has a crevassed face from an uncontrolled
onslaught of adult acne, and she looks like she smokes more cigarettes than she
“Let’s play a game,” Trevor says from behind me.
I turn from admiring the store clerk to see where his voice came from. Trevor is standing by a pool table placed in the center of two aisles in the convenience store. The table is surreal, appears out of place, and is obviously not something that is supposed to be in a convenience store.
Trevor and I played a lot of pool together when I was in high school and when we were younger, but I haven’t played with him since I woke up from my ten-month sleep although he has asked me to play with him on several occasions – his requests are most likely at my mother’s prodding.
Trevor is holding a pool stick. “I’ll go first,” he says as he bends over and aims at the white cue-ball.
I don’t respond because I’m sure nothing I say will change Trevor’s announcement of the playing order. Trevor proceeds to hit the cue-ball into other balls. The balls have unusual numbers – not the usual one through fifteen like a normal set of billiard balls. The numbers on these balls are all over the place. Trevor hits the cue ball knocking the thirty-six ball in the corner pocket. He methodically continues knocking the next five balls into various pockets on the table – first the zero-eight, then the twenty-one, then the thirteen, then the zero-seven, and, last, the forty-eight.
For an unknown reason, after knocking in the forty-eight ball, he looks up at me. “Your turn,” he says.
I am astonished at his announcement. Although I am dreaming, or having a vision (whatever this surreal event should be called), I know this is not how to play pool. However, realizing that Trevor just sunk six balls in a row, my competitive spirit kicks in, and I think better of letting him have another turn and take the pool stick that Trevor is offering. Apparently this vision only comes with one pool stick.
Surveying the table, I move around its side where I have a shot perfectly lined up to knock the seventeen ball in the corner pocket. I hit the seventeen ball in without a problem, and then, almost as if I am mimicking my brother’s previous behavior, I move around the table hitting the next five balls in various pockets – the forty-seven, the twenty-three, the zero-nine, the fifty-two, and then, finally, the forty-two. For my entire turn, my expression has been vacant.
The only ball now left on the table is the eight ball. The eight ball is lined up on the edge of one of the holes, making the shot an easy one. I make quick work of the final shot as I tap the cue-ball into the side of the eight ball.
“Dave! You won!” my sister squeals as if she is cheering at the homecoming game for the Freeport Pretzels, and I just scored the winning touchdown.
I am a little shocked with her tone. “Doesn’t matter,” I say with my usual gloom.
“Yes it does, you’re a millionaire!”
My sister’s comment is childish, and I look at her with parental reprimand for her behavior. While glaring at her, I steal a glance at the shopkeeper who is beckoning me to come over to the check-out counter. I walk towards the attendant as she reaches in her cash register, but I never make it to her because I am awakened.