I’m walking through the streets of downtown Winnipeg. People are sparse, and there a bunch of Italian style shops lined up along the streets, painted pastel colors. I’m with my Grandmother and my Sister, and we’re shopping, stopping in at quaint dollar stores. In one shop there piles and piles of mechanical birds, all made in different styles.
The kindly female clerk keeps winding them up for us in a friendly demonstration of function. Little metal ones hop around and clank happily on their flattened display perches, feathered birds fly in programmed circles, making electronic tweets, and calls. I get bored, and tell my companions I am going to look around on my own, and will meet them later.
I wander around the streets for a while, and see a man who I met once, and who I know helps to organize ‘the Street Youth of Winnipeg’ in a gallery of graffiti he has created. He smiles and asks me for money for a Tall Boy. I give him two dollars, and keep on walking, without wanting to talk anymore. He turns away from me, overjoyed, and hurries off to the nearest vendor “around the corner.”
I enter a comic book/head shop I have seen in my dreams before, when I was younger. I believe for some reason that it is called “The Dungeon” although I don’t remember reading any sign that says so. There are two employees in the shop, one is clearly based on my Uncle Dwight, who died of leukemia when I was twelve. The other, is an actress from the movie Spanglish, which I was watching before I went to bed. She’s the tall blonde, arrogant witch.
The moment I enter the store, the female clerk, whose name is Deborah (just like in Spanglish) immediately begins following me around, very closely and conspicuously, it is obvious that she expects me to steal something, although originally, I have no plans to. I admire a particular line of DC alternate comics, where they recreate classic characters like Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern with different more literal concepts. I see the one issue that I own, and begin looking for others in a vain attempt to expand my collection.
The issues are all lined up on pegs on the wall, instead of being placed in bins, I slide issue after issue along the pegs, finding only one issue which I don’t possess. It is about a minor character from the Green Lantern called “Maryan” who is a blue skinned purple haired alien, whom I have always had a crush on. I snatch the issue up, and buy it immediately from the male clerk, who is indifferent, or preoccupied. I can feel Deborah’s breath on my neck.
I hastily exit the store without examining any of the interesting looking drug paraphernalia, only to see a “SUMMER SALE” table set up, just outside the door. There are beautiful dyed glass pipes that are formed into Greek mythological figures. I look back in the window and see Deborah’s back outlined in the reflective glassy surface. I remove the jean jacket I am wearing and carefully place it over a pipe which is made in the likeness of Pan, little cloven hooves and all. I wrap the pipe up quickly and gingerly in the denim, and book it.
Immediately Deborah is behind me, chasing me and calling me a thief. I stop to confront her, and reason with her. I tell her I am sorry and that I will give her back her pipe, I find the entire situation very humorous, which infuriates the clerk. When I unwrap Pan from my jacket, he is broken. She begins to cry. She explains to me that she is the only one vested in head shop half of the store enterprise, and that she’s going to call the cops on me to make an example of me, for losing her money, and making a bad name for her business. I don’t feel guilty, but annoyed. I communicate with her in a series of obvious lies.
“I’ll level with you, I’ve stolen a few chocolate bars here and there, some gum… sometimes, but listen, I don’t need a record over this. The only reason I stole that from you was because of the way you intimidated me when I was in the store, treating me like a thief, following me around so aggressively. Come on, that’s just bad business.” She weeps uncontrollably. “How about, instead, I work off the loss of this pipe at your store. How much was it?” $100.00. “All right so I will work that off ok, I’ll help out, does that sound fair?” Sniffling, she agrees.
I wake up.
In another recent dream my friend Will T. is a twelve foot tall French revolutionary, who is arguing with a carpenter about the dimensions of my desk, which he is having altered to fit his needs. I also axe a femme-bot in half from the comfort of a front door landing.