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Dreamcatcher: "Shamrocks or Bullets"

Time: Present Time


Background: Mr. Gerald McMillan is my best friend's dad. He was a pharmacist at a local hospital, and the McMillan family lived down the street from me in Lafayette, Louisiana. The 1980s suburban was a real vehicle that the McMillan family owned, and Jacob and I used to drive it back and forth to martial arts classes. It was like a tank, but instead of green, it was blue. Instead of tracks, it had rubber tires.


The Dream:

I hopped into the passenger seat of Mr. Gerald's 1980s something suburban. Mr. Gerald and I were headed to the shooting range. It was 5:00 PM and the range closed at 6:00 PM. I felt a sense of rush, but Mr. Gerald didn't.


"Let's stop at the Diamond Shamrock to get some gas," he said.


The Diamond Shamrock was the local gas station near where the McMillan Family and I lived in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was at the corner of Robley Drive and Ambassador Caffery Parkway.


I glanced at the gas gauge. It may have been low, but not at a worrisome level. "Why don't we just get gas after we leave the range?" I suggested.


Mr. Gerald was adamant about refueling first. He pulled into the Diamond Shamrock and as I opened the door to get out and start pumping the fuel, he handed me a check to pay for it.


"Just sign my name," he said, as he stayed seated behind the steering wheel.


As I'm looking at the display on the fuel pump, there's only two options: Press here to pay with a credit card, or press here for help.


I pressed for help, and the attendant answered.


"I'm paying by check," I said.


"Come inside first," he replied. "We'll have to hold your check for 51 dollars."


I walked across the concrete toward the swinging door. That makes sense, I guess. He'll hold onto my check because he's got no idea how much gas I'm going to need.


I entered the convenience store and noticed there was a line of customers—about three or four people. I got in line, and studied Mr. Gerald's check. It was addressed to his internet/cable company! I drew a line through that, and began writing "Diamond Shamrock." I wasn't quite sure how to spell "Shamrock," so I glanced around the store and found it written on the door. I also signed my name in the signature section, instead of Mr. Gerald's—even though he gave me prior permission.


When I got to the cashier and presented the check, the man told me that he couldn't accept that check. "There's no typed name in the upper left-hand section, there's a line through the wording right here…"


I went back to the suburban and sat down. "They wouldn't take your check."


"Why not?" Mr. Gerald asked incredulously.


"I think he thought it was suspicious that a millennial would be writing a check," I said with all seriousness." I glanced at the center console's clock, which read 5:59 PM. "I guess we're not going to the firearms range."

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