It was some time in the 1940s, and Ellen and I were trying to track down an evil man who we knew was lurking in a seedy underworld bar. Standing near the door, we surveyed the room and realised that we had a tough job ahead of us -- everyone in the place looked fairly evil or, at least, thuggish. How to find our man?
I had a great idea, which I explained to Ellen: "Here's what we'll do. I take out my gun and tell them that this is the 'click click, bang bang' gun. I say that what we do with this gun is hold it to someone's head and pull the trigger twice. If it goes click click, we know the guy's a friend. If it goes bang, bang, we know we've found our evil guy."
"And what are we going to tell the guy who gets click bang, you idiot?!" Ellen asked, exasperated.
What a fool! I laughed so much I woke up laughing and couldn't get back to sleep for a while because I couldn't stop chuckling.
There is little in life that is as pleasing as waking up laughing in the middle of the night. Sure beats the screaming terrors, or that time years ago when I woke up utterly convinced that a KGB agent was lurking outside my bedroom door.
I had this dream after spending a couple of days concentrating hard on the face of an evil man from the 1940s -- a nasty looking guy who'd been arrested for manslaughter and whose portrait I've been drawing, using his mugshot as a reference. Not only that, but, for the past couple of weeks, I've been reading Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series, which features all the evil men and seedy bars you could ever want. The dream blends the two influences and sharply points out how ludicrous my participation in such a milieu would be. Clearly, if I were a private investigator, not even my own subconscious would hire me.