Orcas (Four Segments) | The Dreamweaver


The COVID-19 pandemic had ended and I was walking to my barbershop on Devon Avenue (in my old real-life Chicago neighborhood), to open up the shop for the first time since the end of the lockdown.

The shop was located on the south side of the street, somewhere between Rockwell and Western, but seeing how I hadn't been there in such a long time, I seemed to have forgotten on exactly which block my shop was located.

Crossing at the traffic light at Rockwell, I noticed a former friend, Felipe, a Black-Colombian hairstylist wearing a feathery, dark fuchsia jacket while talking on a public pay telephone. I was surprised to see a lit cigarette dangling from his lip, remembering how much he detested smoking.

I was late and didn't want to get into a "my it's been a long time" conversation with Felipe, so I turned right onto Rockwell, walked to the alley, crossed the street and proceed to walk eastbound down the alley hoping to recognize the shop from the back, thinking my key would probably open the back door if one was accessible from the alley.


With all of the problems I'd been having with the landlord who I was renting my barbershop from, I decided to see a lawyer.

I went to the law offices of a friend and introduced myself to the receptionist who told me my friend had already left for the weekend but his partner was expecting me and would be happy to talk to me.

The partner came out and introduced himself and told me he was expecting an important phone call and asked me to wait in the reception area.

Becoming impatient after waiting for some time, I decided to go and look for the lawyer, mistakingly walking into my friend's empty office.

The partner suddenly entered the office and told me I shouldn't be in there and that he was ready to go. He was sharply dressed in an expensive suit and now wearing a long, tan raincoat.

We left the law office building and got into the partner's black Mercedes and drove off.

We arrived at what appeared to be a Turkish-style outdoor market, like the typical bazaars in the Middle East.

We entered a small café where everyone seemed to know the partner and greeted him as if he was a highly-respected person. We sat at the bar and he ordered two coffees.

Just then, he began to complain about some smell that was bothering him, saying he was surprised to smell something so disturbing and that he had been frequenting the café for years and never smelled anything like it. Then, he pointed at a window behind us where there was some kind of smokestack spewing a dirty white smoke and he said that must be where the foul smell was coming from.


Wheelchair bound, I arrived at Harrod's department store in London on Christmas Eve day looking for a gift.

The store was packed with last-minute holiday shoppers.

Not being accustomed to using a wheelchair, I found it quite challenging maneuvering around the crowded store.

Getting off the elevator, I was relieved to be on a floor with very few shoppers and it was very quiet.

I saw a man with a beard standing next to a large round table holding up what appeared to be some sort of wooden picture frame. He set it back down on the table and I went over to look at it, thinking it might be an affordable gift.

Picking up the frame, I observed it was merely a piece of wood that was polished smooth and coated in a shiny varnish. It seemed to come with a brass stand but I couldn't figure out what it could possibly be used for as there was nowhere to insert a photo.

Just then, I noticed a man on the floor who had no arms or legs and recognized him to be the Canadian-American rock star Neil Young.

Young had drawn a crowd of fans who had been gathering around him asking for his autograph, which his assistant, an older Asian woman, was signing for him.


My daughter and I arrived at the woman's houseboat. She was tall, thin and had long, wiry, silver hair.

She immediately asked me if I was strong enough to lift a white canvas bag from off the floor and dump its contents onto the floor of this odd white booth that stood off to the side of her houseboat.

She opened the door of the booth explaining that it was what she submerged into the ocean for her research. She called it a "tennis ball box" and explained it had holes cut out in the sides.

The canvas bag contained a rectangular block of dry ice which the woman instructed my to carefully empty out onto the floor of the box.

Then, the woman told us to follow her out onto the deck of the houseboat and when she opened the back door I was shocked to see that what I thought to have been a modestly-sized houseboat was actually an enormous trawler that the woman had modified to be a research vessel.

Even more surprising was that the boat was moored to a pier overlooking a vast ocean, rather than the small canal I had anticipated seeing.

Just then, the woman called to us saying that a large pod of dolphins was quickly approaching the stern of the ship.

Walking over to where the woman was standing, I was amazed to see so many dolphins, something I had never seen except for at an aquarium.

Then, the woman pointed into the pod of dolphins saying there were now sharks amongst them. She suggested we remove our phones and start taking pictures as it was a very rare occurrence.

Seconds later, to add to the excitement of the moment, two large orcas swam up to the boat and breached, giving me the most incredible shots that I took one after the other until the orcas descended below the surface of the water.

A moment later, the orcas breached again and came even closer this time, suspending themselves on the side of the boat. I continued taking rapid successions of photos on my phone until the orcas returned once again to the water. I checked the photo library on my phone to see how the photos were turning out.

Just then, I noticed two smaller orcas approaching the boat. They jumped out of water and landed on the other side of the protective netting and onto the deck of the boat, where water had been accumulating.

Shocked and frightened, I began running toward the stern of the ship not knowing if the small orcas would bite and not seeing the woman anywhere.

As the orcas came closer and closer, I started to climb a chainlink fence on the side of the boat to avoid coming into contact with, and perhaps being bitten by, the orcas.

I climbed as high I as I could and notice the fence has barbed wire at the top and I couldn't climb any higher.

Just then, the woman appeared and laughed as she observed the odd scene that was transpiring.

Then I woke up.

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