It was just a dream but I didn’t know it.
The doorbell rang.
It was after dark.
I walk through the dining room.
I walk through the living room.
It’s a warm night but we don’t have air conditioning.
On warm nights I leave the main doors open for air but with the outer screen door locked.
We’re not in the habit of letting electric lights burn unnecessarily.
I flip the switch to turn on the porch light. Nothing.
I try the other switch for the living room light (which I often confuse); again nothing.
Damn. Both lights burned out?
I stand at the door looking out through the top glass panel. I see someone standing just on the other side in complete silhouette but without so much as a clear outline of a human head. The caller is tall and appears wearing some kind of a backpack with a collection of unidentifiable oddities protruding at various angles this way and that out of the top.
I hold my finger on the lock switch of the door latch, hesitant to open the door.
“Can I help you?” I inquire through the door. No answer.
“Can I help you?” I inquire again. Again, no answer.
“Can I help you?” I repeat. Still, no answer.
The stranger retreats back into the night without saying a word.
I think this behavior highly suspicious so I call to my brother, “Ron. Call 911.”
I hear my brother talking on the phone and say “Ron, hang up and call 911.”
Seems he didn’t hear me so I walk through the house to the kitchen.
He’s still talking on the phone. I grow impatient and repeat “Ron, call 911.”
He completely ignores me and continues talking. Now I’m just on the other side of the room. He’s looking right at me but still talking to someone.
I raise my voice as I continue trying to get his attention. “Call 911!”
Growing ever more impatient and frustrated I emphatically repeat:
“RON!” “GET OFF THE PHONE!” “HANG UP AND CALL 911!”
By this time I realize no sound was coming from my mouth. I try again and again, louder, ever louder with my mouth purposefully opened wider each time and finally, mouth fully agape and with all I’ve got in my lungs!
Still – no sound ever came out.
I wake up.
It was just one of those crazy dreams where you holler your head off but not a whisper or croak of sound ever comes out of your mouth.
My mother had an expression:
“Talking to some people is like throwing beans against a wall.”