“I dreamed of a horse,” my father told me.
He had just collected money from a man in a sandwich shop, and we were on our way to a bar.
At the sandwich shop, my father had eaten a hamsteak sandwich. He had used the corner of a Guest Check to get a shred of ham out from between his teeth.
But that man in the sandwich shop. After my father collected money from him, my father put his thumb, pointer finger, middle finger, and ring finger into the shape of a bird beak.
He held that bird beak up for the man to see. It was like an ostrich. Or it was like a crow. Where I lived with my mother, it was right where the gulls from the beach met the crows in town.
My father held the bird beak in front of the man’s face and then used it to strike the man’s face hard. It struck him between the eyes, and the surprise of the blow and the force of it made him fall down.
“Tomorrow, it will be your eye,” my father said. “And then it will be your other eye. And then I’ll open up your elbow and remove all its pieces.”
My father’s eyes were so bright they looked shined.
As we walked to the bar, he pointed to some flattened bottle caps on the sidewalk.
The moon was out, even though it was day.
“Do you know why the moon is out sometimes during the day?” he asked me. By his voice, I knew he wasn’t joking around. He really wanted to know, and he wanted to know if I knew.
At the bar, my father told the bartender to get him his peanuts, and the bartender gave him a tall jar of peanuts.
My father did not like to shell peanuts. He did not like to get peanut dust or peanut skin on his pants.
The peanuts built up around his teeth as he told me about his dream. The horse in his dream had no mouth. It had no teeth. It was covered with bird beaks – thousands of black bird beaks.
“Like the beaks of crows,” he told me. In the dream, he knew he had to feed them, but he didn’t have anything for them.
A man missing an arm came into the bar. He called my father “Rush” because everyone called him that.
“Hey, Rush, how are you?” the man said.
“I’m partly cloudy, but I’ll make it.”