Three Men

Jerry woke up and felt like his head was a microwave. Not just that it was a microwave, but that there was actually a bag of popcorn inflating inside his head, going ‘pop-pop-pop’, and that a little wheel was spinning around. Outside his window a small bird chirped loudly for its mother, waiting to be fed its breakfast. The sun was hot as a heating lamp. Jerry wiped the sleep from his eyes and tried to stand up, wrongly believing that perhaps he was still dreaming. This is what dreams sometimes feel like, he thought. When his feet touched the wooden floor of his apartment it was incredibly hot, filled with smoldering embers, and his legs wobbled unsteadily beneath him. Jerry instantly fell to the floor in a crumpled heap and popcorn dribbled out of his mouth.

Lawrence was inside a movie theater watching an expensive Hollywood action film in thundering THX sound, tossing popcorn into his mouth, every other piece trundling to the sticky floor below. For no apparent reason, Lawrence couldn’t remember what movie he was watching, and why all of a sudden a plane was on fire and why a handsome man in a suit with greased black hair was piloting the plane. Around him people were on the edge of their seats, their mouths hanging open in suspense. Instead of following the movie, Lawrence was completely lost, overwhelmed by the odd sensation that he was a baby bird in a twiggy nest. And that he was starving.  When he went to grab another handful of popcorn to throw into his mouth he was shocked to discover his popcorn was replaced by seeds. They crunched coarsely in his mouth, adding to his confusion.

Leroy was out early working his fields, sprinkling seeds along the plowed furrows that stretched far into the distance. Even though it wasn’t yet nine in the morning the sun burned oppressively overhead, causing beads of sweat to drip down Leroy’s face. A rumbling coming from the sky caught his attention and he looked up to spy a plane zigzagging back and forth, its engines sputtering and a trail of black smoke coming from its tail. He wiped his brow and watched the plane drop and regain altitude and drop again, appearing in the sun like some kind of drunken bird. Leroy, never one for philosophical musings, was caught off guard by a strange epiphany. “Why, it’s like a dream,” he muttered as the plane caught fire and plummeted to the Earth. He took a rag out of his back pocket and dried his forehead and went back to his work planting corn.


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