Violent Dreams of Next Year's Better Parties
On July 3rd 2007 I went from my home in New Britain CT to Burlington VT to participate in a downhill
skateboarding event. We sessioned on a hill over looking Lake Champlain for most of the afternoon, took a break
for some pizza and beer, watched the fireworks from atop the Ridin High skate shop, then returned to the streets
around the UVM campus on boards.
We skated down the Pearl street hill and after the rider in front of me passed the
intersection at the bottom, a car originally travelling the opposite direction of us started making a left hand turn in
front of me and I ceased traveling at about 30 mph when I collided with the hood of the car. I lied in the
intersection face up and dying. A friend has since described to me the scene from a less stunned
perspective. He had observed blood welling in my ears and eyes and the broken radius and ulna both
sticking out of my left forearm. But the shattered femur, transversely broken sternum, and the heart that
was drowning in its own blood weren't as apparent. The ambulance responded with impressive haste and raced
me to Fletcher Allen hospital not much more than a block away. When they started to work on me, I started
My first dream took place at what initially was a common house party at night with beer and young
people. But something violent was happening in the basement. People were in line to go down there where
they were being tortured and killed with saws and other pieces of heavy jagged iron. I could feel some of
my facial wounds, the awkward placement of my jaw, the taste of blood, and the misalignment of my teeth. I
doubted I was in any shape to run from that place. I considered fighting them with their own tools when it
was my turn to descend. A young heavy set girl took me to her bed to wait, said I could wait there before
I went down. Cautious hope started to grow in me as time passed. She stayed close while I waited. But it didn’t
happen. I left, and I traveled for weeks.
On July 4th 2008 my band and I were about to play our second show and hopefully redeem ourselves
after the shit show at a Black Eyed Sallies open mic the previous month. I was nervous about this night.
I was aware of the potential for PTSD to be triggered by the surroundings distinctly reminiscent of the
night on which that tragedy almost happened. The show was at a friend’s house party. When we started
loading our gear in, the guests smiled at us and one guy shouted, “Fuck fireworks, we’ve got a live band!”
I carried a combo amp through the kitchen and down into the basement. The basement was adorned with old
farm tools. There were rusted sickles, chicken wire, and saws.
I was taken aback and mystified and scared for the memories of that gruesome dream hadn’t ever yet
been quiet in my mind for more than several hours. Were the people I was with about to lay me out and splay
me and confirm some kind of horrific, prophetic, absurdist notion about the eternal return and the nature
of existence? Did I really see the future in my dream, but maybe got the wrong idea about what was going
on in that basement? Was it a coincidence? Whatever it was, after a few minutes it seemed confirmed that
there wasn't any immediate danger present. So I carried on and got ready for the show. We drank beer and
when all the instruments and amps were set up we played to as large of a crowd as was possible in that
space. People danced to our music and cheered us on. We killed it.