Sunday, July 2, 2017

In Your Dreams (Ten Years Ago Today)

My dream of personal violence

By Moristotle

[Originally published on July 2, 2007, not one word different.]

Saturday night I had a vivid dream that left my heart pounding. Parked on a city street (in Manhattan?), after stepping out of my car for but a moment, I returned to find two young men—teenage boys—already sitting in it in the act (it was clear to me in the dream) of stealing it. Without a moment’s hesitation I pulled the nearer boy out of the front passenger seat, raised him up with a strength that I probably no longer possess, and threw him, “with prejudice,” up and over the rear of the car. Then I yanked the other boy out from behind the steering wheel, threw him to the pavement, and kicked him viciously....
    I wonder whether this dream may have been prompted by the free verse I’d posted the same day (“Even though...still Nature....“), in which I’d spoken of violence, but with no acknowledgment that I myself was capable of it. My dream did remind me that I am capable of it. I had discovered by introspection (and dreaming) years ago (during the Vietnam War) that, yes, if someone (a man in my imagination) broke into my home (at the time in San Jose, California), I would be fully capable (morally if not physically) of killing him to defend my wife, my children, myself, our home. Violence, given the “right circumstances,” lies just beneath the surface of myself...and of you?

Copyright © 2017 by Moristotle


  1. Without question. I have never been a scrapper, but in a few circumstances I have reacted with violence that even surprised me. Some people get into fights almost as if it was entertainment, and I am convinced for some it is. But for the average person I think it lurks somewhere between fear and outrage.

  2. At the Musée D’Orsay on Friday, my wife, daughter, and I crowded onto an elevator with a young couple, their two children, & their stroller, to take us up to the Impressionists, and a man behind us kept pressing the call button to prevent the door from closing, all the while insisting that we let him on. “The children don’t weigh much, it’s a matter of weight!” he said at one point. The young father, to my surprise & chagrin, raised his voice & got into a shouting match with the intruder. Fine for him, but the intruder was pushing up against ME. I tried to step off to let the man take my place, but the young father grabbed my arm to prevent me. Only when he got his phone out & announced he was calling the police did the intruder stop pressing the button & let us ascend.

  3. I don't think you would want to print what I would have Said!!!!

    1. But do, PLEASE, tell us what that would have been!