Dream Sequence Part II… Biking the Beltway … a Grandpa Tale

12 Feb

I recently completed a post about an extended hospital stay I had.  In that post I spoke in passing of some exceptionally vivid dreams I had during my hospitalization. I also teased that I would write about them.  I was called out, and I completed the first a couple of weeks ago, entitled “Dream Sequences” where I recalled a very vivid and reoccurring dream I had about the Hospital actually being the Starship Enterprise, and my desire to find the crew and the guts of the ship which I was sure were hidden behind one of the 1,000’s of hospital doors.

The second series of dreams I had involved myself and 2 very dear friends Terry and Gary.  This series of dreams included bicycling around the “Beltway” surrounding the Washington DC.  This is the dream I am going to share today with you.

Please understand these dreams only lasted a week or so, and they took place during the darkest period of my hospital stay.  Clearly the dreams came as a direct result of the drugs I was being given to keep me alive, and if for no other reason I appreciate both the drugs and the dreams.

While I had a very real mission in my Star Trek dreams, in the Beltway dreams, it was all about getting together with my 2 very very good friends.  I worked with these guys for over 20 years and we have been friends for over 30 years.  They are also 2 of my golfing/drinking buddies.  Terry at the time of the dream was about 75 and Gary was about 68.  Sidebar remark, while I was in the hospital either Terry or Gary would call the nurses station to get a status report.  The 1st time one of them called the nurse would not share any information, from that night forward they would call and state that this was his brother Terry or Brother Gary (who lived out of state).  The nurses from that point forward, when they called, they were given complete updates on my condition.  It probably helped that my wife had told the nurses that my brothers would be calling from time to time for updates, and it was okay to share the info.               

Without further foot dragging, on to the Beltway Dream.  It was during my stay at Brandon Regional Hospital in 2008, that Terry visited and suggested that we leave the hospital, and go visit Gary.  Well maybe he just came to the room said he was going to walk me around a bit (getting my daily exercise) but we ended up leaving the hospital.   But the hospital we left was not Brandon Regional, as we transitioned thru the front doors of the hospital (in Brandon) it became Fairfax General, in Fairfax VA,   you could read the name on the marquee, as well as the sign announcing the entrance from the street.  Once outside Terry said we had to meet Gary at his place. 

I asked Terry, “Why, what’s going on.”

To which Terry said, “Don’t know we just have to be at Gary’s!”

I said “great, where’s your car?”

Terry said “Don’t have a car, but I do have a bicycle”

I said, “Okay let’s go!” 

Without even thinking, I took the seat, and Terry sat on the handle bars.  The bike had those cool butterfly handle bars, and Terry fit perfectly (all 6 feet & 200 lbs).  So visualize an Old Fart sitting between the handle bars of a bicycle with his feet on the front wheel axle.  And an almost old fart in a hospital gown securely tied (no butt flashing this time), pedaling out of the hospital parking lot. It had to be spring time because neither of us was cold. I pedaled the bike and Terry and I chatted about a variety of things, just as if we were riding in a car together.  It was amazing because the speed limit on Gallows Rd was 45 and I was staying with traffic, even pushing the car ahead of me, all along without even breaking a sweat.   Terry and I took the entrance ramp to the 495 East (beltway) and easily merged into early evening traffic (remember I am pedaling a bike {and it isn’t a 10 speed}).  Terry and I are cruising along at speed (on the bike), at approximate 65 mph (we stayed in the right lane), gown flapping (butt not showing) in the wind, and Terry and I just chatting away. When traffic starts to bogs down and we move to the left passing slower traffic.  Still chatting away, not having a care in the world.  We are maintaining proper spacing between vehicles, and rapidly progress to our exit (Van Dorn), but because I am stuck in the far left lane, we cannot cross 4 lanes of traffic to get off at our exit, we are required to proceed to Telegraph Road (2 miles further East past Van Dorn), exit 495 and reenter going West.

It gets strange now (like it wasn’t before), because as soon as we reenter 495 West (Beltway), we are in the throes of a massive snow storm. We have approximately 2 miles to Van Dorn, and we (I) are pedaling against 40 mph winds in a blinding snow fall.  I can barely maintain control of the bike as we continue our trek to Van Dorn.  Luckily for me Terry is acting as a shield, keeping a lot of the wind off me. But riding a bike on snow in 40 mph winds is a real trick especially when you have 200 lbs. of Old Fart in front of you.

We finally arrive at Van Dorn, I have snow crusted on my eyebrows and kneecaps, Terry is freezing his ass off, and we have to walk the bike up the hill at Van Dorn.  The storm was getting worst, and we say F#$^OI It!!! and stop at the Comfort Inn on Van Dorn.

We walk into the Lobby (bringing our trusty bike out of the storm) and immediately go and stand in front of the fire, and take the chill off.  Terry and I both notice that the Hotel is extremely not busy given the circumstances.  So not busy, we are the only people there.  Not a soul is around including staff, we have the place to ourselves, we.

We find a phone and call Gary, told him we couldn’t make that last mile, and we were stuck at the Comfort Inn. Gary says, “Don’t worry, I will grab a couple of cases of beer and be right down.”

Shortly Gary arrived at the Hotel.  But when he started to enter the hotel, the doors disappeared, and became a solid sheet of glass.   Also the storm continues to rage, and now there is almost 2 foot of snow packed against where the door should be.  Terry looks forlornly at the beer Gary is carrying and begins to rush around looking for an entrance.  Terry needs his beer LOL LOL.  Finally Gary screams for us to go sit at the fire, and he would figure a way in.

Gray traipses around the hotel 2 times, and finally finds a service entrance buried under 4 feet of snow.  Undeterred Gary digs thru the snow and emerges in the Lobby beer in hand.  The three of us gather at the fire, pop open some beer and chat, talking about our experiences that day. But none of us finding it (even the tiniest bit) strange that there is 4 foot of snow in the Washington DC area in late spring, or finding a Comfort Inn at a busy intersection to be abandoned, but with a nice warming fire and no doors, or pedaling around the Beltway (495) on a bike built for one (with 2 riders) at 65 mph. Or how strange that Gary can walk a mile in 4 foot of snow carrying 2 cases of beer, (without being wet or cold) and him only being 5’5 at best.  We chat like the old friends we are.  That was the normal part.

Folks, this ends my dream sequence posts.  During that dark period, these dreams came and went for about a week or so.  But sitting here typing them out, they are as real in my mind as the nights I had them.  I have never had any such vivid dreams since this period, and none that I can remember to this level of detail.

If you have any questions concerns comments please feel free to ask, I will do the best I can to answer honestly.  No I don’t remember what drugs I was on at the time of these dreams LOL. 

Thank you for indulging me as I share these dreams with you.  Please take care, Bill


Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

26 responses to “Dream Sequence Part II… Biking the Beltway … a Grandpa Tale

  1. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    February 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Love that they phoned and said they were family. Nothing like good friends. Glad you’re mine! And, so happy you’re home.

    • FlaHam

      February 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Paulette, Terry and Gary are indeed very good friends, and I am extremely lucky to have them. Love our conversation this evening, I truly love chatting with you, and I am blessed to have your friendship. Take care, Bill

  2. Clanmother

    February 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Dreams have a mind of their own…. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Yours confirm that you have a wonderful friendship with your two buddies!

    • FlaHam

      February 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Clan, Smiling, dreams do, and Yes I have wonderful friends, both in real time and cyber realtime. They are equally important to me. Take care, Bill

  3. jmgoyder

    February 13, 2014 at 1:49 am

    This is fascinating!

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Julie, LOL, nothing like a good ole drug induced dream to get you started HUH ??? LOL I haven’t had a dream anywhere close to these 2 dreams since I left the hospital, and that’s okay. Take care, Bill

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Julie, I am glad you enjoyed my trip, maybe next time you can ride on the handle bars??? take care, Bill

  4. Clowie

    February 13, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I’m not going to ask how you could pedal a bike at 65 mph and still have enough breath left to hold a conversation. But I do have to ask – how could you see where you were going with a 6ft man sitting on the handlebars!?

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Clowie, It was quite simple, Terry acted as my eyes, and smiling, and sometimes I would left or right depending how much I trusted his eyes. BTW Terry’s nickname is Mr. Magoo !!I did a lot of leaning. Take care, Biped Bill

  5. livingwithshadows

    February 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hey Bill that was a fun read! i could picture the two of you speeding along on the bike, so glad your butt was covered! hahaha!

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Living, LMBO, I am so glad you enjoyed the post, and I am as glad as you that my butt wasn’t exposed in this dream. Take care, Bill

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Living, it appears that my effort to send directly back to you failed, hopefully this works. Take care, Bill ____________________________________

      • livingwithshadows

        February 15, 2014 at 4:04 am

        i got your reply 🙂 i see you were covering your butt in a different way with your second message! lol! you know they say it’s possible that other people take part in our dreams, that someone on the other side of the world could be taking a role in your dream! can you imagine how freaked out participants in that dream would be! and i bet whoever was driving a car behind you was glad for that special non-open backed hospital gown!

        • FlaHam

          February 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

          Shelley, I truly pity the individual that shares my dreams, a nearby driver, or a hospital worker lurking in a corner. And how does one explain that an old fart on a bike passes him on the beltway around DC. Even sharing a couple of beers telling the story doesn’t sound like fun. Yes then the real horror, seeing my butt, that poor person would suffer a life changing event LOL LOL. Good thing I don’t need or use those drugs anymore. Take care, Bill

  6. kanzensakura

    February 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    How are you doing?

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Kanzen, Thank you for asking, I am doing well thank you, I will be on additional medications for 10 days post hospitalization. Still coughing, still short of breath, but I am home. And that makes a huge difference. Please take care, Bill

  7. benzeknees

    February 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I had a super vivid dream the other night (it may have been influenced by my concern over your health). I was in a very strange, very old-fashioned hospital I was totally unfamiliar with. I was supposed to be “in” the hospital as a patient but I kept wandering around, looking for a bathroom & getting lost. I would finally find my bed again in a large ward, but they were constantly re-arranging the ward by moving the beds/bedside tables/equipment around. Even though most of the people in the ward were suffering from lung diseases – most of us were smoking. (I awoke from the dream with a strong craving for a cigarette & I quit more than 2 years ago). Every time I had to go to the bathroom which seemed to be very often, I would search for the bathroom I had found the last time & it would have been moved, so I would have to find another one. And every time I returned to the ward, the ward would be changed. It was a very strange dream!
    Glad you are back home & on the mend! You have been missed!

    • FlaHam

      February 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Benze, That is so sweet, that you dream of me and my recovery. Thank you. From the recounting of your dream, we may have gotten some of the same drugs LOL LOL. It is well that neither of us analysis dreams, we most likely would both be poor. I can say I don’t ever remember having a dream were I was smoking again. It took me forever to quit, and I know if I light one cigarette tonight by the end of the weekend I would over 2 packs. I really don’t miss them at all, and its been years since I have a craving. Hang in there NO smoking for you. Take care Bill

      • benzeknees

        February 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        I quit quite suddenly due to pneumonia I do still get cravings for a cigarette from time to time, but nothing I can’t handle. The other day I could have sworn someone in the near vicinity was smoking Borkhum Riff pipe tobacco! It helps my hubby quit about 5 years before me. No Bill – no smoking for me! Happy Valentine’s Day!

        • FlaHam

          February 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

          Laughing I quit smoking when it became a not issue in my relationship with my wife. Once she said of fuck it!!, kiill your fucking self with those cigarettes, that was the push I needed to get off my ass and stop. As much of a crutch smoking was during that parf of my life I am surprised mentally I haven’t reahed back for it in times of stress. Well more power to both of us for being smoke free.

          Take care, Bill

          • benzeknees

            February 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

            Bill, I quit with 2 full packs of cigarettes in the house – they are still in my dresser drawer. For me, it was part of making it easier for me to quit, knowing I had a cigarette on hand if I really needed it. I rarely use this particular dresser drawer, so when I open it & find cigarettes in there, it’s sometimes a bit of a shock!
            I remember before hubby quit, he was hacking & hacking all the time. When he made his decision to quit & was struggling one day I told him now he made me fall in love with him – it would be selfish on his part to up & die on me, I’d rather he hung around for a few more years!

            • FlaHam

              February 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm

              Benze, I didn’t have a cigarette with a block of me when I quit, I needed to avoid the temptation. But by day 3 I was out drinking with a friend (and heavy smoker), in a bar filled with smoke, and I knew I would never smoke again. I really think the secret is all mental, if you have finally made your mind up, you just won’t smoke. The true support of spouse or significant other plays a key role as well, and clearly you and your husband worked together. Take care, Bill

  8. Wanda

    February 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Do Terry and Gary read your blog? If not, have you shared this story with them? I’m sure they would have a bit laugh over these very nigh unto impossible antics. Still, it is fun to think about the possibilities, isn’t it?

    Glad you’re home, and hopefully feeling better day by day.

    • FlaHam

      February 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Wanda, Terry, Gary and I have shared many a story about my hospitalization, and yes they are both completely aware of the dream, and their roles in it. Even today we will still giggle about it. I am trying to rest, sometimes I do better than others LOL. But I do it slower LOL. Take care, Bill


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