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'What’s the deal?
Asked that nice bloke Joey.
To his cold stringy piece of veal.

Without time to say a word.
The veal was eaten whole.
Just like the time I ate my pet bird.

When Joey swallowed his food.
That cold raw smelly piece of veal.
He made a burp, t'was quite rude.

Quick to catch his own mistake
Joey apologized profusely,
Then went a long thin round piece of steak.

When he was done, in his chair did he stay.
Full and tired,
he promised to be back another day.

The waiter, shocked, just said 'good lord'.
Just smiled at him,
and asked if he enjoyed eating the electric cord.

I am standing at the edge of Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida. I am reminded of when I was often there, during the difficult months of the late summer and early fall of 1999. I see this man I met there one afternoon. He is a young black man who wore a very nice but extremely outdated suit. At the time he told me about the great deal he got on the suit at a thrift store. He had a small suitcase full of items he was attempting to sell by walking up to people and offering them what he thought they might be interested in. For some reason he decided I would be interested in a number of rune stones he had. "They might be of use to you in the work you do."

"I'm working as the office manager for a temporary employment agency," I told him at the time.

In the dream he does not approach me or try to sell me any of his wares. He is sitting on a bench with a guitar, playing a song. The only words I can make out are the chorus, which he sings loudly and with great emphasis.

"You don't understand, no, you don't understand, you don't understand the man."

There is a group of people affiliated with some kind of religious organization. They are here doing some kind of charitable work according to the brochure they hand me. There are a number of teenagers led by two very sour faced adults. I hear the adults speaking to the teenagers. They appear to be reciting a list of things the teenagers must not do, using people they run across in the park as examples. Although they are apparently here on some kind of charitable mission, they are making quick and hasty judgments about everyone they meet. Everyone is a "sinner" or a "child of the devil." It becomes clear to me that this mission they are on is not about helping people but about frightening the teenagers into obedience.

And in the background I hear the chorus being played loudly again: "You don't understand, no, you don't understand, you don't understand the man."

An avalanche of memories follow, in the form of a number of short scenes where I am walking through shopping malls, crowded city streets and other places with people I have met or known in my life. In every scene the words of my companions are filled with venom. The people we encounter are greeted with disdain and hatred. A homeless man asking for spare change: "Useless drunk who ought to be shot." An extremely overweight woman eating an ice cream sundae: "Fat moron ought to be forced to go on a diet." The list goes on.

And then I see the man with the outdated suit and the guitar sitting on a bench in the food court of the mall: "You don't understand, no, you don't understand, you don't understand the man."

I then find myself locked in a very small prison cell along with the guitar-playing man I've somehow come to call "The Windwalker." The cell contains nothing but a toilet and two meager cots, which are covered with maggots and other insects. The room is filled with flies and there is a stench that induces constant nausea.

"I would die for you," The Windwalker tells me. "Would you do the same for me?"

I do not answer. I stand silent at the bars, looking out into darkness.

And I hear his song in my head. "You don't understand, no, you don't understand, you don't understand the man."

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