Written and read by Alex B. Fine
Keyboards by Ben Ellis
I was having a bad dream when Ben Carson woke me up.
I opened my eyes and I was disoriented in the bed and Ben Carson was holding my hand. I reached over to turn on the lamp but Ben Carson used his other hand to gently press me back into the pillow and then he brought his long gentleman’s finger to his lips and said, “Shh. Put your hand over your heart while I hum the national anthem.”
And he began to hum.
I regretted trying to turn on the lamp and the emotional distance it put between Ben Carson and me was great and I said, “Mr. Carson, my high school was nearly 30% African American so I actually feel very comfortable right now.” He smiled and nodded calmly as if to say, “Hang on a second, I’m humming the national anthem.”
When he finished he looked right at me and he narrowed his eyes kindly and and he said “Now let’s hear about this dream I’m a dream expert.”
And I said “Mr. Carson in my dream I was up deep in a forest on a long black night and in the forest I came upon a great double-wide and peering in through the window I could see in the double-wide a multitude of thieves and criminals.”
And Mr. Carson nodded slowly and raised his eyebrows and said “Drug dealers I bet.” And I said “Yes sir Mr. Carson they were growing dope in the crispers of their refrigerators.
“And seeing the thieves and their crispers I set out from that place and wandered in the forest for three days and I grew very tired. And I emerged from the forest into a great plain and in the plain I came upon a copse of sycamores and I rested there and ate vegetable beef soup and fell into a deep sleep.”
Mr. Carson patted me gently on my shin like a beloved football coach visiting a paralyzed football player in his hospital bed and he said “This is quite a dream,” and gave a knowing wry grin and I said, “yes sir Mr. Carson there aren’t many dreams like this and I just want to say you have a soothing bedside manner.”
Ben Carson couldn’t help but laugh at my candor. “Keep going, son”, he said. And I said “Mr. Carson in my dream I ate vegetable beef soup in a great copse of sycamores but when I awoke I found myself transported to the hall of the one true mountain king and there the king gave me my quest.
“And my quest was to rip a nalgene bottle in half with my bare hands.
“I left the hall of the mountain king and was pursued by quick small monsters with sad eyes and fell into a ravine knowing I’d failed my one true king and that’s when you woke me up Mr. Carson.”
The pale glow of the streetlamp outside my apartment complex illuminated the flecks of gray in Ben Carson’s goatee and even in his silence he was articulate and he took a deep breath and loosened his tie and then he looked at me benevolently.
I said “Mr. Carson set my mind to rest. My mind’s not at rest.”
Ben Carson said “Bring your mind to me and I’ll set it to rest for you.”
And I said “Mr. Carson I’ve looked all over for my mind but I can’t find it.”
And Mr. Carson smiled and you could tell he’d been to medical school and he said, “There. I’ve set your mind to rest.”