4th September

Bob Dylan's 119th Dream

I was riding on a Greyhound bus, seeking some place to hide. I slept and when I woke there was a stranger by my side. He said, ‘We have not met before, but now we meet at last.’ He smiled and shook my hand, and he held it tightly in his grasp.

He said, ‘I see your fortune here, along this crooked line. I don’t wish to alarm you, but it’s the same as mine.’ I stared into his sullen eyes, they were dark and full of hate. I answered, ‘I have no desire to understand my fate.

‘I bought a ticket to a place where I might ease my heart, and when I reach that sanctuary then we must surely part.’ ‘This highway we are travelling,’ he said without a blink, ‘goes straight to Armageddon, whatever you may think.

‘But if you don’t believe me, just take a look around. There is not one among us who for sanctuary is bound.’ I looked at my companions, and I began to quake. I thought I must be dreaming still, but I could not awake.

The bus was full of skeletons, no flesh upon their bones, and all of them were deep in conversation on their phones. Some of them had cutlasses, while others they had guns, and they were not equipped with them for fashion or for fun.

‘What deathly crew is this,’ I said, ‘riding upon this bus?’ ‘Check out your reflection,’ he said. ‘They are the same as us.’ The night had fallen on the plain, as black as night can be. I saw a skull with empty eyes staring back at me.

I turned to face the stranger. ‘Now let me pass,’ I cried. ‘Do not concern yourself,’ he said, as he kindly stepped aside. I went up to the driver. ‘Please put me down,’ I said. But the driver made no answer – he had a bullet in his head.

When I found my seat once more, the stranger he was gone. I did not sleep again that night, waiting for the dawn. Faraway a mountain loomed, a dark and gloomy shape. If it was my sanctuary, then how could I escape?

Reader: Matthew Zajac
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Harmonium: Kit Downes
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