Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Days When 911 Blocked My Number

A New One from the Unfinished Book:

On the state of
Love & Trust:

“The folks at 911 no longer honor my emergencies”
By M. Byron

Since about the age of three, I’ve experienced traumatic and reoccurring nightmares. And’ as far back as I can remember, one of the most frequently reoccurring happenings is being asleep and waking up-within a dream, still really asleep- and then being convinced I'm awake(within the dream, mind you). I momentarily relax only to have the nightmare be suddenly at the foot of my bed…standing next to me-behind me-or floating over me. Until recently, there was no cure except calling 911-because if you’re still actually in a dream & call 911 claiming you’re freaked out and just found a huge pile of dead bodies in you basement or something of the sort-—ten cop cars, an ambulance, state police, and a channel 7 news team don’t come roaring up your driveway to aid you—which, believe me--they definitely do if the dream is, in actuality over.

So after several incidents I received a letter from the township of Deerfield:

June 20, 1995
Re: misuse of village resources
To: Mr. Matt Byron/et. All residing
Although we respect the difficulty of appropriately dealing with mental illness within the confines of any home, we at the Village Hall-under approval of the Town Mayor and Board of public safety-in cooperation with the local Emergency Dispatch/911 Call Center, have temporarily banned incoming calls from your address at (please verify listing below) to the emergency call center.
2620 Wildwood Ln.
Deerfield, Ill

Regrettably, we feel that 100% of your calls to our 911 Center have been frivolous and with no merit, which is of course, an inexcusable misuse/abuse of our townships’ limited resources in terms of emergency response.
Please keep us posted of any advances with your illness; we would be happy to be able to safely restore your service.
Any questions or comments can be directed to:
H. Bhosley, rm. 204
Deerfield Village Hall/Police Department.

We apologize for any inconvenience,
and wish you a swift recovery.
Nancy Martino
Village Secretary

You could imagine how well that helped me sleep. So I started calling family, then friends. Few could handle the deep weirdness of my needs. Most stopped picking up. And still, twelve years after that horrid letter from a board of village demons, several therapists, medications, and true improvement, sometimes the nightmares get so bad I still need to call someone just to be certain I'm really awake…and no craziness Is about to go down.
I’m, for the most part, still pretty much asleep when I make these calls--as to compound the general may-lay of waking a friend up in the wee hours of the morning to discuss some new gore-ish imaginary nonsense I’ve just dreamed up: this time I awoke panting after 3 hours of Brazilian Hasish induced sleep. My imagination-or conscience-had taken me for a ride.
Luckily, a while back, I replaced the button on my bedroom phone-the one with the little blue police badge icon--the one set to dial the authorities at a single touch, with my friend Diego’s cell phone number. So I reached over and delivered a serious one-fingered jab to the new “911” button.
“Hello?” My friend D whispered as he, from a sound slumber, managed to answer my call.
Sounding frantic and terrified, “I’m so sorry man-I had the worst fucking dream…am I…am I up…HELLO!!....OH SHIT-D?!!..Hello?”
"D" had fallen back asleep momentarily.
I scream: “OH FUCK-I AM SO FUCKED!!” and that apparently woke my buddy on the other end of the phone up. He tries to settle me down.
“Oh yes, sir, uh buddy…you are awake-you’re ok…just relax, sir!”
Extremely relieved at my friends' alertness I breathe-still struggling to get the words out.
“Oh my god, D, it was fucking awful!” My friend let out an exhausted yawn.
“Was it that one with the fire again”?
“No,” I return, “It was a new one…there was this…this crazy train with…OH MY GOD! Are you sure I'm not still sleeping??”
Diego was naturally getting frustrated (I always insist I’m still asleep-but regardless-now poor D is up). Quite unfortunate for him. I'm not even kidding, any asshole may just assume “ well this guy's just a weirdo-what kind of person could get so twisted up over his own dreams?” But the last time I had woke up from a really bad one was only 2 weeks ago.
As usual, per such an incident, I wake up in know, freaking the fuck out, sweating, eyes wildly darting around my pitch black room-and after a minute or so I calm down.
“Whew” I think and feel, “At least I woke up from that one”.
I am grossly sweaty…sick. “I need water,” I think to myself in a haze. Damn-it! My water bottle was empty.
So I venture down the stairs for a cold glass of water, and to my horror-in my living room, there was a huge executive style black board room table, seating every serial killer and maniac I had ever heard of….and they were clearly outraged by my intrusion.
“Jeffrey Dahmer looked up at me with blood-shot eyes and said in hallow tone, “ LET’S KILL HIM THE WAY THEY KILLED ME”.(For those of you who don't know how Dahmer died you're probably better off).
Edward fish, who had before him a formal southern place setting-including a silver tea set-was ravenously dining on what appeared to be an amputated human arm. He dabbed the blood and grizzle from his white beard and adjusted the crucifix around his neck; “Now relax Jeffrey,” he said “...haste makes waste.” as he pulls out a hammer and begins to smash apart his own pointer finger on the table next to his dish. Blood was going everywhere.

I turn to run and slam straight into Charles Manson who slaps me-fucking hard-grabs me by the collar and screams, “ LOOK WHAT YOU’VE

DONE!!” and point outside to my back-porch, where Lori Dan (the freak school-ground killer from the 80’s) was summarily executing grade schoolers at point blank range with a .45 Chrome Plated Beretta…
Whew-so I’ll just stop there. But D knows this shit happens-and in light of it-I need firm god damned reassurance of my own consciousness!

“Listen up” D pleads, “ …just go down stairs, grab a pair of pruning shears, and lob off one of your thumbs. If it’s still gone in the morning you’ll know this call was real…besides that I just don’t know what to tell ya.” He continues, “ If this were a dream would I start bringing up how much time I’ve spent with all this shit…how much money you owe me and haven’t paid back a dime, except a jalapeño burger from Melrose Diner…and you still show up at my office demanding bottles of pills and cases of Nag Champa?” D seemed suddenly concerned with hurting my feeling. He said, jokingly: “but don’t worry sexy, you'll always be my special buddy….very special….” It was at this very point after comment that I considered I was still in some new nightmare.
“Alright,” I sharply interject, “I have no fucking idea what you just meant by that last part…but whatever”
“Oh, just relax for shits sake,” D shot back, “ I can say all kinds of crazy shit to you when you’re like this-and you never remember hardly any of it!”
“Oh really?”
“Oh yea man-I could tell you some awful shit like I’m into bestiality BIG TIME and even if I act sincere you’ll have no idea the conversation ever took place” he exclaimed.
“That’s fucking kinda crazy, bro..” I said, “ We’ll have to test this theory now.”
“Are you cool now? You gonna try to get some more shut eye, sir?” he asked.
“Ya, ya-thanks, buddy-I might not remember all the details, but I know in these situations you’re always a hero to me-thanks sir.”
“No worries-just get some sleep-you probably have 5 hours of commuting and a 10-hr. workday…or something like that, right?”
“Yea, for sure D-good night, man-I’ll give you a call tomorrow after work.”
“Sleep well, sir.” And he hung up.
Thank the powers that be for good friends.

I woke up for work several hours later. Before I left, I faxed this message to Diego’s home office:

“I would have called, but didn’t want to wake you twice in a 24-hr. period. Thanks for yr. services last night. The whole incident is hazy but a couple of things you said stuck out….just remember this you sick bastard: whatever happens-you stay away from my dog, animal fucker. My sweet Labrador, Bailey-- is one of the few “pure” friends I have left. Have a good one.


  1. C'mon, Joe--no jabs about James Joyce-esque post lengths? How about a recommendation for a therapist?? Nothing, man?!