Jacob’s Dream, ch. 4b

Jacob did not immediately respond. The events has somewhat stunned him.

He looked at the two rockers, knowing he should say something more than just, “Be careful in these aisles guys.” But that was all that came out.

Walking back to the stock room, he felt the jitteriness of fear, with worry seeping into him, wondering if Jimmy was crazy enough to kill him. Jacob felt that everything was somehow melding into an odd connection – the dream, Mark, Jimmy.

What was going on?

His phone vibrated in his pocket, and he pulled it out, seeing that it was Anna, and he answered.

“Hey,” Jacob said, without his usual addition of some sugar-stick moniker like “babe” or “gorgeous”.

“Hey baby,” came the sweetness of the familiar voice on the other end. “You ok?”

“Um, actually, not really.”

“What’s wrong,” Anna said, with surprise, and concern.

“Well, it’s kind of a long story,” Jacob said, conveying his intention to tell Anna later. But, then, he vomited the words out, “Apparently, Mark has been hiding a gambling problem and is like thirty freaking grand in debt.” Jacob was pacing the stock room, holding the phone with one hand, and motioning with the other. “Amy doesn’t know yet, no one does, except me and now you. I made him call her, and he left her a message. We might have to watch their girls tonight, and I think someone might want to kill me now. It’s a—”

“Ok, wait, someone wants to kill you? What?”

“Oh, I mean, not really, I don’t think, you know Jimmy, the homeless guy who hangs around here? He just got pissed off today. That’s not as big a—”

“And you said what about Mark? A gambling debt?”

Jacob quickly recapitulated the conversation he and Mark had had over lunch.

“Wow,” Anna said, “That’s really bad.”

“Yeah,” said Jacob. “Maybe my dream did mean something after all.”

Then, momentous silence, which passed in a duplicitous way of certain and uncertain circumstances of the foreseen and unforeseeable events ahead, Anna and Jacob both knowing and not knowing, together, in the silence between them sent across invisible airwaves and transferred to each other by plastic phones’ speakers.

“So what are you going to do baby?” Anna asked with that genuineness of uncertainty she could have. It heavied the weight Jacob already felt, and he resented it, because it was reminding him of what he was trying to ignore.

“I don’t know,” Jacob answered breathing irritation and sarcasm. “I was thinking maybe I could collect aluminum cans to help pay it off.” And then he laughed with regretful intention, hoping that Anna might think he had been joking as a coping mechanism, and not just out of pure irritation. She knew better, and she was patient with Jacob, so she responded with another silence, this one unapproving and longsuffering. Jacob knew by silence that Anna knew – that Jacob knew only the uncertainty which any man like Jacob would feel in Jacob’s situation.

“Hey… I’m sorry,” Jacob said. “I just really have no freaking clue what I should do babe, and you asked me and it annoyed me, because I don’t know, not that it should have bugged me, but, well…you know, and…I mean…” Jacob out-breathed with purposeful intention, “I’m sorry.”

“Babe,” Anna said, intonating forgiveness, “I know this is hard and probably will be hard. But,” she continued, “You know it’s not an accident you’re in the position you’re in.”

“I know, babe. And I think that’s what scares me. And it’s kind of exciting, in a sick kind of way, like, I have to rise to the occasion. I don’t know, babe, everything’s all jumbled freaking up. I’m excited and scared, and in the middle of all it I start thinking about that stupid dream. I mean, Mark was falling dead in my dream, like it was a sign or something, and now, it’s all gotten so—”

“Babe—” Anna tried to interject.

“—big and messed up,” Jacob continued, “and suddenly I’m some sort of—” Jacob then stopped, realizing Anna had said something. “Sorry, what were you trying to say?”

“You can only do what you can do. Please stop worrying so much. And I’ve really got to go, but let me pray for you real quick, ok?”

Jacob nodded, then, realizing that would not transfer through air waves and the speakers of plastic phones, said, “Ok.”

Recounting a true prayer is a difficult task. I don’t think I could portray what Anna prayed for Jacob. It is not (of course) that I am not able to write out the words. But that would convey no sense of the urgency and the Spiritual movement in those moments and those words, when there is a communion of triune interaction between a child and a Father. When there is an intercession of unspeakable depths, and a hearing made from shredded flesh and gushing blood.

So, then, I’ll hope that you have an idea of what I cannot convey, when I say: Anna prayed for Jacob.

Then they each said “I love you,” and snapped shut their phones.

And Jacob stood in the midst of boxed guitars and distortion pedals, silently, holding his phone, clutched, immobile for moments, staring.

“Hey, uh, Jacob,” said Scott, having frantically swung the upper-half of his body around the door frame, interrupting Jacob’s malaise. “We really need you back out here man. It’s, uh… well… man just, could you please come out here.” And he swung himself back out of the doorway.

Jacob, not thinking, expected nothing in particular. But even after the day’s events, what he saw out toward the front of the store would surprise him.


About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
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4 Responses to Jacob’s Dream, ch. 4b

  1. Ben says:

    Interesting story … a cliffhanger! I think your use of freaking, though potentially accurate, is kind of off-putting. Are you intending to convey some meaning by using that word? (that is, are you trying to say something about his character by using it). If so, I think there’s a very small audience that will understand why you’re doing it. To me, it sounds like the same thing that people are doing when they use that word in real life (you’re afraid to use the real F word in your story, but you’re trying to illustrate a hip and real character, so you kind of end up doing it halfway).

  2. dslavich says:

    I appreciate your thoughtful interaction. I admit — I am for this story unwilling to use certain types of language, but for Jacob it (“freaking”) is not an evasive tactic. I actually picture him saying it, but you might be right in saying that many people would not understand it. Perhaps it is gratuitous.

    Thanks for the thoughts. I honestly do appreciate criticism.

  3. Ben says:

    I don’t know if it’s gratuitous, but there something that doesn’t quite ring true, from my perspective. I know folks that talk like that, but it isn’t exactly like that either. It’s a small issue though, in an otherwise interesting and descriptive story.


    Faith in God is believing that God is and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Faith in God boils down to just one thing, will you trust Him in life’s greatest trials? Paul the Apostle was a prisoner on a ship, when a great storm arose. The ship was in great danger of sinking, but God spoke to Paul by an angel who told him that if they all stayed in the ship it would not sink, and they would all be saved.

    What trust this took, how many of us would have tried some other way, maybe by swimming, or clinging to some piece of old wood. Paul’s words of faith and trust in God brought them all to safety, but the ship was lost. Dear Saints, when the wind blows and the storms of life crashes against you, hold on tight to God’s promises and rest in His peace, for He said, “ I am mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea”, {Psalm 93 v 4}. Jesus was in a boat in lake Galilee when a great storm arose, yes He was fast asleep, but His disciples were in great panic and distress.

    How could Jesus sleep through such a storm? Because He totally trusted His Heavenly Father. In great panic His disciples shook Him and woke Him up, and said “don’t you care if we perish? ”Jesus replied,” “Where is your faith?” And He gave a command for the storm to cease. And if you put your total unwavering trust in Him, He will command that storm in your life to cease. So, trust your heavenly Father as Jesus did, and be at peace in the storms of life, for it is written, “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on thee, trust ye in the Lord forever for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength”, {Isaiah 26 v 3& 4}.


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