by Thomas Davis
I woke with his face still in my head, a handsome young man who looked something like the oil drilling roustabout who had lived next to my parent’s house when I was a kid rough around the edges with startling blue eyes. When he spoke, though, his voice was like the classical music on vinyl records I bought as a teenager when I wasn’t listening to Simon and Garfunkel or a country and western star my parents really liked. “He won’t be like most people expect,” he’d said in the dream. “He’ll come out of a tower as opulent, and filled with human hubris, as the Tower of Babel, shining even when no sun is in the sky, and when he speaks, great throngs will gather even though pestilence is raging, and their shouting and adulation will stir winds spreading disease and fan it into the most remote parts of the land. “He won’t drive around in a beat up, old pickup like many of his followers, but will sail in a huge, black limousine fancier than most people’s houses, and he’ll use grievance and insult to stir masses that march to Sunday church where they worship a humble man, who championed the poor and downtrodden and said fat cats had as much chance getting into heaven as a rich man had of getting a camel through a needle’s eye. “And as pestilence spreads and poverty grows out of pestilence, dissension and intolerance will enter into people’s spirits, and chaos will churn into an earth beset by destructive storms, floods, droughts, and great forests burning, spawning tornadoes of flames, disasters creating wailing and despair even as the ocean rises and voices speaking prophetic warnings can barely be heard above endless tumult. “O, he won’t be dressed in red or have horns or a pointed tail. He’ll wear expensive suits and act like a common man with a whirlwind voice singing resentment and anger and the exquisite joys and promise of human greed.” As I woke up the man, looking nothing like an angel, smiled, and I felt disoriented, wondering if I was waking up, or was trapped, somehow, in a continuing dream’s fog.