I walked into a room so white it was almost blinding. There were no walls, no ceiling, I could barely tell if I was walking on the ground or on air as I stepped through the doorway. So, I guess a better way to describe it would be to say that I walked into a white canvass of nothingness. As I stepped though the threshold, I looked back, the door disappeared.
I began to panic until I turned back around and saw a brown, wooden stool. On top of that stool was a jar of whole dill pickles. It had been years since I had eaten one. I used to eat them all the time as a kid. Unfortunately, my wife hates them though, so when she shops, she never gets them. So, unless they are sliced and on a burger from a fast-food restaurant, I never eat them. My mouth began to water as I remembered their pure, vinegary goodness.
I cautiously walked to the stool and picked up the jar. I shook it and saw them jiggle inside. There had to be at least twenty pickles in there ready for consumption. There was no one there to claim them so I would claim them as mine.
I tried to twist the top of the jar but couldn’t keep my grip. My fingers just slid around the lid. I put the jar down and wiped my hands off on my pants. I picked the jar up and attempted to open it once again. My fingers still slipped. I figured the grease off my fingers must be on the lid now so I had another idea. I lifted my shirt and wrapped it around the lid so I could get a better grip. This was to no avail. The lid wouldn’t budge. I was slightly frustrated but I’m no idiot. I knew I could figure out a way to pop the lid off.
I took my time and examined the jar. I paid close attention to the shape of the glass, the ridges on the edge of the lid. May be if I had a large pair of pliers, I could twist if off. I was in the middle of this deep, analytical thought of all the different tools I could use that I had no access to, when I remembered my mother would wrap a pickle up in a paper towel and hand it to me. It was so hard to keep the juice from squirting out of the sides of my mouth as I bit down but every bite was worth the mess. There wasn’t a day as a child I wouldn’t take a fresh pickle over a bowl of ice cream or cake.
I tried again to open the jar of pickles in the exact manner as I did the way before. First, with my bare hands then, with my shirt. Still nothing. I set it down and thought out loud. “How do I open this jar of pickles?”
My mind was blank as far as ideas so I desperately I prayed, “C’mon God. This isn’t funny.” Then, I closed my eyes, bowed my head and took a deep breath, then with sincerity asked, “Please help this jar of pickles open. I’m pretty hungry. I swear if you open it, I’ll do anything you want me to do.” I opened my eyes and raised my head. I slowly started scanning from the bottom of the jar to the lid to see if my prayer had any effect. Nothing.
Determined, I knelt in front of the stool and started to speak to the jar. “Ok you piece of shit. You’re a jar of pickles, a mutant vegetable, an abomination to cucumbers. I’m a person, the alpha species on this planet, top of the food chain! Let me in! You were created to be eaten. I was created to eat you. I swear, if you don’t open, I’ll drop kick you across the...” I looked around puzzled, “This place!”
I seethed, staring at the jar of pickles intently. I did my best to imagine the lid coming off. Through my intense concentration I eventually calmed down. I closed my eyes and after just a couple of minutes I had convinced myself the jar was open. Through my excitement I tried to reach inside the jar. I jammed my fingers into the lid. This hurt so I jumped up and started cursing the pickle jar even worse than I did before.
After I was done with my fit of rage, I changed my tone. “I’m sorry. I’m just so hungry and those pickles look so good. I promise, I’ll do anything if you just open up.” I picked the jar up again and tried to turn the lid. It would not open.
“Please!” this time I was not talking to the pickle jar or to God. Instead, I cried out to anyone who would listen. “I need help with this jar!” No one replied. I almost cried but instead I felt a bitter hatred grow inside me.
“Son of a bitch!” I screamed to the top of my lungs. “I have had it with you.” I picked up the jar far above my head and slammed it onto the ground as hard as I could. The jar shattered. I could see the bits of glass mixed in with the pickles, but I did not care. I was hungry and I was going to eat. I picked them up and started to scarf them down. During my enjoyment I felt a sharp pain on the roof of my mouth. I knew it was glass, but I did not care because I had won. There was no amount of pain that could overcome the joy I felt in my heart.
I swallowed and felt the sharp pain move from the roof of my mouth the back of my throat. I could no longer breath. I started to cough. As I coughed, I saw bits of blood diluted with pickle juice stain the pure white floor. I started to put my fingers down my throat to retrieve the piece of glass when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Brent?” A voice said soft concern. Wait, I recognize that voice. It was my wife. It took a moment but eventually I woke from my nightmare and returned to reality. I was face down in my pillow. I rolled over a gasped for air. “Brent, are you ok?” My wife asked.
Panting and trying to catch my breath I replied with a grin, “Yea babe. I had another pickle dream. No big dill.”