Dream diary: Pickers, Picklers or Pinglers?

I walked into a, I would call it a ‘truck dump office’. I’m not sure if a lot of people would understand what that means. It’s not like an office building office. It’s a cinderblock and corrugated metal shack that is covered in many layers of filth. It had a queue of surly truck drivers and one raised desk like a courtroom judge for the clerk. Things were sort of dystopian. I recognized a truck driver, who I knew from my previous job. In real life, he had the laborious task of delivering our freight one pallet at time, dragging it through the labyrinthine bowels of the Mall of America and was the first person to call me, Loll. I’ll refer to him as Dean.

In my dream, he was now hauling grain instead. I called out to him and he was glad to see me, but he didn’t think this was a safe place for me to be alone. He took me under his wing and invited me along on his run. I had no idea what I was doing or how I got there so what else was I going to do. He was covered head to toe in ash or dust. His hi-viz jacket was gray, mine (in real life and dream world) was dingy, but compared to him it looked brand new and I felt really out of place. We cut out of line, because Dean was a regular. He gave his load slip to the clerk at the desk and we were going to head out to the truck to get it loaded. The clerk yelled for him to wait. The ‘Pickers’ had left Dean a gift, the man said.

The pickers were wild, dirty orphans that collect trash and try to sell it. Apparently, Dean gave them a lot of candy and spare change, so they really liked him. Dean took the package and unwrapped the old newspapers to reveal a ceramic mask that covered only the lower half of his face and it had a big, bulbous nose on it. He laughed when he saw it. One of the boys ran up, he patted him on the head and said thank you. The boy left his siblings and came along with us as we walked outside. Some other slightly older kid shouted that the ‘Picklers’ had a message. This referred to a group of other children that lived in an actual orphanage that all had ice blue eyes. They were pale and had scarves wrapped around their heads. They spoke telepathically to a normal kid that acted as their spokesperson. The older boy told my companion that the Picklers said his mother was a prostitute and that his sister would end up being one too. The spokes-boy used obscener language and I’m paraphrasing. The boy frowned, but held back any retort and tears. After I took him away from the creepy blue-eyed psychics, I asked him if people were saying ‘Pickers’ or ‘Picklers’ and he replies in a cockney accent, “No, I’m a Pingla.”

“A Pingler?”

“Thot’s wot I said, dint I?”

Things get hazy again after that. I still have no idea if the children were all referred to as pickers, picklers, or pinglers. Perhaps the words were for different types of orphan children. We’ll never know.

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