In my dream, Mayoral Candidate Sam Yoon walks into the New Store on the Block (847 Dorchester Avenue). He's buying a bag of pork rinds, a bottle of Mountain Dew and a pack of honey-berry flavored Backwoods cigars.
The guy behind the counter says, "Scrubby! I thought you gave up on vices. You know this stuff's no good for you." In my dream everyone calls Candidate Yoon 'Scrubby.' I have no idea why but he doesn't seem to mind.
Yoon pulls out a cigar and puts it in his mouth. "I'm a politician now," he growls around the butt end, "I live large, a man of the people. I enjoy blowing good smoke and I like to nosh on pork products, the more deep-fried the better." He lights up his cheroot indoors and, this being Massachusetts, I realize this is only a dream. Yoon seems puffed up, taller than he appears in photographs. He grins like a buffoon and there's a hint of malicious twinkle in his eyes. He pays the counterman with corroded pennies that he counts out twice before handing them over.
I'm next in line, holding a twenty-five cent box of Boston Baked Beans. As Candidate Yoon turns to make his way out of the store, he bumps into me. "Sorry about that, sport!" he exclaims. "I've got my eye on the election so I didn't see you there. Going to vote for me?" he asks.
I reply that I'm undecided. "I'm sure you'll make the right choice when the day comes," he says and he slaps me on the back so hard he knocks the wind out of me. I am deflated by his enthusiasm. "Now excuse me, gents. I'm headed over to Eagle Liquors to pick up a liter of eye-opener to go with my Mountain Dew."
"Hold on Scrubby," the guy behind the counter says. "Something's wrong with you. You're not yourself. Keep this up and you'll turn into this!" The guy hands Yoon a photograph and Yoon's face drains of color. He looks like he's seen Marley's ghost. Chagrined, he hands the photo back face down.
He says, "Can I buy a comb?" and he offers up a crisp dollar. When the purchase is complete, Candidate Yoon combs his hair. He tucks in his shirt. He puts down his pork rinds, his Mountain Dew and his cigars. "You can keep these," he says, "I think I'll just be myself. Being a politician can do horrible things to a man."
As Candidate Yoon leaves the store, I call out to him. "I hope you win, Scrubby," I say.
Is it only a dream?