California dreamin’

Dreams, as they say, open a window into your soul.

Gang graffiti on Linne Road. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press

Working in a newsroom, as I’ve discovered, opens a window into your id.

The recent rash of gang violence in Tracy over the past couple months has had commenters on our Web site freaking out, citizens concerned, police on the lookout and, in all honesty, Press staffers a little scared.

A few weeks ago, shortly after Tracy’s fifth homicide of the year — a suspected gang-related shooting that left a 21-year-old man dead — we started to have some funky dreams.

I vaguely remember the dream I had. I was walking out a convenience store (red flag #1) late at night (red flag #2) in what I believed to be south Tracy (red flag #3). For some reason, I didn’t have my car with me (#4) and had to walk across the street.

As I was walking, I recall hearing gunshots and I froze. I freaked out. My fight-or-flight response failed on me. I turned to look around only to find myself staring into the barrel of a pistol. A man in a dark shirt (I can’t remember the color) was holding it. That’s when I was jarred out of my sleep.

The next day, or sometime that week, I had to talk with Sgt. Tony Sheneman, the Tracy PD spokesman, about gang violence. For the first time, partially because of that dream, I was truly concerned about what police were doing to combat gangs. It put me in a weird mindset. I was a little scared.

I thought I was the only one.

A couple weeks ago, some of us in the newsroom were talking. Glenn, our photographer, admitted to having a dream about being on assignment at a school when he heard gunshots ring out. A gang shooting, he said, was happening across the street.

For whatever reason, the gate to get off campus was locked. Was he scared the gangbangers would somehow run to the school? Scared that he would be locked in for good?

Glenn, with a Canon in hand, was frantic in his dream that he could not get to the scene before the yellow crime tape went up. After that happens, reporters and photogs can’t cross over without getting in serious trouble.

Jon, the paper’s associate editor and columnist, said he had a gang shooting-related dream too. He was in his re-born Mustang — one of his most prized possessions — when someone opened fire. He was able to duck down to avoid a fatal hit, but he did still take a couple shots. Jon, in his dream, was able to slink out the passenger side and run away.

Was he scared about the guys chasing after him? Scared that he might have serious injuries?

Nope. The guys torched his Mustang. He was crushed.

Jon said today that these dreams really show what matters to us. I was scared for my life, Glenn was scared that he couldn’t get the great shot, Jon was scared for his car.

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