Synthesis (sin’-the-sis): An apt arrangement of a composition, especially regarding the sounds of adjoining syllables and words.

I dreamed again of fields of diamonds glistening in the sun—projecting fiery shards of a powerfully colored spectrum of light. I was harvesting diamonds, picking up the biggest ones from the ground and stuffing them in the red silk sack hanging from my shoulder. The sack said “Three Beers,” the name of the mining company growing the diamonds in the fields, which were in Southern New Jersey, in the Pine Barrens near Buddtown. The fields are surrounded by electrified fences, CCTV, minefields and patrolling thugs from Philadelphia and New York armed with grenade launchers, 60mm mortars, and AR15s.

The harvested diamonds were loaded into armored dump trucks, covered with tarps, driven in a heavily armed convoy to New York, and delivered to The Diamond District to be cut, polished, graded, and sold.

My vivid detailed dreams, recurring over and over again became an obsession. Alone, I began scouring the Pine Barrens in my imagination, knowing I was acting like a mad man, and knowing I would never find the Diamond fields. Yet, my dream wouldn’t cease, as though it somehow connected to my waking life. I dropped out of school when I was sixteen so I could devote every minute of my life to the diamond hunt. My father called me a moron, my mother cried and my little brother wanted to quit the 3rd grade and come with me. I went to Dick’s and bought a back pack, a tent, a sleeping bag, a lantern, a cook stove, eating utensils, a water bottle, a can opener, a Swiss Army knife, some fishing gear, Bic lighters, and a single-barrel .410 shotgun. I had a Sportsman’s license, so I thought I would bag the occasional bass or squirrel, or rabbit and make a meal. I spent all the money I had. I hitch-hiked to Buddtown, found a trailhead, and started walking.

I was like a human bloodhound—sweeping every inch of sand and dirt in front of me, sometimes on my knees. After two weeks, I was ready to quit and go back to school. Since I’d been diamond hunting, my dreams had gone away. Then, one early morning I saw an old main kneeling by the trail and holding something between his thumb and forefinger and holding it up to the light, moving it around, and looking at it.

When he saw me, he pulled out a pistol, pointed it at me, and yelled “Get the hell outta here!” The pistol was old and rusty, and I was sure it wouldn’t work—it looked like something from the 18th century, and so did he. When I called his bluff, he disappeared. But he left what he had been peering at on the ground. It was a shard from a Coke bottle, probably from the early 20th century. That did it! I yelled “Glass!” I flipped out. I lit my backpack on fire, left all my stuff at my camp, except for the .410. Then I woke up—it was another damn dream. I felt a stinging in my hand. I had a small cut on the palm of my hand. There was blood on my sheet, but my hand had scabbed over. I jumped out of bed, fearful that I’d be cut again. I examined the sheets and found a small piece of greenish glass.

The cut hand drove the Diamond Dream Demons out of my head. Now, I have recurring dreams about my 7th Grade teacher. In the dreams, we sit naked on the beach at the Jersey Shore, and she tutors me in math while I sip a bottle of Coke.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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