Thursday, October 20, 2016

Focus Group

We are somehow assembled in a studio. It's a TV commercial, we are to understand. None of us comprehend how those two facts came to be, or even if they are in fact facts. Still we wait here, because, TV.  

Four of us sit all in a row. We are instructed to move our arms left, forward, down, in a very definite gesture, while singing a jingle, the lyrics helpfully whispered to us. We are told it will all make sense in the final compiled product so we do as we are told. Every member of an orchestra has a small part which does not create harmony on its own, we are told.

I am instructed to toss the contents of a bowl, apparently filled with graffiti, into the face of a smiling lady down below, remembering the jingle. It's all right, I am assured, it won't reach her. So I do as I'm told. The graffiti does in fact reach her, as anybody might have foreseen. 

I could never remember the lines of the silly song so I faked it under my breath. It did not seem to matter. 

We are next ushered into an auditorium and a pleasant lady addresses us.

"You have all been the subjects of an experiment to determine just how gullible the public can be. An anonymous political entity wondered just how far the general population might be led by an electronic leash. You have all been most cooperative and extremely encouraging. Thank you very much."

And she exits smiling through a door in the wall behind her … which immediately dissolves into wall and ceases to exist.

We sit. There is now one door in our room and it's to our rear and it is glass so we see if we turn it is an exit onto the street.

"TV, huh. "
"I prefer radio myself."
 "Did that lady say she would be back?"

Chortles. Some look around. A large room with one door. An exit. Three blank walls.

"Did that lady say she would be back?"

Still we sit.

From the night dawning into 19-Oct-2016. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Traveling Mien

He wasn't sad or angry, just resigned. It was late in his season and prospects were dim. He was beaten. It was a nefarious plot they had in mind. All of them were better oriented for jail than I was. I listened, though, from the next booth. His face was red but from weather not drink. He slid to lay in the booth.


There is a series of bays, inlets, lakes, and they all look alike. I don't know where I am in the series of bends in the road. (This sensation has occurred before, but I don't know if it was a dream or real.)


On foot, I am confronted with a huge mass of apartment complexes, as far as I can see in either direction. I must trespass to continue my important journey, so I begin to climb.


Now on a bike, a sinister character overtakes me. Perhaps it's the trespassing. I worry about him stealing my new SE (just arrived that day in waketime). I am taken to an ancient very small room with clapboard and barnwood forming nooks and corners everywhere. He has a companion and they discuss me. (Waketime reference might be the two guys showing great unhurry in admitting me to the hospital, Ft Polk, LA, February 1965; "He's 104," said one eventually.) One says to the other, "Release him," so I slither through a small fissure in the wall and ceiling juncture.


The mission is a b-line hike through the jungle, clearing brush and even plane trees in our path. It's grueling. Objective is a straight path from one village to another quite distant. We grind each day, and tomorrow will look just like today.


Son Casey will build something up on the east meadow, he tells us. He and his crew begin. We notice that as well as grading the field, they have ground up our driveway  and taken out our fence and from the gate all along the drive. Hey, what gives? We cannot even keep a dog now!


He says nothing.



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

African Dreams

I am thinking of those class soaps on BBC and PBS wherein the maid or butler or indeed anyone in the manse will open any door to reveal who is there without any thought this may not be a wise move. I open the door. 

There is out on a porch an African tribe of some sort in full regalia. They are seated in a line, some seven of them, with assorted children. They are very black and one then another of the men raise their chins and moan some sort of chant with closed eyes to the effect, in my interpretation, that they are in quite a lowly state and I have personally either brought about the disaster or failed in my responsibility to provide a remedy. 

"I have the Red Cross here," I suggest. One of the dark yodelers scoffs in another harmonic wail, which I am becoming quite adept at translating. 

I close the door and retreat to the interior. As it happens, I do have the Red Cross in attendance; my Welcome Wagon hostess has brought goodies to ease my transition into the neighborhood. (I am annoyed she brought tea instead of coffee.)  As I have learned she works at Red Cross, I tell her of my visitors, expecting to be scolded for imposing on her day off. 

"No rest for the weary," she sighs. Stands and moves toward the front door. 

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dreaming Uphill

I notice as I approach the summit of our hike that you are no longer with me. I turn around and head back down. First I'm slow and then hurried and then frenzied as I don't find you. 

You exit a building at the bottom of the down road. It's an old second hand establishment about where Rocky's cooks live in real time. 

You are carrying a set  of golf clubs, not in a bag, just an assortment. You say, "I told you I would get these."

"Reading is learning is knowing is read,  Everything else is something was said."

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Burnt Offering

"History, which interprets the past to understand the present and confront the future, is the least rewarding discipline for a dying species"

The Children of Men by James, P.D.


My friends Maren and Jim are opening a restaurant. In a manner of natural progression they are giving up their duties as upper-level medical researchers in prestigious eastern environs in order to cook fish, draw draught, and greet ordinates. Bully for them.

I am bringing a gift as contribution to their new enterprise, a fireplace. It's a U-shaped brick construction like you see under terra cotta mantels in pretender housing developments. Just the thing.

I carry it up the open lane, each arm grasping a wing which fits along my either hip. I am not aware of the weight, which is just as well, as dreams would not be possible were physics in charge.

When I arrive at the site, Jim walks out into the porch. He is lost in thought, but aware I am there. He says, "They were supposed to call. They haven't."

I understand this to mean the relatives, who have offered to contribute the storefront for the establishment, have not yet given final permission. Jim returns inside.

I stand in front of the place, holding the fireplace. Apparently Jim did not notice it. Maybe lots of friends have donated fireplaces, so another does not merit remark, no more than another lily at a funeral.

I stand there.

Finally, I set down the fireplace in the yard. They are much too busy for this particular item. Plenty of time to set it up for them later, among all the others, after the relatives have called.

I start on down the lane towards home. Hear crackling. Smell woodsmoke. Turn.

Flames shoot from the fireplace out in the yard of the proto-restaurant. No one notices, because there is no one around, and, besides, what's to wonder about a fire in a fireplace?

The yard is mostly dirt and, for fifty feet or more in any direction around the fireplace, mine are the only footprints, leading right up to my boots.

Human nature has evolved the defense against utter confusion of regarding any lack of an answer a nullification of the question. Hope the relatives call, is my last thought on the business of the restaurant.


Hello, friends. We're I to interpret this dream, I would fail, but I was interested that you both entered by name, and the odd gift might be entry into grief from outside. Maybe it relates not to Bucky, but to the old Bob Newhart bit about Madison Avenue creating an Abe Lincoln where none existed. Agent on the phone: "No, Abe, you were a rail splitter THEN a lawyer. It doesn't make any sense the other way. You wouldn't give up your jaw practice to split rails, now, would you?"

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