Sunday, November 30, 2003

To dream magnificently is not a gift given to all men, and even for those who possess it, it runs a strong risk of being progressively diminished by the ever-growing dissipation of modern life and by the restlessness engendered by material progress. The ability to dream is a divine and mysterious ability; because it is through dreams that man communicates with the shadowy world which surrounds him. But this power needs solitude to develop freely; the more one concentrates, the more one is likely to dream fully, deeply.
- Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), French poet, critic.

I am late back to work. I am always late back to work in my dreams, and I am in some earlier environment; my dreams follow me like a waterskier's empty towline behind the Evinrude of my consciousness. I dream about the office, and when I was in the office I dreamed of the Factory, and of the Army (the Army follows me everywhere, it seems). When I was in the Army and the Factory, I dreamed of high school.

I work in a large mall. There is a room, or shop, within one wing of it. And out of a room across the hall from where I am late, a smiling darkeyed lady approaches and we begin rituals which would be considered inappropriate in most malls, or offices either.

She is sitting with me on a bench just outside my workplace, which I note is entirely different from when I had left it for lunch, and another pretty one smiles and speaks to me in her progression down the corridor. My seatmate leans close to me, whispers, "I would be careful of those Hispanic girls."

I am present but not a part of a huge industrial indoor parkway. I am there visiting my pal Jim, who isn't really a pal neither. I will leave, but there is something about the leaving which requires stealth. I don't want to just walk away, maybe fearing I will not be able to prove I am not enrolled in the class. So I maneuver along a continuing obstacle course.

It resembles a railway yard, if anything; I am progressing along what would be a string of railroad cars, if it were a railroad, but it isn't, so it's just a long ravine structure. I am moseying, and down below are workers moving indecipherable tools to indeterminate purpose. I proceed.

This recalls two events in my past.

I had some sort of emotional or social stroke my junior year in high school - my first junior year of high school. Basically, as near as I am to know, what I had been no longer applied to me. I quit much of what I had identified me to that point. I was no longer a boxer or a football player by pure-dee and painful empirical evidence and thus in our southern community not much of a player of any sort. I dropped out in place. Nothing had any meaning anymore. I took classes and had no idea what they meant. I did nothing, no homework, no work of any sort. The failure was of will and not of competence, of which such limited store as I had been blessed with remained.

In the afternoons came Plane Geometry, and I would take off. I just walked away from school after noon. Went home to work on my first auto, a 1937 Chevy coupe wreck. Tried to create a metaphor of my existence by attempting to jimmy the frozen bolts on the drive shaft to try and work an incompatible transmission in place. The Chevy never ran again.

Nearly a decade later. I'm in the Reception Center, Ft Polk, LA. It is 1969. I was here in 1965. I can't stay here. I pick a time when the day begins and light is not yet up yet the guards on the gate of the center are gone. I walk the trail towards the center of the post, and the main gate outside. A jeep pulls off to the right. I continue walking towards it. I have my duffelbag with my civilian gear on my back. The MP stands down, and crosses the road, right in my path. I continue walking, unconcerned. (At that point, it meant little to me whether I went out one gate or through another into the stockade.)

"You all right?" asked the MP on his way to check a motor pool gate. It was simply a form of address.

In ten minutes, I was over the fence and outside the premises of Ft Polk.

3:15 PM 11/30/2003

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Andrew Wyeth say: I dream a lot. I do more painting when 'm not painting. it's in the subconscious.

The Night of the Day

A little girl comes trundling out onto a football field and romps the length of it. She has thick skirts and much red coloring in it so that she in her kid romp bustles like a butterfly.

This isn't the local ball field. It's the NFL! And behind her comes Tyrell Owens!

He sets out to follow her. A lone little girl running up the field, apparently going to her family seats at the other end zone. Owens is the spoiled grandstanding star wideout of the Niners, of course, only here he is playing with a little girl. He flaps open his jacket (he's in civilian dress-up) and his vest is red and he is galloping like a kid and flashing colors like he's mimicking her. She is looking around at him, turning her head to the left while she runs, smiling beatifically. When she looks at him, Owens flaps his jacket closed so the colors don't show.

It's an amazing show, and the crowd is utterly charmed by it.

I wake up, and then I'm in a cafeteria. I am taking liberties. I believe I have friends and juice in the place, so I go behind the counter. I meet resistance and believe that's only clumsiness on the part of my buddy, but I'm suspecting, he's denying my privilege.

I have to reach to wash my hands in the sink of the kitchen. I do it like it's just a casual move, like hanging my coat on the rack, but the owner seeks to prevent it without alienating me. I'm presuming here, it's obvious.

The Day Before

Scoob at the table with Em and NikiJMe and Scoob spent the whole day around the cabin. The cold, the cold is coming. The nasturtiums down by the pond are frozen, and, Niki J say, they didn’t do that all last year. In the early dawn the windows are glazed.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Dream is not a revelation. If a dream affords the dreamer some light on himself, it is not the person with closed eyes who makes the discovery but the person with open eyes lucid enough to fit thoughts together. Dream—a scintillating mirage surrounded by shadows—is essentially poetry.
- Michel Leiris (1901–1990), French anthropologist, author.

In a low-ceiling industrial office space, dark and shadowy, there are pictures on a long desk. I look at some of them. They are in black and white, and quite vivid. I recognize myself! Although I don’t know where or when they were taken, I am not overly concerned. I figure the pleasant scenes are yet to happen. Here’s me, smiling vaguely, in a group setting, a bending file of us in a park which dips down in a bowl where the activity is. But the terrain is only suggested, like the names of great canyons you cannot see the walls of from any perspective.

Here are photos in color. A large russet hound. He has splashes of white around his muzzle, but I know what this one means. It was taken long before we found Scoob, but this is obviously a prediction of him. The white is all that is different from our boy today, which means to me it’s meant as a staged disguise like in old hiss-the-villain melodrama; we know who the characters are even under the phony beard. This time it's the Good Guy who is camouflaged, but one slight key is off to appease scoffers, or else everyone would believe in magic. But here is a picture of Ubbi, taken a long time before he came to us.

The project we are working on takes shape. It is long and low and wooden, like the NBA. Only the form takes on the substance of a Double-A Fueler rail job. I wonder if we are to continue this exercise, as a wooden dragster would never compete with the sleek haulers we will eventually have to compete with if we continue. Still we go on…

…and I am trapped under bodies. I see there are two of them, and it’s like the old fashioned kiddie taunt dog piles of yore. I see I should be able to remove myself from under these. One is a girl-woman, and the other is Jerry Snodgrass.

This suggests an early event in my own actual waking history. There was a bully a couple of years older than me named Billy Wells, and he is telling me on the bus home from swimming lessons at the Park he will “get me.” He has some sort of manufactured grudge, easy for him since he’s older and lots bigger.

I make to step over the seats while everyone else files out the aisle. I say, hey, Billy, look at this! I’m trying to josh him into a better mood, but he says, I’ll get you anyway.

He faces off with me on the grounds of the high school. (I am in some years too young for high school, but this is where the bus leaves us off.) Billy Wells decides I’m not sufficient reward for his bull rep, where is the value to beating up a little kid. He says, somebody take him; I’m going after Joe (my older brother). Jerry Snodgrass says, I’ll take him, figuring it's safe suckup to the big guy. He does, grabbing me from behind. Snodgrass is not as big as wells, but the same age, and bigger than me. I swing Snodgrass over my back by leaning forward, and he hangs on. I try crying a few sobs, and somebody says, aw, let him up, and he does.

Wells today is partically paralyzed, sits and smiles and smokes. Snodgrass became a notorious drunk, like his daddy, and is much despised by his ex-wife, who is a therapist and very generous to most of the rest of humanity.

I am rummaging again.

The scene is a barracks. We are due to watch a ballgame in the rec room. It is the most exciting prospect of the week. Only…I should locate my winter garb, for the wind the wind is beginning outside, and there is an edge to it. Yes, I should find warmer duds. But… it was months ago when I stashed my gear, and I cannot remember precisely where. I vaguely recall a wall locker, on that wall. There are rows of bunks with storage underneath, and lockers along the walls. I cannot find anything I recognize. I am going through lockers, stumbling here and there. Under one bunk I find a couple of clear-plastic flat footlockers, designed with multiple compartments like egg cartons. Oh, yes, I remember these. They’re mine, all right…only, they’re empty. At least I have a hit. A troop harrumphs quietly, and I apologize. It’s his bunk I’m looking under. Sorry, sorry, but where is my winter wardrobe? The game the game will begin…

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Night of the Day

I am heading to work again… a nondescript office setting, vaguely familiar from the real world gone by…there is a graduation ceremony of sorts…actually more like someone released from prison…he is in Sunday best and his hair is slicked and he carries himself like a sports star on parade…he has supporters around him…I watch, and wonder…does anyone but me know what a farce this all is?…almost as a stage act, the principal steps towards me seated beyond where the footlights would be…moving around the desk of the boss, who waits in attendance behind…the entourage of the prinicipal is abetting about…one says, “The piece…”…the little round boss, always nervous and obsequious, is most supportive…oh, yes, he says, and he opens his center drawer…reaches towards the back…brings out…a service revolver, a .357 probably, and hands it to the principal…

I am in frenetic and private opposition…I am saying to (it’s Jo Ann (just someone I knew in high school), playing the part of the front-office secretary) how it’s all wrong, this can’t be done…she is intent on doing work on paper and it doesn’t pertain to me nor my objections. I object, however, most emphatically, although not in the presence of the principal or his cohort, at least not intentionally, but a voice behind says, ‘Leave it!’ and I turn and a very tall one comes around to consult with Jo Ann, says to me, “I’m done,” meaning that’s all he has to say, or needs to say. I move out.

Here I am wandering the corridor of what looks like a dark mall…hordes of folks moving desultory and hopeless…lost…but I may be the only one who realizes it…they swarm in all directions but sluggish and phlegmatic…I am thinking, I am all alone in the world…I see not a face recognize me, or care if I’m there…I am not dressed…I have on a Russian babushka and a tunic which does not cover my undies…I must go back to the office and change…the office is a hangar, I see, and the sides are dropped like drapes so that the ribbing is exposed…the office is no more…I need to ask where my clothes are…I am wandering aimless with preset notions about what should be happening and trying not to think how in the world my moving in this huge labyrinth will make it be…I feel a tug on my tunic…I look around, then she comes up in front of me…I look way down and see a tiny little darkeyed beauty beseeching…I bend to the only face in the universe recognizing me, and it is imploring…”Please, sir, I want to be Wolfie!”…as I am in the act of bending down to the radiant dark little girl, I immediately understand her…Wolfie is a cartoon character who wears a large fur cap like mine…I am removing my headgear before I have even lowered my face to the level of hers…I place the babushka on her head and it carries over to her shoulders and she pushes it back to expose only a large smile…she moves away delighted and I continue my march in the cattle call, thinking, “I have to remember her…I must remember only her…”

The Day Before

NerdNosh, it has become apparent, is no more, and I’m not seeing replies to my calls to the Attic Meister for a restructuring of our archives. The Site Engineer LB left suddenly from Sasquatch, the Noshost, under undisclosed circumstances and then a server holding our goods apparently crashed and all I’m told by the Mom of Mom & Pop Store is she will restore the Attic if I send her the files…

Oh, boy. I have worked hard to convert the Nosh to a zine. I have stolen the format and was diligently plugging in segments from our stores when the lights went out. So now all depends on restoring the lost files, and there is pitifully little interest expressed and energy to continue the Nosh is limited as well, at least thus far.

I reflect also how I am totally alienated from all the citizens of my home town in the various online groups. I founded the first one, and then another when that failed, and now there are four groups, none of them including me, and at least two of them formed specifically to exclude me.

I have been harsh in my review of my old home town and its development. I have a sprinkling of notes from old hands, flotsam after the storm…

NerdNosh Logo

Saturday, November 15, 2003

We are driving, me and my beta wife, and I let her out. I think, maybe I should’ve stopped to do that. Later it will come up, and I will report I was traveling 21 MPH when she exited the vehicle.

Now I see her in some distress amidst a pack of hounds. There is turmoil and she is down amongst the pups. I stop. I worry about parking. I think, I should move on out, but then, should I hit the flashers? The hazard lights. I wonder where the switch to do that is.

We are inside a building now, and there are various individuals sitting about. The quarters are confined, like the galley of a ship. Everyone must know the beta has been attacked by hounds, but no one seems in the least upset about it. I finally ask out loud, “Who’s in charge?” I understand this is some sort of a dog owners’ gathering. Someone is indicated, and I approach him. I ask, “Are you in charge?” and he says, “Yes, me and Carl.” I say, she was just attacked, and he stands up to move off, gesturing to someone.

The beta is in discussion with that someone, who may or may not be Carl. I stand in the galley, and one of them says, “Boy, I remember when Koodge was here.” Koodgie is the ancient hound who was part of the household when I moved to my current family in Felton. So Koodge is known here?

Beta comes back. She is satisfied now. The settlement, I infer from somewhere, is ridiculously small. I go in search of a bathroom.

Always in my dreams, I cannot find a bathroom. Always, I’m responding to a real physical need. The one I locate is closed. I see a toilet and I go to use it and women come in. It isn’t a closed section, more like the display at Sears. Only the passage is narrow, like the hallway through a bar to a restaurant. I am embarrassed, but not overly so.


Friday, November 14, 2003

The Night of the Day

It is a roaming dream. The paseo around a series of sets, like a carnival or more closely a food court, where every space carries a different theme. A young lady in spangled tutu wants someone to cast her into the air. It is like a dance or partner skating move; you just toss her and she spins and lands on her feet. Some others seem to be willing to take on the task, so I make to dissolve into the progress (counterclockwise, with a base to our left of an indistinguishable wall) when her proposed assistants also fade. I make to do as she wants, and I think, just as Niki J comes into view back along the passage, I should maybe have an explanation for this, as she won’t accept the interest I take in the plight of young beauty.

Another wayside attraction is a room, and inside there is a film. I wander inside. Onscreen is a typical TV audience as you might find in an apartment complex sports party. They are in rows on a couch and sitting at the foot of it and they are all strangers of no particular distinction that I can see. Granfalloons. One has a fuzzy beard and little hair else and is rollicking, moving back and forth as if to distinguish himself. They are all relatively young. It goes on. It’s like the pictures you see of ordinary folk they sell with frames and plastic windows for holding snapshots in wallets. I conclude the present audience and the one in the film must be one and the same, which does not include me.

The Day Before

Mondays now I take Scoob to the beach. I wrote online letters. I renewed my library card (the other was ripped off in Paris), and checked out a volume of three by James M Cain, reading Double Indemnity. It was well-paced but remorseless, brutal. There is a formula to detective novels, as is the case with Romance books, yet they aren’t perceived the same by the pop media for an obvious reason.


The Night of the Day

It is the time for leaving and I am thinking of packing. I must cart up a PC. My housemate is the one who sued me for not re-renting his room soon enough after he left, thus returning to him a half month’s rent. He lost. He was drifting.

It is not an amicable time. But then I think, the PC is old, so all I must do is recycle it. That takes care of that. But there is a long tube of conduit I must recycle. I don’t know the use of it, but I’m glad it’s only the conduit.

I have a ride with one of those colleagues who is not a friend. I pass through gray industrial high-vaulted factory quarters. There are stray bits lying everywhere, and somehow I understand I’m not supposed to just cast the conduit and exit. I wait and someone shuffles paper at a counter.

My ride leaves. I don’t know how I shall take the next step. I pick up something and then look around. No receptacle presents.

It is a waiting in gray industrial strange corridors dream. I see my ride leave with my faithless companion at the wheel, one other in the passenger seat of his pickup. I don’t understand this step, nor how I shall take the next one.

The Day Before

A wonder day at the beach. No major trouble, only Scoob scarfing Jasper’s racquetball again. He wouldn’t give it back. He is extremely stubborn, but at least he didn’t bully any of the pups. He learns. I’m quick on him now when he lights out after the little ones.

Monday, November 10, 2003

My dream thou brok’st not, but continued’st it.
Thou art so true that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths and fables histories;
Enter these arms, for since thou thought’st it best
Not to dream all my dream, let’s act the rest.

- John Donne (1572–1631), British poet. The Dream (l. 6–10). .


The Line

In a modern urban setting of tilting swooping rooflines and spireled stairwells in shades of black, we are hungry.

Somehow I know these others are looking for what I am. We flow into a diner, although the sign on the window doesn't say so. It has a title that reads like French, though, so that's a sign.

Inside there are stainless-steel runners along what must be a serving line, and other folks expectantly waiting there, so my set joins them. Very soon we are indistinguishable from those who have been here. After a while no one remembers how long any of us have been here.

We wait.

Although the runners look like a serving line along which you push a tray, there are no trays and no one is moving along them.

We wait.

The line, in fact, has no comestibles behind the glass displays...rather odd household items, like bowls and dishes and boxes of detergent.

Across the line where servers should be are women moving, albeit slowly. We are encouraged that there is something happening across the line, and by the uniforms they wear, which are jumpers over white blouses with nametags.

They are young, and they wear hairnets. I look at their expressions. I am glad to see that one of them seems to sense the pressure. She is short and dark and her eyes show concern. That's good. But it is the sort of worry you see around auto wrecks and natural disasters; it says, `Isn't this a pity? But of course none of it is my fault.'

We are trying in our mute patient method to radiate guilt across the line. Although no one of us is willing to become a spectacle by actually asking a question out loud. `See here, what are you all doing over there? And what are we doing over here?' Nobody will take that responsibility. So we wait, encouraged that there are others on our side, plenty of them, waiting just as we are, and across the line at least the servers do not seem to be surprised by our presence nor annoyed by our gawking.

They move back and forth across our sightlines, and they always carry nothing, and they disappear through a swinging door, and nowhere is there the slightest indicator of cooking. No smells at all in the
low-ceilinged dark room, although there is steam beyond the door which effectively blankets all behind it.

I move out eventually. I am only as disappointed as one would be stuck in traffic due to some foreseen accident. Oh, well. It's been just over four hours. And now I have to go back.

I have an item. It is a kite and there is another package with it, and I don't know what it is. I must return them. I go back to the dark diner, if it is a diner, to return the kite and whatever else. I don't think of the problem of returning two items which are giftwrapped, only one of which I can identify. It's just something I must do, like going to the dentist.

There seems to be a sliding along the serving line now. At one point, I pass my packages across the line. It is the first breach of the line I have seen the whole day. I move somewhere else, and then I move again to another point of the line. It isn't a prgression; it is just a shifting of a body, like the flitting of a butterfly, or apples falling at random from a peach tree. At no point do I sense myself advancing in
my mission.

I wait some time and then I move and I throw my hip out to stand and wait again; that's my strategy. I see they have a row of cash registers along one wall over behind the line, and my kite and the other item are sitting between two of them. Nobody while I watch ever touches any of the registers. The women come and go through the door, walk along their side of the line, pause, perhaps say something to another server, then glide back towards the door. Sometimes one will stride all along the line and back, passing the door three times, but eventually she will go through there. I try to mark one of them and follow her, with my eyes, like you do ants in colonies. I never see the same one twice. Once she goes through the door, she never comes out again. This is faintly sad to me, like bad news in the papers with a dateline far away.

I am waiting in the dark low room for satisfaction of some sort I have no clear idea about. But I feel no anger or disgust or resentment. Waiting is just what I'm here to do, and so I go about it. Nothing surprises me. Nothing irritates me. There is a sort of logic, I have faith, which exists far beyond my poor powers of perception.

So I wait.

DATE OF DREAM: 4/27-28/2003


I am sixty years old today. My hair is disappearing in a
male pattern and I am bearded closely and it's mostly gray
now. I tend towards male pattern fatness. I am five
foot ten. I wear glasses which grow light inside and dark
outside. I have no true visual memory, so the anonymous strangers I
see today are much like those of yesterday, and I could never
pick any of them out of a lineup.


Saturday, November 08, 2003

You can go online to see how uncreative you are. I had an impulse to publish a dreamlog just like Kerouac and I had read a small book by Freud explaining how dreams were just the working out of pressures of your waking day (sort of like yelling at your kid at the Little League ballpark is how you deal with a lifetime of labor and loss) and so I even devised a pattern of logging also the waking day.

And then I went looking around and found that Rannva Weaving has been doing just that since the summer of 2001. See her Luminous Dreams and see.

Is it original thinking if it's only new to me? I wondered about that when I saw once I was beat to a notion by some two hundred years...

Please tell me you're here with me?

The Night of the Day

He is a small-town editor of a newspaper in North Carolina during the late years of the nineteenth century. He is affable and wealthy by neighborhood standards and liked well enough.

He takes on the habit of adding to the obituaries. Where always before, everyone had been able to easily identify the deceased and the family, now strangers began to intrude. The locals shrugged; after all, the editor (who never has a name in my dream) had endowed the Band Boosters’ Club and several other local charities, and the paper was one of the major employers in town.

The out-of-town obits began to grow. Mrs Hildegaardt Schnapps-Crowe of Dearborn, MN, passed on shortly after giving birth to her eleventh child, six still living. She was thirty three. The names and ages of the survivors was duly detailed. We learned that Mr Schnapps was pleasantly sipping tea in his parlor and perusing the business section of the Times when his wife passed on. Bloody too bad, he is rumored to have expostulated. The precise nature of her death, her agonies, even the pain and the meager relief medical science provided in that day, were laid out for anyone with an idle or perverse curiosity.

Then the alien obits grew still further, with a background of the courtship. Miss Crowe was such a lovely one; townsfolk would come up to her in the Dry Goods store to pat down her hair and smooth her ruffles as if she were a local treasure everyone was responsible for. We learn that Mr Schnapps while hiking with his betrothed out in the lanes once agonized over calling a surrey on a day with the merest chance of inclemency, as the boots of Miss Crowe for their outing were `insufficiently thick of sole.’

This the editor probably copied out of Jane Austen.

The out-of-town obits began to expand, taking over the columns usually devoted to “Society.” There were complaints from the Soporoporists Society and the Odd Fellows. Still the alien obits grew.

In the listing for the sisters of the deceased was one Jane Crowe, who was almost as pretty as her kid sister but was, alas, never married. We are invited along for the ride during a whirlwind visit the two girls made to Grosse Pointe when they were in their teens and a marriage proposal for Jane resulted. The blushing young lady accepted…but in the night a terrible dream overtook her in which she beheld years and years of a life given over to children and hours and hours of pain and suffering in birthing them until finally she would succumb to the insult to body and mind in her mid thirties.

In the morning, Jane, as politely as she could, reversed her decision of the previous day. She never married.

This was certainly copied from Jane Austen.

The editor began to make long train trips. It was revealed eventually that he would visit the large city in which the deceased of his latest alien obit had lived and he would carry copies of his newspaper into the lobby of the hotel where he stayed and would leave them lying about. He would sit in the lobby then, reading his newspaper, and listen to such buzz as developed.

On one occasion, the husband of the recent deceased was reported to have uttered an imprecation about the yokel editor of this hick newspaper, and threatened a lawsuit. The editor awaited the gentleman outside the bank where he went each day as a director, took one of the gloves from the man, slapped him across the face with it, dropped it on the street, and waited.

For nothing. After all, the gentleman was later reported to have declared, one answers the challenge only of one’s own set, and this one was certainly no gentleman.

The out-of-town obituaries continued. When asked about them around town, the editor claimed they came over the wires like all the news, and were they not printed “We would lose our news feed.” This was a lie both presentable and plausible, so the questions in time ceased, and the obits went on.

They ceased only when the editor passed on himself. There was never an explanation or moral presented, and, apparently, nobody ever sought one. They were just an oddity of an eccentric newspaper editor who was conceded the due extension of judgment his status in the community provided. The assistant editor became editor when his boss passed on, and he reported to the community upon inquiry that the wire service must’ve had a special arrangement with the old editor, for never a single alien obit came down the wires after the old one was gone. The new editor did not, of course, inquire too closely into the matter.

The Day Before

We went up to Oakland to meet with the kids…and promptly were lost. I lost my composure as we rolled around from Berkeley to San Leandro and through downtown Oakland.

Em and the Bean came to us where we called them in desperation. I took the Big Guy for a walk, and we came back just as the kids pulled into the drive of the 76 station.

Scoob is very excited to see them, and they are all too cool on those occasions. They hope, perhaps, to still his rambunctious nature, but he feels it all the more necessary to inspire love.

He bounded through the passenger window, cavorted about in the front and back seats, to their eternal shock and dismay.

When they drove away to lead us to their house up in the hills, they were tempted to just drive away, they said, and leave us. Casey was disgusted we could not find their place after all the times we had been there (we use a cookie cutter list of instructions from Yahoo!, and if we miss one signpost we’re lost) and they were both extremely irritated at Scoob, or rather my failure to train him properly.

Shoot, I have a vast reservoir of love, and also ache for loss, since 1999. I am very protective of Scoob. I love the guy.

At one point, up at the Mormon tabernacle parking lot, I was holding onto the Big Guy to restrain his exuberance and they were all lecturing me for allowing him to be so frisky. The guy is very powerful, and he does weigh in at around 120 pounds. Sorry, sorry, I say, and hold onto Scoob.

We go to look at housing, slices of buildings in San Francisco, ranging from just under half a mil to $800+ for some very cramped quarters. You have to first gear yourself for current markets. You cannot continue to think, wow, this one would not bring $20K in Bonham.

We stopped at the bakery where Em chefs and we had decaf latte and chocolate. There is a neighborhood park where Scoob romped for a little with other hounds. But very soon after I unleashed him he saw the three of them walking on a deadend street and bounded after them.

When they walked away from the Jetta and we were set to go home, Scoob stared at them intently. Then he whimpered when we started away. He isn’t the sort to whimper, but he wants the family together.

Everybody but the Big Guy was mad at me for either my high anxiety at being lost in the big city or my failure to train Scoob properly. Only Scoob remained with me for the whole time.

"Dreams have nothing to do with your waking life. We are assured of that. In fact, all dreams are only the sleeping Doberman within unleashed to run at night. He'll be back on the porch come morning." - Woesong

A series of bungalos, a hospital laid out like a Vietnamese village. I am asking at a reference desk. I step to a plastic window, and I must move close to it, because the staff comprises two faces down below in a spa or a pool, maybe four feet from the level of the window.

The faces are washed clean of all emotion, like automotons in fifties scifi movies, except there is no melodrama. Their eyes are impercecptible, like obvious plastic. It isn't that they're depressed, it's just that they have no emotion.

One passes across the narrow waiting room. She has no clothing, and all identifying markers are airbrushed; she's like a kid's doll, anatomically incorrect.

Yes, I am told, he's here. He's in Cardiac. That's number four.

I don't believe it. But I have to go see. I cannot just ignore the possibility Reloj is in number four. She takes me outside, and we step aboard a moving vehicle of some sort, like another bungalo but on tracks. She points when we have moved to a different vantage, says, you go, you go right from there.

I know this isn't so, I say, but I'm maybe careful not to think what I do know. I proceed into a mystifying labyrinth of small cottages placed in no order I can discern. I begin to understand it makes really no difference if I go left or right.


Inside a museum or craft shop, we look at carvings of light wood, like balsa, in all sizes. Niki J and Casey hand a statuette to Scoob, who takes it in his mouth to the foyer in front. Niki J tried to retrieve the carving, and Scoob takes off.

"He's outside!" I say.

"No, he can't go out..."

But he has found a way, with the door closed. He just slips into the side lot and is gone. I hurry after.

It's like an extended hobo jungle out there, with visibility limited to a few feet off the immediate trail, or maybe a carny camp, with small tents and fires going and someone comes out to mark my passing. I'm calling to Scoob. I'm worried he'll be somewhere in harm's way. I seek in unfamiliar terrain.

I don't find him when I awaken. And then on our walk this morning, he sidles away from me up the ridge trail all the way to the flats by the Conrad's watertank, and into the steep woods behind it. I approach him, calling, and he looks at me, then bounds away. He is at the back door soon after I am, almost apologetic. I must being his schooling anew.

9:38 AM 5/8/2003, detailing the last two nights' dreams


Dreamatis Personae

Niki J - Lovely spouse
Casey - Loving son
Scoobie - Loving Rottweiller/Pit Bull
Conrads - Neighbors

BUT it is mostly my own dreams I talk of, and that will somewhat excuse me for talking of dreams at all. Everyone knows how delightful the dreams are that one dreams one’s self, and how insipid the dreams of others are. - William Dean Howells

The Night of the Day

It is a school, or another peripheral institution (one at which I do not look directly, as is usual in my dreams) and two are talking and a lady I know only in dreamland describes the conversation we hear as background, and I miss the term, and am interested. “Rhinitis,” she says. “It means it’s arcane; it cannot be understood by those overhearing.”

I go about into other parts of the establishment. The library, most likely. I want to look the word up. I am holding a beer can, half empty. I consider that may cause trouble.

I only looked it up before I wrote this down. Very odd.

The Day Before

A Monday. Home from the Sierras only yesterday. A walk and the Monday weight work this morning, and a quiet afternoon and evening.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

They're like seaweed, they gather around your ankles when you wade out of the deep sea. You bring with you whatever you gathered near to the beach. But it ain't the whole story of your dreamlife.


I whip a Uie on Santa Monica, as I know the road descends into a
cobbled narrow passage among stucco dwellings at that point. No
place down there to park. I park. Here they come, the crew.

We are a movie set. These are the principals. The director is a
stoic named Mikey, and he shrugs a lot. Stoics do that. He
says, "After all, what can you do?" He means Hamner "has the cut."

Hamner is the lead actor, and "having the cut" means his contract
allows him to decide the way the picture will run. There are, for
instance, two endings. One of them, all agree, is a fitting and
satisfactory blow-off of all the emotional steam built up over the
previous hour and a half. The other features Hamner in a memorable
moment for which he will be remembered just as Albert Finney was for
the "I'm not gonna take it anymore" outbursts in Network. memorable
moments do tend to be remembered; that's what makes them so

Hamner favors the second ending.

"What can you do?" shrugs Mikey.

I'm a bit player. I say to some stunning ladies near me, after all,
I'm a bit player; I have five minutes of screen time. Were it
fifteen, I would be a character actor. They giggle politely.

There is an elegant older lady in a bathtub of the metallic odd-
shaped sort of the nineteenth century. The kind you see in western
movies in technicolor. She is humming to herself.

Two very beautiful youngsters bustle into the room. Oh, Auntie,
they say. Such a lovely tub. May we? They are twins, and they are
very young, and their beauty walks about in the room, kicking over
chairs. They are unabashed blank of clothing in a moment.

They are in the tub, laughing, splashing. They play and they laugh and their laughter sounds crystal.

Time passes.

The older lady picks up the phone. She is alone now, on her bed.

"Hamner? This is your mother, darlin'." She waits. "Listen, Mikey's lovely daughters just paid me a nice visit. Yes, they are. Say, listen, Hamner?

"Give Mikey whatever he wants."

For those wishing the ancient Vienna version of dream study:

Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams, Table of Contents
"After all," lament the studios, "We only present what the public demands."

The public demands redundancy in reviews of what worked before. The public suffers from anteamnesia, which William Burroughs described and the movie Memento explored as the perpetual-virgin premise you can hear the same joke over and over and it will be the same every time.

"What can we do?" whine the network programmers; "Our audience will ever have it thus."

They may be right by now.

When you exercise fewer and fewer options, you recognize diminishing alternatives. You expect and are comforted by tradition, a pattern, the same joke told over and over in the same manner. You don't have to think, you don't have to fret nor worry, you are in a safe haven.

Science Fiction. A machine takes over, or aliens invade. Since Flash Gordon in thirties serials, this has been a theme in "imaginative" storytelling.

There's another way. It removes the blinders, melts the walls, opens up vistas. It doesn't run on rails and isn't confined to tracks. It bubbles up like steam and mist and wafts from the primordial kitchen of your very consciousness. It may be what generates your very sense of being. From dreams, you only need tack on a synthetic narrative and then stick out your hand, "Hello, I'm Jill, he's Bill..."

In your dreams, sweetie. The only creative province remaining.


The Night of the Day

We are on foot in Watsonville, and I call that office. I say, I will be late, and the chunky boss affects woe.

"Oh, no, today is the day Newton needs to go to Palo Alto!"

Okay, okay, so we trudge to work. I have my family with me, but they are in the background. Through some alteration, I'm not on time and thought I wouldn't be missed.

Work is different. In the actual times, I was mostly alone in a small room. Now, it's very crowded and congested and there is a diner in the front of the facility, which I don't at all recognize, in common with most of my dreams. I mean, I am in settings which I know by name but are translated considerably through dreamscape.

It's because of the deli up front, with crowds sitting around, that's why there is more traffic than I ever experienced. The setting for it is like a kid might improvise out of household materials for a fort, it is cramped and nested like a burrow and I just walk around and through.

I am interviewing Newton, whose name, as I find out when I finally have to ask (like in real time, I never remember names, and at work I never intended to - sort of a means of disabusing them of the notion they are all alone in the world - I would have calls, `You remember I called you last week?') is not Newton but is some stopped three-parter like Oliver Dexter Twiggings. I carry his folder and can find no place to work on it; all the flat space is occupied, mostly by nonessential scraps of other minor jobs.

I am not accomplishing much, but Twiggings doesn't seem to mind. He's telling me the conditions under which he will go to the VA Hospital. Yeah, yeah, I'm thinking, and where the dickens is the -

I see old rides puffing and wheezing up a side road outside, and remember I see them often nights and weekends. They're the vehicles of old troops going to the hospital.

I see one I recognize as my own hound, but he has no name. He looks exactly like Max, except he is very thin and he's dragging his hindquarters and they seem malformed and they are covered with black ink or oil, and I think, oh, no, he's drunk some ink.

I gather him up. He is very light. I hurry through the shop and out, yelling for someone to bring water, anything. They ignore me. I see Latin ladies at a table in a sparse area, unconcerned, incurious, nobody has to help so nobody does.

He is better, and I have managed a ride from somewhere, I'm driving and reassuring, and he tells me, tells me about past wounds, what they did to him before, and he shows me a monstrous gash from the back of his neck down his left side. He is profiled in the seat beside me, and he shows like you would unzip a jacket to reveal a new sweater.

The Day Before

Scoob and I go to the beach on this Thursday instead of our regular Wednesday because he ran off when I took him out into the hillside that morning and was gone a long time. It was moderately interesting at the doggie beach. A ridgeback, which is one of the types he usually can play his bulldogging with, is waiting for him as he comes down the steps, but for some reason I never understand, Scoob passes. It's a matter of loping about and sniffing and trying to begin a game. Here is Scoob trying to teach a Mastiff type (only pink, like a pig) how to play. The lady is not quite his size and she does the side-to-side darting but then loses interest and trots off after something else.

Scoob plays with pups a lot, and he finds the cute little retriever mix. It frightens the owners often if they don't know how big and little hounds accommodate one another, but experienced parents aren't nervous. It's funny when the parents try to order canine games like it was children they were directing.

I remain close to the stairs because one week ago Scoob left on his own accord and crossed the street to Lighthouse Field where the dogs run. Frightening.

I go for Marini's taffy to send to a friend, and I'm early by an hour. I think again and again Niki J's birthday is approaching, and it's the worst time for me, because I feel I can never do it justice.

Back home, it's housecleaning, but light duty day. I vacuum the Jeep.

The rest of the time, Scoob snoozes, or goes out on the deck with me. I do some reading. Online is not interesting; it seems to be a slack season everywhere.

Scoob is always boisterous whenever one of us comes home. He jumps and he can hurt with his enthusiasm. Niki J and I play our regular game of Spite and Malice out on the deck. When it's dark, we go to see the light Casey placed for his new sign at the bottom of our drive.

The Giants thumped the Angels 16 - 4 to go up 3-2 in the Series.

25 Oct 2002

Cast of Characters

Dreamer - me
Niki J - my lovely spouse
Scoobie - our loving pup, 114 pounds of lovable Rottie/Pit Bull
Casey - Son
Em - Wife to Casey
Will - Son
Jill - Wife to Will

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Night of the Day

We have been somewhere, and we return. I remember I drifted into this from a train of thought about walking with Scoobie up on the ridge in the dark, and encountering a big cat up there. I imagined trying to drag Scoob, who would be naturally curious and never expecting hostile force, down the steep hillside without taking time for the looping trail. I saw us even closing the back door just before the cougar arrived on the porch. Jamming his snout into the pet door.

I had seen a pink armadillo. I wanted to tell it, but no one was attending. We had returned to Clayton’s Grocery, which of course was nothing like the one of my childhood. We are lounging on a large bed apparently set up for that purpose; customers could just plop down.

Hissing. I hear hissing. I say something to Casey and he replies and I cannot make out what he says. I keep asking and he replies again but I can never hear over the hissing.

When I open the door, I see the floor of the adjoining room is gone. Something, pipes or fittings, have swelled in place of the boards, and the hissing is steam from pipes. I ask, why is it we heard nothing but the hissing? I see my shaving cream has come off on Casey’s cheek, and I should take care of that, but there are distractions. The hissing.

The checkout area no longer exists; the counter, the floorboards, only dirt is left where they stood. Some of the flooring seems intact, and customers are roaming over these sections, ignoring the damage. No one but me seems aware of the extent of it. I don’t want to make any more fuss than anyone else, but can’t they see?

I move with the rest of them. I am in the produce sector, and I am conscious of my footing. I feel my foot catch in a declivity, and think, I’m just so hyper alert; it’s just a wrinkle in the masonry floor. But a woman nearby alerts to it, remarks, the floor, the floor.

I see it now, cracking right under my feet, with several levels developing right under me. I step away from this segment, as do the others. No one seems particularly alarmed. It’s just like plastic bags which won’t open or a squeaky wheel on a shopping cart.

The Day Before

It was very quiet. I spent the day without going outside more than a couple feet. I lounged and read, and wrote some on the keyboards, and mused, and dozed, and then late in the afternoon here come Niki J from school.