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.

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