Friday, June 18, 2004

Workplace Bathtub

I have installed a bathtub at work. There is a separate rec or break room to hold it. I fill it up now. I hear distress from outside. Oh, dear, comes from the main office. I detect about a foot of water and rising on the floor of the break room, and the suspicion naturally arises; this could be the source of the concern out there. (The voice of affliction outside sounded like my mother.)

I try and imagine the chance that a flood in the room is unrelated to the tub filling up within it. What other newly factors might there be? This diversion is truncated by spotting a fast leak high up the side of the tub. Thus ends the rationalization.

Technical assistance might help. Here is a technician from the service department. He chuckles like over the foibles of toddlers. `Here is the work of a fledgling in the art of bathtub setup, of which I am master,’ is the eternal message.

He is sighting along the port gunwale. See here, he is saying. There is a wooden ridge atop portside I hadn’t noticed before. He says, have to line this sucker up.

I’m thinking, now, just what is the use of a bathtub in a workplace anyhow?

The Miles March

Out in the shop proper, I note apparent co-worker Miles Davis. He is prancing in a section behind a counter, like at UPS. (All my dreamscapes are vague; even familiar scenes are counterfeited, possibly due to my lack of visual awareness and memory.) Miles is approaching like doing a clockwise circle; he is at three o’clock. He wears pink rubber galoshes and boxer shorts, the type of tee called a `skivvy’ back home. He is blowing light and quick, like an up-tempo bugle call.

I say to others watching at the counter, “Miles is blowing a march,” and when he joins us on a stool immediately to my left, I say, `Miles, you’re blowing marches!’ and he brightens, as if he is glad to have communicated a mystery, as he would had someone merely listened in the studio and recognized the guys were cutting riffs on blues progressions for the album later named “Kind of Blue." I was proud of spotting the theme.

Miles explains how the silence works in his music, why he uses sixteenth notes. As he continues with musical complexities, his head sinks down on his chest and his voice becomes unintelligible.

Another dream ploy. Jane Austen advised her would-be writer niece, “If your characters depart Dover for the continent and you’ve never been, best you not accompany them”.

I know nothing about music theory, so in a dream Miles will naturally be indistinct when explaining what he does. Nobody asks Miles Davis to speak up. I seize on the idea of what is left out to imply rather than state, and the sense of the unit will be stronger. I think of the elided lines in the Miles Davis Summertime from Porgy and Bess.

I am a proactive listener. I offer on the theme elided notes in art my own examples.

(1)Hemingway’s cutting away from the structure of his stories, leaving less than a skeleton for careful readers to reconstruct the corpus.
(2)Learning to play the piano; you engage a bobbing head, shrugging shoulders, clenched jaw, then when you master the instrument the music flows imperceptibly from heart to sound. (This from an article by William James.)
(3)The D H Lawrence coda from Women in Love which denotes the onto/philo passing from primordial primitive through civilized complex to perfection back at the purified simple.
(4)We were told in Little League by chiding teammates when muffing a one-handed attempt at a pop fly “Two hands while learning,” and yet the big leaguers routinely snare fly balls one-handed.

By the time I had arrived at #4, Miles was clearly bored. He picked up a phone, and I moved off.

Watch For Milk

I am heading down Fourth Street back home now, the central main drive in town, in some sort of street sled. I am traveling fast, and then I notice Scoobie is with me, mounted on his own similar but unconnected vehicle.

At the end of the run, say two miles down 82, I must return on foot, bringing along a little girl who toddles in all directions. I catch her when she rollicks onto the roadway, and point her back the way we should go. I figure this could take some time, for she rambles fro as much as to. She has a passel of sisters not much older now, and begins to run in the right direction. We are making good progress now.

We stop by a house along the way. (Perhaps the location was our old homestead at 719 East Fourth Street.) I offer to trade a watch I have for milk for the little girl. (Although I have the sense she lives here.) I remove the battery from the watch. (I mean to swap only the battery?) Then I think, better to keep the watch together and bring the family a complete new one tomorrow. (I wonder if this is some sort of weird echo of the “federale” trying to trade a watch to Dobbs for his pistol in Treasure of Sierra Madre.)

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