Monday, February 28, 2005

I am greeting lots of pups; there are two at either hand before me and just behind them is Scoob, himself a rambunctious little pup now. He waits patiently. He knows me and him's tight. I'm comfortable with him there, in a semi-stadium for canines.

I'm leaving now to go and see someone. There is a range of barracks, or dorms, and I must find someone. Maybe it's my brother Joey. I realize I'm in the wrong dorm. We must move like in Hong Kong, with too many per square foot, shuffling, ignoring personal space.

Now I sit at a lunch counter. There is a smiling russet blonde, slightly older lady who is demonstrating the creation of a sandwich. She does this like it's she's working the cosmetic counter at a department store. Smiling and giving advice. It's my sandwich, but, I realize, I have nothing to pay for it.

I eke away. I must go and find Joey. I realize now, it's the apartment high and on the far side, but it's another building entirely. I'm not worried yet.

This is a searching, slogging through anonymous crowds, my pup taken care of, lost dream. Yesterday I found out in real time my column I'd been writing for the hometown online news isn't wanted no more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

It looks like we won't be emperors no more.

That's my first thought on awakening. I expect a mob. Yesterday there was a coup, although we weren't there, so we missed it. However, the results are in; we've been deposed. Doesn't that mean a mob should be storming the palace? I think the golden parachute for emperors is a lead anchor.

There is someone outside, but only a random passing in our neighborhood. It's a peculiar palace, perhaps unique for emperors. It's just one of the model homes in an upward mobile community. There are five floor plans, see, and the houses are rather crowded, and we have one of them, me and Niki J, the emperors. Until yesterday.

Should we have escaped? Don't ex-emperors run for the border? I'm so worried about us sleeping in our first day on unemployment.

Someone associates with us. It's an elderly couple, conspicuously ordinary. They just sort of glom onto us. We don't object, because, really, we don't have the authority. We don't want to provoke anyone by complaining. We are waiting to see what our role in the world shall be.

The couple, they are older (about our age, but we are much younger in our minds and me always in my dreams) and quite boring, to tell the truth. But they're better than the mob. We all start out somewhere. Niki J and I, we don't know where.

"Now," says the opposite lady, "We don't have much."

Oh, I see now. We are to be yoked with an older, dull couple of deadbeats. Maybe forever.

I wonder if this beats Elba.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I am in a cafeteria with classmates, and I'm not doing well in school. There was a special session in a class, a requirement for the course, and I missed it. There were two special make-ups and I missed all three. I was in confinement somewhere. I'm not abashed; it's understood, I'm able to do the work, but I'm not doing it. I have the attitude of one who has chosen not to participate with consequences I'm willing to bear.

We leave the cafeteria. My classmates are sypathetic, but it's all as if they understand I'm not cut out to go through this course.

I am now chopping on great long beams of madrone. In a yard somewhere, there are boards which are rough four-corner logs with a diameter of five feet at least. I'm pounding on one with a maul. I will continue to do this, although I know there will be no effect from it. I can barely force the blade to bite. Just long streams of red wood, and I'm pounding on it, but I'll stop soon.

But before that, there is a new order. Over here is - a band of copper. It is the same size as the other logs, same shape, only a darker rust. I can now make progress. I slam it and it begins to sag. (The logs are all horizontal, and I stand beside each to pound away.) This is easier. I may make this work.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

There is a U-shaped, single level red building out near where the old radio station KFYN used to be in our home town. This may be the model, but, again, the surroundings are indistinct, plus, I've never been inside those offices.

I am as a guest who wonders about his welcome, an expatriate returned. There is business discussed around desks and tables. Brother Reloj is there, and he ignores me. (In life, he was one who considered trying to assist one in social engagements generally unavailing; he was in that sense a Social Darwinist. He paid no attention to me in groups where he was well known and I wasn't.)

So I watch as strangers point out charts on tables they seat themselves around, and then they move on to other tables; it's a peripatetic exercise. I go away and come back again and no one seems to notice. I must find somewhere to sleep. I must go home.

It is difficult, I know, because home is where the parents lived, but they're all gone now. I know there is a house, however, and it's in another community I am unaware of. Reloj tells me it's in Hartford, or Messina, and he gives very little detail and I have no idea where the home of our parents is, but I don't dare ask for more answer than he's ready to give. I have come from miles away, and I must find sleep I know not where.

I approach a seat around a table again, and the lady to my left reaches up and raps me on the head with her knuckles like kids do. This is a signal; I'm happy to be recognized, though she offers no more than that.

Now, Chico is around the table. He's the pal of Reloj's and mine since childhood. He doesn't seem to notice me. I make no move to attract his attention. He is just sitting, vacantly gazing at the diagram before them all. I stand up, move around directly opposite his position, across the table and behind those sitting there facing him. He doesn't look at me.

Completely ignored on my long trip home, that's what this one is about.

I wonder if I'm deceased.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

In a common preamble to dreams, I am at shortstop. My games at shortstop were very few and over forty five years ago. I never was good at it. It's the ground balls. They kept going through my legs. If you're a shortstop, your main order of business is ground balls. I wasn't a very good shortstop.

But that's where I am in that somnolent cusp come nightime. There are runners at the corners and none out. Maybe sometimes there is one out. But the ball is hit to me most often, of course, else why would it be in my predream?

I can start the old double play. But I'm reluctant to allow a run to score. The ball is hit sharply always, to give us time to figure. The runner off third is not well under way when I have the ball.

The keystone corner. The second baseman pivots. He steps on the bag after I toss to him and fires the ball, most often, home. We want two outs with a man on first. That's the best result.

In a variation, the ball is hit to second. When that happens, I take it on the toss and fire it to the catcher.

I think I know why I lapse back into the old ballpark. It's movement, without words. I am beginning to talk to myself, more and more, throughout the day, to write in my head, to act out my reveries. Words, all the day long, and into the night. Reading, writing, talking to myself. There is no talk in a double play.

"My busy heart, who shudders as she talks,
sheds the syllabic blood and drain her words"

as Dylan Thomas says. I only want to stop the words so I can sleep, perhaps to dream, is what I say.

I suppose were I a dancer ever, that's what I would dream. So the only dance I know which can be slowed and involves no violence is that hard hit grounder to short, bouncing in slo-mo on an infield long gone to weed...