Sunday, March 06, 2005

I go driving. Just driving, to "get out" like we used to do in the old days.

I wander off the reservation. I'm down 75, close to Dallas, only it's all freeway. I make to turn back now. Cross left the oncoming lanes, clear to the frontage road going up the other side. I'm not sure of the way home.

I turn into a complex, a nondescript building off the service road. Maybe someone here can show me the way to go home. I dismount and wander into a building.

There are counters and offices, and no border between where the customers stay and the workers move. I'm waiting and nobody seems to mind.

I approach a trio, and radiate presence. One of them still talks, and I await attention, politely. Which way do I go? Someone says, over that way. I smile, thank her, leave.

It's down 75, only not like any 75 I ever drove. Reloj is with me now. We're to turn off here. Right here. I do.

In the process of traveling down a narrow dirt road, two ruts, really, Reloj becomes the driver. We are brought up short at an ordinary country barbwire fence, a lock on a gate.

We stand down, consider. Obviously, we must find someone to open the gate. (We never consider just turning around and going back from whence we came. Dreams are like time itself sometimes.)

Someone looms along one side of the road beyond, which is paved, a farm-to-market. He's a lanky highway cop, indicates a building. Okay, we go into still another building. It must be what you do around here when you're lost.

Reloj goes off to an office. Inside, it's just more worker wandering, me waiting.

I finally am able to attract notice. The auto we drove up in is now in a lot, she says. Just go to the attendant, she says.

I go back down to the gate. There is now a huge parking garage, multi-level, and I enter into the foyer to the office, speak with the one in charge through a half-door.

He says, he doesn't know my auto, and has no way of knowing where it is. This doesn't strike me as peculiar, all these unhepful agents. I am very patient. I explain, but it makes no difference. He does have an orange copy of a ticket, which obviously refers to me in some way. I ask to see it.

Inscribed thereon is a complete description of the auto, a Nissan, with all relevant numbers and the exact stall where it now rests on the third floor. I point this out to him.

He is not embarrassed; it's as if I've finally provided him with relevent data he can use. It's like the common workday wisdom of those who figure someone new to their premises thus ignorant of their process must be mentally deficient.

Now it's standing in front of the garage, beside the wired fence gate, waiting for Reloj time.

The lanky highway cop meanders back by. He remembers me. I figure there may be trouble retrieving my ride, because it now belongs to Reloj, who is off on some obscure conference somewhere back in the building.

The cop asks where I came from. I point to the trail. He says, no, you couldn't have come that way. I insist. He says, there's no way. I even describe for him the building which sent us down this way.

He laughs. "Fella, you know, that's Special Customs. There's no way on earth you just waltzed on through there."

I say, "You mean like Miami Vice?" He smiles, nods. That's it.

I have no idea how I made that connection, or how come him to ratify it. Perhaps the reference is so abstruse he isn't sure there isn't something to it but doesn't want to admit he doesn't know what. Maybe it's just that my TV references are slight and aged like ol' Barney Fife himself and his must be, too.

My dreams, they dissolve often without a working denouement...

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