Wednesday, July 27, 2005

In the morning I will suit out in my dress greens. There will be two of us, my first drill sergeant, a lanky sort with brevet stripes, which meant he was acting as a DI. I don't remember his name. It's been over forty years now. Maybe he's reading this, and will write and tell me his name.

I am to show up at work in my dress greens. This I don't question. It's an office requirement. Okay.

But it's morning and I seem to have left off gathering my uniform until now.

It's the busdriver's suit, you know. I hustle around and look for parts of it. Brother Joey and I will take the bus. He works somewhere else, but he's wearing dress greens too. I cannot find everything. It's been such a long time.

I am on the bus. Oh, wait, I say to Joey. I have on white socks. Joey says, that's doesn't matter.

Joey says not to worry. But then I think, hey, wait, I don't have my headgear! It's against the rules to be outdoors without headgear. I better go for my busdriver's hat!

I run back. I look in my apartment, then in Joey's. He has one small one-bedroom on the same floor. I am very late, I know, but don't look to see just how much late. I think, wait, there's this corner, and I go back to my apartment.

Find where old gear is gathered. Here's Joey's work cap; it's a sharp modified baseball cap, part of the fatigue uniform. Sure enough, I find my flat dress green headgear. It looks like Ralph Kramden's. I go out now.

I take the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. But that puts me down in a strange street. I run this way and then bend over that way, and then find a bunch of people at a stop. I stop.

It is some time here before I ask which stop this is. It's Third and Fifteenth. Oh, dear. I need Third and Second! Second Avenue is the route that takes me to the office.

I take off running up Third. I'm very late.

Do you know how pretty are the ridges up here? Like coral reefs in the sky. The bright colors are to warn away aircraft, you know. I ride it down the slope; it's like the spine of a Triceratops. Wheee!

The coral is now slithery, sinuous.

I catch up to the head of the snake. It flashes forked tongue, rambles.

Here I am now set down in a garage. I'm traveling with an Hispanic guy on bicycles. We're going somewhere, you bet.

He stops off at the window along the cavernous pathway. I ask, where is the school. He indicates, so I keep going.

But now I have to slide on my back, the way I swim. I pass others. Here is a child with a mother. It's my child; I have fathered it, but it's only like I jaywalked or something. Sorry, but she understands.

I am swimming over the pavement, the way I swim, which is floating on my back and paddling. I now am before the registrar. She shows me a mark in my record, her jaw set like it's a D. It's another child I've fathered. I'm chastened, but it's not like I failed the course.