Saturday, September 29, 2007

Who's Sorry Now?

I am in bed with Connie Francis.

She is smiling up from under me in full album-cover makeup.

Scene wipes like a movie. I'm now riding with Connie Francis in an auto. She shows me a picture. It's like George Grosz, a bad drawing with an odd perspective. Maybe a Picasso, with two figures engaged and another one a bit apart. Connie Francis says, remember this from last night? And I smile and nod and remember nothing.

Our land is on many levels, and down in the lower quadrant of our grounds like it never was, an auto is backing into the brush off our driveway. Wait, hold it!

It goes through the bushes, and I see it's actually a gate I never knew was there. I approach carefully. On the other side there are many animals, some quite exotic, inside dark bars like a zoo. I stare.

Ask Niki J. Do you know there's a petting zoo just beyond our drive? There's even a gate I didn't know about. Neither did she.

But now, closer to home, we have (in the dream) a stand-up natural gas wall heater. Only ... there's another one, roughly bolted to it. Somebody else, I conclude, is leaching off our heat for their own. How can this be? I ask Niki J. No, she wasn't aware of it at all.

But now I must go down. There is a tunnel, spiraling, ever downward. It's so far down the air pressure is very light, as if we're on high. But, strangely, we are able to go down deep into the earth very quickly.

We cannot stay here. We'll develop depth sickness. It's why our national culture is so superficial, after all. But we must bring back the clothing on hangers in the chamber. Yes, of course we must. But there are so many of them, brocade gowns, heavy cloaks. Why are there so many? We cannot carry it all. But we must make do. I begin gathering hangers.

In the auto, I ask Connie Francis, "So, do you still see Dick Clark?" She is to my left, facing forward now. I suppose someone else is driving, because she doesn't seem to be doing anything but musing. "No," she says simply, then, very softly, "I must get out of here."

Dissolve. Our wall heater stands alone now. And the brush down in the lower section, it probably no longer has a gate. Yes, yes, I'm sure of it.

Wait, what's happening on this set? I look in.

Colonel Bureagard over there is sitting on a camp stool. He is waiting for the President-Elect. Lincoln has not taken office yet. Here, Mr President, says the Colonel. I must show you something.

He's a naturalist, the Colonel is, but he used his drawing talent to record what he had seen among the Seminoles in Florida during a recent field trip. He knows his old law partner Lincoln will give him a meeting. Look here.

The scroungy Seminole in all his inglorious spartan want is displayed, the rank and the pitiful, even to the smallest children, and the last portrait is the result of a punishing mission, as General Claptrap called it. Corpses abound.

Lincoln is crying. "I promise you this iniquity, this tragedy, will be requited and it will not happen more." He slams his fist down on the puny camp table so that it collapses.

Colonol Bureagard rolls up his artwork, and I awaken.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Burning Sheets

I have a new invention here, but it isn't mine, and I'm not altogether comfortable with it. A new means of remaining warm on a cold night.

You simply douse the sheets with a special water, then set fire to it. The water will burn at an acceptable rate throughout the night. If you would turn the thermostat down, as it were, you simply kick off sheets. The smoke goes somewhere - don't worry, I am assured.

Now there are three hounds at the carnival. I must retrieve them. They are in the keeping of one of the sideshows, a Pool for Pups, run by a burly congenial one and his slatternly spouse. Basically, it's a small wading pool. They are traditional carny folk. I take the leashes of two, presumably Maya and another I'm keeping, and say, hold on with Scoob; I'll be right back. I take the two to Niki J, way over on the other side of the grounds.

When I return, there is the spouse, and she's telling me, "He went to see if Scoobie should be barred from here." What?

I rush to find him. Up the hill and down the midway and into a tent. There's the guy, and over there's Scoob. He is being fed something scrumptious, and likes it exceedingly. I take the leash, and I back out with it, but only after Scoob is finished, which doesn't take long. I am shaking. Me and the boy retrace our steps back past the Pool of Pups. It's all right now, but I'm wary.