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.

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