Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I walk out one morning but not before I hear a loud voice, very angry. One of the uphill neighbors is berating somebody.
He drifts away up the trail in volume. Then I see what was troubling him.

Where yesterday there was but woods with nary a human habitat in sight, there has miraculously appeared without sound or notice a series of log buildings. I stand and watch but nothing appears more sensible.

The logs for the buildings, four or five in number and laid out end to end, are newly pine. I cannot tell what they are for. Here is an official of some sort. He seems to be the only such on site.

What are you doing? is my question. It's all within our rights, he doesn't answer.

Look, I say, you have removed our juniper fence and have your border blocking even our driveway! He says, we did a survey.

He seems sure of himself. Must represent some corporate monolith. I ask how many there will be to occupy these buildings. One, he says. He figures he need not take me seriously. I am but a rooster clucking in his yard.

Lady and I walk down the road. Weird neighbor has one of the new pine cabins  on his property. He is out, tells us, yes, he has an agreement with the interlopers. He tries to entice Lady into his yard, as is his wont. I tell her we must go, remember? I swear as we walk down the road. We have enough trouble without engaging the lonely loon again. (He used to drop by and try and catch Lady out on the road. We finally managed to discourage him.)

We will probably have to move, I say. Well, we've been sort of expecting this, she says.

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Monday, September 01, 2014

African Dreams

I am thinking of those class soaps on BBC and PBS wherein the maid or butler or indeed anyone in the manse will open any door to reveal who is there without any thought this may not be a wise move. I open the door. 

There is out on a porch an African tribe of some sort in full regalia. They are seated in a line, some seven of them, with assorted children. They are very black and one then another of the men raise their chins and moan some sort of chant with closed eyes to the effect, in my interpretation, that they are in quite a lowly state and I have personally either brought about the disaster or failed in my responsibility to provide a remedy. 

"I have the Red Cross here," I suggest. One of the dark yodelers scoffs in another harmonic wail, which I am becoming quite adept at translating. 

I close the door and retreat to the interior. As it happens, I do have the Red Cross in attendance; my Welcome Wagon hostess has brought goodies to ease my transition into the neighborhood. (I am annoyed she brought tea instead of coffee.)  As I have learned she works at Red Cross, I tell her of my visitors, expecting to be scolded for imposing on her day off. 

"No rest for the weary," she sighs. Stands and moves toward the front door. 

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alimentary, My Dear Watson

We were beginning a trudge some distance for an unknown purpose, which is typical of dreamwalks. My two companions were hideous. I wanted to put distance between me and them. Several joined the walk at various times so we became a dozen or so. 

Arriving somewhere, one said, here we are. Some entered a structure, so I did also, then all the rest followed. We sat at a table where hot victuals sat and we all dug in. 

A tall gent moved in state through the dining room door. He stood straight and tall in his deputy uniform. I must arrest you, he said, for breaking and entering. 

That's actually redundant, said one, for you cannot enter without breaking. It's like a penalty for jumping up then down. The tall cop seemed not to hear. 

We stood and moved out in a bunch and the cop followed. It was one bizarre bust. 

Another building was designated the house of detention. We milled about, sat, if we liked. I didn't know we were going where we weren't authorized, I said. Neither did I, said all my companions in turn. We were a gaggle of ducks. 

There will be fines for stealing grub, said the deputy. It was my own home, he added. 

I wondered how tight was the deputy's security. I stood. Ambled to the wall. Browsed the wallpaper to the door. It was open. The deputy had forgotten to shut it. Stood there looking through, admiring the outside. Straggled out onto the porch, sat on a rocker. Waited. Stood, placed hands in pockets, stepped down to the yard, whistling. Pulled up grass and let it fall to test wind direction. My test carried me by stutter steps to the edge of the lawn. One step later was the street. Several steps in quick secession was up the street. 

Not very tight, I decided. And now I was free of my eerie companions as well. 
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Monday, July 07, 2014

A Well-Respected Leader

He was a well-respected leader in his field with memorable accomplishments and due notice. But he had done something; the news said so. There were certain allegations, not yet proven, by any means, but alleged by well-respected news conglomerates. The acts suspected were less than felonies but more than misdemeanors, and beyond comprehension as involving economics or cricket. (This niche was never adequately defined for the general nosy onlooker, like any traffic accident.)

In West Side coffee shops, the consensus was that a plethora of charges was buckshot, hoping with sufficent specifications to bring the bird to ground. In East End pubs, it was by approximately the same plurality determined the number of counts was telling, as he must have committed some of the offenses at least, just as you would expect a certain percentage of any crowd to be gay, or Baptists, or not wearing underclothes. 

As no offenses had as yet been brought before a DA or Grand Jury, the Esteemed Leader saw no purpose in responding to idle gossip. But his wife did. 

She was a recent immigrant who has married into all the esteem - at least, that which was native to us. No honor won beyond our shores mattered, of course, although the lady had scored myriads of awards and been feted in her native land, which was reputed to be New Zealand or Zanzibar or Zaire, one of the Zs. Her plea for fairness and a decent respect for the full measure by which truth was made manifest certainly sounded alien as well. 

It was unanimously reported by the news business that her editorial, widely carried and much commented on, was most profound and extremely eloquent, referring as it did to Seneca and Aeschylus and the 1,001 Nights. But in the pubs, it was seen that much skulduggery must be hiding behind such a vast curtain of prose, and, like in the cop shows, if a suspect is rumored to be in a house, then you approach said dwelling as if he definitely is. 

For us, the law is a game played by elite specialists, like golf, and only concerns us if we are hit by a ball. The premise, often repeated, of innocence until proven guilty, is ludicrous, like Schrödinger's Cat*. Guilt or death dates precisely from the event, and not when it is revealed by honorable observers. 

When so much logical error  goes into establishing the past, it's no wonder we're so often gobsmacked by the future, like crazed drivers obsessed with our rearview mirrors. 

*Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, in which a cat in a box who might have died both did and didn't. A lot of funding goes into physics. 

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Schopenhauer Dream

The book was actually only an exegeses  of a footnote from a previous volume in which Schopenhauer had written: "The only valid aphorism must regard events that never happen." 

I am watching a football game on TV, idly in breaks from reading, but there is some drama in that a hotshot team (unnamed) is expected to do well with all their stars and the legend inscribed on a sideline banner: "The road to the Super Bowl starts now!" But there is a slight impediment to the plot - Cleveland is grinding out yards in unspectacular fashion while the stars mostly wait on their sideline. There is a score on the ground, but the stars can win that one back in a flash. Only - Cleveland has the ball again and is methodically moving again and there goes their fullback the last few  yards into the end zone. 

I begin to see the slogan for this game may never work out on the field. 

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Can I Leave Here?

A herd of us along undistinguished terrain which I could describe better were I able to see better and recall more clearly. We are all under no constraint we can understand, yet we are angst-riddled under our feathery aplomb like turkeys who intuit Thanksgiving. 

Hazel is my guide, and she is free neither. We understand there is a code of conduct we cannot comprehend and that expulsion will result from its violation. 

"Can I leave here?" I ask Hazel, very quietly. "I mean, can I get away?"

Her response is silent; seems to be a nod. She would like to leave, too, as would we all, to where we do not know and to escape what we do not understand. We mill, one walks, then another, free associates with others. Knots form and break and reform; listening, watching. 

One sits at a desk in this open country, two potted plants marking a door to an office which is open to all sides. "Yes, Ronald, he has developed quite a taste for candy. Loves his Mars Bars and See's." Sneering, almost. 

We understand, those who have heard, that Ronald is gone. We will tell the others as we casually meet up, and they will do the same subsequently. It will be generally known in an hour about Ronald. We will mark candy. 

Where is Hazel? I look all about. Hazel is gone. Might she have escaped? Or has she been transported, possibly because of that very subtle nod of encouragement?

 Then they'll be coming after me next. I look all about, watch everything that moves. We speak quietly, the lines in our brows to indicate insouciant acceptance, the mask we wear. Breaking apart and mingling and then standing and then moving on. It is not a very interesting way to spend time but then we aren't really doing that because time itself has been transported. 
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