THE BLURRY DREAM
Have you ever noticed how everyone struggles to be understood as well as to understand each other? Is it they who’s confusing or us who isn’t understanding… or maybe it’s a little of both. We put so much energy into spelling, grammar, format, presentation, organization, perception, interpretation and relative focus; and yet we still aren’t sure about what’s happening. But when we dream, it’s acceptable for pieces and parts of unrelated instances and unresolved conflicts, impossible wishes and secret desires to mesh together in a delicious salad that makes no sense in a public forum. Yet, in the context of our unruly, stretched out, distorted dreams, filled with under or over exposed vague images, disconnected interruptions and hard to follow segues, it’s all fair, acceptable and tolerated, because, after all, it’s just a dream.
Page the dog, has been standing by my bed each morning at 4 a.m., squeak crying for nothing in particular and everything in general. I get up and take her for a sleep walk and with one eye open, I watch her chase rabbits, eat mysterious left over droppings, sniff the ashes that were tossed from an old barbecue and eventually I get the squat I’ve been waiting for, so I can return to the bed and continue the dream.
The screen saver on my laptop, rotates images when I pause work, that show up in my dreams at random moments. People, places and things float by as if they belonged to my view, and if not for that, their appearance would most certainly seem like a surprise.
Interruptions of seemingly resolved issues pop back up with velocity and open the tap on threads of anxious concerns coming from everywhere and going nowhere; and the scene changes.
Then I hear some cry squeaking again. Can’t she see I’m asleep. I’m not moving. My eyes are closed. How does she know I hear her and that I’m not in some sort of coma? How do they know when we are awake and just lay there faking it with our eyes closed?
She eventually walks away as I hear her dog tags jingle in the distance. Phew, she’s gone out to the back porch to watch the birds in the trees and squirrels chasing each other. I drift back into the dream.
All of a sudden, I’m at a drive-in movie. It’s at that exact moment when day surrenders to night and all the sophisticated theater critics prepare for an American tradition that has become rare. In my dream I can feel the intense joy of the ultra simple and the memories that come from silly discomforts.
I wonder what I’m doing at the Drive In. I see others content to be wrapped in pink blankets while sipping on Cokes wrapped in red labels. I’m instantly transported to the inside of my car, looking out the windshield as the sun sets no differently than the lights dim inside an actual theater. A mysterious partner rolls down the window on the passenger side, to bring the Drive -In movie audio box into the car, only to hear the big fat man, parked next to us on the right, sitting alone in his huge Crown Victoria with the seat pushed all the way back, say, “tune in to FM Station 96!” I roll down my window on the driver’s side and turn to the left and shout out at the car load of Mexicans passing paper plates from the front to the back seat.. “tune into FM Station 96!” They roll down their window and pass the message on down the line. The car inside and the drive-in outside are all pitch black. The movie sound is coming out of the car radio and it’s the only lights on in the car. I look down at my lap and can see a woman’s broken legs are resting on me. I can feel my chest swell with love and a chill shoots across my temples and around my ears, as I realize the pain that must be felt by shattered limbs.
Suddenly I’m walking down a grocery store aisle and can’t find what I’m looking for. I look for someone who works in the grocery store to ask for help, but no one can be found. Then I notice that there are no sales or stock people in the store, just “Help Buttons” strategically placed everywhere. I feel a moment of relief as I press the help button and hear an announcement come out of the public address system… “Help requested in the hot sauce aisle, help requested in the hot sauce aisle.” I look around and wait and no one comes. Even if they did, I don’t know what I’d ask them, I just wanted to press the button to see what would happen.
Suddenly, I hear a “beep beep” signaling that my printer is out of ink. I stand in front of the printer wondering how much money I’ve spent and how much money I will spend in the future on replacing these damn ink cartridges. If a set cost just under a hundred bucks and I replace them every couple of months, over time, that stupid printer could cost me thousands of dollars. I wonder what the world was like before printers, cell phones, Netflix that arrive in the mail, TV’s that connect directly to the Internet and freeze dried dog food imported from Australia. I turn over in my sleep, which seems to change the channel, much like how we do with all our remote controls. What did we do before remote controls?
I’m sent deep into my past, like how Kirk or Spock might be transported onto the space ship Enterprise. I’m reminded of my breakfast with Carl Bouckaert, the logo, video and corporate identity project I worked on and his lessons about how to get things done. One time he had asked me to do the impossible and I told him so. He said to me, “Nothing is impossible. You either don’t want to do it, or you just don’t know how to do it. Which is it? Obviously, I wanted to please the richest guy in the western hemisphere at the time, so I said… I didn’t know how to make the impossible happen. He replied with, “…fine. Let me show you….” and I watched as he knew something I didn’t and made something happen that I thought was impossible.
Just then, someone walked past with boots of gold. I looked down at them and wondered if he spray painted them and if he used proper ventilation if he did. I marveled over his choice of shoe laces and started thinking about why we all just don’t spay paint our shoes. Hmmm… which shoes would I choose to paint and what color would I paint them? Poof, I’m in my closet looking at my shoes. They are all tossed together like vegetables in a salad. I imagined a huge salad bowl filled with shoes and socks. Running shoes, cowboy boots, flip-flops, square-toed rubber soled shoes, thin soled Italian loafers and those Mango colored ones that I never wear… but I bought them because they looked brown in the store.
Uchhh…. there’s that squeaking crying sound again… I better get up.
I have to work on a website design today, get my short hair cut shorter, gotta get some dog food, deal with the end of the month bills, call a few people back, maybe do some laundry, maybe buy some groceries, send back the Netflix movies in the mail and maybe go to a movie. It’s Friday thank god and the new movies are out.
Maybe if I get a chance I’ll take a nap this afternoon… I’m exhausted.