Himself

He dreamed he was looking for himself.

The search began deep underground. Dressed in jeans and a shirt, he stood, trapped by the earth, mud and rock crushing him.

But he knew which way was up. Pushing back against the pressure, he lifted his hands and raised the earth above him, first by a barely measured fraction, then, as he kept pushing, by inches, and then by feet. As he lifted the earth away, he gained more freedom to move. With that freedom, he began swimming up through the soil and rock, even though it filled his mouth and he could not properly breath.

The last barrier was concrete. He slowed, but did not stop, though it took greater effort. The sounds he made attracted others’ attention. At last, the concrete broke enough that he could push pieces away. With them gone, he broke off more, creating a hole.

Fresh air washed in from a sunlit blue sky. Although exhausted, he worked more quickly. People’s voices reached him. “What’s going on?” people said. “Is that a person? Who is that?”

“It is a person,” an elderly female voice said. “It’s a man.”

Another female said, “Someone call the police.” Conversations swirled about why the police should be called.

Pushing concrete aside, he lifted himself out of the hole before a decision was found. A circle of staring people, most holding cell phones to videotape his emergence, surrounded him. They backed away at his growl.

Orienting himself, he began walking. The people scattered. He was on Ashland Street. He lived on Clay Street. It was less than a mile away.

It was time he found himself. Up on Clay Street, he awoke from his nap on the couch with a start. Elements of the strange dream buffeted coherent thinking. As understanding developed, he turned to the door. Watching it, he waited, bitter about what was coming. He’d betrayed himself before.

Now it was time to pay.

 

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Thursday’s Theme Music

So much has been written about this song and its lyrics. After it became a hit in America, our local newspaper, The Pittsburgh Press (or maybe it was the Post-Gazette) had an article with the song’s words in it. My sister, two years younger than me, told me that she’d memorize the lyrics. She seemed proud of doing that. The lyricist himself, Don McLean, has avoided analyzing the lyrics. He says they’re poetry. I recall McLean once said something like, the artist should put it out there and then keep a dignified silence when others ask what the song is about.

I but into that. People often uncover their own meanings in books, stories, movies, songs, and poetry. I like that, that people can take words, sounds, and images, anchor them to their lives and events, and affix unique interpretations to them.

Here it is, “American Pie,” from nineteen seventy-one. It’s a piece of Americana.

Purrthrob

Purrthrob (catfinition) – a cat with a deep and calming purr that resonates through your thoracic cavity.

Quinn inspired this one. Taking after other cats who have shared my space, Quinn likes positioning himself under the covers and against my chest, where he’ll purr himself to sleep with his vibrations traversing my chest. It’s soothing and relaxing to be the recipient.

A NASCAR Dream

It was peculiar.

My Dad, wife, and other family members – none of them ever seen, but heard in the wings of the dream stage – and I were watching a NASCAR race. It was one of the big banked tracks, like Charlotte, Michigan, or Daytona. I lean toward the last as the site. The cars were in roaring packs. It was the race’s mid-stage. Fans know this means the drivers were racing for position, but were mostly finessing the situation and vehicle to make a run at the end. Stock are mostly high-speed endurance races with a final ten-lap shoot-out, especially with the modern tendencies for the cars to wreck on the last, desperate laps. That stops the race and frequently leads to a green-white-checker situation.

I’d driven in with family in a white Chrysler Sebring convertible, with a beige leather interior. The car was parked right there.

Watching the race wasn’t the same as in reality. While watching on a huge screen, I (and everyone else) could virtually walk among the cars as they raced around the track. NASCAR encouraged this technology as a way for fans to get closer. Further, you could design a new paint scheme for the cars as they raced. The drivers and team could then review your scheme while the race was on, and adopt it for the car, again, while the race was on.

That’s what I was doing during the race. ‘My’ driver was a female (and not Danica Patrick). She’d was leading for most of the race, but there was a wreck. She was eliminated, and the race was red-flagged for track clean-up.

My family wanted to leave. The race wasn’t going on, and the one we cheered was no longer in it; why stay? I was working on that paint scheme, though, and didn’t want to quit. I finally surrendered to their heckling. Then Dad wanted me to move the Sebring up. Although we weren’t in a garage, there was a closed garage door. Using a remote control, I moved the car forward, but resisted getting it too close to the garage door. Dad insisted, move it further forward. Irritated, I did, stopping the car with the nose right against the garage door. I then complained to him about it.

That’s all there was. I found interesting symbolism to move after I awoke: a white car, my father as an authority figure, and a female driver, in the lead. All of those seemed like elements of myself. After mulling it over for a while, I took it to mean exciting times were coming (the race) during which I would be pushed to the limit (the car against the garage door) but that it would be fine (my father), and that while I had control, I wouldn’t be in full control.

As if I’m ever in full control, right?

 

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