The Fortune Teller Dream

The dream began in a small house. It seemed (these things are not always spelled out in dreams) that the house belonged to a family member. I was staying with them, along with my wife, as part of a visit. Not a large house, it was crowded with people, but the atmosphere was pleasant. The dream took place in the living room, which had green shag carpeting.

We were preparing for a visit, or inspection. I’m not certain which. A woman was present who was a councilor or adviser; I wasn’t certain of her role, but she was authoritarian.

This was happening in the morning. The inspections were due in hours. Someone unfamiliar was asleep on the sofa under a blue sleeping bag. I could only see the dark hair on top of their head.

We were all wondering in soft tones, “Who is that?” And answering, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen them before. They arrived last night.” Coming into the room and hearing us, the woman finally explained that it was son. “Don’t mind him. He needed a place to sleep for the night.”

Oh, okay. We all accepted that without question. A young ginger cat was running in and out, bringing in mulch and leaves after it rolled on the ground or something. Talking with the others, I said that I was going to vacuum the cat and get the dirt off of it. After I caught the cat, I started vacuuming him. He tried to run away, but then he started enjoying the process. I thought that he had realized that I was cleaning him as he turned to let me access different places with the vacuum nozzle.

The woman’s son awoke. Vague introductions were made. Tall and unshaven with short black hair, he looked liked he’d been living rough. He had some appointment, he said, and would be leaving soon. He seemed withdrawn and subdued. He and I spoke, small, friendly exchanges. I was curious about him, pumping him for more details. He finally, hesitantly, attempted to explain. He would do it with cards.

He said he was a fortune teller. He drew cards out of his pocket. They were made of torn newspaper. “I’m not allowed to have real cards,” he said.

Why? I had to ask. “It’s complicated,” he replied.

Meanwhile, he’d dealt the cards into three piles. I was a little bewildered, because I thought I only saw three cards. They didn’t have markings, but newspaper columns and ads. “No, there are more,” he said. “You can’t see them.”

Sure, I thought, humoring him. I said, “Oh, is this three card Monte?”

“No,” he said. “I do fortunes. I read fortunes in cards.”

I went to pick up a card to examine it, asking him if I could as I reached for it. “No,” he replied, putting a hand out to stop me. “You can’t touch the cards or bet on them. That’s against my terms.”

“Your terms?” I was trying to understand what he meant.

He seemed embarrassed. “The terms of my sentencing, and parole. I’m not allowed to have real cards, bet on cards, or let others bet on them. Nobody can touch my cards, because that would make them real cards. That would…” He seemed to search for words. “That would give me. Power.”

I was like, “What’s that mean? What’d you do? What happened?”

He said, “I’m going to tell you your fortune.” He picked up a flimsy newspaper card and looked at it.

The dream ended.

A Friend’s Question

I encountered a friend during my walk yesterday after I finished writing. We met at an intersection as I came up a hill. We were going the same way after that, so we walked together and talked.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Decomposing. Just finished my writing. I like to walk for thirty minutes after writing to think about what I wrote and what I’m going to write next, and get some exercise after sitting for so long. You? Where are you heading?”

“I’m going to the store to buy a lottery ticket.”

That surprised me, and I said so. I didn’t think he was the lottery ticket-buying kind, if you understand. He laughed and agreed, telling me that he wasn’t, but an aunt had called and told him that she’d dreamed he’d win some money in the lottery, so he was doing as she bid because he told her that he would. He didn’t believe that he’d win, but he’d made a promise. He’s seventy and ended up telling me that his aunt is twelve years younger than him.

“Tell me,” he said. “If you don’t mind. You write every day, right? If you won the lottery, would you quit writing? I assume some pursuit of money or income is involved in your quest, but it seems like you write for something else, from all of our conversations.”

No, I wouldn’t quit writing. I write for me and my entertainment. Yes, I want others to read and enjoy what I write — I don’t want to keep this a private party. But writing, imagining situations, experiencing characters, finding the words, etc., is a pursuit that provides tangible satisfaction with the joy of discovering the story, exploring it, and putting it on some medium where others can enjoy it.

That’s what I told him, but in less words. The short answer is, it’s not about money.

It’s about writing.


Syncfloofnicity (floofinition) – Simultaneous animal behavior that seems coordinated and planned.

In use: “Acting in syncfloofnicity, the cat and dog jumped up when the door opened, stretched and yawned, tails up, and then trotted over to greet her as she said hello, sitting down in front of her for attention.”

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is due to a Andy Greene article in Rolling Stone about Peter Green. Peter Green was the founder of a little group called Fleetwood Mac, named after Mick Fleetwood (on drums) and John McVie (on bass). After reading the article and listening to the video, I went in search of Peter Green and re-discovered his rendition of The Supernatural. A comment said it was recorded in 1966.

I don’t know. I remember hearing it somewhere as a teenager and wondering, who is that? It was brilliant guitar work. I eventually learned that it was Peter Green. After buying the album used at a head shop, I started playing it at home.

Friends and family weren’t impressed. “There’s no one singing,” was the comment lament. “What’s it about?” “It’s just a guy playing guitar.” These questions and comments left me speechless. Didn’t they hear what he was doing with that guitar?

Peter Green’s skills fell out of my mind as he disappeared from public life after some bad drug experiences. Good of Mick Fleetwood to pay tribute to him and remind us who Peter Green is.


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