I sorted out all the elements as a catalyst to remembering this convoluted nocturnal offering.
- Racing cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
- The mother of a childhood friend in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
- The television show Glee.
- My sports car that I drove in the 1990s.
- Co-workers from the early 2000s.
- A book store and change.
- The Vietnam war and the Huey gunship.
- Walking and driving.
- An embarrassing bathroom incident featuring an elderly Robert Duvall doppelganger.
- Sending a coded message.
It was a lot to take in. I dreamed this between 6 AM and 7:45, times that I was awoken to let Youngblood (Papi) out and in again. I was the same age, in my forties, throughout the dream.
Let’s begin the madness.
Started in traffic. I was in my black 1993 RX-7 R1. Highway was a undulating, rolling affair of six lanes filled with cars. It could have been El Camino Real along the Peninsula.
I saw bright cars up ahead. After some seconds of watching them accelerate and race through traffic, I decided that those were race cars. Downshifting, I accelerated to catch them, then I passed one; it was a 1966 Ford GT. Catching up with others, I saw a trio of Ford GT40s, then several Porsche 908s, a couple Ferraris, Porsche 917s in Gulf colors, and finally, Mark Donahue’s fabled Sunoco blue Porsche 917/30. Flabbergasted, I speculated, why are all these vintage race cars racing in traffic on a public road? Before I could fully catch them, a traffic light stopped me.
I was no longer in my car, but standing with a crowd of people, waiting for the light to change. It was a sunny day. When the light changed, we started walking forward. We were going up a large hill, paved, six lanes wide (three in each direction). A woman beside me said, “How do they expect us to walk up these hills when we’re not warned about them?” I thought that an odd complaint. Looking back, I realized I was having no problem with the hill, but everyone else was, and all were lagging far behind. Shrugging that off, I kept going.
Almost at the hill top, I turned into my destination, a shopping center. There was a book store that I wanted to visit. Entering, I hurried upstairs and then turned in what I remembered as the way. But it was changed; packed with books and bookshelves, tables and chairs, there were so many people and books that it was hard walking through. I gingerly managed to get through, then turned another corner, and found myself in a deadend.
I heard my name being called. As I wondered why anyone would be calling my name, I looked down and realized that my name was written on the tee shirt I wore. A young woman caught up with me. I recognized her as a co-worker from a company I worked at in the 2000s in Palo Alto.
She was asking me for information about a book. She knew some of the people I used to work with flew Huey Gunships in Vietnam. That baffled me; she didn’t work with any of those people. Also, those people were too young to have flown Hueys in Vietnam. A third man (black) came up, trying also to get through the book store. The three of us decided that there was only one door to take, so we would take it to reach the book store section that we wanted.
As we were about to leave, a black man hailed us. Identifying himself as the store manager, he told us that we couldn’t enter until people had left, because the store was too crowded. While we were talking to him, I looked out the window. Realizing where I was, I decided I would leave the store and approach the part I wanted from the outside. I took off to do so.
Now I was in a bathroom. I needed a bowel movement, so I copped a squat. People were watching me. One resembled an elderly Robert Duvall. Staring at me, he said, “Are you really going to do that here?” Thinking I was on a toilet, I replied, “Sure, why not?”
Then I realized that I was peeing on the floor. As I tried addressing that, I discovered that I was shitting in a urinal.
No, no, no! I was hugely embarrassed and recognized that I made an enormous mess. Well, hopping off the urinal, I found some paper towels and starting cleaning. Robert Duvall mocked me. “You’re going to clean this whole thing?” “Yes,” I answered.
My friends began helping me. As I cleaned piss off the upper walls, I realized that there was no way that I’d made all of this mess. Robert Duvall said the same. But I decided to keep cleaning until it was all clean, which I did with friends’ help. Robert Duvall grudgingly congratulated me on doing the right thing. I felt happy about that. Then my friends and I left.
I was out in a busy, busy place. I realized that a high-ranking military officer was coming here, but it wasn’t safe for him. I had a code that I could use to warn him off, but how would I get the code to him? It had to be surreptitious due to the situation.
I saw that some others were on a Zoom call. He was on that Zoom call, too, on the other end! I could write the code on a card or piece of paper and hold it up. As I worked, putting that all together, I did another assessment. Deciding that the threat had passed and the warning overcome by events, I left.
I was at my friend’s house in Penn Hills, PA. He wasn’t there, but his father was. He was coming down the steps as I was going up. I needed to wash my car. I crept into the house, a little concerned that I didn’t belong there, that I was invading someone’s private space. Upstairs, I found a bucket and soap and started filling the bucket with water at the sink. My friend’s mother (Lois) entered. The kitchen was messy, and another person was in there. I apologized for being there, stammering my way through that. She shrugged. “That’s okay. We’re making smoothies.” She held up two large glasses. Then she talked to the other person, asking him if they’d DVR’d Glee.
That threw me off. Lois had died in the eighties (cancer). Glee didn’t exist when she was alive. Neither did DVRs.
Leaving, I returned to my car (still my black RX-7), and then left to reach the bookstore.
Yeah, the end.