We live in a divisive area. Few agree on anything. Just today, my house told me it was 105 degrees F, the car said it was 102, and Alexa said it was 100.
Floofophily (floofinition) – Tendency of people to seek out or show attraction to animals.
In use: “Her floofphily developed into a commitment to help animals, often fostering kittens and puppies and their mothers, helping them recover rough starts and then homing them”
It was a lazy fun dream about working. I was a young man and seeking new employment. A middle-aged man was offering a prospective job. I hung around, hoping. He was one of several sub-contractors on sight. Talking with him, I felt I had a chance. I didn’t know what he was going, but I was sure that I could do it, too. At least, I could help, right? I was eager to prove those things and show that I was worth it.
Turned out, he was planting starts, as were the other sub-contractors. My guy was the smallest operation. He was planting about sixty plants. The others were doing hundreds to thousands. We were inside, on a top floor doing this. The floor was open and large, like an arena, with a domed metal ceiling. Large, bright lights kept it all lit like day.
I wondered, what plants are they putting into the ground with such care? Was it marijuana? No. The plants were striped decorative grasses. I was flummoxed about such grasses being given such attention, but as I watched the work, I caught on to the system and rhythm and helped out. As we worked and I became useful, I discovered that we were doing this for a startup. Those people worked for an Internet based company. They came in and started setting up workstations and computers among the plants.
We got to talking. I told them about some of my startup experiences with medical device manufacturing, and computer and net security, installing CRMs and databases, and building call centers. They were impressed.
At the end of the day, I left and went home to tell my wife I had expectations that I was going to be offered a job, that my efforts were going to earn a payout. I awoke hopeful, optimistic, and energetic.
Yes, definitely a fun dream.
I received a haircut today, the first in two months. It was a few weeks overdue. My hair is losing its presence on top and my forehead keeps pushing my hair line back. Hair grows thick and heavy on my sides and back, and still falls in waves of curls. The whole thing can become an unmanageable beast, fighting me about what I want it to do. It won a few times this week. I finally acquiesced to a growing need to deal with it.
Part of my reluctance is the pandemic protocols. We’re in a small town. Not many barber shops, salons, and stylists are among the businesses. Our town is oriented toward college students and tourists, translating business needs into drinking and eating establishments – pizza, restaurants, and beer, wine, coffee, and pastries. Scattered among them are gas stations, grocery stores, clothing boutiques, and bookstores.
Places catering to hair are less frequent. Almost all closed on Sunday and Monday. Most close early on Saturdays. The windows to get a haircut get perilously small. Pandemic closures meant less people working in these places. Appointments are the norm, and they’re precious. I was turned away because nothing was available at three locations in the course of five attempts spent over three days.
An appointment for a haircut. That blows away my youthful memories of walking into quiet establishments, taking a number, and waiting ten to fifteen minutes. In my military days, aka my youth, I had more hair to cut and more frequent needs to cut it to meet regulations. But the prices were better. In the beginning, we’re talking $1.10 for a haircut. Slowly it went to two dollars…five…ten…
Today, I spent $30 with a tip to trim my silvery locks and tame my curls. But I put the $30 haircut into context with coffee. I used to spend fifty cents to a dollar for a cup of coffee. I spent $4 on a cuppa today. Filling my car with gas cost six dollars for a time back then, compared to the fifty I just put out. Yeah, bread was two dollars a loaf, and it now runs $7. It was white bread back then, and now it’s multigrain, and I buy it cheaper at Costco, which wasn’t around back in those days. Cat food was a quarter a tin. Now it hits a dollar each. Hell, I remember spending $7,000 to buy a new Firebird, an expense that took a deep breath to decide after hours of calculations and days of mental wrestling. Good luck finding a new car, loaded, for seven grand these days.
I’ll just put in a mention about real estate. We bought our first place for half a million dollars. Family, still used to lower prices, were stunned. It wasn’t a large place, a sixteen hundred square foot condo, three bedrooms, three baths, two car garage, three stories. My family was more astonished when we sold that place after a few years for three hundred grand more than we paid. I was astonished, too. That was almost twenty years ago.
Context. It all costs more now — houses, cars, air fare, food, clothing, and yeah, haircuts. I look good, though. Young Megan, probably in her twenties, did a good job.
Time was sneaking toward six in the morning. He was lazing in bed, floating in the space between dreams and being awake, a cat beside him singing a purr. Open windows poured cool morning air over him, a solid reversal from the hundred degrees experienced hours earlier. Just as it seemed sleeping was seizing an edge, a loud grunt – snarl – snuffle sound sent him full awake. He and the cat sat up in panic-orchestrated synchronization, turning as one to look up at the window. After listening a moment more, he raised himself up and looked out the window.
A bear on the other side of the six-foot privacy fence a dozen feet away returned his gaze. As he mumbled, “Holy shit,” to himself, the bear, apparently bored, dropped out of view. Maybe out of sight, but definitely not out of mind.
He suggested that they take their books to the park and read under some trees.
“Too muggy out,” she answered.
“Muggy? It’s hot and dry.”
“It was muggy to me.”
He looked out the window. No clouds could be seen from east to west, north to south. “Alexa, what’s the current humidity?”
Fifteen percent, the machine answered.
One of them didn’t understand what muggy means, he thought.
SIBUF (floofinition) – Internet slang for ‘Stuck in Bed Under Floof’, when a sleeping animal stops a person from getting out of bed.
In use: “Camille had plans for getting up early Saturday morning and getting things done, but Don Juan — who apparently thought he was a tiny puppy and not a huge beast — had her SIBUF and refused to get up, forcing a change to her agenda.”
I alternated between being inside hotel rooms and office buildings, and outside, in a park-like setting with fountains of silvery water. The dream was densely populated and I never seemed alone. Sometimes I thought I recognized friends and family. Sometimes these were in a distance. For the most part, I felt like I was supposed to be chasing something but would forget what I was chasing.
Finding myself in a tall building, I looked out the windows and saw a park in sunshine where there seemed to be a fair or a carnival. Further out were trees. Their tops were curtailed by a silver veil. I realized it was a storm, and then saw it as a distinct cell moving toward the building I was in. Lightning flashed within the cell, making the silver shimmer and sparkle. Through it all, I kept thinking, what am I looking for? I came here for a reason. Every time that I seemed to have a grasp, the situation twisted, removing me to another location, among other people. Realizing this was happening, I told myself, you must focus and concentrate.
Then I was again in the tall building, in a room with twenty to thirty other people, holding a drink in my hand. Young, I was dressed business casual. I didn’t know any of the others so I shifted to one side and looked out windows. We were really high. I again saw the rain veil and remembered seeing it before. It worried me. It was darker than before and seemed closer. I thought I saw lightning again and kept watching to see if there was lightning, wondering what the impact of lightning would be on us, because we were so high above the ground.
The veil parted, revealing a rainbow inside it. I looked around to see if others noticed it but they were all busy talking. I wanted the others to see it, so I pointed it out and said, “Look, look at this rainbow.” Nobody seemed to hear me. Growing exasperation, I said it more loudly but found myself ignored. Then a young black woman said, “Oh my God, look at that rainbow.” Everyone then turned and started making appreciative noises.
Annoyed, I decided to leave but it was more crowded than before. I was by the windows and everyone had come over to them to look out at the rainbow. I didn’t know where the exit was. Each time I thought I saw it, someone moved in front of it. I thought I could move around them but became confused about which direction I was supposed to take. Going down a hall that was darker, I thought I saw someone or something around the corner and went to see what that was. The light fell, though, frightening me. I held back, but then told myself, “Screw it, go see what that is.”
I went around a corner and then another. All around was dark but ahead was a window bright with silvery light. I thought, where’s that from? Even as I thought that, it came to me, that’s the rain that I saw coming. It was weirdly bright and silvery on the window, running in thick rivulets. Seeing it, I wondered, how can it be so dark in here when the rain on the window is so bright?