The Motorcycle Dream

I was riding a motorcycle on a highway that reminded me of California SF-SJ Bay Area Interstates.  I could’ve been riding where I-280 goes into SF and splits off toward SFO. It looked oddly like that.

Weirdly, I was on the motorcycle, but ‘I’ was some distance back from it, on my feet, guiding and directing it. It (me on the cycle) was getting further away from me, forcing me to change lanes and strain to see myself. When I did those things, my motion caused my motorcycle to shift and change lanes. I was coming up on a split and didn’t want to miss my turn.

Somehow,  I made it. I then stopped at a tee-intersection on some sort of shore. My wife (also on a motorcycle on one moment but then walking in jean and a shirt the next) joined me. As I spoke to her, asking her what she wanted to do, she crossed the street, heading toward the shore. I said, “I guess that’s what we’re doing,” and followed her.

Our neighbor was across the street. She briefly spoke with him. I didn’t, but went toward her as she walked away from him. Watching my neighbor, I thought he was being interviewed. My wife confirmed that when I asked her.

I heard my neighbor say, “I’m not from West Virginia, but when I heard they were going to the wishbone offense, I was sold.”

The dream sort of muddled apart after that, with a brief moment of my neighbor and I comparing motorcycle riding notes, and me mentioning how I was riding it from a distance.

Then it ended.

April

gliding in with promises made for others

April taunts me on the outside of the window

safe from the thing that I and the ones like me

might do to her

Floof Stevens

Floof Stevens (floofinition) – Floofish singer/songwriter who broke out as a headline show in 1966.

In use: “Floof Stevens bitterly resented it when a human took up the stage name, Cat Stevens, claiming that the latter was stealing Floof Stevens’ material and confusing others about Floof Stevens’ identity. As Floof was a cat, no human lawyer would take up his case.”

Together Again

It’s funny, but sometimes when I post or share something humorous or sad on Facebook, the same two people react to it. They always react the same way. It’s memorable to me because they were married for a decade and then had an acrimonious divorce. I was so sad to see them part. They’d been one of my favorite couples.

Now they won’t speak to one another, and I can’t enjoy the company of the two of them together. Except there they are, on Facebook, together again, laughing, shocked, angry, and crying through emoticons.

The Tattooed Woman Dream

Short and sharp, it struck like strobe flashes.

I’m somewhere, with others, not sure of that setting. Darkness falls like the lights were turned off.

I’d been laughing. A friend had been right beside me. Befuddled by the sudden disappearance of the light, I turned to the friend, asking, “What happened?”

But he wasn’t there. While mulling this, across the way, on the edge of gloomy woods, I see a woman. I almost think I know her but deciding that I don’t, I turn to look for everyone else.

I don’t know where I’m at. It’s so dark, seeing is difficult. I was outside. Now…am I inside? I’m not sure.

I think I’m in a bar. Seems like it, maybe from outlines made out from a dim, flickering light. At first, I think it’s lightning, but then realize it’s a flickering neon light. Blue, I try to make out what it says.

The woman is beside me, surprising me. She’s smiling. I think, she has nice skin, it’s an interesting dusky color in this light.

Her skin is changing colors. I realize that her skin is dark with tattoos but the tattoos are moving. Afraid that her tattoos are going to grab me, simultaneously curious about what they are, and yet, dismissive that tattoos can ‘get’ me, I freeze with indecisiveness, wanting to run, wanting to turn away, yet wanting to keep looking and to stay there.

I try to make light of the situation and mumble a lame remark at her. She has a full head of dark, reddish hair. She hasn’t said a word. In a way, in this light, she looks like she’s dead, her skin growing paler as the tattoos leave her body.

I think, her tattoos can’t get me, but also think, where are her tattoos going? I think, they must be going to the floor.

I look down to see them. It’s too dark to see the floor. My feet are cold, then I realize, my feet are wet. Dark waters are rising.

I want to get out of the water. I try moving, changing directions. The woman isn’t there. I don’t understand where she went. The blue neon light flashes. I see a door. If I can get there, I can escape.

The water is rising with a gargling sound, a sound that makes me think of a mouth opening wide. The need to rush overtakes me. I struggle toward the door. Tables and chairs block my way. The water feels thick around my legs, more like it’s heavy mud, sucking me in. The water is rising and is climbing my thighs.

My left palm is itchy. Going to scratch it, I discover a small red snake is slithering across my palm. As horror strikes me, I realize that it’s a tattoo.

The floor shifts. The room tilts. The water and furniture are spilled toward the door. Bracing myself, looking for something to grab, I wait to fall out. Outside the door, it’s silvery white. I realize that light is the water. It’s falling down, like a waterfall. I try to see how far down it goes and spy a splashing pool, far, far away.

All the water around me that remains has turned silver and flows like mercury. It’s above my waist. As I look down into the water, I realize that although it’s silver, it doesn’t reflect anything, and then the water clears. Sunlight bursts up through it.

The dream ends.

FIFO

We’ve begun our third week of isolation. Our state, Oregon, has done well on containment. As of today, we stand at 538 confirmed cases and 8 fatalities. No fatalities have been reported in my city, Ashland. Nineteen cases are reported for Ashland. Our city hospital been set up as a COVID-19 county treatment center for mild to moderate cases.

The first two weeks of being sequestered at home, we cleaned, inventorying supplies on hand and reviewing recipe and meal ideas.

(Okay, when I say, ‘we’, I’m using the couple we. My wife has done 99.9% of this. My input has been almost negligible.)

My wife suggested first in, first out eating practices. The oldest stuff should be consumed first, if we agree it seems edible.

I countered: we want to use our fresh produce so that it doesn’t go to waste.

A compromise was agreed: FIFO would be employed one day, and a fresh meal the next. Whenever we do a FIFO meal, we’d add fresh produce, if it made sense. Smoothies would be consumed each day.

It’s been going well. We were well-supplied with staples. My partner baked. A can of old pumpkin was sacrificed (along with old cream cheese and an extra sweet potato) to make a pumpkin roll and pumpkin muffins. A quarter was consumed; the rest were frozen for future eating.

She slices and freezes bananas that become overly ripe (they’re used in smoothies). But when we’d had a large supply of them established, she made us banana-pecan muffins. Again, a few were consumed, but most were frozen.

Vegan split-pea soup followed, then roasted vegetable soup. Each lasted us several days.

Along the way, we’d been eating salads, which is our long-established habit. As COVID-19 practices and projections took shape, we began thinking in longer terms. While grocery stores have taken precautions and special hours set aside for people like us (over sixty years old), they also report supply chain issues. My wife has RA and is considered vulnerable. She didn’t want us going out if we could avoid it. But more supplies were needed.

Enter Instacart.

I created an Instacart account and explored it. Instacart supports four chains in our area: Safeway, Albertson’s, Fred Meyers, and Costco.

Costco! That’s our go-to place.

First I logged into Costo.com to check supplies. Out. Out. Out. Out.

I figured that resupplies would eventually arrive. I made it a daily practice to check. Finally, on Friday, bingo, several items that we wanted were now available. We also wanted fresh produce, for example, romaine, blueberries, bananas, celery, potatoes. Ah, that was available, but only if we shifted the order to Instacart.

Prices were compared. One, shopping groceries online with Costco is more expensive than shopping at the warehouse. Kind of expected, and they weren’t gouging us. Two, prices with Instacart were just a little more. Three, you tip your Instacart shopper.

Okay. We discussed it. Seeing that our supplies were going down, that cases in Ashland were going up, that the whole situation was unstable and uncertain, we put an Instacart order in last Friday.

The process itself was simple and well-organized. In fact, I consider it one of the better online shopping experiences that I’ve gone through. I was never confused about what was happening. They would tell us immediately if an item wasn’t available in our zip code. With some items, such as eggs, they warned us that they were in short supply, and brought up options. Cool.

Next were delivery instructions. Well, we didn’t want to break them directly into the house. We couldn’t leave them outside, either. I came up with an option: move one of the cars out of the garage and set up a table in there. When they were in route, we’d open the garage. They’d put the stuff in there.

The garage usually runs 48 – 52 degrees F at this time of year. We were only ordering one frozen item and a few refrigerated items. We’d put ice on those things and let everything stay out there overnight. Then, we’d clean it off and put it away.

Once the plan was established, we entered those instructions into our order and selected a delivery time. Delivery times were two hour windows on Saturday. They began at 2 PM. Well, we weren’t going anywhere… We selected two to four PM.

The order was received and processed within minutes. The system told us that we could change it, removing or adding things, until shopping was underway. After considering it overnight, we decided some of the stuff we’d ordered was too much, and removed them.

Next came our first ‘issue’, and it as small one. Our delivery window was moved to Sunday morning, 11 AM. Bummer. We were looking forward to it coming on Saturday. With little else to do, we were sort of focused on that happening. Oh, well, though.

Time passed. On a whim, I checked on the order.

Gadzooks! It was on the way. According to the email, it’d be arriving in about ten minutes.

Scramble, scramble, scramble! We were dressed, but had to follow up on our receiving plan. That done, a few minutes later, the delivery arrived.

Alicia P was our shopper and delivery person. She had an assistant with her (he was driving, citing the changing weather conditions as his reason for being). Everything went off without a hitch. Only one item didn’t make it: pasta. We have some pasta. I’ll do another order for Albertson’s via Instacart this week to see if that can be ordered.

Instacart recommended a five percent tip, which worked out to just under nine dollars. I upped it to fifteen. I figured Alicia P deserved it, and it was cheap at that. I acknowledge, yeah, we’re lucky. We have the financial wherewithal to do this, a Costco is in range, and people like Alicia P are willing to work for Instagram under these conditions. And, yes, part of my reason for pushing my wife to do an order on Friday night was that Instacart drivers were talking about striking on Monday, 3/30. The other reason was that stuff was at Costco, but how much longer would it be there?

So, we’re set again.

I slipped outside for a few minutes, taking out the recycle and getting the mail. We decided we’d pick up the mail every Sunday morning.

It was balmy and drizzly, a lovely day for a walk, except for the hidden killer that could be lurking in the air. Sadly, I returned to the house via the garage and followed sanitizing precautions.

Hope you’re all doing well out there in webland. Good luck, and stay well.

Cheers

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