Back to Normal Dreams

Yes, dreams were no longer short, sharp, and clear last night. Nor were they elaborate productions. Last night’s dominant dream — the one most remembered — was about command posts were I’d worked. I was in the military, the U.S. Air Force, for over twenty years. Worked in command and control. Fighter aircraft, nukes, space operations, military airlift, air training, special ops. Permanent and temporary command posts were worked in Asia, the far east, United States, Europe, and Africa.

I visited several of them as a young man in last night’s dream. While visiting military sites, I was dressed in civvies. Often accompanied by people who worked for me in different places (including some people who have passed away), I went around to those command posts, remembering what they were, discovering what they now were, dream-wise. Don’t know what they’re really like. Haven’t been to a command post since I retired.

It seemed like the dream was hammering the point, hey, things have changed. Forget the past. Move forward. A sledge hammer was being used to slam down roofing nails. I said to my dream psyche, yes, I get it, which seemed to satisfy it. Then, in my dream, I went to bed, and to sleep, only to then wake up in real life, a trippy transition.

A Repairing & Painting Dream

I was in a place of business. What business? I knew in the dream but that knowledge wasn’t transferred when I awoke.

We were fixing up the place. I’m not certain if we were preparing for visitors or if we were selling the place and moving out. That seemed uncertain, like it was possible that both were happening. We were painting the place a soft white in some places and a pale blue in other areas. I was directly doing or organizing most of the work and explaining to others what had been done, what’d failed, and what needed to be done. Walking around, I pointed out places where damage had been painted over on the walls, especially on the wall to the right, by the corner, and ceiling, telling them, “That needs to be redone. We need to fix it before it’s painted, because you can see the damage, and if you can see the damage, it’s probably worst underneath.” All were nodding and agreeing.

Later, I changed clothes and walked to my car to leave. My new clothes were a light blue shirt with tan pants and jacket. When I reached my car, I realized that I didn’t have the key fob; I’d left that in my other pants. Irritated with myself for overlooking the key fob, I stood and debated about what to do, as if there was a choice, right? Accepting it, I began walking back.

A Witnessing Dream

I, and another man, were rushing down the street through clear, sunny weather, eager to get to work. Each of us were on the sidewalk. He was ahead of me. The road and sidewalks were wide, and well-maintained. There was no other traffic.

Another friend, an elderly and short retired doctor who often reminds me of a garden gnome (except he never smokes a pipe, and he’s more slender than your typical garden gnome) was rushing head-on toward another friend.

Garden gnome wasn’t in a car. The other friend was in a red car, but it was like a cartoon car. I could see into it.

Watching them close on one another (with garden gnome hailing them and grinning), I thought, they’re both going too fast. They’re going to crash.

They did.

I slowed to watch, worrying and expecting many of the standard things seen in a high-speed crash. The two came together but the one in the car was ejected straight into garden gnome. They both slid down the street hundreds of feet, coming to rest in an intersection.

Oh, no, I thought. There’s traffic. They’re going to be run over.

The garden gnome stood, grinning, unfazed, astonishing me. The other was also unhurt. Collecting herself, she hurried away as the garden gnome tried to speak with her.

Reassured (but astonished) that they were okay, I carried on. Getting to work, I encountered the garden gnome. We exchanged insights about what’d happened. We were laughing about it, since he was okay. I was enthralled by the slide he’d taken. It’d been monumental. I’d never seen anything like that before. He was still interested in talking to the other person, the woman, he said, but she was avoiding him. Then, seeing her, he rushed off again, calling her as he went.

I continued on to work but then was hurrying down the sidewalk along the street again, eager to get to work. The garden gnome was racing toward another friend. She was in a car. He wasn’t. They were weirdly like a video game.

I thought, I just saw this happen. Is it going to happen again?

It did. They crashed together. She was ejected. They slid along the road together.

The crash had been greater than before, sending debris into every direction. I rued not checking on them the previous time, so this time I went back to check on them. Both were fine. Each rushed off after reassuring me of that.

Well, that baffled the hell out of me. In the dream, I thought, I witnessed the same accident twice. Do these things happen in threes? Will there be a third?

Then I was called to work, except work was over, or that phase that’d been going on. We were continuing on to another phase.

Two distinguished and accomplished people were ahead of me. Still, outside, we were all heading toward a checkpoint. We needed to get past the checkpoint to continue. Some events were planned for the other side.

Each of us was carrying a large piece of something. I’m not sure if mine was a large stained wood object or bread to look like stained-wood. It was huge, requiring me to stretch my arms out, and slowed me a little.

One of the people, tall and mustached, wore an expensive but old-fashioned trench coat. I could tell by looking at it. The other, a younger woman, treated him with diffidence. He was talking, and they were strolling.

I was catching up with them. As I neared them, I heard him make a comment to that nature. Then he saw me and stopped.

We were going up a grassy green slope toward the checkpoint. The man, while trying to be blase, said that they should hurry so that I didn’t arrive for them. He upped their pace. I upped mine. Despite my larger burden, I got there first, pleased, triumphant, and sweaty.

“Did you wash it?” I was asked by the short, plump agent, as I looked back at the others. They remained a distance away. “You’re supposed to at least rinse it off. You guys never rinse them off.”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. I tried telling her, “It looks fine to me.” Waving that off, she escorted me to one of the tables set up for inspection as this transpired. Three tables were set up. Two other agents were present. So, they should be able to handle us in parallel, I thought as the other two arrived with their loads. I tried and failed to see what they carried.

My agent diddled and fussed without seeming to do anything. I knew, oh, they’re deliberately slowing me down. I wasn’t affronted nor outraged, but accepting, okay, slow me down here, others have more urgent needs (read, egos), and I can burst ahead once I get past these gatekeepers. I tried looking ahead to see what was next so that I could plan my actions. While I did, the other two slipped by me and went on, barely scrutinized, confirming my impression of what was going on.

The dream ended.


The Progressions

I awaken, and experience a progression of guilt.

I called Mom last week. Reaching her answering machine, I left a message that I would call again later in the week.

I didn’t call, hence the guilt. I haven’t spoken to her in several weeks. The exact date is progressing into the unremembered past.

But I’m in the writing zone. I’ve caught the big wave. Big waves are rare. I jealously guard the ride, not wanting to do anything to upset the balance. Sorry, Mom. I’ll call when the ride is over. She’ll understand.

Marking the sunshine’s progression through the blinds, I gather it’s time to leave bed. Feeding the cats take me through the next progression. I fill their bowls, and watch their behavior and motion, and then return to their bowls when they’ve walked away, to see how much they’ve consumed. Nothing triggers a worry watch.

Going through the morning’s progression of eating, cleaning up and dressing, I peruse a mental list of items. It’s a copy of a list my wife and I made the other day. We began a process of cleaning, organizing and simplifying last July, and listed what remains during breakfast last Friday. I compare the list with the weather forecast and other chores to decide what I’ll do this day.

The bathroom mirror takes me through a progression of assessments about my hair, weight, skin and body tone. I progress through disappointment and dismay to rueful chuckling acceptance.

The morning’s walk to the coffee shop takes me through more progressions. Regardless of what I saw in the mirror, I feel young, energetic and happy as I walk. Autumn has arrived and the air is progressively cooler each day, as the days are progressively shorter, with night arriving progressively earlier. The trees are proceeding through their own progressions, with the leaves changing color but not yet beginning to fall.

All the town’s schools are in session. Encountering university students, who just began classes this week, I judge from their expressions that they’re progressing from starting classes to being dazed or numb to their new adventure. High school has been in session for a month already. Their marquee announces the Homecoming Ball next month. That, and cigarette smoke clinging to other pedestrians, transport me to youthful memories of high school and smoking co-workers and friends. I progress to wondering where those friends might be now and what became of them.

Last night’s dreams return to me. I dreamed I was asked by others to drive their dilapidated bus. Their request amuses me. They seemed to think it was very important and challenging, while I took it quite lightly. I easily agreed. The subsequent drive was a dream’s blink between beginning and ending, with some short vignettes of visits with passengers asking me more about my background. Nothing untoward had happened. Being grateful for my service, they’ve prepared a gift basket and present it to me when we’re off the bus. The gift basket is a plastic storage container with a bow. Fun size candy bars have been collected and put into plastic baggies, along with other food stuffs, such as cookies, muffins and brownies, including red and green peppermint cheese pizza. I’m never had it before. There is also electronic junk and toys in the storage box. I’m touched because all of this means much to them. Telling them it’s too much, I ask them to take whatever they want. They close in and take many items. One man asks for the peppermint pizza. He explains, he has a sore throat, and the peppermint soothes it.

We then enter a city square of faded, low brick buildings. The community is poor and the town is sparsely populated. I join others at one cafe. Its decor amounts to an eclectic assortment of bare tables and chairs and robin’s egg blue walls. They’re eager to please me. Their eagerness and obsequiousness embarrasses me. I work hard to make us all feel at ease. A small but pleasant party begins as we relax. They pour ale into a jar for me. There is nothing more I remember from that dream.

My progress is tracked through landmarks. I’ve passed the one mile mark. One mile remains until I reach the coffee shop. My thoughts progress through my writing plans of where I was, what I dislike and like, and what I need to change and how I might change it. I progress from that back to other plans. Friends are meeting for beers at 4:30. It’s downtown, a two and a half mile walk from my house. I calculate what time I’d need to leave, and how much time I have for yard work after walking home after my writing session. The timing will be compressed but it is doable, if I’m disciplined.

I reflect upon the differences in energy requirements between having a beer with friends and chatting with my mother. It’s like accounting and budgeting, in that these energies come from different buckets. I begin writing this post in my mind.

I progress to an acceptance of being disciplined about the timing, and then I’ve arrived at the coffee shop. Business is light. Madi saw me coming down the street so she has my quad shot mocha prepared. We chat about her college classes. She’s majoring in poli-sci and history, and plans to be a lawyer and prosecutor. Naturally, we discuss the presidential debates.

Then I’m at my table, at my laptop, with my coffee, opening the document, embracing the moment. I compose this post. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

I’m making progress.

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