An Exasperating Mask & Car Dream

Last night’s dreams wove and forth, like a fabric was being made, for large parts. Elements included a new, expensive sports car, someone misconstruing what was going on, and a first for me: wearing masks.

I dream about having new and expensive, exotic sports cars often. In this instance, the car was glossy black. Too precious to have anything like a roof, it featured two separate little seating positions with their own windshields.

While I was taking possession of that, driving around, admiring it and being admired, a parallel story went on. I lived in a fancy, wealthy neighborhood. One neighbor was a woman who was the classic helicopter mother. Doing everything with her two sons, she constantly hovered around them.

Well, the boys admired my car. I let them sit in it. She thought I was trying to take her sons. Dream parts were spent in me trying to explain to her what was going on, and her trying to avoid me because I was after her sons. Truly exasperating for a dream experience.

Exasperation was a dream theme. Next, I’ve parked the car and have arrived at this large gathering of people. We’re outside. Some friends are there, but most are strangers. My friends were telling people that I’m a writer, and then described my writing in glowing statements. This embarrassed me. It reached a point that I wouldn’t answer my friends when they asked what I was working on, but turned my back on them.

They stayed with me, though. We were all now wearing masks as we walked around, and I was trying to social distance, and telling others to do the same. Young people often wouldn’t wear a mask or distance, mocking me when I called them out on it. One male teenager, a redhead, was particularly exasperating, stupidly smirking when I told him to put a mask on and step back. He then made it a point, like a joke, to try to sneak up on me. He finally went away.

We had to go up to another level. I took the stairs to that. Halfway up, I discovered arrows pointing in the opposite direction. Then I found the way blocked with tape. I realized that they apparently had set the stairs up to be one way, but they’d only done this from the top. And they’d made no apparent provisions for people who needed to go up instead of down.

Yes, exasperating. Milling among people, my friends still behind me, talking about my writing, I abruptly realized that I wasn’t wearing my mask. Horrified, I pulled it out and put it on. Then I glanced around, checking to see if anyone had noticed.

No one had noticed, and I continued milling. Then, again, my mask was off. How did this keep happening? I wondered. I didn’t remember taking it off. My mask was in my pocket again. I put it on with a warning to myself to be more vigilant.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Several times a month, a song or fragment hits my auditory stream and lingers. Some call this an earworm. I call it an annoyance.

Once in a while, I post those as my theme music to get them out of my head. It seems to work. Sometimes, though, the stuck song isn’t deserving of being the day’s theme music.

That’s the case today. This song isn’t the theme song, but I’m sharing it with you. It’s from a famous movie, so you might now it.

Yes, it’s “The Thermos Song” by Steve Martin from The Jerk (1979).

I don’t want it for today’s theme music.

As The Jerk came out in 1979, I started thinking about that year. While placing myself in that moment, my mind had a perverse idea, introducing The Smashing Pumpkins’ song, “1979”, from 1996, in my head. Oh, that brain, what a rascal.

It’s been over a year since I used “1979” for a theme song. (Yeah, I looked it up.) Why not, I thought. 1979 was a simpler time for me. Not for others, of course. As we slide over the time spectrum, time and life, and their impact on us, shift. Sometimes things skip off his like a stone skimming across a still pond. Other days, news whacks us like an asteroid taking the Yucatan Peninsula.

For me, though, best memories are not the ugly ones, but the sweet ones where I remember laughing with friends, getting ready to go out, and generally worrying about things other than drought, war, pandemics, politics, and climate change. It was like a day of freedom from stress.

Not all people have such stress-free days, but I’ve had some. Some of them were back in 1979. Mind you, that wasn’t a stress-free era. We still lived under the threat of nuclear war. Mr. Jimmy Carter was POTUS, and the Iran Hostage crises was the story of the day. But besides all that, I went to the movie theater with my cousins and wife in San Antonio to watch a movie called The Jerk.

Yeah, it was a good time.


Evolflooftion (floofinition) 1. The process by which how people’s thoughts change about animals.

In use: “He once thought that animals were dumb and soulless, but as Brenda’s father aged, evolflooftion and observation caused him to change his opinion, and he gave up hunting when he was sixty-two.”

2. A modification of a household situation regarding animals.

In use: “Through evolflooftion, they went from having a kitten (acquired before the first-born child) and then added a rescued dog, and then kept adding — hamsters, lizards, birds, turtles, and more cats and dogs — as more children were born into the family.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

There are moments in a day sometimes when I say, “I don’t care, I give up, I gotta walk away.” Things fill up my give-a-shit tank until it’s overflowing, enervating me beyond patience and sympathy. Then, time’s passing boosts spirit and changes mood, and I’m back at it.

These 2020 moments usually involve politics. In past years, they may have involved relationships or work. Whatever it is, it pushes the button where into my head and out of my mouth spouts the words, “I don’t care.”

When I did it this morning, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” (2012) immediately gushed into my stream, filling the nooks and crannies of thoughts. It’s a cynical, fast-paced anthem, a perfect momentary, fuck-you reaction. Sure, it’s almost as repetitive as “Got My Mind Set On You”, but that works once in a while. After listening to it, I felt a helluva lot better.

Here we go.

Saturday’s Theme Music

A 1980s power ballad burst into my head this morning. I was a little lethargic getting up. Not really looking forward to the day.

Seems like I’m in a rut. I don’t think I’m alone in that self-appraisal, not just in the U.S., but in many parts beyond our coastlines.

A large part of my malaise is the novel coronavirus who dances under several names, but most frequently appears as COVID-19. “Winter is coming,” George R.R. Martin has Ned Stark warning us. Up here in the northern climes, the daylight period is falling shorter. Night hangs on a little longer. With an overcast day like this one, there’s no daylight, just a pale grey nothingness to the sky.

I long for my old, comfortable routines. Man, am I a person of habit. I used to be flexible and adapt, but as I’ve aged, my processes have ossified. Change comes hard.

Different songs about change and attitude set the background to my dream reflections and morning routines, but then an absolutely obstinate cat – we call him Boo – crystallized the choice.

Here’s “Never Surrender” by Corey Hart (1985). For Boo.

The Lawyer Dream

Dreamed I was a lawyer. But the courtroom looked like a giant, lit tic-tac-toe, noughts and crosses, or Xs and Os. Standing before the court, it towers over me and my partner, a woman (no one recognized from life) and appears about five stories high. Instead of three across, it was five across.

There’s no idea what the trials were about. I was in a dark suit and carried a brief case, and she was in a light blue skirt and jacket, also carrying a brief case. Presenting arguments meant providing cubes. I’d just put it up there and the cube would slot into place. Putting two in a row meant I’d created a strong argument and would cause those two cubes to light up. Three in a row meant I won.

I kept winning with ease. More and more opposing lawyers rose to stop me but I kept winning. “This is ridiculous,” I told the woman accompanying me.

“I know,” she answered. “It seems like a waste of time. Do you want to go?”

“Sure.” We left.

The cube idea reminded me of how cases were argued in a 1974 novel by Lloyd Biggle, Jr., called Monument, except the cubes in my dream were much, much larger.

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