Thursday’s Wandering Thought

He picked through the shirts hanging in his closet, looking for one which suited the weather and his plans, and finally selected one. Didn’t look great on him, and not real happy about the pattern, either. He didn’t even understand why he bought it. Oh, well.

He went into the other room. His wife walked by and touched his shoulder. “That shirt always looks so good on you.”

Ah. Puzzle solved.

Flash Dreams

These seem like a sequence of scenes from one long but fragmented dream.

I began with two young people, twentyish, male and female. Seated at a long folding table in a smallish room, definitely a temporary set up, the kind encountered at conventions and conferences for registration, they were going through papers I’d provided them about my visions, values, and dreams. Pens in hands, talking — and sometimes snickering — they made checkmarks and wrote notes. They seemed to be evaluating the for entrance somewhere, part of a process that I expected. I was the only one in there. I had other places to go and things to do.

A mother with her young children entered from a back door. Setting down a model of a dragon, she complained to me about the assignment’s difficulty. I loved her dragon, though, praising it for its blue and purple colors, telling her that she’d done a great job. As she departed, another mother — who turned out to be one of my younger sisters, G — entered with several children, She also had a dragon model, green and blue, and complained about the assignment’s level of difficulty. I complimented her on the model and her skill and imagination. As she was unmoved, I gave a pep talk, telling her that it was a stretch assignment to unleash her potential because I knew how creative, imaginative, and intelligent she was.

Next, I was out the door, walking with my wife, heading toward some sort of gathering. We were walking on a large asphalt area and our destination was a long way off. Scattered knots and small groups of other people were seen making their way, too. I roughly knew the way and told my wife that we needed to hurry. A coal-skinned squat man, very broad, walking with a cane, approached with a wide grin. Wearing a pork pie hat, he was dressed in black pants and coat, a green vest, and a white tee shirt, and was several inches shorter than me.

He asked if we were going to the event. I replied yes and he told me that he knew shortcuts which he would show us. That sounded fine. he took us on a diagonal course. My wife and I struggled to keep up with him. We had to go over a fence which was about knee high. Our guide went without problem, leaving me to wonder how he’d done it as I slowed, hopped the fence, and caught my pants cuff. As I finally freed myself, I saw a chain across an entry which was lower and realized he must have used that.

Another dream flash took over. I needed to change clothes. Uncertain about what to where, I had a wide selection of choices hanging on hangers on racks available. I tried and removed several. Everything looked good on me but was worried about being dressed not just for the event, where I was being honored, but also the weather. My wife joined me to hurry me along.

I moved into another dream segment. I was in a busy room. People filled tiers of desks and tables. Many consulted one another or spoke on phones.

I was standing toward the center. I realized that I knew something which they didn’t and began trying to explain. A large projection of a Google map sprawled across the room’s front. Taking an air mouse, I began scrolling up the map, telling everyone that what they needed was further north. The mouse and scrolling proved sensitive and difficult to manage. I kept scrolling up too far and then overcorrecting. People stopped paying attention as I worked the map and tried to find the place I wanted. I knew that it was far up north. I saw the Arctic Circle and told myself, it’s not that far, but then I saw an entire new land projected.

As I took in mountains, rivers, seas, and lakes, astonishment filled me. How did I never know about that area? I thought, too, it must be freezing cold up there, given how cold it could become in the northern continental United States. These places I was seeing were hundreds, maybe thousands of miles further north. But using the mouse, I found I could click on places and revealed information such as latitude and longitude. Displayed in negative numbers, they didn’t make sense. I began to guess that they were imaginary numbers, and thought, maybe it’s an imaginary land. Clicking more, I discovered the temperatures. Some said 20, 25, 30, and then I realized that these temperatures in Centigrade. They were warm places.

Dream end.

The Designing Dream

First, a woman and I each were given a task to design a swimming pool. This was done in a wide building with low lights. I couldn’t see anything except our work. We each built one but came up with the same L design in off-white. We built them quickly. Along the way, we had lessons in ensuring seams were smooth and tight. Then it came time to fill it. I rolled a suitcase up to one side, inside the pool, jockeying it around on its wheels until I thought it perfectly parked. I then opened the suitcase and began pulling out clothing. I examined each piece, ensuring it was neatly folded, then piled the clothes around me. The clothes piles multiplied like rabbits during breeding season.

That segment ended. I was told that I need to come up with a new ear canal. I quickly devised one, put it in someone’s ear, then walked into it. The ear canal was straight, round, and light blue, but tapered as it went in, ending in the ear drum. “Oh,” I said, inspecting it. “It shouldn’t go straight back to the ear drum like that. The ear drum is left too exposed. Curves are needed to protect it.” Developing curves, the ear canal grew light pink. I backed out of it until I was standing beside a man looking into his ear.

A new segment began. I was at my aunt’s house. She’d had a new place designed and built, she said, effusively greeting me amid charming smiles. Many cousins were present, not just from that aunt, but from all my uncles and aunts on Dad’s side. I was about twenty. They were all eager to impress me and show me around. The setting seemed luxurious. Arched stained-glass windows lined the walls, along with paintings in gold frames. Dark green houseplants were everywhere. Dark green carpeting, and overstuffed leather chairs and a sofa arranged polished, dark wood end tables and coffee tables completed the setting. I could see into other rooms as well, glimpsing a long, polished dining table, part of a modern kitchen, and the side of a billiard table through an open doorway.

A cousin said, “Let me show you around.” In RL, this is a man who was four years younger than me, who died years ago, passing away in his forties from a heart attack as a pizza was delivered to him. This aunt wasn’t his mother, either; her youngest sister was the deceased cousin’s mother.

I asked where a specific room is. He answered, “That’s downstairs.” Seeing a staircase that went down, I confidently headed for it.

He caught up with me and asked, “What are you doing?”

I said, “You said that it was downstairs.”

“You can’t get to it from those stairs. Follow me.” He turned and led me up a staircase to an open area above everything. Looking down, I saw people with drinks engaged in conversations and milling about the rooms. My cousin pointed to another flight of stairs going down. “That’s how you get down.”

I said with some wonder, “You need to go up to get down?” I thought that was a strange design.

My aunt appeared beside me and nodded with a smile. “You need to go up to get down.”

The dream ended.

A Ragtag Dream

I was staying in a disheveled sort of place, a ramshackle series of hotels connected to a large, decrepit aircraft hangar. The hangar was white; the hotels were pale green and light pink. A number of friends and my wife were there. We seemed like refugees trying to pull it together and move on.

Activities were taking place in all of the hangar. One person with us was S, a short, energetic woman who’d been an office manager where I’d worked. S and I met up by an aircraft in the hangar. The jet was something like a 737. We planned to take it to leave. But before we could board, S said, “We need to have all the rivets sealed.” She had a rag and some stuff. Showing them to me, she went on, “A little of this needs to be rubbed on each one.”

Looking up at the aircraft, I answered, “We would need to start at the top and work our way down, section by section.”

S said, “It needs to be done in about an hour. Can you organize people and get this done?”

I replied, “Sure, okay.”

She thanked me. We parted.

After we walked away, I thought, we don’t need to do that. That’s overkill. I’ll talk to S about that.

I kept going. I saw some other friends just arriving. They had some clothes. I recognized the clothes as some stuff I’d left behind. They were returning them to me.

But we didn’t meet up. I needed to get back to my room to get my wife ready to go. As I wend through people across the hangar to my hotel section, I saw another pile of my clothes on the cement floor and scooped them up to wear, then went to the room.

My wife was still in bed. I roused her. Our room was small and cramped, with a bed and a tiny bathroom. She was confused about what was to happen. I went about, explaining it to her while packing. She climbed out of bed; she was wearing gray pajamas. As she started moving and looking for clothes, she went into the bathroom. In there, I saw a huge cobweb with a dead mosquito eater hanging in it. I pointed it out to her, saying, “That’s been here the whole time that we’ve been here.”

She agreed, then as she moved around it, we saw other, larger ones.

We exited the bathroom. She said, “I need to think.” She took out four small gray rectangles from a bag, then set them on the floor, spacing them about four feet from one another. I didn’t know what she was doing.

Bending to the first one, she pressed a button on it. Music began playing. She repeated this with the next two. I recognized the music with each. She began dancing and singing to the music coming from the third. It was an old pop song by Abba, “Dancing Queen”. Then she moved to the fourth and pressed its button. She stopped dancing and singing, listening. I realized that it was playing “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen and sang along with it. She seemed unable to hear the music and stood listening.

Dream end.

A Nail in the Head – A Dream

I was at some corporate headquarters. A takeover had just been completed. Two others — women — and I were there to go through boxes of stuff. We were part of the company which had just been taken over. But the boxes were from our old company as well as other companies our new corporate masters had previously taken over.

Our boxes were the usual eclectic mix from a software company that had hundreds of computers and monitors for testing. Cables, keyboards, hard drives, zip drives, cassettes, collateral electronic equipment, and tools — small screwdrivers and pliers for working on computers. We were working in a large, open and carpeted space at the junction of elevators and hallways. People went by as we worked, sometimes stopping to make comments. A fun atmosphere prevailed, one of both nostalgia and exploration.

Others began bringing us other boxes. These were from the companies taken over before. Go through those, we were told. See if there’s anything useful. Take what you want.

Bizarrely, first there were cosmetics and personal hygiene kits. One for women, another for men. They were quite fancy. Apparently, we guessed, those were used as a marketing gimmick, given out at trade shows. Using one of those, I washed my face and hair. Then I moisturized. I walked about, looking for a mirror to see myself. Others brought more boxes from my old company. What’s this stuff? I looked through it. Computer games. Purchased software. Why’d they have thought, they wanted to know. Well, some of it was because they needed the programs to do the work. Other stuff was market research, or about packaging and instructions.

I found a hammer and nail. On a whim, I decided to drive the nail into my skull, on the left front temple, right below the hairline. After a little testing, I decided the hammer wasn’t required. The nail was a ten penny steel nail. Pressing its tip into my skin, I wiggled it until it started going in. Then I pressed it firmly down until only the head and about an eighth of an inch of nail showed. I’d left that amount so that I could get it back out more easily. There wasn’t any pain or blood. A little clear fluid trickled out. Brain fluid, I guessed. I was pretty pleased with what I’d done even as I knew it was a little stupid.

More boxes were brought, providence unknown. Others saw the nail in my head. Why did I do that? To see if I could. Doesn’t it hurt? No. I’m sure it’s doing brain damage, I told others. I thought I should remove it but first, I started going through the newest boxes.

Inside these were men’s clothing. It was expensive stuff. Unused. I wondered where it came from. I asked people who went by if they knew. No one did until a woman going by said, that used to belong to the CEO. He was always buying new clothes. Because he liked clothes so much, people were also always giving him clothes.

I tried a shirt on. It was something beachy. It fit and I liked the style. Keep it, people told me. Take whatever you want. Okay.

I still had the nail in my head. I decided it was time to take it out. Finding a mirror, I seized it between my fingernail and gently pulled it free. It didn’t bleed but a little clear fluid trickled out. More brain fluid, I guessed again.

I wanted to put something on the spot where I’d pulled out the nail and began looking for medical supplies, going through the boxes. There were now so many, we had piles of them all over the place. More clothing and electronic gear was discovered. Games. Other software. Others kept interrupting with questions. People wanted to take some stuff. Go ahead, I said.

I finally found a medicine kit. It was huge. Very fancy. All I needed was a small bandage. I found gauze pads and tape. I was just trying to decide what to do when the dream ended.

Sunday Setting

  1. The kale started growing again. We’d grown and harvested it. Well, my wife, really. I helped buy supplies. Provided extra hands as needed. The kale took off initially, then wilted under a combined attack – heat, insects, sun. Wife battled on, then clipped it back. Per her orders, I moved its planter off the patio. I put them in the bush’s shade. Matter of convenience. Surprise: the kale is back. Hasn’t been watered since harvest two plus weeks ago, so she began watering it. It seems to like that shady spot.
  2. Tomatoes are doing well. Great to go out and pluck tomatoes as required. Ditto, the squash. Romaine is all gone, though. Sad face.
  3. Did some wardrobe culling. My wife’s simplify switch suddenly turned on. Ergo, I am expected to participate. Out went five bags of clothing between her and me. Two bags of books. Book sellers aren’t buying. Those like Powell’s who buy wouldn’t accept these books. The books are too worn. A bag of shoes. Old blender.
  4. Culling is a serious matter. Embarrassing, too. How much do I need? Well, I’m sixty-five. Things have been acquired for different eras and their needs. Much of it is from my suit and marketing days. Yes, wore suits. Did trade shows. Visited customer sites. Also required for when I returned to company headquarters. That was my U.S. Surgical Days. I worked in California. Headquarters was in Connecticut. Tyco acquired us. Talk about a crazy time. Yeah, time to get rid of those shirts. The ties were already gone. I left Tyco in 1999. Still did marketing work after that for a period for another startup involved with coping with peripheral and coronary chronic total occlusions. It was going under so I went on to Network ICE in 2000, where suits were no longer required.
  5. Also departing my wardrobe were my jockstraps, sweat bands, and racquetball gloves. Haven’t played in two decades. There it all was, buried at the drawer’s bottom, waiting for daylight.
  6. Purged underwear, too. I had enough underwear, I found, to go without washing them for fifty days. Why so many? Well, a large number was undies which no longer fit. Good-bye, I told them. Blew them a kiss. Now I have enough for twenty days. Don’t judge me. I judge myself enough for all of us.
  7. Ten belts were surrendered. All leather. Browns, tans, blacks, burgundy. Tested first. I could see where I wore them. What holes were utilized. Usually the third or fourth. The test today was that the belt must reach at least the second hole. The results amazed me. I generally couldn’t get the tip to the buckle. I had no idea that leather would shrink so much. Only four belts now remain. Black, brown, fancy, and plain.
  8. Catching up on the wildfire news in the U.S. west. Bootleg Fire still burns. Sixty percent contained. 420,000 acres. Drought is spreading. Deepening. Lightning strikes are causing more fires. I turn to other world news. Move beyond the Olympics. Past the spiking — again — COVID-19 numbers. Past the tales of regretful vaccine hesitant folks who are woke after suffering themselves or losing someone close. On to Europe, where Italy, Greece, and Turkey are evacuating tourists due to wildfires. It’s a hot, hot, hot world, and it’s getting hotter.
  9. Absorbing how much floofitude is on exhibit by a cat’s encounter with a spider or cob web. We have loads of them. Webs, that is, not cats. Just have three cats. Probably have so many webs because we have a strict no-kill spider policy. It’s an unending chore cleaning webs out of corners and from ceilings, walls, patio, porch, and garage. Spiders love throwing up webs. I opened the living room patio door this morning. Stepped out. Breathed in. Considered the browning landscape. Then turned to return inside. Walked straight into a web. Some spider must have seen the door open and hurried a dragline across there.
  10. The cats have different reactions to webs. Papi, aka Youngblood, the Ginger Blade, and Meep, is the youngest and most graceful. When he encounters a web, he immediately backs away and goes around it. Boo, our large-size bedroom panther with the small velvet paws, hurries through the web while shaking his head. Tucker, the big black and white alpha cat, stops, shakes his head, washes, and then shoulders on. I’ve witnessed this several times over the months — seriously, the number of webs and how quickly they emerge staggers me — spiders are productive little critters — and I’m certain about my assessment on the cats’ behavior.
  11. Writing has been entertaining. Yes, that’s the term I’ll employ. Absorbing will work as well. I’ve gone surprising places with the story. Then pause as I think, oh, WTF, and ponder the direction. I keep telling myself, just get out of your own way, fool. Don’t overthink anything. Just write. That works. Just need to hurdle myself. An interesting noir style has emerged. So I have a science fiction mystery thriller noir going.
  12. Got my coffee. The day’s second cup. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Then I’ll go clean off spider webs. Cheers

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