Thursday’s Theme Music

Had entertaining dreams last night that energized and inspired me. As I shaved and thought about them this AM, I thought, “That’s the way I like it.”

That thought inspired my brain to start singing “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by KC & The Sunshine Band.¬†Released in 1975, the song was major background music to my young adulthood. My wife graduated from high school that year, and we married. I was in the military and experienced my first permanent duty assignment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base¬†(WPAFB) where I worked in the AF Logistics Command in the Command Post. The next year, I was reassigned to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark Air Base, in the Philippines.

This song was played everywhere in those years, and was a song that drew everyone to the dance floor. Good times.

 

Having Fun

I’m having fun with my writing these days. I usually have fun but some days become more challenging and wearying.

Not so now. Still typing with one hand so I hunt and peck across the keyboard and through the story. Six hundred words a day is usually the sum of two hours of effort. My biggest typing issue is that my finger often finds the ‘y’ when I’m seeking the ‘t’.

The characters’ voices are strong and clear. I’m infatuated with the concept. Variations on it delight me as they spool out. Abetted by slow typing, I’m taking my time developing the story and building the plot.

It’s clear to me that I’m riding toward the peak of my up and down cycles. Dreams have been empowering, inspiring, energizing, and enabling, exhorting me to be positive and to not despair. It’s a pleasure when your subconscious becomes a supporter instead of a saboteur.

Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Friday Fry-up

  1. Don’t recall any dreams from last night. Odd. Frees up about an hour of time spent thinking about my dreams. Has my dream reservoir gone dry?
  2. Went out on a shopping expedition yesterday, Albertsons and Bi-Mart. Our prey was cat food and fresh fruits and veggies. All saved one was masked up, although several wore their masks with their noses exposed. Do you not get it, man? Yes, I know, there’s psychology, perceptions, fears, and lies at work there. Just ask Herman Caine. Sorry, cheap shot. Ask Rep. Gohmert (Crazy-TX) instead. He’s the latest flag-bearer for the nonsense brigade.
  3. Florida friends tell us that people there don’t act like there’s a pandemic going on except to put on masks to enter stores, because the stores require them. Then I read an article about a study that said, yes, as expected, young adults and teens are working and clubbing, then going home and infecting more vulnerable people. It’s trending up everywhere.
  4. Going to have social-distancing brunch outside at friends’ house this AM. Just the two couples will be present. I’m ambivalent about it. Like them, but do we need the risk? I am resentful, too, as my wife (with perceived mocking tone) said to friend on phone, “Oh, he’s not doing anything.” Hello? Writing? WTF. She then said, “Oh, don’t tell me I’m interfering with your schedule.” I’m sounding bitter, so I’ll stop.
  5. Okay, I am bitter.
  6. Our fire warnings were raised to extreme today. Humidity has dropped to 15% and we’ve had several days of triple digit highs. We’re in a mild trough today, with an overnight low of 58 and a forecast high of 94 for today. Worrisome as dozens of wildfires are already burning.
  7. Stay safe, everyone. Wear masks and distance.
  8. Gonna get some coffee now and try to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Saturday’s Theme Music

“Thunder only happens when it’s raining.”

It wasn’t raining (at least around our house) but the thunder was relentless. Half the cats did a frenzied thunder-run to hide. The other two yawned.

I listened to the thunder, waited for the lightning, and remembered songs about thunder, lightning, and rain. The mental stream finally selected the Fleetwood Mac song, “Dreams” (1977). Ostensibly a reflective song about ending relationships, the line about the thunder always resonates with me.

It’s a very mellow song.

The Military Exercise Dream

A heavy night of dreaming was endured last night. I’ve noticed my dreams have a cycle that parallels my other cycles. Observing it fascinates me. Within that cycle, then, I wonder if my military theme also works in a cycle within a cycle. I’m beginning to believe it does. Now I’ll watch for evidence while doubting that I, the observer, can objectively and dispassionately observe what’s happening to myself. It’s that kind of morning.

In the military exercise dream last night, I was part of the command staff. We were preparing for an exercise to test readiness. I was command and control IRL, and typically was the Battle Staff Exec (which I liked to state as the B.S. Exec), coordinating the Battle Staff response. But in the dream, I was given a folder. The commander said, “You’re in charge of communications.”

NBD, but I was surprised. The B.S. began walking through scenarios. Security went through a succession of possibilities about terrorist actions. I thought some possibilities were being overlooked and spoke up. Yeah, that was agreed.

Then it was my turn. As I began talking, the decision was made to move. We’d been in the commander’s conference room; now we moved to the actual battle staff. I took my place at the podium and tried to employ order so I could resume my briefing but small interruptions kept taking place. I kept beginning, “Communications will be an important part,” and then an interruption would ensue, humorously ironic, right?

Which summarizes the dream and my current issue. Writing at home instead of at a coffee shop has been been fraught with interruptions. That’s why (and how) I’d developed my writing process, to separate me from my home and its interruptions. So this dream seems like a manifestation of my daily writing problems while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dream Whisperer

It was late November in 2015, just a few days after Thanksgiving. Prompted by a dream, he sat and write. It seemed so outlandish and shocking, he shared it with nobody.

His dream said that Donald Trump would be the President of the United States. At that point, many were laughing at him and his crude, ridiculous bombastic declarations as he demanded President Obama’s birth certificate, and lied. It seemed impossible that he would be POTUS, but the dream whisperer said, “It’s gonna happen.”

In 2020, an epidemic would sweep the world, the dream whisperer said, forcing people to wear masks and stay inside their homes; businesses would shut down. “It’s gonna happen,” the dream whisperer insisted, continuing, that some, driven by the President Trump’s false promises, scoffing remarks, and refusal to heed the advice himself, would disbelieve and refuse to follow the science and medical advisors. The nation’s divisiveness would increase, shocking the citizens and the world.

The final nails would come from escalating violence, the dream whisperer said. As President Trump bullied, so his followers bullied. As he called for violence and to be tough and cruel, so his followers did as he said, acting under the umbrella of being Christians, while demonstrating nothing of traditional Christian principles.

So he saw in 2015, scenes in dreams that shock and dismayed him. Still, he’d written them down, mostly in amusement back then. Surely, it would never be that bad.

But one early June night in 2020, he had another dream. Driven awake, he pulled out the vision from 2015 and reviewed its contents. He’d not be able to believe it; it seemed so stunning and impossible, like a throwback to an earlier era of troubled times in the United States. Hadn’t they evolved past all of those things? Yes, he’d believed they had; that’s why the dream was so difficult to believe. Yet, here they were as a nation…

And now he had a new dream to write, one where he saw where they’d be in 2024. It seemed so different, so impossible because of where they were now —

But that’s exactly how he’d reacted in 2015.

And so, he began to write. History does repeat itself. Sometimes, some of it is good.

At least, that’s what the dream whisperer said.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music came after reviewing my dreams. Empowering dreams, I enjoyed them, in part because they seemed fuller and more coherent than the last few sleeps’ fragile fragments. As I thought about them and the almost one eighty shift in lucidity, I thought, the dream police must’ve stepped in, which gave me a chuckle.

Like that, the brain said, “Oh, “The Dream Police” by Cheap Trick,” and began playing it like it was Alexa gone nuts.

So, I went with it. 1979: a good year to be young and getting older. Amusing video. I don’t think I’ve heard this song in a looonnnggg time.

 

A Dream of Cans and Cars

It began with an urge to go check on my car. It was my old Mazda RX7. A cover protected it. I decided to lift the cover up some and start the car.

RX7

My old car

Sitting inside, listening to it idle, I decided to take it around the block. I didn’t take the cover off, though. I figured I could peek around it to see. It was almost twilight, and I didn’t think anyone would be out, and I wasn’t going far. All of it was a ludicrous idea; in the dream, the neighborhood was full of narrow alleys. They were barely wide enough for the car if you could see, but I was certain that I couldn’t do it.

Gosh, things didn’t work out. I couldn’t turn the car as expected. Exiting the car, I discovered that I wasn’t even on the road.

I blamed the car, of course. I pulled the cover off, balled it up, and set it aside. Then I decided to change the car. Laying my hands on its fenders, hood, trunk, bumpers, etc., I changed it into a new vehicle.

This was much better. Driving off, I arrived at my destination and sought parking. I had a usual space. It was available, so I parked there. But then I heard a small noise and felt a bump. Getting out of my car, I discovered that a woman in a blue Volvo was trying to squeeze by. She didn’t look at me or my car at all. Her hands had tight grip on the stirring wheel, and she was staring straight ahead.

Well, be a nice guy, I though, move your car so she could get by (even though she was in the wrong). It’s the proper thing to do. I jumped into the car and backed it out of her way. She passed on without a look. “Not even a thanks,” I exclaimed to myself.

My parking spot was now gone. Exasperated, I drove further in. I discovered that I was driving through an upscale clothing boutique. I found a parking space between a rack of clothes. Then I decided, well, I shouldn’t park in the store. Backing out, I drove into the streets, circling until I found new parking.

I was at a cafe. It was dark. Going in, I stepped through from one dimension, where this cafe was dark and quiet, to another, where it was light and bustling. Lousy with customers, my table was free for me. The cafe folk knew me and had my coffee drink and a croissant waiting for me at the table. Happy greetings were exchanged.

A short, dark-haired, white woman at another table had a bag full of canned cat food. Talking to me, she spilled the bag onto the ground. She and I laughed about that, and regaled one another with tales of feeding cats.

She announced, “I have to go.” She left, leaving her cans on the ground. I couldn’t believe that. The cans were “Fancy Feast” and “Friskies”. I decided to collect them for her and give them to her later.

People kicked the cans around, though. Cars drove over a few. I thought, this isn’t right. Collecting the cans in a bag, I went through the cafe. I wanted to return to my dimension but I didn’t want others to see me do it.

I slipped around the corner into a private space. Part of the cafe, it was a windowed hallway. Curtains, floors, and walls were all white. The windows were open, and the curtains were fluttering with a breeze.

I had expected to go through to the other dimension. When that didn’t happen, I blamed the bag of cans. I had to get rid of them to go back, I thought, because they don’t belong to the other dimension, but also thinking, going back means going forward, but I didn’t want to leave the cans behind.

I’d need to find another way.

The dream ended.

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