Two Flash Dream Snippets

First dream: my wife and I are walking through a store. We come across a man. Bald. Sitting. Glasses. Middle-aged. White. Wearing a blue store vest. In front of him is a conveyor belt.

We stop in puzzlement. What’s this? Oh, it’s the bottle recycling site. As we realize it — talking aloud between ourselves — the man confirms that this is what we’ve stumbled across.

“I don’t have any bottles to recycle right now,” he says. “It’s really slow. Go get your bottles.”

My wife and I discuss. Should we get our bottles? The dream ends.

It’s a reflection of life and first world problems. The bottle recycling landscape has changed. We’ve gone five times to recycle our bottles over the past several months. The lines are longer each time. We arrived just after it opened one time, thinking, hey, we’ll beat the crowd. There wasn’t even parking space. Our bottles — these are the ones for which we paid a deposit — are piling up. People go around collecting them. I say, put them out for them, hon. Hon says, no. She’s tight-fisted; she paid for those bottles. The bottle battle goes on.

Next dream.

I’d finished a manuscript and was looking for a place to type so I could begin the next one. Some unknown person read the ms and said, “This is brilliant.” They asked questions to confirm I was the author.

I answered all of that. Then I said, “I have a million of them,” and continued searching for a place to work. I didn’t have a laptop. People offered me places where there were computers. I tried three different locations. I would start typing but encountered vexing interruptions at each one.

The three people who’d offered me writing sanctuary met with me at an intersection on a flight of stairs. They pressed me to use the facilities they’d offered. I turned them down. I had my laptop now. I said, “I have to go off and do this on my own. But thanks for the offers.”

Then I went off to write.

Dream end.

Another Flash Dream

Recent dreams — or memories of them (probably more likely) — have taken on a flash story aspect. They’re short. Concise.

I dreamed of football again. American football, playing it. My team was a ragtag group of friend. Male and female. We had no uniforms. The rules were a little weirder, too. Our playing field was a funnel about ten feet wide.

The dream initiated me to the middle of the action. I’d been put into the lineup. Others doubted me and my role. Why me and not others? I heard their doubt. Shared it myself. I resolved to impress everyone. Show them wrong.

My team was down. Time was running out. Rain was falling. Desperation hung over us. We needed a first down. The ball was thrown to me. I caught it and ran down the field. Got almost to the goal line before I was brought down. Everyone responded, “That was Seidel?” Yes, it was me.

We huddled. I put forward an idea for one of the women to carry the ball. The rest of us would block. Straightforward power run. That idea was rejected. Something else installed. The results was a shambles. I made my pitch again. I was more forceful. This time, others agreed.

We ran the play. She was not going to score. I ran back and pushed her forward, gathering others to help me. We scored as time expired.

Did we win? We thoughts so. The larger question was, were we advancing to the playoffs? Other games remained in progress. Rain fell harder. We stood as a team, awaiting word. We were told, our record was either oh and three — no wins and three losses — or three and three — or six and three. We didn’t understand. It depended on others, we were told. Wait.

Dream end.

Travails

Well, haven’t been writing. Not on paper. Or computer. Have been writing in my head.

My wife wanted (needed, she claims) a vacation. COVID-19, you know. Sheltering with me, you know. And the cats. She thought she was going a little crazy.

Her sister called. Hey, she and her boyfriend were coming west. His children (and his children’s children) live on the west coast. He hadn’t seen them for almost two years except on Zoom. So. Would we like to meet up in Seattle? The boyfriend’s son lives in Kent and the boyfriend lived in Seattle for years before retiring from Boeing. He can show us around.

Difficult for me. And yes, selfishly, I was thinking of me. I’m already a frustrated writer. Now I was being asked to travel and surrender more time. More energy. I’m quite jealous of my writing time, by choice. See, I wanted to pursue writing for a looonng time. But I was in the military. Traveling, writing on the side. My wife wanted me to stay in, get my pension. Smart financially. Good security. So I sucked it up and stayed in.

I was 39 when I retired from the military. The plan was that we would now move to somewhere where we could survive on my pension and write. But, she then got a job in advertising that she liked. Could we please stay there, in the SF Bay Area?

I was employed by startups, then was acquired by corporations. Made very good money along the way doing jobs that weren’t too hard. It all meant deferring my writing dream. I ended up staying with IBM for fifteen years after they acquired one of the companies I was at. Yes, good money but soul-sucking employment. No fun for me, for the most part. Some challenges but mostly tedium.

So, this is my state of mind. I am now sixty-five. I’ve been writing and reading, improving my writing and story-telling skills (or hope so, you know?), trying to get to know my muses and discover my voice. It’s a challenge. I love that challenge. COVID-19 was a serious interruption. Just as I felt that I was finally making substantial strides forward.

Writing the current novel-in-progress took me through the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021. I then discovered that I was trying to tell the story in the wrong way. So, recalibrated. Took all that previously written stuff as background work. And kept going, now on the right path.

It’s exciting. Then, vacation. Preparation for vacation. I’m not social. The vacation meant committing to being social. Delaying my writing efforts for another week. But what’s another week, right? Sure. Rationally, I reply, it’s just seven days or so. With writer’s angst, I tell you, it’s a painful and frustrating interruption. An unwanted interruption. The conversation with the muses was going well. I was having a good time. Who likes to stop a good time?

But I try to be a good husband and some kind of contributing member of society. So, the time was taken. The vacation done. Good for me? Sure. Aren’t I nice? You betcha.

Back in the writing seat today. Picking up those story strings that emerged as I was on a ship in Seattle, walking a street, driving the Interstate, observing a person, sipping coffee, gazing at a street scene, etc. You never know when they’ll come.

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

Again.

Don’t You Know

Took a flight to the moon last night

Traveling real fast on beams of light

If you didn’t look you probably missed the sight

Don’t you know?

Slipped in by Mercury

Swept on in past the sun

Man, you wouldn’t believe the fun

Don’t you know?

Then we turned and left our galaxy

Flying like a bird on a universal breeze

Firing past time like it couldn’t be

Don’t you know?

Went on to the Universe’s edge

Stood there like it was a window ledge

Thought about jumping but fell back instead

Don’t you know?

Stayed in my room deep in dreams

Making up stories and fantastic schemes

Man, you should have been part of the scene

Don’t you know?

Thursday’s Theme Music

Remembering and reflecting upon dreams whilst I shaved, my brain sang, “Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma” by Melanie Safka (1970). Interesting way to start the morning.

Thursday, July 15, 1970, has arrived. Day rise began at 5:48 AM. Night fall will begin with sunset at 8:46 PM. Cooler temperatures are carrying the weather today. Just gonna be 86 degrees F tonight. Feels more like an early autumn day than summer. Air smells fresh although wildfire smoke rims the valley along the peaks and ridges. The Bootleg Fire still rages a hundred miles away, adding to its total of 330 square miles of destruction. Authorities report it’s 7% contained. Full containment isn’t expected until October.

COVID-19 numbers are rising everywhere in the U.S.. Independence Day gatherings coupled with vaccination hesitancy, complacency, people not wearing masks, and the D variant’s growing presence is bringing the virus back in a significant way. Mitigating the virus’s impact remains a stout hurdle for the world.

Musically, I shifted from Melanie to 10cc and “I’m Not In Love” (1975). This wasn’t about love for me, but the thinking, as I washed and thought about plans, “This is a phase I’m going through.” That kicked up the song’s line, “It’s just a silly phase I’m going through. And just because, I call you up, don’t get me wrong, don’t think you got it made.” That led to a chuckle and a worry about my own complacency, although this was about writing complacency. When it’s going well, I can be complacent, which then turns into a setback. Gotta keep pressing.

Stay pos, test neg, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Happy Call of the Horizon Day! Call of the Horizon Day is held every year on July 9. In 2021, we find it on a Friday. Go find the horizon. For me, it’s going outside, onto the street, and looking north. There it is, defined by the beginning of the mountains that define our valley. Call of the Horizon Day is about renewal. It’s a refresher for resolutions and projects, plans and dreams. Look at that horizon and think, who am I? What do I want? Half the year is gone. When I look back on 2021, what do I want to see. Sort of a turn on beginning with the end in mind.

The end of daylight today comes at 8:49 PM. While it’s currently 66 degrees F, we expect a hot 99 high. If you’ve been out since sunrise at 5:43 and felt the sun’s heat thrust in our area, you know it’ll be a hot one. But the sky is free of wildfire smoke (knock on wood). As everything is crisping and vegetation is browning, locals (including this lad) are hoping our wildfire luck continues to hold.

Musically, I’m streaming “Mr Jones” by the Counting Crows, circa 1993. Yes, it’s dream related. Dreams were all about conversations being struck up. I dubbed it the conversation dream.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers

A Religion Dream

I began with a gaggle of other people, twenty to thirty, I’d guess, all strangers. We were sitting in rows of picnic tables. All faced the same direction, we only sat on one side. Gray blankets covered the tables.

I learned that a religious ceremony was about to take place. What religion, I was asking aloud. Someone was telling me but I wasn’t comprehending. Three people in gray arrived at the front to speak. I attended them, waiting for them to open their mouths. They pulled gray blankets over their head. With surprise, I gave a glance around and discovered that everyone except me and my seatmate had their heads under a gray blanket. Well, shit, I thought with embarrassment, hurry, pull the blanket over your head before it’s noticed. I did, then waited, blanket over the head. Complete silence outside. Venturing a peek, I found that everyone else had uncovered their heads and were leaving.

That was a religious ceremony? I understood zero of what it was about. But that part ended. Now, I was working. I was given an old wooden desk. The front was closed. When it was pulled open, it would come down to provide a working surface. But I was working on the slanted front. It was quickly apparent that was completely ineffective. After asking, “Why can’t I open the desk,” and not receiving any answers, I opened it.

Stuff was inside. I began unpacking it, trying to learn what these things were. They seemed familiar but glazed with mystery. As I delved into them, I ended up taking that desk section apart. Now it needed to be put back together. I was working on that when gossip and warnings rippling to us warned that the religious people were arriving to conduct inspection. A friend nearby told me that we need to go and warn our other friend so she could hide her contraband.

We covertly hastened to her small place, ground level flat not far away. Stealing inside, we discovered that she wasn’t there. Her back door was cracked open. Hearing her voice, we peeked out. She was there, coming, but engaged with others. I looked out the front window. The inspectors were almost at her place. We fretted over what was going to happen.

Finally, our friend entered her place through the back door. We warned her, “The inspectors are coming.” She calmly replied that she already knew and that she had already prepared for them and didn’t expect any problems. Turning to another person who entered, they began talking about another man. “He looks hideous,” she said, “just like Michael.”

“Me? I look hideous?” I asked. I was appalled; do people think I like hideous.

“Not you,” my friend replied, “my Michael.”

Dream end.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Sunshine kicked out the clouds at 5:34 AM on this blue spring day in Ashland, Saturday, June 12, 2021. Temps immediately jumped up ten degrees and cheered. The back door was thrown open to warm air. Tails up, the cats jaunted out and sniffed, whiskers moving with appreciation for what the day had brought. The temps tell me they’ll be testing the upper edges of sixty (maybe seventy, a few whisper), before the sun gives a final glance over the valley and walks away at 8:47 PM.

Dreams of gold kept awakening me. It rained gold in one dream segment. Surprised by the golden shower, I put my hand out and looked up into the forbidding dark sky. I didn’t feel threatened, just non-plus by this change. Why was it raining gold. Then I laughed. It’s raining gold. And awoke.

Out of that and another gold-themed dream came echoes of “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac, 1977. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

The Earth rolled over. The sun’s first feeble rays hove into view.

5:34 AM.

“Morning has broken. Like the first morning.”

Too early for nonsense.

Thought processes were engaged. Thursday? No, Friday. June something. Eleventh. Still 2021.

Rain fell outside. The sunshine drooped. Clouds barged in. The heater kicked on. Cats slumbered. He would slumber on, too. What time was sunset today? Eight something. 8:47 PM, he remembered, eyes closed, breathing deepening. He returned to his dream. Better there anyway.

Dream songs enter. “All I want to do is dream.” “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.” “These dreams go on when I close my eyes.” “Sweet dreams are made of these. Who am I to disagree?” “Runnin’ down a dream. That never would come to me.” “Dream weaver, I believe you can get me through the night.” “Dream on.”

He sleeps and dreams. Awakens. Half-hearted sunshine lights the bedroom. Coffee, he thinks. The list. Things must be done. He heads into the bathroom. Songs walk with him. “Stray cat strut, I’m a ladies’ cat.” “In the year of the cat.”

The coffee pot beckons in the kitchen. Sunshine withers to a softer shade of pale. Let it rain, rain, rain. Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head. The sky is crying.

He sips his coffee. Enter Ringo Starr. “It don’t come easy. You know it don’t come easy.” Uriah Heep responds. “This is a thing I’ve never known before, it’s called easy living.” Charlie Daniels strikes back with “Uneasy Rider”. He needs to write. “Paperback writer,” the Beatles sing. A truck rolls back outside. “Truckin'” by the Grateful Dead begins. 1970. He heads for the other room. “It’s raining again.” Supertramp. There’s a song for every thought. “I think we’re alone now.” “Do ya think I’m sexy?” “You better think. Think!” “Did you think it’s alright if we leave the boy with Uncle Ernie?”

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get that vax.

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