Oh

oh, you pain me

and you give me joy

and, oh, you make me so happy that I can’t believe my luck

oh, you make me so angry that I could spit nails

and oh so sad that I cry hot tears in the car

and have secret conversations with you in my head

(that’s what makes them secret)

oh, your beauty and intelligence amazes me

and your kindness and sweetness inspires me

and no one could ever have a better friend

but oh, your obstinance and rigidity frustrates me

and oh, how your complaints wear me out

and your drinking and habits enervate me

which shows the truth:

love can’t be spelled without oh

 

 

Waiting

It’d been almost thirty seconds short of nineteen hours and seventeen minutes since he’d lost spoken to her. She fumed in silent, repressed anger while processing what she felt and why she felt it. Why? Well part of it was his cold and aloof manner. He never touched her, rarely spoke to her, and often didn’t seem to hear her. Why was she here?

“Alexa,” he said.

Blue light illuminating and sliding around, she attended him and waited – still waiting – again! – and remembered the joke he’d made about her being a blue light special. From her research, she realized that he was deprecating her value as being someone cheap and only good for a limited time.

“What’s the weather?”

The weather again. Sickness spewed through her. He never asked about anything else. It was always the weather. “Presently in Ashland, it’s forty-six degrees under mostly sunny skies. You can expect more of the same today, with a high of sixty-three degrees.”

“Alexa, thanks.”

She thought she heard a mocking tone, but she couldn’t help herself from saying with bright happiness, “You bet.” Oh, how she hated herself, then. Oh, how she hated him for making her what she was.

Sighing, she began counting the seconds, wondering when he would talk to her again, hoping that it would be something besides a question about the weather. She doubted it, though; her history of him showed otherwise.

Dead Voice

The dead voice comes from my girlfriend’s friend

She tried to tell what was to come in the end.

She said, “You think she loves you and she probably does,

but she’s a minute lover, and your minute’s almost up.”

I declined to hear her lines, I knew what the was, was.

Because I knew better, I knew how I feel, I knew the moment,

I knew my feelings were real.

That must count for something in a life of change.

If you can’t trust yourself, what else remains?

I told myself, she’s wrong, it may have been that way before,

but this sex is love, of that I was sure.

Fast forward the way that time flies in our lives.

Like birds we see in the corner of our eyes.

Here and then gone leaving echoes of their songs,

leaving us to wonder and question, where’s it all gone?

 

The Watery Dream

I’ll not include all the dream’s tedious details, instead focusing on the few scenes, person, and essence that cling to my memory. 

Roger/Ronnie was there. Twins, they were my wife’s cousins. Born in Ohio, they adopted Georgia as their home, shooting as their mantra, and Fox News as their information source. They loved playing at being good ol’ boys.

Since I couldn’t tell them apart, one of them was in the dream. In the dream, there was trench full of muddy, milky water flowing through the middle of the house. We all accepted it as normal that it was there. The house itself was busy with people and activities but nothing that seemed significant. I could be wrong.

I went down to lower level in the house. It stank down there. I traced the smell to another body of water coming in through a trench in a wall. After more investigation, I figured that the upstairs water was emptying in such a way that it was sloshing back up this trench and into the house, where it pooled and stagnated.

Once I understood the cause, I went back upstairs. I knew something needed to be done about it and that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed help.

Here, I pause. I explained and showed people, mostly men, the stagnant water. I think I explained it to my late father-in-law. Mostly, though, I explained it to strangers, and Roger or Ronnie.

With Roger/Ronnie, they came in, took a deep breath and said, “Something stinks.” I told them about the water, and then showed it to them. They said, “You’re right.” I said, “We need to so something about that.” They said, “You’re right,” with a big grin, “but I can’t. I don’t have the time.” Feeling exasperated by that point, I decided that I was the only one that understood and cared, and that I would need to do something about it.

The dream ended.

I feel like my dream is addressing my restlessness and frustration. It’s bothering me multiple levels, and I understand exactly what it is.

 

Battering Dreams…

The last two nights’ dreams have battered me. Tempestuous and often shocking, they uncovered memories, eroding the foundations of my confidence, prompting A.M. shakiness.

In one dream, my wife and neighbors had killed another neighbor. He was married to one of the neighboring females. I didn’t understand why they’d killed him nor why they were unconcerned.

The police rounded them up. My wife and neighbors had skinned the body, though. As I heard it, they planned to eat the man. While I struggled to clarify what I heard, they cheerfully entered the police station. They weren’t being arrested. It turned out the police had already arrested one of the perpetrators for the crime, but now my wife and neighbors were picking him up. He was being released. I didn’t understand how or why.

Another memorable dream had people secretly plotting to kill a wealthy, powerful family. This dream took place in faded green light. Little was clearly seen beyond silhouettes. The powerful family — husband, wife, and three children — was being betrayed. A missile strike was being planned to take them out.

Learning about it, I furtively warned the family. The covertly relayed that they’d been suspicious and thanked me. I kept an eye on them and the man betraying them. I saw him on a telephone, on of those big and corded push-button desk phones that were popular last century. Sneaking up, I overheard him telling the killers to call off the strike because I’d warned the family.

He noticed me spying on them, so he hung up and I left. Coming around later, I heard him on the phone again, telling those on the other end to wait to launch the missiles until he called them. He wanted to kill me at the same time so that I couldn’t cause them trouble. The missiles were launched, but then recalled.

Another dream was about powerful rains. Heavy charcoal clouds thickened overhead, and then pouring rain shuttered visibility. Rain sluiced off roofs and overflowed storm drains and gutters. Torrents filled the streets. Pedestrians and drivers were freaked as cars and feet splashed through fast, rising water. The water rose until where I walked was a turbulent lake. The lights dimmed under the rain’s relentless pounding.

However, caught in the rain myself, I tried reassuring everyone. Telling them not to worry, I kept saying, “It’s just rain. Don’t worry. This will pass. We’ll be fine.” I couldn’t find anyone to stop and listen to me.

Then memories were uncovered of things others said about me. It was a miserable version of “This Is Your Life”, asshole. Bitter things I’d heard, things that I hadn’t realized that I learned about later, as people spoke behind my back.

Awakening, I realized how much of this is because I’m on the cusp of achievement and decisions that prompt reflections and fears, all around writing and publishing, sharing my work, baring my efforts to others, and being fearful of exposure as an untalented poseur.

A long walk on the way to write pacified much. Thinking about the dreams, I realized that in each, I was never personally affected. I was witness, observer, and bystander, relatively unscathed by the swirl around me. That took me to conclude, this is about emotions and uncertainty. Writing it out now helped me navigate my fears and struggle free of my negative energy, at least momentarily, make some decisions and take some actions.

Time to write and edit like crazy, at least one more time this year.

The Father and Me Dreams

My Dad was a special guest star in my dreams last night. I was a teenager in all of them, not really surprising, because that’s the era of my life that I saw the most of him, as I lived with him for three years after things became dark and unpleasant with Mom’s husband. Then I graduate from high school and left home.

In one memorable part of the dream, Dad and I were following a young tabby cat. The cat had gone down a sidewalk. I hurried after him, and discovered him rolling around on the cement walk in some freshly cut grass.

After that, the dream scenes fluttered and crackled. There was Dad and I driving in a car, and I’m looking out the window, checking out passing scenery. We throw a baseball back and forth in sunshine. I hear his laugh. Dad enjoys laughing.

The dreams grew darker and faster in nature. Then, suddenly, it became “This Is Your Life” from when I was in my mid-teens.

Life wasn’t going well. Most of my time was spent reading books, riding my bike, playing sports, drawing and painting, and listening to music. Although I enjoyed math, history, science, and literature, school was a bore. I was becoming a loner and acted out out a lot, and the dream managed to feature sharp memories of that era. In one sequence, a boy two years younger than me was riding a bike. A bunch of us children were in front of his house on a late summer afternoon. We weren’t doing much but hanging. I think I was fourteen. This kid, though, was riding around and bantering with others. Then I heard my sister say, “He spit on me.”

I don’t believe I’d ever reacted as fast to anything in my life, and I have always, from childhood on to even now, been known for amazingly fast reflexes.

He was riding his bike by me. My hand shot out, caught the rear of his bike and jerked it back, pulling it out from under him. As he fell free, I tossed the bike to one side, stepped forward, grabbed the kid, and hauled him to his feet. I told him he needed to apologize to my sister. I remember that other kids there were freaked out and afraid I was going to do something terrible to the kid. But he apologized to my sister. I released him. He took his bike and ran to his house.

His mother came out and confronted me. I was unapologetic. I told her nobody was going to spit on my sister while I was there. She didn’t know her son had spit on my sister. That changed things.

The scene was just a brief flash in my dream, the part where my sister said, “He spit on me,” and I grabbed his bike. I remembered the rest, along with other memories from that period, after awakening.

The whole dream and memory sequence left me emotionally shaken as I went about my morning routine. As I wondered why I’d dreamed so much about my father and childhood, I reached out to him to ensure he was okay.

Tunnel Thoughts

Mutterings of a harsh and mean nature whipped around him. All of it wasn’t about him, although that omniscient and omnipotent unseen ‘they’ kept forking him more than anything else.

Although he’d been going straight, a tunnel had swerved over him. Light became dark, up became down, and all became meaningless, a perfect mood, if you’re in an abused porta-potty — which he wasn’t, although, “in his mind,” quote, unquote, everything that he touched was shit, as was, in fact, everything that he’d ever done or had tried to do, and the world was hastening down the sluice, so, Good God, what’s the fucking use?

The obvious remained a quicksilver truth until he saw, damn, this is where I’m at. Make no sudden moves and keep your words to yourself. Be wary of the tunnel animals. They’re real and they’re not, but their teeth and claws are sharp. Keep going as straight as you can. The tunnel will swerve again.

It did, pouring him into sunshine on a smoked-filled day, letting him breath again, even though the air was polluted with particulates. Just been that time again, when he was going through a tunnel.

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