A Shambolic Dream

Arriving somewhere outside, I was met by a man I knew. I’d worked with him at a startup after my military career. Now he was dressed as a light colonel. Greeting me and my wife, he said, thumb over shoulder to indicate direction, “Come on over here and join us. We’re going to review your records.”

So first, I acted like that was completely and totally normal. I said to my wife, “Oh, I guess I’m in the military.” She agreed and went off to do something while I went through my review.

Several problems immediately presented. One, no uniform. Two, haircut out of regs. So was the mustache. Three, I needed to get my records.

My records were to have been pulled and sent over for the review. I was directed over to an area where a table was set up like it was in a record store, but this was all outside under a sunny early autumn day. People were milling, going through the sectioned records, searching for their records. Someone offered to help me. As I went through them, I found my records and so announced. But wait; those weren’t my records. The first and last names were correct, but the middle name was wrong. On, no, they’d sent over the wrong records.

As I swore a bit about what had happened, I noticed another table to the left. It wasn’t set up in the same way. I stepped over to it and there were my records.

I rushed them over to the large card table where the review was being conducted. I knew several of those folks from both military and civilian careers. As I came up, I heard one chief master sergeant say, “But that’s how he aways is.” Others agreed.

I was mortified. Were they speaking of me? What did they mean?

They reviewed others’ records. When it came to be my turn, I joked with them and then explained that I was just back, I’d been visiting with my mother, who’d been very sick. They seemed disinterested. They looked through my records and commented on my haircut and lack of uniform. I told them that I was trying to get it together. One said, “Didn’t you come back from being with your mother a few weeks ago?” When I answered yes, he continued, “Then shouldn’t you have it together by now?”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Let me go get my haircut. My wife was just telling me that I needed to get one. And my uniform is in my locker. I’ll get it and put it on.”

I went off, with my wife joining me. We were mumbling to one another about the situation. She had my clothes, having gotten them out of my locker. Great, but they were horribly wrinkled. Where could I iron them or have them pressed? There was no time, no time.

Then, some young airman dressed in a black pseudo-NAZI military uniform insulted my wife. Overhearing it, I was furious. Confronting him, I wanted to hit him but instead warned him that I was taking action against him. Laughing, he told me, “Fuck you.” That pissed me off further. Another person attempted to defend him as the first guy stood there laughing. I told both that I was busting their asses before my wife pulled me away.

Stepping out of the locker area, I put on the wrinkled pants. Others, including the board members, turned and watched. I then tugged on the shirt only to realize that the shirt and pants were from two different uniform combinations and didn’t match. I thought, oh my God, now I’m screwed.

The guy who greeted me at the dream’s beginning came up. He said, “Don’t worry about any of this. We’re cutting you a break.” As I responded with astonished relief, he went on, “They reported that they found a spell on you, a curse. We’ve lifted that, but since you were under it up to this point, we thought we’d give you a pass.”

The dream ended as I was absorbing this.

Saturday’s Theme Music

When they finally broke through to the other side and the dust cleared, they found a material world with many boulevards of broken dreams. No matter; it was Saturday, August 27, 2022. They had that going for them, if nothing else.

It’s overcast in my swath of the world. Though the day advanced with the sun cresting the eastern mountains at 6:31 AM, the sun’s warmth is remote and oblique. 18 C now, we expect 83 F to be the temperature’s peak. Night will take over at 7:53 this evening, when the sun ‘moves on’ as the world turns.

For music, The Neurons are plying the morning mental music stream with a song from Peter Gabriel. Named “Blood of Eden”, you might expect it to be an energetic, uplifting, hard rocker. Surprisingly, it’s not. (Yes, you correctly detected snark. Good for you. You must have already had coffee.) I’ve always been a Peter Gabiel fan. This 1983 song was another one which prompted me to listen carefully as my brain asked, “Wait, what’s he saying?” The Neurons restored the song to active presence in my mind after overhearing an older man and woman chatting over coffee. He said in response to her reply, “She said that she can’t afford the insurance.” And while my brain remained engaged on its task, The Neurons took up that line and hooked it up with the “Blood of Eden” lyric, “I cannot get insurance anymore. They don’t take credit, only gold.” That’s just how The Neurons play.

My coffee is at hand. I wasn’t always a coffee drinker. Didn’t start that until around fifth, sixth grade, while visiting a friend’s house. We had the same first name, Michael, although he was a Mike. People habitually said, here’s Michael and Mike, or M and M. Mike used to have coffee with a lot of sugar and cream. I only drank it this way a few times, always at his house. When our compasses took us in different directions, I quit drinking coffee and didn’t resume until I was twenty and in the military. Even then, I was only an occasional imbiber of the black brew, usually on midnight shifts. I became a regular drinker when I went off shifts and became the Training NCO. My boss would come in each morning and say, “Let’s go get coffee.” That’s where the habit really developed for me. That was at Kadena on Okinawa, after I’d been there a few years, so I was twenty-seven. My relationship with coffee blossomed. By the time I reached Germany a few years later, I was identified as a hard-core coffee drinker.

BTW, the coffee was bought at an Army & Air Force Exchange Services cafeteria upstairs from the command post where I worked. It cost ninety cents.

Stay positive and test negative. Take care of your family, community, tribe, and self. Here’s the music. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

The wheel spins and slows. The marble drops. Spying the results and spreading the word, everyone gets into position to begin another life play.

Today’s performance is Saturday, August 20, 2022. Those who went through this day before and remember it know what to expect. Others need to improvise.

A narrator says in a Morgan Freeman voice, “It’s 6:23 in the morning as the sun unloads it light. An overcast sky is shifted into place over the ocean. Birds hang around on the beach, enjoying the scene without making one. Lazy waves roll in, release their splash, and slid back out. It’s cool but comfortable, sixty-four degrees Fahrenheit. The thermometer won’t show much warmer by the ocean’s side, maybe nudging sixty-eight, sixty-nine. Few people are out. Dog walkers dominate, strolling with leashed pooches. This show will go beyond midnight, but the daylight scenes end at 8:14 this evening. Let the play begin.”

The Neurons have pressed buttons on the morning mental music stream. (They’re still updating to clicks.) Hall and Oates are singing a 1981 hit, “You Make My Dreams”. I was in Texas at the beginning of that year, on Okinawa by June. Stayed there until December 31, 1980, calling Kadena Air Base my home. We lived in a small apartment in a small building with other young American couples, for we were young. Hall and Oates were a favorite group in the building, and their songs are deeply etched into my psyche.

Why this song today? Maybe it was the dreams. The Neurons aren’t confessing anytime soon.

Stay positive and test negative. Wear a mask if it’s needed. Use your judgement and heed the experts. Meanwhile, my coffee is here. Time to start the day. Here’s the music.


Another Military Dream

This dream was different from the beginning. In my previous military dreams, I’m usually arriving and lost, or establishing order and structure. In this dream, I found myself finishing and leaving. The dream was mostly about me showing my replacement all the equipment and introducing him to our processes and procedures. In a parallel action, the colonel who was the commanding officer, was handing over command and moving on. This individual was a real-life person who later retired as a lieutenant general. We’d worked closely together during my final assignment. Now, in the dream, I ran into him. Both of us were in good moods. He was hungry. I told him that I could get him pizza, which he accepted.

It was very hectic, with much going on. I was constantly fielding questions, introducing people, and hurrying from point to point. During this, I saw a young airman watching. I grinned and waved to her, and then asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was watching me and that I just amazed her with my energy and authority. I laughed and joked that that was all surface appearance, that underneath it all, I was a quivering mess. She rejected that, telling me, “I know you, and you’re always like this, in control of everything and getting it all done.” The flattery pleased me.

Dream end.

A Quasi Military Dream

I was recalled to active service, except, it was all very casual. I wasn’t required to wear a uniform or go anywhere, but I received an assignment that I was to ‘go around and check the gas stations’.

My wife was with me. All I did was drive about to gas stations. It’s unclear how I was ‘checking’ them. She left to go get on my next assignment.

She returned with the information. We went to a new house. It was fantastic, gorgeous, white with wonderful views through floor to ceiling windows. We went up steps to the second floor to explore and were talking, telling one another how lucky we were to have such a house.

A man rushed in. He identified us and then said, “You need to leave now,” in a strong, authoritative voice.

My wife asked, “What do you mean?”

He replied, “You need to evacuate RIGHT NOW.”

My wife replied with a hard nod, “Okay, we will.”

Dream end.

Monday’s Theme Music

Dropping down to 97 F today, a cooling trend for the week. By Sunday, it’ll be down to 73 F, they say, as they expect the heat dome to slide on across North America.

Today is June 27, 2022, the month’s final Monday for this year. We’ll be pushing on into July next week. Time is racing by in my life. Don’t know about yers. Sunrise kicked off at 5:36. It’s slowly sliding back toward six AM. Sunset is holding steady at 8:51 PM.

Today’s theme song was a sudden apparition from the memory mines. Don’t know what The Neurons were thinking. I suspect they played a game of randomly pushing buttons, giggling and telling themselves, “Let’s see what happens when we push these buttons.” Well, those buttons took me to an entertaining time of life on an island called Okinawa on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. between the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea. Yes, there’s a lot of water around it. This song, “Be Good Johnny” was part of that scene. Maybe, more rational neurons suggest, it was thinking about heat and mugginess. Okinawa was a muggy place. No A/C in the apartment we lived in for the first coupla years. Dripping with sweat was the day’s norm. If you weren’t sweating, people were liable to ask, “Are you okay? You’re not sweating.”

Here is “Be Good Johnny” by Men At Work from 1982. I enjoy Colin Hay’s vocal work in the song. Hope you to do. Coffee? Let’s go. Stay positive and test negative.


Sunday’s Theme Music

My wife declared, “I love this weather.” It’s a cool Sunday. June 12, 2022. Clinging mists obscure the downslopes of pine and hardwood trees. The temperature dropped fast last night. It’s back up to 63 F but with clouds and rain dominating, that’s the day’s high. And it’s peculiar, as I was out last night with the cat, admiring the bright moon. “Pretty nice, isn’t it?” I said to him. “Not quite a full moon. I like the air’s smell. It’s so fresh.”

“That’s a waxing gibbous.” The cat yawned and stretched. “About ninety to ninety-five percent, I’d say. Rain’s coming.”

I checked, and he was right about the moon. Clouds stormed in, delivering a snare-drum rain performance before sunrise at 5:34 AM. Sunset: 8:47 PM.

Songs about flying fill the morning mental music stream. Don’t know what the neurons are thinking with that; did I have a flying dream that I don’t remember? Or are they gaslighting me?

But looking out the window reminded me of Germany. We lived there in the eighties while stationed at Rhein Main AB. Clouds and rain were frequently experienced in that region. The neurons eventually began singing “Jammin’ Me” by Tom Petty (1987). They didn’t give a reason although it might be that friends and I were discussing this song because we’d gone to see The Grateful Dead. Conversation had turned to Bob Dylan, and one person mentioned that Bob Dylan wrote this song with Tom Petty and Mike Campbell. Could be. The reflective trip down the memory highway ended with the usual refrain, wonder where those guys are now?

Another Military Dream

We were going into another country on a commercial aircraft. A warning was issued to us before we boarded: it’d be a crazy landing, with a steep approach. We were all military, dressed in drab olive-green flight suits or green and brown woodland camouflage uniforms. It was a packed aircraft. We were going in as part of a disaster recovery mission.

We were on the aircraft and notified that the descent was beginning. The aircraft abruptly corkscrewed right and down, throwing us around in our seats. It suddenly flattened out. As people commented on the unusual and steep approach, we hit the ground and bounced hard. Rain had slicked the ground outside. We slid off the runway and across wet pavement before slamming the left side, where I sat, by a window, into a building.

I expected explosions or wreckage, but the aircraft continued forward, sliding along with its left side against the building. I saw a dead man fall out of a doorway and then we rocked to a halt. As we filed out of the aircraft, a number of people talked about the landing but always with the proviso, “Well, at least no one was hurt.” I was contrarian. “What about the people in the buildings? I saw at least one dead guy.” As I looked for him, I thought that he may have already been dead before we landed, as he looked stiff and bloodless.

Carrying bags, we went up into a building and were assigned rooms. I was given A233. While others were clustered around the same area, looking at the numbers, I realized that mine was far away. Grabbing my bags, I said, “I know exactly where it’s at,” and went down a hall and directly to my room. Dropping my bags off, I returned to the central office where we would be setting up.

Personnel were crowded into the room. A lieutenant colonel was walking around, speaking as he did, and was clearly drunk. He said, “I think we need a fire.” He then set pieces of paper on fire and put them on my desk. As this was transpiring, I said, “Sir, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to start a fire in here, especially on my desk.” I headed up there as I spoke, simultaneously looking for somewhere to put the fire, something to put it out with, and reaching it from the officer and the desk.

Dream end

The Black Dog Dream

This was another military dream but, with twists to it that made the military component less significant.

So, yeah, in the military, young again, running a command post, killing time. I’m waiting for something to happen, so I start going through the daily logs. First, I’m superintendent and I’m expected to review and initial the logs each day. Second, the logs should reflect what checklist actions have been taken by the controllers on duty. I want to ensure they’re doing their jobs as expected when I’m not around.

I go through a bit of that, making comments. The command post is lightly busy around me, slower than a typical day, with people calling in on the radios and the telephones ringing and being answered. My mood is buoyant; whatever I’m waiting to have happen has me hopeful and excited, full of anticipation. Going through personnel rosters, I note that we’ve lost several people, which lowers the assigned total to perfectly fit all needs. That delights me to bizarre levels. Every position filled, and no one left for me to ‘find a job’ for them. Great. I go through the names, recognizing people who worked for me before, and then do a casual audit of the communication security code books on hand, ensuring they’re being properly maintained. Everything is in perfect order!

I’m abruptly changed into civilian clothes, which surprises me, but it’s a good thing, I decide, ala Martha Stewart. Then I’m looking for my dogs. I should have three. (NOTE: In RL, I’ve never owned a dog.) I find one of them. I recall the second one passed away, which saddens me. But the third, a small black Yorkie in my mind, should be there.

I begin walking around the command post, looking for the missing black dog. As I do, others question me about what I’m doing. They don’t seem to be able to comprehend my answers. As I’m responding and still looking, I see the dog bounding down a small ravine. Well, there he is, I think, happy to know that, and going after him.

I leave the command post but can’t find the ravine. I know that’s where the dog, so how do I get there? The dream ends as I’m turning in circles, trying to understand where to go to reach the dog…

A Messy Dream

Although, it was in a military setting, I thought the messy theme provided the important aspect.

Young again, I was with a bunch of other military in a battlestaff room. Large and horse-shoe shaped, it had multiple phones, display panels, maps, flags, all that sort of thing. Unlike standard battlestaff areas, this one had large windows, too, showing that we were in the middle of the night.

I knew all the military there. We weren’t working, but just hanging around together. It seemed like a large party with elements of a sleepover. I had an impression that was never clarified that we were waiting for something. Plates, food, sleeping bags, and pillows cluttered the place, offending my sense of order.

Knots of conversation were going on. Laughter abounded, and pizza and vegetable trays were set up. Almost all the others were officers. They teased me about being serious. I walked around, eating food, looking for things to do, feeling isolated. Some were gathered around an older style television, large and square, full of tubes. They were watching red and black action and trying to figure out what it was. I joined them and realized they were watching the ‘TNT’ cable network, and then said, “This is a NASCAR race.” Bizarrely, the screen was almost all black; the cars were outlined in bright red.

I went on from that, shaking my head, and then decided to leave to get clothes. I hastened to my place. Getting there just required going down corridors and around corners. Reaching there, I found my wife all dressed up to go out. She said she wanted to go back with me. I said, “Why not?”

When we returned, I did a general introduction of my wife. I sat and she sat on my lap, flirting with me and kissing me. I enjoyed this but then she said she was going back to our place. That was fine. Whatever was going on seemed to be drawing down as about half of the gathered personnel trickled out. Walking around, I discovered phone lines blinking. I asked, “Why isn’t anyone answering any of these phones?”

One of the others replied, “We didn’t want to.”

Annoyed, I began answering phones. Nobody was on usually. Walking around, I discovered that they’d taken the hotlines off their cradles. Back in the decades I was in the military, these phones were red, black, and yellow. All were set off by themselves and were dedicated to specific purposes — one was the red phone which hooked up to headquarters and national command authorities. The black one was for the secondary crash net, for when a major accident was happening, used to pass information to many agencies at once. Beside it was a dark green one, used to connect with the Central Security Center. Another, which was green, was the AUTOVON system, a sort of military long-distance calling network.

All these phones were off their cradles, horrifying me. As I chastised the others, they laughed off my concerns. I also discovered that the UHF & VHF radios were turned off.

Oh, my God, I couldn’t believe it. They’d basically ignored all calls or disabled all communication systems. As I did, I found muddy foot prints all over the floors.

I went about fixing it all. Hard rain began pelting the windows. I looked around and discovered the others were gone, leaving only a mess.

Dream end.

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