Two Unheard Questions Dream

We were located in an old service station garage. Tall glass garage doors along either side. It’s raining on one side. Just splatter against the window. Through it, I can see another building. I know it’s a coffee house. I can see one person in there, a tall, slender, white, blonde woman with short, curly hair. I want to go over and have coffee. I will when I’m done, I keep telling myself.

I’m conducting two activities in parallel. In one, I’m in charge of a class where people are learning to play music to calm and relax people. Mixed in with the people learning that are people there for advice on retired life. Both are packed classes. One group is filling out paperwork and asking me questions; the other group is selecting music, playing it on radios, and asking me questions. I walk among them, helping, talking, instructing. We’re all tired. We’ve been up a long time. I’d been up over twenty-four hours. I want to go get coffee. Then go to sleep.

We’re done. Classes are finished. The class members all lie down on the floor to rest just for a few minutes. Two ask me questions, one from each class. Settling on the floor with them, I answer, “I didn’t hear your questions. Were they about music or retiring?”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

We call this stormy Tuesday but Monday’s just as bad. We also call it September 28, 2021. With dark, dramatic lighting, we call it, “The Final Tuesday”. It’s here for you, and it’s not about basketball.

Rained part of the night. Trailed off into a lazy gray sunrise at 7:04 AM. Sunset is due at 6:58 PM. Chilly. Had the heat come on this morning. Low was 42 F. Expect a high of 66 F. It is fall. Time for fall treats. Pumpkin pie.

A skunk fight interrupted our deep sleep. When I say a fight, t’weren’t any sounds associated with it. Just an intense smell. Like a dirty dozen pack of skunks entered the house and let loose on us. The air purifier was pressed into service. Fiful sleep returned after an hour plus, unusual for me, known as he-who-falls-asleep. An early telephone call interrupted it. I rolled out and into a lumbering run, wondering, “Who is it, what is it,” etc. Turned out to be the solar system installer. New inverter has arrived. Can he send his team over with it this afternoon?

I returned to bed to suck up more zzzs. But my thinking had conjured a Macklemore & Ryan song into my head. “Can’t Hold Us”. 2011. Spun up from these second-stanza lyrics:

Return of the Mack, get up!
What it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn’t.
Looking for a better way to get up out of bed
Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit me.

Admittedly, I know these lyrics mostly because I’ve looked them up after querying myself, “What are they saying?” Macklemore and Lewis rap so fast. Common among rappers, though. It’s all about quick speech. Quick minds. I’m just too slow. Ray Dalton’s singing is a welcome break on the song for me.

It’s fascinating how you become adjusted to circumstances like smells. I’d been up for a few hours. Thought, oh, good, the skunk odor has dissipated. Then I went outside to experience the world. When I returned inside, the skunk’s smell lanced through me, fresh and sharp. Windows were opened. Furnace turned off. Purifier turned on.

Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask as needed. Get the vax. Enjoy the music. Have more coffee. You know I am. Here’s the tune. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Greetings from Mars. Ha, just kidding. Still on Earth, so far as I know. This might be a Matrix situation though. Or I could be part of a Sims existence. I will always think I know, even if I don’t.

Today is Monday, September 27, 2021. It lightly rained this morning. Made for a glorious burst of dawn apricots and gold between clouds at 7:03 AM. Sunset is less than twelve hours away: 1901. We’ve passed the tipping point. The night will gain time over the daylight until we reach that next stage, the longest night, in December.

Till then, party! Well, no. Just live. If that includes party, well, that’s often good. Today’s temperatures will flutter from their current level, about 60 F, to about 68, maybe 69. Maybe 70. Brooding clouds are suggesting, “Ain’t gonna happen.” And the sun is saying, “Fuck it, I’m chillin’ today.”

Cat moment inspired today’s music. (Why, that’s never happened before, hasit?) In bed this AM. Had just returned from feeding several beasties. Wasn’t ready to rise and shine. Wasn’t even ready to just rise. As I was sinking back into slumberland, Tucker wandered up with a purr offer. He then tucked his paw under my nose, brought his nose up close, and stared at me in the face. “Hello,” I said. His purr went hyper. From that, “Hello, I Love You” by the Doors (1968) crashed into the Monday morning mental music stream.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax and boosters as needed, and live a good life. Here’s the music. Ima getting coffee. Cheers

Sleep Easy

I’ve been reading about sleeping (yeah, researching). I’ve always been one to fall asleep quickly and easily, in almost any location. I’ve gone to sleep in waiting rooms, cars and aircraft (military and commercial), and tents during a typhoon. One of those times in the typhoon, my wife was with me. She claimed that the tent was blowing away and I was dead asleep. Coincidentally, after that trip, she declared that roughing it required a hotel room and a chocolate on her pillow. On another occasion when I was a teen, Dad and his wife (yeah, my step Mom) awoke me to take cover in the living room floor because of a tornado. I went in there and went to sleep. According to my step Mother, so did Dad. She couldn’t believe it.

Then I came across the claim that people don’t fall out of bed while sleeping.

News to me. I’ve fallen out of bed twice in my lifetime. Both happened in my early teens, and in my usual bed. I was stone sober, I swear! Didn’t drink nor indulge in drugs then (as if drugs and are regular pals now – we’re not), and wasn’t sick. Just floomp. Out of bed and onto the floor.

I decided to cast a wider research net and leaped to the web. Research revealed that this is a REM Sleep Disorder. Ohhh, okay. They went on to talk about people acting out their dreams.

That’s another thing I’ve been known to do. The book claimed that people experience paralysis during sleep to keep them from thrashing about and hurting themselves or others. Tales are circulated around my family about me thrashing in my sleep. Three immediately spring to mind. Once, I came down to breakfast. Taking a look at me, Mom asked, “What happened to your eye?” I didn’t know what she was talking about. My sister said, “He hit himself.”

Wearing a mystified expression, Mom naturally went, “He hit himself?” I stared without comprehension about what my sister was saying. Sis went on, “I heard noises coming from your room so I went in. You were fighting with your pillow.”

“Fighting with my pillos?”

“Then you swung at it and hit yourself.” I scoffed, of course. I didn’t remember any of it. Sis swore it was true.

During a second night thrashing, my cousin was sleeping over. We were sharing a bed. He awoke to discover me on my hands and knees beside him. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“Looking for worms.”

As he said, “Worms,” I lunged forward with a shout, “There’s one,” and managed to hit him. That’s when I awoke and he told the story.

Third time was with my wife. We’d been married a few years when she woke me. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Why’d you wake me?” I was pretty cross about being awoken out of a solid sleep.

She replied, “You were moving around, and then started swinging your fists. I was afraid you were going to hit me.”

All this time, I had no idea that I have a mild sleep disorder. I wonder if it’s in any way associated with my ability to sharply recall dreams. I’ve deliberately curtailed remembering dreams to a significant degree. Making efforts recalling dreams ends up eating a chunk of time because I remember — or tell myself that I do, perhaps — a great deal. Besides that, the dreams show recurring patterns and get boring, like watching movies with different titles but interchangeable plots. I enjoy driving dreams, thought. I’m usually driving sports cars like Ferraris, BMWs, or Porsches, and I’m often driving them through snow, but enjoying myself.

That’s probably the best aspect of dreams that I recall. Many make little sense but through them all, I seem to enjoy myself. I rest easy with that.

Friday’s Fumblings

  1. The more that I’m writing, the worst that I sleep. I dream more when I’m writing more, too. Yesterday produced a great writing session, a miserable night of sleep, and a flotilla of dreams.
  2. I think that I sleep worst when I’m writing more because more of my brain is engaged in the writing process. The writing is consuming more bandwidth; shutting it down at day’s end is problematic. I keep writing while I’m doing other things, including trying to sleep.
  3. The good news with the novel in progress is that the characters escaped Arsehold at last! How surprised me, but was totally in tone with the rest of the book. This is, of course, when writing is most fun and rewarding.
  4. I always worry about saying too much about writing these days. I don’t want to jinx it when it’s going well, you know? Don’t want to scare off or anger the muses. I never elaborate to others about what I’m writing any more. It’s a novel; it’s meant to be read. I don’t want to explain it; I want people to read it. Sometimes it’s hard to stay true to this as excitement about the story, characters, and concept bubble up and make me happy. I guess I’m an eternal optimist that these stories and novels will come to be in people’s hands someday. Really, though, I write for me and have a good time doing it.
  5. I’m subscribed to HBOMax and enjoying several shows. Nevertheless, I have a complaint about the service. Every time I select it, the first thing that comes up is, “Who is watching?” My name is right there on top. It’s the only name. Below it are options to add other profiles or to add a kid. Seriously? Why must I answer this every friggin’ time? Just accept, I am the one watching, and get on with it. If I want to add someone else, I can go into options or the account, you know. It shouldn’t, I suppose, but it irks me to no end.
  6. COVID-19 vaccinations are increasing among friends and family. I know ten people who have been vaccinated. Three different states – Oregon, Texas, and Pennsylvania – are involved. All who were vaccinated except one were seventy plus years old. The one exception is in her forties and is in the healthcare industry, although she’s in research. Both vaccines have been employed among this small sampling. None have reported significant adverse reactions beyond a desire to nap and mild fevers. Let me know how your vaccination goes, please.
  7. My wife and I are a year apart in age, which adds another spin to our vaxsit. I’m sixty-four and a half. I turn sixty-five in July. I’ll be eligible. But do we want to do it if we can’t do it at the same time? Part of our formula about whether and when is that I have hypertension and she has RA. I suspect that we’ll be included as part of a group that’s fifty years and older later this year, making our one year difference moot.
  8. I mentioned oatmeal in another post, and the huntress commented on oatmeal. Her mother made it very thin. Soupy thin. I think of that as gruel. Yeah, I know it’s not the same. While that’s how my wife eats it, I’m not a fan of it. I make my oat meal so thick, it’s almost a soft cookie.
  9. I grew up putting brown sugar in my oatmeal. Well, it started as white sugar but once I had it with brown sugar, the game was done. I then learned to add raisins and nuts. Now I put all manner of things in my oatmeal. I currently add cranberries and walnuts in my oatmeal, and granola as a topping. I like the contrasting crunchiness and flavor.
  10. When I was first served oatmeal at my wife’s house while in my teens, they surprised me by adding butter and bacon on top. I’d never heard of such a thing! That surprised them, because that’s how they always ate it. Adding bacon and butter to my oatmeal wasn’t something that I adopted. My wife doesn’t add it to her oatmeal, either.
  11. The world seems weirdly calmer with Joe Biden in office as President. Is this my imagination? Am I just reading less news? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Have news outlets shifted how they’ve reported? Perhaps. Or is it that there’s less bad news, or it’s being less reported, or not catching my eye… Maybe we’re just in an intermission in the bad news cycle.
  12. Or maybe it’s some sense of numbing of normalization to bad news. Locally — specifically, in Jackson County, Oregon — COVID-19 positive cases have been declining. We haven’t had triple digits in several days. We’re trending down, but we trended down in November. Then we had a Christmas spike. Meanwhile, people aged 20-29 are the most positive cases here, but those aged fifty and older dominate the hospital beds, inline with what’s been seen elsewhere, and what’s generally expected.
  13. Okay, got my coffee, actually my second cup. No mid-morning treat to go with it. No cookies, pastries, or doughnuts. Nevertheless, time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Monday’s Theme Music

I awoke in the early hours with a cat tapping at the pet door and a dream lingering in my head. After peeing (my bladder said, “Well, since you’re awake,”) and drinking some water (because I’d just peed, obviously, right?), I returned to bed (after letting the cat back in because it was cold outside). In the moments before falling asleep, I thought about the dream I’d left. In that time, too, my brain started singing, “When you close your eyes and go to sleep, everything about you is a mystery.”

It took a few moments of sleep-fogged thinking to identify it as The Romantics song, “Talking in your Sleep”. I thought it was released sometime in the early 1980s, which led me on a mental chase of other facts from that era to pin it down. (Like, where was I living when I heard that song? Okinawa?)

I looked it up this morning because I needed to know (1983). So, that’s the music for today.

Stay positive, test negative, and wear a mask. Cheers

The Romantics – Talking in Your Sleep – YouTube

Tuesday’s Theme Music

As I settled down to sleep last night, I found that sleep was coming fast, like I’d opened a door and invited the sandman in. That brought forth amusing memories of Mom talking to me about the sandman when I was a little boy. She also used to sing “Mr Sandman” to me. But after all that thinking and remembering, the Metallica song, “Enter Sandman” (1991) crashed in.

A much different and intense song, I always enjoy its beginning. Then there’s the lyrics:

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit: light
Enter: night
Take my hand
We’re off to never never land

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

 

Unmoored

Leaping out of the recliner, he looked wildly around the dark room.

Where am I? How did I get here?

Hunting for the ship’s control panels — they should be — there — he swung left to right and searched his mind for the moment’s handle.

Calm fell into place, followed by recognition that he was in his den. He’d fallen asleep watching television, but had set it to time off after an hour.

Relief swept him. Trudging down the hall to go to bed, he muttered, “Unstuck in time, Mister Vonnegut? More like unmoored in reality.”

Heartbeat

They moved and shifted during the night, ending up back to back in bed. Her heel tapped his heel in a gentle rhythm, like a heartbeat, to him. She would awaken a little, resume the heartbeat, and then sleep again, finally stopping for the night when her sleep became deep.

He lay awake for a long time, thinking about the heartbeat, and how it felt, waiting for it to begin again.

Downstreams

Some mental activity racing along my axons today.

  • Love that first slurp of my quad shot mocha at the Boulevard. The baristas know my preferences and do a great job of blending everything and then topping my coffee drink with with a skim of dark chocolate powder. I love the contrasts of flavors in that first tasting. Sensational.
  • It’s National White Shirt Day! This day recognizes the end of a 1937 UAW strike at GM for better working conditions. I have my white tee shirt on, under my natural wool sweater.
  • I don’t recall any dreams from last night. That’s unusual. Wonder why. Sleeping period, six and a half hours, seems about normal.
  • I’ve been reading a series of articles on sleep and whether we’re evolving from being biphasic. The latest article was on Van Winkle and provided a brief summary of the last eight thousand years of sleep.
  • I realized Part I of my  science-fiction novel in progress requires some serious editing and revising. I first realized that about a week ago and tried rejecting it. My writer within was willing to overlook changing it; the resident interior editor was reluctantly accepting of it. However, the reader in residence said, “Oh, no. That needs work.” Trust the reader. After we argued a few days, the writer and editor agreed with the reader’s points. However, the writer came up with some interesting ideas to explore in parallel.
  • The editor, though, urged us all not to make any changes until it’s all done. He pointed out that Part I is the way it is because the stories and concepts were still being explored. True; I write to understand myself, to order and structure and expand my thoughts. He pointed out that since I’m still writing the other parts, I can save myself some potential work by fully completing an entire draft before making major revisions. I accept his contention and put it on hold until the first draft is completed.
  • The novel in progress is ‘Long Summer’. Science-fiction, it’s not quite a sequel but is collateral to ‘Returnee’, as it stars Brett and Castle Corporation, and continues with many of the same themes of technological alienation and isolation, and socializing with yourself via virtual beings you develop to help people cope with life as they live far longer.
  • Talking with the barista today. “Fun plans?” she asked. Because, it’s Saturday; in her working and school world has meaning that has left my writing world. I don’t segregate the days into weeks and weekends any longer. I barely notice the date. “Movies,” I answered her. “We’re going to see ‘Lion’.” She wasn’t familiar with it. I mentioned Dev Patel and a few of his movies. Yes, she remembered ‘Slumdog Millionaires’. It didn’t occur to me until later that she was eight years old when Slumdog was released.
  • That conversation pointed me onto new vectors of changes and the differences in my values, perceptions and experiences as a sexagenarian and the same in her as a young adult. It’s the same conversation I had as a young adult with those forty to fifty years older than me. I was twenty in 1976. Those who were sixty in 1976 had been born just after World War I ended. They fought in World War II and remembered the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Grandparents had been part of the American Civil War. The Soviet Union was founded during their lifetime and the Cold War dominated world politics.
  • It’s interesting to put into perspective. What I think of as ‘normal’ isn’t the same as the previous generation or the next generation. Besides when we were born forming us, so do our education levels. More strongly and interesting, we saw how where we live and our education and economic situations affect national politics during the 2016 presidential election. Now, this article on FiveThirtyEight tells about how where we live affects our deaths. It’s a telling insight to me.

Cheers

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