Sunday’s Theme Music

This song, “Goodbye Stranger”, arrived in the stream after watching people at the coffee shop and on the streets, and inadvertently eavesdropping (they speak, I have ears…it happens).

A woman regularly brings her dog into the coffee shop. She usually sits back by the community table, where I like to work when I can. Her dog is often a cause for conversations with others. So I’ve learned that her dog is a rescue from an animal hoarding situation, that she’s had to work with him, that his name is Atlas, that he does much better now, but that other dogs’ barking makes him nervous, that he is her service dog. I’ve learned others had dogs like him, or saved from similar situations. He’s often compared to a Ridgeback but he isn’t one, not a true Ridgeback, she says.

But I’ve never heard her name, or why she needs a service dog, nor why she is bald. She wears dark glasses, but she watches people, back from her space by the wall, with her service dog beside her…

I’ve decided that I don’t want coffee shop friendships. I’m there to work. Cruel of me, innit? So I keep myself to myself, but as I leave each time, I feel her eyes watch me, and imagine I turn my head and say, “Goodbye, stranger.”

But I don’t. It has caused the 1979 Supertramp song to find itself in my stream.

 

The Fortune Teller Dream

The dream began in a small house. It seemed (these things are not always spelled out in dreams) that the house belonged to a family member. I was staying with them, along with my wife, as part of a visit. Not a large house, it was crowded with people, but the atmosphere was pleasant. The dream took place in the living room, which had green shag carpeting.

We were preparing for a visit, or inspection. I’m not certain which. A woman was present who was a councilor or adviser; I wasn’t certain of her role, but she was authoritarian.

This was happening in the morning. The inspections were due in hours. Someone unfamiliar was asleep on the sofa under a blue sleeping bag. I could only see the dark hair on top of their head.

We were all wondering in soft tones, “Who is that?” And answering, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen them before. They arrived last night.” Coming into the room and hearing us, the woman finally explained that it was son. “Don’t mind him. He needed a place to sleep for the night.”

Oh, okay. We all accepted that without question. A young ginger cat was running in and out, bringing in mulch and leaves after it rolled on the ground or something. Talking with the others, I said that I was going to vacuum the cat and get the dirt off of it. After I caught the cat, I started vacuuming him. He tried to run away, but then he started enjoying the process. I thought that he had realized that I was cleaning him as he turned to let me access different places with the vacuum nozzle.

The woman’s son awoke. Vague introductions were made. Tall and unshaven with short black hair, he looked liked he’d been living rough. He had some appointment, he said, and would be leaving soon. He seemed withdrawn and subdued. He and I spoke, small, friendly exchanges. I was curious about him, pumping him for more details. He finally, hesitantly, attempted to explain. He would do it with cards.

He said he was a fortune teller. He drew cards out of his pocket. They were made of torn newspaper. “I’m not allowed to have real cards,” he said.

Why? I had to ask. “It’s complicated,” he replied.

Meanwhile, he’d dealt the cards into three piles. I was a little bewildered, because I thought I only saw three cards. They didn’t have markings, but newspaper columns and ads. “No, there are more,” he said. “You can’t see them.”

Sure, I thought, humoring him. I said, “Oh, is this three card Monte?”

“No,” he said. “I do fortunes. I read fortunes in cards.”

I went to pick up a card to examine it, asking him if I could as I reached for it. “No,” he replied, putting a hand out to stop me. “You can’t touch the cards or bet on them. That’s against my terms.”

“Your terms?” I was trying to understand what he meant.

He seemed embarrassed. “The terms of my sentencing, and parole. I’m not allowed to have real cards, bet on cards, or let others bet on them. Nobody can touch my cards, because that would make them real cards. That would…” He seemed to search for words. “That would give me. Power.”

I was like, “What’s that mean? What’d you do? What happened?”

He said, “I’m going to tell you your fortune.” He picked up a flimsy newspaper card and looked at it.

The dream ended.

Dream Jeans

I dreamed, among other things, I was with two of my younger sisters and their husbands, along with some of their friends. The friends were strangers to me, but one man and I spent a most of the dream together, with him loaning me items, explaining where we were and what’s going on.

As part of the dream, I’d ordered some jeans online. We were waiting for those to arrive. Once they did, we were to leave.

The jeans arrived almost immediately, with my sister answering the door and bringing the jeans in. They weren’t boxed, but stretched over a large cardboard piece. And they were ugly.

Both were light blue, much lighter than what I expected. One had a huge tear in the upper thigh. The other included a black belt, but had its zipper on the side.

My sisters, and everyone else asked, “Is that what you ordered?” Tones and expressions said, “No way.”

“I think it was.” I was trying to vet the order numbers and everything. It appeared that these were what I ordered, but they looked nothing like their online appearance. Releasing them from the cardboard, I examined them. The material was as thin as paper napkins, leading me to believe, that’s why they were so cheap. But the designs were surreal. I would never wear anything like that. Yet, I was considering it, just to defy expectations.

A conversation swirled around that point. Nothing was decided before we were off on an adventure. To be honest, it all gets cluttered at this point. There were cars, and strange game toys, and searches for gas stations. It’s a miasma of impressions, except for those jeans.

Those jeans were strange, but the guide helping me had a good sense of humor. Wish I could remember more about him.

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