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.
A sublime rollout of sunshine woke the valley at 7:21 this morning. True, large swaths of the valley’s population were already awake or now retiring to sleep. Depends on your species and intentions, doesn’t it?
October 13, 2022, has arrived, a Thursday in the common era. A mountainous presence lowered the air’s temperature to a pleasant mid-fifties Fahrenheit overnight. Our meteorologic oracles say temperatures will climb to the high eighties. They said the same yesterday but our sector never saw anything above 81 degrees F. Not that I’m complaining. It was coolish but sunny, comfortable weather for short sleeves and short pants. The lower temperature seems to be a collateral impact from the Cedar Creek smoke veiling the sun. Not too smoky, it’s a moderate haze that manages to pull our air quality to less than ideal level, 63. The solar system’s movement will bring us sunset at 6:32 PM.
Now it’s up to the daylighters to decide what to do in this time and environment. I have a variety of chores and actions needed to catch up with modern demands, which is often known as ‘paperwork’ even when it comes in electronic form. We had a celebratory beer for our departed member, Chris, and planned our annual celebration of being which will be in November this year. Paella is the featured dish.
Of course, I’m sitting here as sunshine completes its morning takeover thinking, okay, it’s time to do this and that. Time to get cleaned up and dressed. Time to make some phone calls, check some emails, read some blogs, write some fiction. Time to watch the Jan 6 hearings, time to —
Well, the point has been driven in, hasn’t it? It was ‘the time’. The Neurons leaped onto the words. “Oh, oh, oh,” they shouted. “Here’s a song about that.”
They began playing “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons from 2012. That delivered me to now, where the song continues rolling through the morning mental music stream. And here I am.
Yes, the coffee is brewed and ready to drink. It’s time to get on with the day and get things done. Stay positive, test negative, and carry on with what you need to do. It’s time, don’t you know.
Yeah, so Monday. Yawn, scratch, sniff. The waning days of September — it’s the 26th, you know — has a waning morning sun. Yellow light seeping through sketchy gray clouds make us all wonder, why am I up again? It’s only seven in the morning.
‘We’ was me as I was alone, forcing myself up out of bed to carve out writing time. Yesterday was a hectic day, socializing with sisters visiting Mom, and Mom’s PN visited to establish appointments and create the official record, incidents and worries by Mom over Mom. Writing time? Hah. What’s that? So, there I was, counting time down to sunrise as I typed, warmed coffee in hand to give my blood some life.
Sunrise came at 7:23 and left me pining for summer’s sharper, more brilliant light, but wishes like that don’t slow the Earth’s turning as it whizzes through space around the sun. It’s 55 F, a chilly, slightly moist morning. Contours and cloud shapes suggest rain is not far away in time and space, and will temper the sun’s influence all day. The great weather ‘they’ say that we’ll be limited to a high of 19 C before established planetary routines give us sunset at 7:23 this evening.
It’s Monday, so you know The Neurons plied me with songs about Monday. A few exist. But it’s also September, so they brought out a plate of those as well. Finally, though, that sky is a hazy shade of winter in this early light, weak coffee view. So here comes The Bangles covering Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter”. I’ve used it here before but it’s all I can come up with without more and stronger coffee. Yeah, there’s no snow on the ground — although I haven’t looked in twenty minutes, so some may have fallen — and yes, I know it would need to get colder first and it’s just September in Western PA and not really probable at this time of year but indulge me.
Stay positive, test negative, use precautions, get the latest vax, and here we go. Coffee? Yes, please, please, PLEASE! Hope you enjoy this tune. Make it a glorious Monday. I’m gonna try, if my blood ever starts circulating.
My wife and I divorced. We then went on a vacation together, where we stayed in a mid-range luxury condo. Her sisters were there, in adjoining places, along with their children. We were all younger than in RL by thirty years or so. My wife – B – and I had dinner and then attended a presentation on the environment and climate change in a huge, packed auditorium lit with golden chandeliers. The speaker was a good-looking man with a gold tan who had bestselling books on the subjects. My wife met him after the presentation. They fell in love and married.
I went back to my condo. My wife came to visit. We could see into her new husband’s place, as it was next door. Large and modern, it featured realms of glass. Golden lights lit it inside. B told me that the home was enormous, taking up two entire floors of the luxury townhomes next door, and that her new husband was dying. He passed the next day, leaving everything to B. She announced that as part of that, she was receiving over $13,000 a month in royalties.
I was happy for her but startled by that amount. We’d been there for almost a week and I needed to leave soon. I didn’t have reservations to fly out but had a day and a half left before I needed to get back so I decided not to make reservations yet. I was very busy at that point. The condo had become a little cluttered with piles of coins. My nieces and nephews began collecting them and taking them to my sisters-in-law and wife, who kneeled on the carpet divided the piles of coins among themselves. This didn’t worry or bother me because I’d discovered large caches of cash which belonged to me. I was happy for them to take the coins, but every time I turned around, I discovered another pile of coins.
Then, oh no, I was late for leaving and I hadn’t made a reservation! I chastised myself, thinking if I had made reservations, I wouldn’t be late because I would have had more structure. I succeed more with structure.
A man came by and informed me that I needed to leave, and that if I didn’t I would be fined. I laughed at the threat and noted that I had cash on hand and my ex was receiving $13,000 a month in royalties. The man left. I told the rest of my party that I needed to leave and would be departing shortly. My ex-wife said something back about the need to take care of her new inheritance. She was to go into her ‘new place’ to inventory its contents. I asked her about the hold up, and she said, “There’s a lot of places,” and held up keys. One key ring with keys were hanging on another key ring of keys. “He has places all over town. And you should see the cars.”
Thirty-two years after it was launched into space, the HST team celebrated the Hubble Space Telescope’s contribution to space exploration by publishing a photograph of five galaxies which are merging into one. Talk about a merger! This event is expected to take about a billion years to finish. I keep wondering, what’s the due diligence on something like this?
The five galaxies involved are called the Hickson Compact Group (HCG) 40, an interesting name for a progressive rock group. (Their music is probably spacy, doncha think?) Contemplating this information is staggering on many levels. One, that we’ve achieved the capabilities as a species to look into deep space and understand this. Two, that the event will take so long. Such patience is required. If I was one of the stars involved in the galaxy merger, I’d be, like, man, this is taking forever. Such is my response at a grocery store when I need to wait an extra sixty seconds because people can’t remember their PIN (no, I’m not looking at my wife), or my exasperation rising due to pages loading v e e r r r y s s s l l o o o w w w l l l y y y on the net. I can’t imagine waiting a billion years for anything, although it’s all relative, innit? Stars live longer than I do, so far as we know at this point.
So if you have the time and resources, that is to say, if you’re not suffering from food and housing insecurity, and you’re not a refugee from war, famine, or natural disaster, and if you have the net connections and a computer, in other words, if you’re a fortunate person in relative measure, it’s worth taking a few minutes to consider this far-away event. Helps add a little more perspective.