The Pie and the Professor

I dreamed I made a pie. I think it was something creamy but it looked like it might have been key lime. The flavor was never addressed.

I was talking to a friend on the phone. A retired Yale professor of literature, Herb, he’s a social activist and someone I admire. Never dreamed about him before, though.

I told him about my pie during my telephone conversation with him. He said it sounded good, so I told invited him over to have some whenever he was in the area.

Next, I’m walking down the street. It’s a sunny, pleasant day. A dark blue Volkswagen is coming toward me, a diesel, from its sound. I think that can’t be my friend, because he doesn’t drive a VW, but then he pulls alongside, and it’s him.

He puts down his window. “Michael! I came by to taste your pie.”

Well, cool. We go into the house. I’m about to serve him a slice when my phone rings. A woman on the line says her name is Lily and she’s my friend’s wife. Except I know his wife and her name isn’t Lily.

She tells me that she needs him to come home right away. I relay this information. He replies, he’s going to have a piece of pie first. I relay that to Lily and hang up. Then I serve Herb some pie. Grinning — as he’s so often doing — he sits down to eat.

Dream end.

A Year of Change

That smell of wet, burnt wood from a large fire bristles in my memories.

1971. I was fourteen. Dad had just returned from an overseas military assignment and took me in, a refugee from an unhappy time with Mom and her husband then. We lived in Dayton, Ohio, first in an apartment, and then in Wright-Patterson AFB base housing, in a place called Page Manor. We lived there from the beginning of July to the end of August. Then, an opportunity came up. He retired from the military to start a new chapter to his life.

He and I moved to West Virginia and he began his new job. Housing was limited so Dad bought a mobile home. A space was found for it in a trailer park. School started. A month later, the trailer burned up. Days were spent trying to recover what we could from the trailer. I carried a smoky odor around my clothes for months.

Dad’s co-worker let us crash at their place, but it was crowded, and the co-worker had a young wife and a new baby. Goaded by her disenchantment to be rid of us — nothing personal, and I understand it — we found a new place to live within a month.

Coincidentally, that was the same time that I met the girl who would become the woman who would become my wife. We married in 1975, less than four years after meeting. We’ve been together since then, although we’ve had separations and struggles. Amazing to think that I’ve known her since 1971 and have been married to her since 1975. It seems like a lot longer… Bet it seems even longer to her.

It’s all sharp in the head, strong in the memories, that period, a time of destruction, change, and beginning. I can’t say that I don’t look back; I’m always looking back, then turning around and looking forward, re-establishing where I’m at, and moving on.

Or trying to.

Some Dream Highlights

Such a strange, long dream.

At one point, I let a little pet mouse out of the bathroom into the rain. Yellow walls and a naked yellow light, decrepit age, and a sloping dirt floor defined the bathroom. I didn’t want to let the little mouse out. I knew it was storming and night, unsafe conditions, to me. I didn’t know what the mouse knew. Letting him out with regret, I vowed to check on him.

Then, dreamshift, I was at work, a new job with a familiar feel. A new boss arrived. Others were at work at clusters of desks. I was shown a desk that was to be mine but decided to find and reclaim my previous place, which I then did. I cleaned it, finding old stuff of mine. Sorting it, I decided what to keep and toss. Then, speaking with a female co-worker, I re-oriented my desk to watch the front door. I told her that I wanted to see what was going on. She agreed that was the best way to face.

My mail was delivered. It was a lot but not as much as I expected. Off I went to find the rest. As I began, the office administrator arrived with a large bundle of mail for me.

Now, dreamshift again, I was leaving with my wife to return to our hotel. First, I went back to the yellow bathroom and pulled open the door. The little mouse hurried in from the rain with a grateful look my way.

My wife and I were walking through a large market on the way back to the hotel. Then she said, “I want to get something.” I asked her what. She replied but I couldn’t hear her. She went off, leaving me to mill around.

Friends in the military came by, heading to the marshalling area to deploy. I was happy to see them. Walking with them, I told them about changes in the area because they weren’t aware. Breaking off as they arrived at their destination, I joined up with my wife. She was still shopping. Like before, I asked her what she was after. She replied but I couldn’t hear her. She went off, leaving me with a commiserating shop owner. I decided to continue to the hotel instead of waiting.

Dream end.

 

Night Escape Dream

I needed to get across town, at night. I worried about being caught.

I was on foot. A moonlit night blessed the mild night, a double-edged blade; I could see but could be seen.

The area was known, a small town in southern West Virginia. Going down a hill by a highway, my senses sharp, I darted from corner to corner, building to building, All were commercial buildings. Most were closed.

Then I heard someone coming. Terrified of being caught, I slipped into a building.

A private club. it was open, and packed. Walking in, seeing a full room, I slipped down some stairs…

And into another full, crowded room.

Well-lit, everyone looked at me. All were white men and women. Nodding hello, I mumbled something about being sent down here to wait. Nodding understanding, everyone resumed what they were doing. Turning, I spied a darker, quiet room and popped into it. Empty. Safe.

I stayed, resting there for a while, then exited into the night again. As I crossed a cinder parking lot, I heard someone calling me.

Running, she caught up with me. Giddy and out of breath, she said she’d go home with me. I explained that I wasn’t going home and that she wasn’t safe with me, but she insisted.

I changed plans. I’d get her home, then continue on my mission.

We pressed on.

She complained. She was tired and hungry. She wanted to rest.

Knowing of a home that belonged to an acquaintance, I detoured and broke into the house. Finding a soft surface with a blanket, we went to sleep.

Children awoke us. They weren’t scared but pleased with our presence. A black man, my acquaintance, came down. After initial surprise, he was welcoming, friendly, and reassuring. Then, just as we relaxed, he issued a warning: “Look out.” A name I didn’t catch was coming.

We pulled the blankets over our heads. Noises rose. What the hell?

A large dark dog shoved his head under the blanket. As we pulled it back, thinking, caught, my acquaintance explained that the dog was the slobber monster, that he had to smell and slobber over everything.

The dream’s tenor changed. We relaxed. As my wife watched TV with the children. I chatted with my friend, and he fried bacon and eggs for us for breakfast. I planned to get my wife home, and go on.

Saturday: Four Things

There has to be four things today because it’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the U.S., right? 

  1. Best fourth of July celebration for me is the first one with my wife. She wasn’t my wife or girlfriend yet. I was fifteen and she was fourteen, and she was just a girl I’d just met a few days before. Yep, just a smart, long-haired girl who captured my attention from the first time I saw her. Fortunately, I had the same impact on her, she claims. Guess it was fate.
  2. I subscribe to the Hulu service with commercial breaks. I don’t like spending money on streaming services. They’re an indulgence, so I try to minimize the cost. I’m watching two shows on Hulu, “Cardinal” and “Justified” (again), so I don’t think it’s worth paying more for it. They’re like an awkward, gamboling puppy with their commercial breaks, erupting in odd points in a scene (butchering the tension or mood). They usually show two or three commercials, and they usually cut off , and then cutting off the last twelve seconds of the final commercial. If I was that advertiser, I’d be demanding better service. My cynical aspect (which occupies about ninety percent of my mind) suggest Hulu does their breaks deliberately to motivate me to pay a few more dollars a month to avoid commercial breaks.
  3. Watched Hamilton on Disney Plus last night. Had the captions on, and it’s a good thing. It’s a continuous flow of life, song, revelations, and relationships, and worth every damn piece of praise that I’ve read or heard. I recommend it to you so you can witness for yourself.
  4. Gonna be a mellow day in spirit. I’m going for a walk in a little while…after I write. A pair of jets did a flyby to mark the moment when the parade would’ve begun but there are no parades in town, although our friend and state rep did a singleton parade. Pam Marsh wears the Statue of Liberty outfit every year, has for years. The mask is new…so is the Black Lives Matter sign…and the coronavirus on a chain… We’ve watched the town parade from her front year for the past ten years. It’s a potluck where everyone attending brings a food or drink. We’ll miss the parade but Pam is carrying the torch for it (yeah, get it?). We’re fortunate to have such an intelligent, energetic, and concerned person as our friend and rep. Did I mention her sense of humor?Pam July 4

Yeah, got my coffee. Yes, it’s a holiday, and it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time…

Dream Snippets

So many diverse dream elements last night. Here’s two of five. It’s too exhausting and time-consuming to recount more. These left the greatest impression. First, the game show.

A flood had wrecked a place. I felt it could be salvaged. Seeing how it could be done, I convinced the network to give me a chance to execute.

Things immediately started going wrong but I kept persevering. I ended up with two basketball hoops at one end. Two young women were assisting. I had a nerf basketball. Then I started attempting explaining what was supposed to happen. As that’s going on, it was announced time’s up. You’re going live.

I wasn’t supposed to be on the air, but there I was, throwing the nerf ball and falling miserably to make a basket. I kept throwing the ball to the hoop; it fell well short. I then decided to bank it off the backboard. That fell well short.

“It can’t be done,” I said. “We need a different ball.”

One assistant replied, “We’ve been doing it with this ball.” Another man stepped up, threw the ball and made a basket.

Everyone was laughing at me. Embarrassment and frustration flooded me. The network said, “Hey, people are watching you. They’re enjoying this. You have a hit.”

The next segment took me into the kitchen. My wife and I were cooking. She put a pot on the stove and turned on the fire. The pot immediately boiled over. Calling my wife, I removed the pot from the stove and turned off the flame. The yellow flame didn’t go off, but spread, going over other food and dishes on the counter, horrifying me. Then the flame went out.

My wife came in. I told her what’d happened but she made a comment, took the pot, announced, “That’s done,” and left, telling me to turn something else on.

I reached for the stove. Yellow flames sprang up and spread. I withdrew my hand. The flames went out. Nothing was burning; it was just flames.

Outside now, in a new section, my wife, friends, and others were talking. My wife had won something and had a large clear bag of stuff. “I don’t know what’s in it,” she said. I suggest we open it and separate it.

We found car parts. Toilet cistern repair kits (which looked nothing like it should, but I knew what it was). I was suspicious, thinking that several piles had been mixed together, but didn’t voice that. My wife took what she wanted and tossed the rest.

A friend came by, complaining that another friend had lost some things and telling me where the other friend said he’d left them. As he went off, I called after him, “Was it car parts and toilet parts?”

The other friend kept walking away. The dream ended.

 

The Motorcycle Dream

I was riding a motorcycle on a highway that reminded me of California SF-SJ Bay Area Interstates.  I could’ve been riding where I-280 goes into SF and splits off toward SFO. It looked oddly like that.

Weirdly, I was on the motorcycle, but ‘I’ was some distance back from it, on my feet, guiding and directing it. It (me on the cycle) was getting further away from me, forcing me to change lanes and strain to see myself. When I did those things, my motion caused my motorcycle to shift and change lanes. I was coming up on a split and didn’t want to miss my turn.

Somehow,  I made it. I then stopped at a tee-intersection on some sort of shore. My wife (also on a motorcycle on one moment but then walking in jean and a shirt the next) joined me. As I spoke to her, asking her what she wanted to do, she crossed the street, heading toward the shore. I said, “I guess that’s what we’re doing,” and followed her.

Our neighbor was across the street. She briefly spoke with him. I didn’t, but went toward her as she walked away from him. Watching my neighbor, I thought he was being interviewed. My wife confirmed that when I asked her.

I heard my neighbor say, “I’m not from West Virginia, but when I heard they were going to the wishbone offense, I was sold.”

The dream sort of muddled apart after that, with a brief moment of my neighbor and I comparing motorcycle riding notes, and me mentioning how I was riding it from a distance.

Then it ended.

The Heart-Attack Dream

It began with me in bed, at night. Pain was rushing through me. I couldn’t see nor hear correctly. I thought, I’m having a heart attack.

No one else seemed present. The heart attack would come and go in waves. I tried calling for help but couldn’t. I decided that I’d work through it by thinking of what I was feeling and experiencing, and then countering those things with my mind. That seemed to work, as the pain faded and the heart attack passed.

The lights came on. A large spider, I’d say two feet tall, was to my left. I acknowledged its presence and left the room.

I’d survived, I decided. Outside the bedroom, in another room, were my wife, a few friends, and a dead cousin. As I looked around, familiarization flowed in. I knew where I was. We need to go home, I announced to the rest. They talked about this, objecting, how are we to do that?

But, I judged, the weather isn’t bad, so I’m walking. It’s only a few miles and it won’t take long.

They didn’t believe that I was serious. Shrugging them off, I left. My wife and a few others joined me.

The road was a rough, one-lane, dirt and gravel road that rose, fell, and wound through sparsely populated, wooded countryside. As we went, we’d see a car coming, call out, “Car,” and then step off the road until it passed. Impatient to continue my journey, I announced that I’m running.

At that point, I realize that I had a foot injury and had been limping. I thought, I’ll have to push myself through my foot’s pain and stiffness. Behind me, the others said, “He’s not serious, he’s not going to run.” But I started running, gritting my teeth against my pain. Soon I found a stride.

The others started running behind me, but I was well ahead. Seeing the road, I’d call, “Car,” as a warning to them, and step aside until the car had passed us all, and then resume running.

I reached home. Uncles were there. They offered me wine, but it was white wine and I turned them down. Dad arrived with a girlfriend. He offered me some white wine, but I turned him down. I wanted some wine, though. I was getting ready to go somewhere.

Passing into another room, I saw Dad’s girlfriend asleep in the living room. I went into the adjacent kitchen. I found a bottle of white wine but kept looking for red wine. As I didn’t find anything except white wine I thought, maybe I will drink some.

Dad came in. While talking to me, he produced a bottle of white wine in a light green bottle in a clear plastic bag, like a gallon-storage bag, and showed it to me. It’d been opened, but had a cork put back into place. “That’s what you’re drinking?” I asked. When he said that he was, and offered me some, I answered, “Well, pour me a glass, I guess.”

As he did, his girlfriend awoke in the other room. She came in and introduced herself to me, which annoyed Dad. We talked for a few minutes. Then we talked about cars, and who was using what car.

The dream ended.

The Goatee Dream

First, there was a sex dream. The neighbor’s cat was crying at the door and broke that spell. After I let her in (and provided a meal), I used the loo. Back to bed, I thought about the dream and hoped it would return (as it was comforting and pleasant).

It didn’t. In its stead came the beard dream. Standing in front of a mirror, I prepared to trim my goatee and ‘stache. What I saw horrified me; the goatee was massively overgrown.

I began trying to trim it while wondering how it’d come to look so bad with collateral thoughts of, had something happen to me, did it always look so horrid, and geez, why didn’t anyone say anything to me?

My wife was in the dream’s background, talking, giving me the impression that, “We needed to leave soon.” Don’t know to where. I responded that I was almost ready (not true), but that I just had to trim my goatee.

I saw my goatee had grown to double bumps hanging down, which didn’t do anything for my face. I looked like Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but more withered and grayer. Naturally, I concluded, trim them. Somehow, trimming them worsened their appearance. Recoiling with fresh horror, I decided that it all looked so bad that the only thing that I could do is shave the goatee off entirely. Trying, though, I ended up revealing a bloody wound that the beard concealed.

What happened? Had I cut myself? Meanwhile, my wife was calling for me to hurry and my beard had darkened and grown across my lower face.

That’s where the dream ended.

Yeah, classic self-image dream about my identity, isn’t it?

The City on A Ship Dream

I felt wonderfully happy. I parked my black car, a little sports vehicle in an unpaved space and went in to talk to my wife. I had to go up steps. Speaking with her about tickets and time, I had the impression that we were getting ready to leave. Then, stepping out of our place onto an breezeway, I looked across the land.

Our place reminded me of the building where we lived on Okinawa, Japan, for a few years. Built in a new style in the sixties, it overlooked an old gray stone building, matching wall, and an unpaved parking lot. The similarity ended there; Okinawa’s paved streets were asphalt. The narrow, curving streets I saw in my dream were light gray cobblestones. As my eyes swept the vista, they were drawn toward the sea in the west. It wasn’t too far off. Changing my vantage and looking north, I saw sea there, too. For a moment, I thought we were on an island, but then I knew we were in a city on a ship.

Turning in another direction, I could see much more of it. The city on the ship reminded me of an old English village. The talk about tickets and time was about getting ready to dock and arrive, not to leave. That realization pleased and excited me.

Dream shift. My wife and I had come down to some shops. Now she went off to do something. Left alone in a large, crowded business, I found a place and sat down to eat.

While eating fries, I played with a game, something made to amuse young children. It was just on a table. A woman came up and teased me about playing with her game. She then ate chips out of my hair. I was surprised because I didn’t know I had fries in my hair. I teased her about eating them without asking for permission. She introduced me to her mother. As her mother went off, she sat down to chat with me at the table.

I enjoyed her company. I was young in the dream and she was my age. White, with short brown hair, she impressed me with her self-confidence and humorous outlook. We ended up running into one another and spending a lot of time together. She seemed always happy to see me. I had the impression that she looked for me.

Then, once when we were looking out a window, I saw my wife. Out on her knees by the sidewalk, she was planting small bushes. I realized that she’d volunteer to help with a beautification project, and she’d done it all on a whim.

I said as much to my companion. This seemed to change her demeanor, as she left the table after a few minutes and disappeared into the throngs.

In another shift, I was preparing to leave. I was driving somewhere.

I decided to eat first and entered a bustling business. It was both auto-repair and food. The man behind the counter was a large, swarthy, jovial person. He was separating the customers in line between auto-needs and food. When he asked me what I wanted, I replied, “I’m hungry, I’m looking for food.”

Pretending to be aghast, he asked, “And you came here? Then you made a mistake.” Then he winked and pointed. “Go forward, the lady up there will help you.”

I wanted rice with food in a bowl but decided to leave without it. Then a friend joined me. I was giving him a ride. I told him we’d leave in a minute, I wanted to get food. Then I saw the toys like the one I’d been playing with when I met the woman. I looked for her there. After not seeing her, I told my friend, “Lets’s go.”

We went out and entered my convertible sports car. We were turning left onto a four lane road. I said, “Hold on, because I’ll need to accelerate hard to get across to where I want to go.” As he said okay, the light changed.

We rounded the corners. Stepping on the accelerator, I downshifted to a lower gear. I missed the shift. My car stalled.

I was shocked. Fortunately, traffic was light and the car was pulled to the left, by a median strip of dry brown grass.

After realizing what I’d done, I went to start the car and saw the keys were missing from the ignition. As I processed that, I realized that there was a second ignition on the floorboard to the left, and that’s where the key was. Reaching down, I turned the key, started the engine, and engaged a car. The dream ended as I began driving away.

 

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