Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Waking and Dreaming

I had a dream last night/this morning so vivid that the clock radio, when it went off, ended up being part of the soundtrack of the dream. And none of it, or almost none of it, made sense. I had forgotten about the dream until I was driving to work and saw the full moon (or close to it, I defer to astronomers) while listening to Joni Mitchell's most recent album, Shine, released late last year on the Starbucks label (they also had Sir Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full disc earlier in the year). And before you ask, no, the full moon I drove towards this morning did NOT have semi-nude dancers floating towards it. We here in CT ("Land of steady Habits") have enough distracted drivers without that, thank you.

I had been thinking about her the other day, most probably because of the Grammy Herbie Hancock received at this year's awards for an effort that was inspired/incited/dedicated to her and loaded into the CD player in the car. She's as caustic as ever and the gift of language, combined with her talent for quiet observation produces lines like this, from a song, can you taste the irony?, called Bad Dreams:

You cannot be trusted/Do you even know you're lying?
It's dangerous to kid yourself/You go deaf and dumb and blind.
You take with such entitlement./You give bad attitude.
You have no grace/No empathyNo gratitude.

What do Moms say about a guilty conscience needs no accuser? Thanks, Mom.

And those lines led me to recall my dream though it creeps me out to recount it. In the dream, I was having a drink with a neighbor who passed away a couple or three years ago around Christmas. We were I have no idea where and he thought it would be nice to stop someplace. We were traveling with someone I did not know, a woman with a thin face and long black hair. I had the impression in the dream she knew my neighbor and yet he seemed to think that I knew her and he was putting up with her to be polite. I don't remember anyone else being in the dream, except the woman bartender/saloon keeper who was annoyed that we were her first customers of the day (I don't know why I 'know' we were doing this in the morning, I just do).

It was a very small bar-tiny; literally no more floor space than a phone booth (are there still phone booths? I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a pay phone and where it was. Another artifact of America from the Last Century gone forever, I guess.) And the three of us, my neighbor, and this woman and me are standing at a little, tall table and the bartender is taking the drinks order. My neighbor is having Dewar's-I have no idea if, in life, he even drank and if he did, what he did, but in my dream, he was a Dewar's man. I knew my neighbor for a score of years or more and exchanged, in total, maybe five hundred words with him, so I'm not sure why he and I were juking last night. I kept trying to order a scotch and water and everytime I did, the dark-haired woman would tell the bartender I didn't drink so there was no need to put the liquor in the same glass as the water. And the bartender kept demanding of me 'are you a comedian or an asshole?' and I kept explaining that I didn't do well on multiple choice but was much better at true or false.

I was aware, in the dream, that my neighbor was dead, though I think I was too cool to mention it (I have a habit of blurting out things and hope, in light of the tight spaces last night, this didn't happen, even if it was a dream) and, as I said, I never figured out who the lady was or what she was to him (Hecuba, perhaps?) or to me. I am a creature of habit and set an alarm every night though I tend to wake up at the same time every day, three minutes after four, every day of the week, not just on work days and lay in bed until the alarm is supposed to go off and then shut it off just before it does. This morning I was aware of music but couldn't see a radio in the bar in my dream and looked around until I saw the clock radio on my night stand which is when I realized I was in a dream and woke up. Not sure if I ever got my drink which made the drive to work more than a little awkward as I worried about what I'd tell a policeman. Sometimes, it's neat and other times it can be just black ice.
-bill kenny

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