I’ve driven into the garage of this old man, a neighbor. He has 2 MGs in their original antique green. I’m driving a newly issued one, white with black trim. The dogs are with me, in the back seat. He looks at me, turns the lights off, and closes the garage door.
I sit there for a couple of minutes in the dark and don’t know what to do. He peaks back in and asks if I’m going to come in.
We walk past his first driveway which is where I probably meant to park and overshot to that second one, which had a drive branching from the first one. I walk into his house; it’s a converted office. There are people under his employ, including a bored secretary. It’s the kind of boredom where the employee isn’t appreciated and the employee finds no value in the organization she’s helping.
He seems to think that I like Benzes. Well, I like my MG. I try to say that of course I don’t like Benzes but feel too rude to say it.
I finger my way through his metal stand of papers on display. There is a religious bent to him. I pick up a dry, medical-oriented write up on women entitled Demon. I’m kind of laughing to myself in disbelief. Just then, his wife peeks out from the inside of the office. There is a kind of I’m-trapped-here-with-this-intellectual-domineering-man shift in her eyes. Well, I put it back.
I continue to look for the Benz write up. I pick up a proposal for school lunches. So, people can just sit down and write up school lunch proposals like this… at the same time I consider a possibility I hadn’t realized before, then the sadness of one guy thinking up an entire school lunch for kids… Poor kids.
I’m a very good student at a military academy. We go through combat exercises, one troop against another, and our troop does excellently.
Now, I find myself in charge of my own troop. We come across one reconnaissance officer from the enemy troop; my entire troop is all thumbs. I realize I needed to have been giving them orders. They didn’t know what to do.
The games are halted by the commander trainers. They are dismayed at my lack of readiness.
I lay down in my bunk. The other group of trainees have left for games. I’m tired; there is no one left in the room; maybe one other person, a girl.
I think, spitefully, “if this is just becoming a place where I am giving the orders, then all of this is bullshit. I don’t have to do this. This just isn’t for me. I’m not doing army stuff if I don’t have to.”
I’m referreeing a woman’s soccer game. I’m blowing my whistle a lot. I wonder if I should be blowing my whistle so much.
Most times it’s unnecessary. The women know what’s what anyway. One time, I signal the direction of the throw-in when the ball goes out; I’ve pointed the wrong way; it doesn’t really matter because the women have the correct team do the throw-in anyway.
One time, I whistle someone for using hands. I’m so glad: finally, I am doing something constructive that only a ref can do. Then I realize I’ve called in on a child who is playing in the dirt in the field. The woman play on, righteously oblivious of my tooting.
I’m in class. We study a case of an employee who has made a ruckus of sorts at a coffee shop… The shop is called Luck O’Cup or something like that. It’s a quaint shop serving the upper-middle class. One of the employees instigated a fight or maybe he demanded better pay. The fight created a loss of revenue; even a bus boy was fired due to the financial loses. I have an unconscious understanding that this person is me, though this is not conscious to my dream self.
Anyway this is what we are studying in class.
Class is over and, for real, a case is called on this guy and I’m selected to be one of his defense lawyers. I’m bitter about this. I’m not a lawyer and I can’t make rhyme or reason about the case. Every defense I can think of seems a fabrication; on the other hand, the fellow seems innocent to me. That is, no laws were broken, he just was involved in an argument — an incident where he became angry and which happened to have some fallout.
The judge, a refined black man, discusses the case. As he does, he is panned by the prosecuting attorneys for being upper class and on the side of the shop. I’m dressed in a burnt brown suit; then, I notice the judge is wearing green. He mentions the store’s name… something clever like Luck O’Coffee… I realize everyone is wearing green, including me.
The prosecution begins to lay out there case. Like I said, I’m very uncomfortable because I can’t make heads or tails of any legal position. Everything seems made up. I think hard for some kind of argument. Then, I check back in my paper I did for class. I believe that the main thought train of the paper could fit into a substantive argument; it’s hard to say; it’s the closest thing I have to a genuine position and I’m going to have to defend a real man for his freedom.
On my game console I press top 20 new games. I realize I’ve just bought them all. I flip through them. I don’t even like video games and none of these interest me. Can I cancel the purchase?
Shipping boxes come out of the console. Oh. Goodie. Part of the purchase is a physical game cartridge in full packaging. I look at the cartridges. They have handwritten passwords marked on them. Ugh. The market is probably flooded with these. I’d be really surprised I could sell them for $20 on Craigslist. I better be able to return these to Microsoft. What a waste.
I’m in a trivia show. I ask for the $4,000 — no, $4,000,000 question. The question is “Name the county in Maryland where mushrooms are distributed.”
I call the mushroom packaging facility and talk with the lady in charge of mushroom packaging. I ask which county she’s in. She’s an Asian immigrant; she doesn’t completely understand my question. She gives me a name.
I give the name as an answer. It’s wrong. She had told me the city rather than the county. I think “I could have just given a random Maryland county and I would have had a better chance.”
I wake up. It’s morning at the farm near the facility I had called. The first thing I lay my eyes on is the end of a field of giant mushrooms being cultivated. I walk around. It’s a hippie festival, like Woodstock, only no music and less people. There’s a magician-like guy at a table selling occult books. Some young women are interested and have a discussion with him. They join in friendship.
I walk the dogs; we go down a village road. I go into a house; it has a hut vibe despite it being modern quality. The owner of he house is a straggly white South African. He is a tattoo artist. He has a child, a girl; she isn’t present. I sit at his desk. He comes into the room and asks if I’d like a tattoo. I decline. He says he does Muslim tattoos. He talks about the religion as if it’s just a dogma. I forget the adjective he keeps repeating… something like “orthodoxy” but it ends with “archy”. I silently think to myself that I believe in all religions… or, to say another way, there is truth in all religions even in a spirit and deity sense… or, all religions point to the same true spirit. I don’t say anything and he keeps mentioning its dogma nature to my private chagrin.
I’m in attendance at some presentation. It finishes. A person from one line of chairs passes by me. I know them as an acquaintance. I warmly smile at them. I give such a feeling of friendliness, the person and their family shake my hand. With the precedent set, the families behind them shake my hand and say hello. The woman behind me pokes me to get going. Then an emotionally strong, willed man gets his family that I was blocking to move on past me. I give up the shaking hands and move on.
I’m in Japan. In the office, I’m surprised to find I’m being asked to share my ideas on a combustion engine with plugins as a source of energy.
In the middle of the office, a spa is laid out. I feel its proper to take off my pants. I do this, looking for an OK from my oriental hosts and superiors. They indicate it’s OK and proper.
“Is it environmentally friendly?” a business executive in his thirties asks. “No,” I say. He gives a look like that was the most important benefit they were looking for and the merit of my idea would have been secured in that.
I begin to explain. It’s a complicated idea. Talking about it with other people for the first time has me realizing how rough around the edges it is; I get warmed up by the talking about it.
“It’s a plugin energy source system; so, of course it’s environmental… you simply select environmentally responsible energy sources.” At this, they look relieved and no longer want to reject my idea out of hand. There is a typical oriental respect and seriousness that changes the whole atmosphere of the conversation… the engagement.
We drive around the outskirts of the city. It looks like any European city. I look out the window and see a roundabout, a girl on a bike, perhaps a bridge nearby… typical suburban fair. The grass is a lime green. It’s like looking at a children’s book. “Do you like Japan?” I’m surprised at the question because everything looks like a typical city. How do I explain this to them. I say “I like Japanese culture; I incorporate it into my lifestyle as it suits me; however, this city, on the outside, looks like any other.”
I’m in some kind of quaint hipster company that sells posh candy. The employees are self-blessed with a great sense of a friendly work atmosphere. Everyone has there own thing; still, everyone works off one another. There is a woman there introducing new products. There is a cup I want to drink and almost spill and shouldn’t drink; I’m tempted by this and all the while I’m helping myself to a lot of really good and well-crafted chocolate. There are children among the coworkers.
I go for a walk outside. I walk or skip down the path. Coming up the path is a young blond boy. He has two unleashed dogs under his care dashing before him. I pet them as they quickly pass me by. There is a feeling of safety, of things being alright; there is a hint of anticipation. He exuberantly shouts “hallelujah” and another overwhelmingly innocent and religious phrase.
I’m in a bookshop. It’s university bookshop. It has an indie vibe. I spend a lot of time at the register reading a book and watching a movie. The clerk checks to make sure I’m doing something. When he realizes I am, its OK with him.
They also have a blue coat just like the one I used to have. This kind fit so nice; I like them; I plan to get one. There is another more expensive coat that doesn’t fit. Good thing I don’t have to feel obligated to wear that these days or have a job that would think better of those coats. I can give it to goodwill now.
I buy my books; one of them is a big book. I walk out of the train station. I’m on a train trip of sorts. It’s evening. I walk over bridges. The station is right next a large body of water or a big river. Up ahead the current of one of the tributaries is rapid. I’m really happy about it and looking forward to crossing the bridge that passes over it. I’m fascinated by the play of the water.
I’m not sure if have my books. I check my backpack, which is light. The book is there. Oh, I forgot the coat. I’ll have to go back. I go back to the train station’s shop (which is different from the university book shop). I meet an Asian woman, a classmate. She has been diagnosed with cancer. We talk.
The upside about the cancer is that she gets to meet interesting people like me. I have to go to the bathroom. I pee in the corner under the shower. It seems like the drain pipe was meant for such use. Oh, there is a urinal. The woman has gone into the woman’s bathroom. She taking a shower. She says “touch me”. Could she be saying that to me?
The clerk steps out from a back room. He turns on the shower to wash his feet and leaves.