Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Some of this Morning's Dreams

Tiger Woods returned my phone call, months after I had tried to call him for an interview. He spoke as if we were familiar: “What’s up?”


I saw Jonathan Ames climbing a tree outside the library window. I was in a hushed computer lab, and there he was, this middle aged writer, wrestling with the trunk of a sycamore. He was based in New York, but when I saw him, I knew that he was now on a performance art tour, and that for the next few weeks, he would be in Pittsburgh climbing trees. Without moving from my seat, I emailed V____ to tell him what I was seeing.


I was downloading Jpeg after Jpeg. The files had something to do with the Pittsburgh strip club “Cricket” and their star, “Joey.” I was sad for her. I wondered who named her Joey, which brand of pervs she brought in, and how lonely she was.


It was M_____’s turn to lead the weekly meeting, therefore hardly anyone came. We sat at cafeteria tables and orange plastic chairs, but in a smallish room. M_____ sat up front with Lord of the Rings stuffed animals around her. She looked self-satisfied verging on smug.

I decided I was getting out of this, and excused myself to go to the bathroom down the hall. This public ladies’ room was quite old and elaborate, decorated to the hilt in the _________ style, which was very flowery. I was admiring the tub, which was like a closed chamber, and wondering if anyone ever used it, when I looked closer and saw the feet of a young woman. I startled her greatly by saying something out loud; she hadn’t heard me enter the room. She was a ballerina. We talked for a bit while she was still behind the closed chamber.


The dream was shot in panorama. We were driving to, then from, an odd job we’d gotten—construction or gardening, something out of doors. The drive was along a river, with beautiful vistas of hills lining one bank. On our side of the river, there was a long chain link fence that surrounded a sculpture and lawn ornament business. It stretched for a long time—in the light I could see it clearly, the Madonnas, the Romanesque columns and Greek women, even theatre masks and mimes were represented in concrete. In the evening, on our return drive, the shadows of twilight played tricks with my eyes, and the statues looked like families huddled around fading fires.

“We” was a number of my old high school friends with whom I’d lost touch. They all laughed and teased each other, they had in jokes, they shared stories and histories; for they had remained close friends. I was silent and stiff. We were in the back of a pickup truck, except for the ones who were riding in the cab. Someone lifted the barrier between the cab and bed at one point, effortlessly. They showed each other how the owner of the truck was planning to put a nice dining room set in the back seat.


Driving through my home county (perhaps a continuation of the pick up truck dream, perhaps not), I was seeing things that I never knew were there. A summer camp I’d never heard of. Hills and trees in between odd businesses housed in log cabins. Finally I was on foot, though still with a group of people. Maybe we had just been working as camp counselors. We ran into a band of eleven year old boys and their Boy Scout leader, who was angry with me instantly. I suddenly realized that I wasn’t wearing a shirt OR I suddenly realized that I was a woman. Shame overtook me and I covered myself with my arms. Then I found an old purple teeshirt and finally put it on. It was summer, I was enjoying the humidity and the lack of decorum in general.

In the end I found myself at a dinner party with my parents, who looked unspeakably glum as they moved from table to table, filling their plates with American food—cold cuts, cranberry sauce, pot roast, scalloped potatoes.


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