My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.
Wednesday, August 7
Last night I dreamed that I was in a nightclub with a fat man announcing the piano player for the evening. The pianist asked him if he wanted it slow or upbeat and he told her slow. Then she started playing what I thought at first was “Slow Rain” but then I thought about it and it was “Deep Night.” The announcer started singing it along with her and I went up to her, singing along also, and told her it was one of my favorites. I mean, I haven’t heard anyone sing “Deep Night” for umpteen years and now it’s stuck in my head.
Arizona dreams are so peculiar in their complexity. One night almost a decade ago, I had a series of very vivid dreams. I can’t remember many details but I know they were very detailed. In one section I went into a sleazy bar to buy some cigarettes and when I asked the bartender for a pack of menthol Parliaments he said, coldly, “Not your turn.” So I waited until he finally deigned to put them on the counter. I paid with a $20 bill and when I went to reach for them he said, “Not time yet. You can’t have them until 10:00.” I thought, “Another really stupid New York blue law.” In another section I was in someone’s living room with a bunch of people, among them my old high school classmates Sherman and Baer and Catey, when a group of hoods came in to make trouble. I gave one of them a beer and then he wanted another. In another section I met Leefa Lesher and her mother and father walking down a street in New York. I’ve been having many school dreams and golf dreams and New York City dreams. The NYC dreams almost always involve my going downtown into the heart of the city to find a bookstore or a department store or a bar, and I’m always driving circuitous highways trying to find my way back out of the city (always to the west). And there are parts of the city I really don’t want to be in and I always seem to be there. I have this dream probably half a dozen times a year, which doesn’t sound like many, but the sheer number of them over the years has grooved the theme. My golf dreams are nearly always about me on a really awful course, usually with water running down fairways and lost balls and impossible shots through heavy trees. I guess I should consider them negative golf images when I should be training my mind to hold only positive images.
Recently I’ve been dreaming dreams that never seem to end. In the most vivid one I was teaching a class in Arizona history and I was telling them about a record of the Navajo alphabet made by some old Navajonian many years in the past. It was made on a cylindrical wooden recording much like the old turn of the century record cylinders, but it was lost and never found. I was excited about it as were most of the class. All but one little girl who insisted on tearing up paper and throwing it all over the room. I told her she had to pick up her mess and she said NO, and then threw more paper scraps at me. I then asked her if she wouldn’t PLEASE pick the room up and she smiled and said she would. I helped her pick it up. When we were done I said she deserved a hug for being so good about it and we hugged. End of dream. Weird.
I had a restless night of dreams. In one I was sitting in on a seminar in some college or other and the teacher had us all put a coin marker on a date on a huge calendar on the floor. The date was supposed to represent one of the most meaningful times of our lives. No one else wanted to go first, so I did. I started telling them about a teacher I had who so influenced me in my desire to do something creatively, in music. His name was Major Sindar Buchanan Fargis. And everyone in the seminar had heard of him. I was so surprised. The teacher then said that he’d do some research and I could continue my story at the next meeting. What a dumb dream.
Last night I dreamed that a number of puppies tried to lick me to death. They were so happy to see me and I them. Later, still sleeping, I noticed a bat that kept flying around the room above my head. And then it tried to bite me and I grabbed it by the throat and tried to hold it off. Later, in a strange golf pro shop, suddenly it was taken over by a Nazi group that had infiltrated the club. I was there and tried to blend in with the Nazis. I looked in a room and there was my manager at Stardust Golf Course, a neo-Nazi. It was much clearer than my description of it here, but like all dreams, the dimensions tend to fade away and vanish after waking.
I had a long dream about taking a final in some college course I was enrolled in, something like a history course and there were very few students in it. The teacher handed out the tests and assigned us numbers and words to put at the top of the test. Most got numbers, but I got the word “who.” The test consisted of five essays topics and we could take it anywhere we wanted to. I went to some room down the hall and began writing. Or trying to write. I suffered the same kind of paralysis I used to have when taking a timed test and I just couldn’t seem to get started. Time was just whipping by and I had only just begun my first essay. Oh, how painful the process. Trying to get thoughts down on paper but always aware of the clock. Finally, I just gave up and went back to turn in my unfinished test, knowing I would have failed the course. What a dumb dream. But how very accurate was the feeling of being paralyzed.
I had another strange dream last night, another school dream in which I was a student and not the teacher. In this one the teacher was really attractive and sexy and even though it was a test day she kept going around the room dancing and flirting with all the males. Finally, she got around to me. She told me to touch noses with her but that I should look only at her nose and not mine. We did that and then she very lightly put her lips against mine. And very slowly it turned into a full embrace and kiss that lasted a long time, during which I became aware that she was crying. I pulled away from her and tried to console her. I had the feeling she was crying because the kiss was so beautiful, so moving, and she’d intended it to be only silly. Now that’s a really silly dream.
In this one I was joining a faculty somewhere, but I was old and doing it only for one year. I had a section of freshmen and another of creative writing. I was in a faculty meeting and asked who else was teaching freshmen and one scrawny fellow raised his hand. Then I asked who else was teaching creative writing and no one raised a hand. I asked in some astonishment how many students there were in this school and someone said about 1800, and I said, “You mean to tell me in a school this size there’s only one section of creative writing?” Then it shifted to my house or apartment and it was an absolute mess. My two daughters Jeri and Laura were staying with me and it was getting very late. I looked outside and two really scruffy men were sleeping in a car, doors open. Laura said it was someone she knew and I was ready to burst I was so angry. I don’t like dreams like that. Not really nightmares because there’s nothing scary about them, but they’re unpleasant because of the anger and anxiety of teaching when no one listens or I’m unprepared.
Last night, from 3:00 on, I dreamed and dreamed as only I can dream in Arizona—long, involved, complicated dreams about driving strange cars through strange landscapes, trying to sell that house in which there’s that same secret room upstairs in a huge attic, in which I can climb up toward the rafters to find secret passageways. I’ve dreamed of that house for years now, nearly always the same.
Oh, the dreams. I feel like they went on almost all night. The first segment involved an apocalyptic episode in which we had all been informed that the world would end the next day and I and everyone else were so dismayed by the news. Then the next day I discovered that the world hadn’t ended (not yet anyway) but that all vegetation had died. I must have subconsciously gotten that from John Christopher’s novel No Blade of Grass, which I’d read years and years ago. Now I’m lying there dreaming/thinking about all the consequences of the death of all vegetation. All herbivorous animals will die of starvation; all carnivorous animals will die of starvation once they’ve eaten all the dying herbivores; all animals of any kind will eventually die of suffocation once the air has been totally depleted of oxygen because there is no more vegetation to turn the carbon dioxide back into oxygen. So, in order for me to live at least a while longer, I need foodstuffs that won’t spoil—like canned and jarred goods. Society had broken down and we were all scavenging for foodstuffs. I was in an abandoned grocery store filling a cart with as much stuff as I could—canned vegetable and fruits, coffee, canned meats. The last things I put in the cart before I had to rush away were some packages of flat bread and several large pies. When I left the store, a number of other people were just in the process of flying away in old planes. One guy stayed behind and was shooting a thing that propelled a balsa wood plane into the air where it spiraled and swooped and dove before coming back down. End of that segment. Next: I was back at the house in Lakewood, about to drive away on my brand new motorcycle parked out in back by the mailbox. But when I sat on it, it was already running and one of the neighbors came out and apologetically took a key out of the ignition. It seems he’d been using my bike and it was no longer brand new. In fact, there were a number of things wrong with it, like a nearly flat, wobbly front tire. Then someone pulled up at our backdoor in a bright red car, got out, and proceeded to have a luncheon in our living room, and all the while I’m trying to find Chris to take him somewhere on my motorcycle. But he’s busy playing with some other kids out in front. There were other bits and pieces involving golfing and swimming but they’ve since disappeared into that big repository of lost and forgotten dreams.
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