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In My Vivid Dreams Shit Happens

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on March 7, 2018

Sometimes I use blogs like this one to talk about my dreams, which are often an outlet for emotional stress in my life, in the same manner blogging became an outlet for me to try to communicate things I couldn’t otherwise talk about, like unrequited love, in another blog.

I had a dream a little while ago that woke me up (as they tend to do). It wasn’t a nightmare, as such, but, as my dreams tend to be, it was weird.

In this dream, I’m driving down a wide road, a dirt road. It is daytime. I see a huge muddy puddle on the left, which is spilling over to my side of the road. I decide to avoid it, and pull more to the right. However, that gets me stuck in sand. Nevermind what kind of road this is, I am familiar with it, but not sure exactly where I am. Part of my semi-conscious brain says this is a certain road I know, but that road is paved, and always has been in my experience. At any rate, I back up immediately, and the car is free. I continue backing up and back into a driveway on my right (which is oddly paved). I pull out of the driveway and start to head in the opposite direction, since the road appears to be impassable.

But, I don’t get far. I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening, but I found myself stopped on that road, mostly on the opposite side of the street, pointing in the right direction, but not moving. In fact, I am lying on my side on the seat. Seems like I fell over. I try to pull myself up, but I don’t have the strength. It is only a matter of grabbing the door to haul myself back up to a sitting position, and I try repeatedly. I almost make it, and I know I will, but something is not letting me complete the motion. As I write this, I think: seatbelt? Anyway, the little movie in my head continues. I notice it is getting dark. I reach up with my left hand and pull on the headlights. headlight pull The switch is an old-fashioned knob like cars in the 50s and 60s would have had, not the modern buttons or levers. With the lights on, I feel safer, and just then a car with its lights on passes me, going in the direction I left. I tap on the horn. Was I signaling the car hello, warning, or help? It would only have taken a long honk to get their attention, but I feel like I don’t need help. But, I was hoping they would stop.

I try getting up again, knowing I can, but I am sluggish. I seem to move in slow motion; my body is not responding to commands as it should. Then, of course, I am awake. I remember dreams like this where I can’t move, and it is because I’m asleep. As I realize I’m awake, I start to sit up, and sure enough, I can move. Whew! OK. What the hell was that all about?

Was I thinking about strokes or heart attacks? Was my body trying to tell me something again? No, I feel fine. I used to hate those dreams that ended like that. It usually happened with a nightmare, like being chased. I had to run, or yell, but my body wouldn’t respond. I’d struggle, and struggle, and sometimes get a little squeaky sound out of my mouth.

One time, when I was a still quite young, I dreamed that the wolves that lived in the shadows of my room every night had come over to my small bed and were biting my hand, which was draped over the side. I couldn’t pull my hand away. I tried to scream, but I couldn’t. I knew I had to call for help, but my throat seemed paralyzed, just like my body. I kept trying, and finally made little sounds, and then slightly bigger sounds, and then, in some kind of paradigm shift, (if you’ll pardon the scientific reference), I was suddenly fully in control of my body and screamed. Screamed bloody murder, as people used to say.

My parents showed up quickly, and turned on the lights. I told them a wolf was biting me. Seems the dog that we’d had for a short while was licking my hand while I was dreaming. Possibly I’d been waving my hand around, and he tried to help. Or, maybe he thought I was being attacked? Anyway, my hand was fine, and there were no tooth marks that I recall. Unfortunately, my parents decided to get rid of the dog. Actually, I’m betting it was my overprotective mother who told my dad to get rid of it. It was gone for a few days, and I missed it. One day it suddenly showed up again, and that made me very happy. My parents were quite surprised to see it. I hugged it and petted it. It was happy to see me. I remember thinking about the incident years later, and, based on things I’d heard, decided my dad had simply driven the dog far away and left it somewhere, as people use to do, or perhaps he left it with someone, and the dog found his way back. Anyway, the dog was there, but I remember very little about it after that. It was gone, and I can’t remember when. I think my parents just got rid of it while I was at school, which is always a sad thought, but I can’t remember. In their defense, my mom was probably pregnant again, and they feared the dog might go after the baby.

I was talking about the dream I had this morning. Once I was fully awake, I couldn’t get back to sleep. Started up my little coffee maker. Fed the cats, even though it wasn’t light yet. I thought about the dream, thought about the times I’d dreamt of cars when I was young. For some reason, in the 1950s, people felt they could leave children in the car while they ran into a store or something for a “few minutes.” It always seemed to me to take forever. I’d sit in the car, and scare myself by wondering what would happen if the car suddenly started moving. I was too young to drive, and couldn’t yet reach the pedals easily. I knew about turning the key, and pressing the gas pedal, but the driving part was a mystery. One time I scooted over into the driver’s place (front seats were all one piece back then, and kids sat in the front with a parent if no one else was in the car). I played around with the steering wheel, pretending to be driving along, imaging myself on the road. The parking brake was easily accessible, and I accidentally released it; the car started to drift backwards, as it was on a hill. I managed to get my foot on the brake by scooching down, and I stayed like that for a long time, what really seemed like forever, until my mom returned. I told her the car had started rolling, and I stopped it. She thanked me. I asked her what would happen if the car had rolled into the street. She told me that was why people turned the wheels at an angle when parking, so the tires would hit the curb if the car should roll. I always remembered to do that many years after.

In my dreams, after that incident, the car would start rolling, and the wheels were turned the wrong way. The car would pick up speed as I coasted forward down the street, an exhilarating feeling, but scary, because I wasn’t big enough to hold the steering wheel and press down on the brake at the same time. In some dreams, I could reach the brake, but it didn’t work. I became better and better, in my dreams, at navigating the car through traffic, because the car always kept moving. One day, I asked my mom about that, asked her how would she stop the car if the brake didn’t work. She told me she could use the emergency brake. “What if it didn’t work?” I asked her. I was like that, so full of questions. She told me she’d always both throw the emergency brake on and put the car into reverse gear. It would mess up the engine, but the car would stop. I never had those dreams anymore. Thanks Mom! But I do wish you hadn’t ever left me alone like that in the car. Or ever left me alone ever.

Of course, this whole train of though awakened more. I remember, hell, I never forgot, the time my parents drove to a relative’s house to do something, maybe attend a funeral. I don’t recall doing anything bad while I was there, but my father took me into a room and told me to sit there (on a wooden chair) and keep quiet. So I did. He’d closed the door behind him. I stared at the wallpaper covered walls. I remember hearing some noises, but since my dad had told me to sit and be quiet, that’s what I did. It turned out that my parents, the relative, and the other kids at the time all loaded into the car and went. I just sat. It was excruciating. I stared at the fleur de lis wallpaper. wallpaper                 I counted how many times the pattern on it repeated, up and down the walls. Double checked my counts.

Wall clock The wall clock chimed. It did that a lot, on the hour every hour, and I think on the half hours too. Analog wall clocks used to do that. Every time the clock struck it increased my loneliness. I began to panic. It was hard to sit still. I liked to explore, to look around, to examine things. There was a boring church calendar on the wall. I kept counting images in the wallpaper around it. I felt like I was in some kind of limbo. I hated it.

It felt a lot like when I woke up one night at a young age, and couldn’t see. All the lights were out, and there seemed to be a haze in the air. There was some very faint light coming in the window from far away, but not enough that I could see anything clearly. It had scared me the first time I’d done that; I’d felt acutely alone, as if I was trapped by myself. Maybe that’s what makes infants cry at night? I had also wondered if I was going blind. I hadn’t gone for my parents because, well, I’d already cried wolf once (literally), and I didn’t want to wake them again. Years later, I’d had an even stranger experience while accidentally overdosed on paregoric, and after experiencing bizarre visions while awake, I woke them up. You betcha believe it.

Eventually, that day in the strange house, my parents came back. My dad was upset, but not, oddly, angry. He wanted to know why I hadn’t come with them. I reminded him that he’d told me to sit and be quiet, and he hadn’t come back for me. He’d always made it clear I was to do as he said until he said otherwise. I thought he would give me a new command when it was time to go. He hadn’t. He’d forgotten me. My fault somehow. One time, years later, in anger, he called me a literal-minded idiot.

So my brain just kept on going this morning. I went to the kitchen, pulled my coffee cup out of the mini espresso maker. I make Americanos by filling the machine with enough water to fill my cup. It keeps flowing through the grounds until my cup is full, but I have to then shut the machine off. I didn’t forget to do that this morning! I sugared and creamed my coffee, and went back to the computer to finish writing this. But before I did that I went back to the kitchen for something. Once there I had no idea what. As I walked back to my computer, I realised it was my coffee I’d wanted to get, but I’d already gotten it, and it was on my desk. I’d been typing before I’d started the coffee, and kept telling myself to stop and go get it, so it seems my brain doesn’t always turn the messages off that I send myself after I do what I was thinking about. That idea made me think about my brain, and forgetfulness, and strokes and heart attacks again. Had a heart attack once; got fixed up. Strokes are a possibility for anyone, at any time, but mostly due to blood clots getting to the brain, I believe. Haven’t had any injuries recently, or had any problems with clots, but you never know.

You noticed I had visions as a child on paregoric, didn’t you? I mentioned it above. It’s a fine story. I know this whole post is getting longer than most, but my brain is spinning this morning after that odd dream earlier. So, anyway, I was a sickly kid, with pneumonia, swollen sinuses, fevers, coughs, a ruptured appendix with blood poisoning, and later, asthma, followed by severe pollen and dust allergies. Kind of clumsy too. Fell into an unfinished basement of a new building once, and cracked my head on a rock. Fell out of a tree in the rain once when I was older, while trying to fix the roof of the treehouse my brother John and I had built, and broke my arm. Always something.

So oh, once upon a time, I had a cough, a bad one that wouldn’t let me or my mother sleep, so she’d put me to bed with a large spoonful or two of paregoric. paregoric Now paregoric is a medicine consisting of opium or morphine, flavored with camphor, aniseed, and benzoic acid, formerly used to treat diarrhea and coughing in children. (To this day I love the smell and flavor of anise or licorice.) My mother used it on us often. I think she overdid it that night. I had been coughing long and hard, and she may have given me two spoonsful, or more. I woke up later, in that odd underlit time of night where I could only see a little. I was used to it by then. However, staring at the wall wasn’t very useful, because it was too dark to see anything clearly. I had played with toy soldiers, and even seen or played with toy civil war soldiers, and I must have seen a movie with knights in armor. Suddenly there were uniformed soldiers fighting on the wall, chasing each other with guns, up and down hills, and there were explosions too, but there was no sound. I was fascinated! I had sat up on the bed, and could make out the bedposts, pillow, and blanket. But then the soldiers morphed into men fighting with swords and guns, in blue or grey uniforms, but in the same place. Then the scene shifted again, and there were brightly colored knights in chain mail with huge swords and horses, charging each other, and having sword fights. I was enjoying it. I don’t know how long I watched. Well, technically, I guess I wasn’t really seeing anything, just imagining it, but it was so intensely vivid! It seemed to be playing within the wall, as what would later become known as three-dimensional imaging. The bedposts created a nice frame.

Again, the scene shifted, but became jumbled. An inverted cone appeared before my eyes. I was looking into it from the wide bottom, up to a point that seemed to be infinitely far away. It disturbed me, but I also felt the need to pee. Having peed in my bed in the past, I wasn’t going to repeat that experience, just because I might be dreaming. (I had once dreamed I’d gotten up, had gone into the bathroom, and had stood over the toilet trying to pee but couldn’t, until I’d finally let it all out, and suddenly my legs had been very warm, and I realized, very wet, and I’d woken all the way up, in bed. A terrible thing to have to wake your parents up for, or admit to anyone.) So, this time, I got up, before that could happen. I wasn’t sure if I was awake or not, but it seemed I was awake. Except, except there was still that inverted cone in front of my face, and it made walking difficult. When I looked down, it seemed like the cone was a hole in the floor. When I looked around, the cone was directly in front of me everywhere. But, I could see a little around the edges. I made it to the bathroom, and peed, hopefully into the toilet bowl, because when I looked down, there was still this cone that seemed to bore through the toilet and floor.

By this time, I knew had to tell my parents. I was at least ten years old at the time, but I was scared. “Mom! Dad!” I think I yelled. “Something’s wrong with me, with my eyes.” They turned the lights on. It got worse. Now the cone was still there, but its inner surface was coated with sawdust, or looked like sand, something like that. The weird thing was that I couldn’t see my parents’ faces; all I saw were arms, and legs, and hands, and an alarm clock, and the lamp, things like that. They kept popping into and out of the cone, which was rotating. It wouldn’t stop. My father was telling me to wake up. I kept telling him, “I am awake!” Once I thought I saw his face in the cone, another time, someone’s head. I could talk with them, hear them OK, but the vision wouldn’t stop, and it was scaring me. My mother called the doctor. He said to give me soup. She heated up some soup, hers or canned, I don’t recall, but she often gave me Campbell’s’ chicken noodle when I was sick. My father kept talking to me while she was gone. He could see I was awake. He stopped telling me to wake up. I could feel concern in his voice. It was comforting, but the cone kept spinning. “I just want it to stop,” I told him. Mom came back with the soup. I ate it while sitting on their bed. After a few large spoonsful the visions cleared, and I felt fine. The soup may have diluted the paregoric, or distracted my brain. I don’t know for sure what it did, but it worked. I was fine. I went back to bed. They never mentioned it again. And the spoonsful of paregoric stopped. End of story.

 

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A Dream About Art?

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 23, 2017

So this morning I had a dream in which I was at an art gallery. I found a sculpture I liked and bought it, for $750. Oddly specific there, that price. Of course price is very important. I couldn’t afford to buy a piece of art for $750 right now.

There was something familiar about the piece. It was a piece of carved wood, shaped like a distorted ellipse, with one part narrower than the other, as though it was what was left of an ovoid after cutting out the center and leaving just a two-dimensional outline of the ovoid. The smaller end was pointed down. There was a piece of wood hanging in the center of the piece also. As I was admiring it, the recently deceased winemaker/sculptor/writer/poet/skier Jim Fish appeared next to it. He looked at me, as if to say, that looks familiar. And indeed, it really did resemble the wood sculptures he used to make; it was even mounted on a stone base, just as he used to do. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference, but I felt I hadn’t bought it from Jimmie the Fish.

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In the meantime, he had reassembled the sculpture I had just bought, and even added pieces from a disassembled sculpture of his. It now resembled a three-dimensional rectangle, and it was ugly. I tried to restore it to its original appearance, but I found it difficult to do so. Suddenly, within the dream, I had the epiphany that it really did matter how such sculptures were oriented in space, and how they were mounted. Jim Fish’s sculptures always seemed random to me, and I had often joked about using them for firewood on frigid winter mornings at the winery when we had nothing else to put into the fireplace. I would have mentioned that epiphany to Jim, but he was no longer there. I wanted him to put my newly acquired sculpture back together, but he had left his smaller sculpture there as well. For some reason I tried putting a small piece of his sculpture in place of the small piece in mine, but I couldn’t make it work.

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And then, of course, I was fully awake. Would I spend money on a sculpture? Possibly, but I already know I have no space for it here. There are photos and paintings and posters all over my walls, and one wall is all overstuffed bookcases. Another wall has my vinyl records, music CDs, old cassettes, TV, and my stereo system. With my regular furniture: a stuffed chair, a faux-leather chair, my small wooden kitchen table and chairs, my desk, and my bed and bureau,  I’ve used up all the corners and the rest of the space.

Nevertheless, it occurs to me that I wish I did have one of Jim’s sculptures.

 

All of his sculptures have been removed from the winery. They are temporarily stored in the studio of a painter friend of Jim’s. The plan, from what I heard, is to put Jim’s sculptures into a gallery. I remember wondering how whoever reassembles them will know how to do so, like what wood piece goes on what base, and how each piece is mounted. After a little time goes by, it may be difficult to remember how everything goes. Hell, it may be impossible to know what wood each piece is carved from. There’s apricot, acacia, piñon and cherry, for example, and damned if I know which is which without Jim’s little titles and descriptions. His small, plastic-coated cards were always blowing off the sculptures, and I was forever picking them up off the winery’s floor when I was cleaning. Only Jim really knew what was what for certain.

 

So, I see my dream was not so much about art in general, but really about Jim Fish and his sculptures. I will have to help with those sculptures if they ever make it into galleries. After 17 years of looking at each new one Jim added, and seven years of putting the little cards back on each one, I should have some idea what each one is.

This one  IMG_3286  was always “Not For Sale”. However, so many people pestered Jim to buy it, insisting that everything has a price, that he finally put a price on it: $10,000. After that, he got no more offers. I like it a lot.

Some more views:

 

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Dreaming About My Health?

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 24, 2014

Metoprolol Sometimes my dreams intrigue me. I woke up the other day after dreaming about a strange happening in a restaurant. There was an argument going on, and I was following several of the people involved. One man stood off to the side and simply wrote comments on pieces of paper that he handed to the people arguing. He wrote comments like, “bullshit” and “irrelevant” and “you’re an ass” – things like that. Suddenly I felt the need to get up, and I approached him. I had been following one argument, and while I didn’t agree with the last point entirely, (it escapes me now) I felt the need to add my opinion, being that there was some merit to the argument, but only up to a certain point. I wish I could remember it now; seemed important at the time.

However, as I approached the man who gave out the comments, and I felt he would probably give me a scathing comment of disapproval, he instead threw a whole bunch of written comments in the air. At first I thought he was exasperated, but he simply came over and stared at me. He seemed to be watching me as I continued to make my point. He looked concerned. He listened very intently ro what I had to say, it seemed, and then walked off, out of my field of view. Then he returned, looked and me, and kept looking out over the balcony. I continued to speak, and he continued looking at me and walked away again. When he came back again, I noticed that I felt funny. My chest was tight, and I didn’t feel good. I realized I was likely having another heart attack, and the man had noticed. I decided he was trying to help, had called an ambulance and was looking for it.

I wondered how he knew. Was I acting odd? Slurred speech? I couldn’t tell, but he seemed to know. Of course, I woke up before this could play out. Was he a doctor? Why had I approached him? What had I been trying to tell him? One thing I remember is that I felt very grateful that someone noticed and decided to help. Amazing.

Awake. Being wide awake, then, I noticed that my chest did feel funny, and my heart seemed to be calming down, like I’d been really excited. The story I’d seen could have excited me, or the argument I was making, or, which seems most likely, my heart had flipped out for few moments, and the dream was my attempt to understand what was happening. In one of my recent stress tests, the EKG had revealed extra heartbeats as I was recovering from the test. The doctor had been concerned enough to put me back on a heart calming beta-blocker drug. Metoprolol A stress test, following a few weeks of that drug, showed that I was doing better after stress, with very few extra beats, although a few showed up during the exercise this time. However, his opinion, and that of others he had consulted, was that I stay on the drug, at least until I see him again in six months.

Damn. I had been happy to get off the damned drug. It seemed to make me drowsy, and it made training for a marathon harder than it should have been. At least I’m only on a half dose this time. Last time, I felt like I couldn’t get my heart rate up at all while running, and I had trouble getting enough oxygen, with no stamina. I’m better now. Is it my heart that is stronger? or it because of the half dose? I don’t know, but I’m running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on October 19, so I’m anxious to see how it goes. Maybe I’ll dream about it.

Metoprolol

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Dreaming of Random Acts of Sex and Situations Intolerable

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 1, 2014

One Foot Over the Line 2 Woke up this morning early, dreaming. I had stayed up until 1:00 am, but I was wide awake at 5:30am. I ran a lot last evening, in the rain, with lightning just a few miles away. It was the first time I’d run in the rain. I liked it; I was able to keep my body temp down while running. Cool, in reality.

The doves are cooing and I have my coffee now. I decided to post because my dream fascinated me. In my dream, I had decided to live on the street. I know, I know, one does not just “decide” to do such a thing, but hey, it was a dream. I had some sort of small tent or structure over me, and I was under a large blanket, peering out at life on the street. Part of me wondered what I’d done with all my stuff. That part of my brain decided that I still had a car and had my stuff in that.

As I peered out, I saw a couple I knew. I knew the male better than his partner, but they came over and looked in at me. Suddenly the woman was getting into my tent, box or whatever it was I was in, and she was naked. So was I. She climbed under my blanket and lay on top of me. Her skin was warm and smooth. I was in heaven. Then, of course, this guy also came in. He seemed a bit hesitant at first, but he came in and lay down next to the woman. I had no idea what was going on.

In fact, I quickly realised that the two people didn’t know who I was, that I was out of context, and in the poor light available, they hadn’t recognised me, as I had thought. That raised interesting questions to me. Did they do this sort of thing all the time? Did they seek out homeless men to sleep with? Should I tell them I know them? As I pondered ways to shock them with my knowledge of their identity and introduce myself, I realized I’d forgotten their names, which killed my element of surprise, so I said nothing about myself.

Realizing that they were probably expecting sex, especially since the woman had her hand on my erection, but I wasn’t into either this ménage à trois stuff, or sex with men, I wasn’t sure what to say or do. The male asked me if it was alright. I said I wasn’t into men sexually. He asked me why. I told him that men just didn’t turn me on, and he, of course, wanted to know why I wasn’t curious. I told him, I had been curious, but I had gotten over that. I went into a reverie, and could no longer tell if I was just in my head or speaking out loud.

I remembered my roommate from when I’d first left home. He was into young boys, his words. I accepted that about him, but came to realize he was also intererested in me. In fact, he was four years older than me. I’d thought of him as a friend, but he had other ideas. Nothing ever came of that, not for lack of trying on his part, but I’d had to punch him a bit to finally dissuade him.

Shortly after that experience, my best friend had been a lesbian. That doesn’t mean that I learned anything from the experience, but years later, on a trip to Canada, where my old roommate had become an expatriate, I had needed his help getting across the border, after a run in with the border cops, and I was staying in his apartment. He made it clear I couldn’t stay long, as he couldn’t afford to feed me. It was clear that he wanted me to feel grateful for his help, and he told me to go ahead and make myself breakfast while he went off to work. I had very little money at that point, having lost $50, half of all the money I’d had a few days earlier, and I was feeling a bit desperate.

When he came home later, it seemed clear from a number of things he said, that, if I were to be open to sex, he could possibly put me up longer. That was consistant with his previous attempts, and I figured I should consider that. However, the sight of him naked didn’t excite me, in fact, I was totally flaccid, and couldn’t get it up anyway. That seemed to settle the issue for him. Somehow, people always seem to assume one can get into something they have no interest in, if only they try. It often doesn’t work for heterosexual relationships; so there wasn’t any reason to expect it would work for a homosexual relationship either, except that young men seem to always be ready for sex at any time.

I really do think that there has to be some physical attraction, and some hormonal signaling, for this whole sexual attraction thing to work. I don’t think one should ever have sex with someone one is not attracted to. Random sex with strangers is just not a good idea, in my opinion.

So, that is what I told the couple. The woman still wanted to have sex with me, and, as had happened before, the man said he would just watch. I had turned down that offer as a young man, but I was very much interested in this woman, so I was considering it when I woke up.

Ah well, it would have been a much more interesting dream, I think.

Once, while I was young, tanned and muscular, I met a couple who invited me to their home for a party, and since I didn’t have a car, they drove me there. However, there was no party, except for the three of us, and the man had made that offer: I could have sex with his wife, if he could watch. It was the first I’d ever heard of such a thing. I considered it for a nanosecond, but at 25 years of age, I turned them down. I felt vulnerable, and a bit worried about what would happen. Rape came to mind. Being bound and tortured came to mind. But, most of all, I knew damn well I couldn’t have enjoyed myself with the woman with anyone else watching, much less her husband.

Once I told them I wasn’t interested, we had a few drinks, talked some, and slept, since it was very late at night. I slept on the couch and they didn’t bother me. In the morning they drove me back to where I lived. I never heard from them again, but it was fascinating to learn that there where people who did such things.

I don’t know why all this bubbled out of memory last night.

Perhaps I was curious about what my stepdaughter was up to. She had texted me to pick her up from work, but hadn’t said where she was going, Her evening class was over, and I thought she might want to have me take her food shopping, since she doesn’t drive. However, she had wanted me to take her to a certain bar, a favorite of hers, one not far from where I live. I was going to be running with my running group, and would have to turn around as soon as I dropped her off, and go right back to near where I’d picked her up. I remarked on that, since I thought it was kind of funny. She was apologetic, as she thought it would be easy for me, since I’d be so close to my home.

I asked her if she was meeeting someone, and she said, “Yes.” I asked her if she was having dinner or just drinks. She said, “Dinner.” And she said, “Bye, See you next time.” I was curious who she was meeting, but she didn’t seem to want to say, or give me any information; I was curious why.

I love that woman a lot. She inspired me to run. She runs a lot, always has, except during her cancer treatment. It took a lot of work on her part to get back into running, but she runs marathons these days. I ran a half-marathon last year for the first time ever, four months after my heart attack, and will run one this year. She will run a full marathon at the same time, probably in little more time as it takes me to do a half.

When I got back from my run last night, I thought about stopping into the bar where she was, but I know she likes her privacy. I remember thinking that I’d have joined her if she’d asked, but three can be a crowd, and anyway, we don’t hang out much anymore.

So, perhaps that is why that threesome idea permeated my dreams. It’s not that either of us would ever comtemplate such a thing as the stuff of my dreams, but I was lonely, and I’d have enjoyed some dinner company. Boy, do I have to be careful that she never knows I even connected her vaguely with the kind of things I dream about. She’d be horrified. I’d hate that. When I say I love this woman, I mean it. I love her with all my heart, and always want her to have a great life. I’d love her even if I never saw her again, but I hope that doesn’t happen.

Some day, she’ll be married, with a kid perhaps. Maybe we’ll drift further apart. I used to drive her to and from work, but she doesn’t need me for that anymore, just an occasional lift here and there. I’m divorced from her mother these last seven years, and her mother avoids me like I have bubonic plague. No communication or reapproachment with that one. She’d kill me if she believed I had any designs on her daughter. Hell, my stepdaughter would quickly terminate all ties with me too, if she thought I’d ever thought of such things, even in a vague association with a dream.

I don’t know why I even brought it up. It is nice to have someone to love like her, even in a non-sexual, platonic way. In fact, I’d find life a whole lot less tolerable without her. It’s bad enough my cat got eaten by coyotes. “Situations tolerable” the Traveling Wilburys sang, and really, my life could be worse, but it could be better.

Posted in 1960s, Dreams, Life, love, madness, My Life, rambling, Random Thoughts, relationships, sex | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dream a little dream of…, what?

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on December 2, 2013

I have the most bizarre dreams sometimes, but I forget them quickly. This one stuck with me. I’ve a friend I see occasionally. We used to travel a bit with a group that visited state monuments, went rafting, saw the sights, etc. She is the daughter of an old lover, from many, many years ago. She is 30 years old. Lately she has returned to school to work on a graduate degree, so she doesn’t get out much. However, she does like to catch movies from time to time, and set up a regular trip to the dollar theater for anyone who wanted to share. I was part of that group, but, eventually, it dwindled down to me and her. She is a lovely woman, bright and funny, and good-looking. I enjoy her company. We don’t date, as she considers me a family friend. Even after her mom had dumped me for another guy, I was still invited to family gatherings, especially after that guy dumped her mom, and she has since remarried and divorced two more times.

Anyhoo. This dream was about Mona Mona (name altered to protect the innocent). Mona is attractive to me, but off-limits. And, after all, she is quite a bit younger. In this weird dream, Mona decided one day that we could be lovers after all. I was really excited about that, and, oddly, in this dream, we were going to move in together, before we even had sex. We went to a house that belonged to neither of us, perhaps the new one we’d be living in and ended up in bed quickly. Now, that was a scenario I was really happy about. I would love to see her naked. I would love to fuck her, perverted old man that I am. In bed, Mona was next to me, naked. I swung her over on top of me, and in the process spread her legs wide. Instantly, this tremendous fart escaped from her, and I could feel it on my toes! I could even smell it, but it was not so terrible. Mona was really embarrassed, but I told her it was no big deal, and it didn’t matter to me; in fact, I laughed. She laughed with me, but then, of course, I woke up. Damn. I would have enjoyed the sex part. Well, fantasies are fantasies, and sometime they must remain so.  Mona Sigh.

I treasure Mona’s friendship. I do not want to alienate her. However, the last time we saw a movie, the weather was still warm. Mona wore a short-sleeved shirt, and as we got up to leave out seats, our arms brushed together. The sensation was electric! (No, it wasn’t static electricity). The sensation was one of extreme pleasure. I know from that what the effect of climbing into bed with her would be. Be all that as it may be, however, Mona is a masseuse. We had arranged a massage session for after the movie. Mona has a massage table, and oils, and incense at her house. The massage took an hour. Mona took the pain out of my neck, and rubbed all of my body from my neck to my toes, except for my penis, of course. She’s not that kind of masseuse! It was a wonderful massage. There was no sexual element to it at all. I was extremely relaxed, and did not experience an erection, which I was afraid I would, given how sexy Mona is. It was the best massage I’d ever had, without any element of sex involved, although I was indeed naked. Mona rubbed my arms and legs and kneaded my back. She worked my neck good. It was heaven.

I’m not sure I should relate this dream to Mona, but I’d sure like to share it with her. She has a good sense of humor, but I’d hate to have her think I’m dreaming about sex with her. That might make future movies or massages difficult. I always seem to find ways to alienate women.

 

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One Day, On a Planet in Our Own Galaxy….

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on October 29, 2012

Orbiter, this is Lander.

Go ahead, Lander.

We have determined that the atmosphere is Earth compatible. We are preparing for egress.

Affirmative, Lander, we concur. Recommend full suits.

Roger that Orbiter. Full suits, with open helmets.

Roger that Roger, Lander. (chuckle). Any visible signs of life?

No, Orbiter, not yet. There seems to be a ground fog, obscuring most of the surface. We are on solid ground, and we will be exploring cautiously.

Roger that, Lander; step by step.

Egress now Orbiter. Surface is firm, under a thin layer of coppery dust.

Can you see anything yet, Lander?

No. Wait, yes, Orbiter, there appears to be something moving towards us in the fog.

Lander, what do you see?

Lander, come in. Lander?

Lander, what do you see? Is everything OK? Lander?

 

DÉTENTE

       

PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE

Lander, Lander, come in Lander. What’s your status?

Orbiter, AOK. We are OK.

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Women Have Always Been A Puzzle to Me

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on January 25, 2012

Those Women

Always a Puzzle to Me

 

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Dreaming of a Woman Again

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 10, 2011

Haven’t had many dreams that I remember in some time. Maybe it’s because I sleep poorly. At any rate, my ex-wife was in my dream this morning. I hadn’t seen her in four years until just recently, when I spotted her dancing at a Salsa event one night. That was something we always did, mostly every week for fourteen years, so it upset me to see her dancing, knowing we could never dance again. She was on my mind for weeks after that, almost all the time. Spending time recently with my siblings and cousins, and laughing with them, broke the spell, and I hadn’t thought about her as much.

Suddenly, I’m dreaming about her this morning. In my dream, I run into her at a party at a friend’s house in the mountains. She asks me to go home with her, so we are driving up this steep mountain road to her place, somewhere deeper up in the mountains. She was always a drinker, so she has concocted a way to drink while driving. She is wearing one of those camelback water bags that hikers use, except that it is filled with wine. She attempts to take a drink from the tube but is having a hard time getting it to stay in her mouth. She is driving, and I realize she is drunk when she swerves across the road into the opposite lane of traffic. It is very late at night, so there is no other traffic, but there is some light snow on the highway, left over from an earlier storm. I am not concerned, as she has slowed way down, aware she is in the other lane. When she gets the wine tube in her mouth and takes a long swallow, she attempts to move back into the right lane when we see headlights behind us. So, she stops the car, on the left side of the road on the shoulder.  When the car passes, I look at her, realizing that she never used to drive when drunk. It was always my job to drive her home. I am wondering why I am not driving. I am wondering why I am with her at all, except I know I am still sexually attracted to her. Jokingly, I tell her that drinking WHILE driving will make them throw the book at her. She tells me to get out. It is cold, the wind is blowing powdery snow around the highway. I can’t believe she is serious. I tell her I was only joking. I want, after all, to go home with her.

All this thinking wakes me up: wrong part of the brain for dreaming, I guess.

I am left wondering why I would have a dream like that! Of course, the car ride could have been a metaphor for our marriage, but I don’t know why I would invent such an elaborate story. Perhaps I am correct, and it was a metaphor.

In a car = in the marriage

Worried about car ride = worried about marriage

Not in control of the car = not in control of marriage

Unwilling to get out of car = unwilling to get out of marriage

Warning her in car = telling her I was unhappy, wanted counseling

Cold, snow, mountain = there be monsters outside marriage

Pissed her off; she says get out = pissed her off; she said I had to go

I guess I never resolved that whole thing. I need to let go; thought I had.

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Photographer

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on May 15, 2011

She came into the room wearing only frilly pink panties. Her nipples were covered with black crosses of electrical tape. My heart jerked. My eyes felt like they popped out of my head. My hands were shaking; my legs were weak. I could barely speak.
I wanted to wrap my arms around her, pull that tape off with my teeth, taste her, lick her, feel her, fuck her. I wanted to give into my wild impulse and have sex on the spot, sex like no other: wild, uninhibited, hard.
Instead, I clicked the shutter shakily, again and again, over two hundred times. I am a photographer.

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Deep Creek Youghiogheny

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on May 31, 2010

With nothing left to live for, no joy in my life, no pleasure in waking, breathing, eating, or even being, I knew I had to just get it over with and die.  I went through all the options: gun placed in my mouth to fire upwards, blowing the top of my head off – way too messy.
Razor along my vein, for maximum loss of blood – too slow, and painful.  What of pain? I shouldn’t care, but, it’s because I tired of pain that I no longer feel anything at all. No sense having pain be my last memory.
Jumping? What if I survive? What if I’m paralyzed? unable to die? kept alive for nothing?
Pills? so I can wake up choking on my own vomit?
Jumping in front of a bus? Same problem as jumping.
I really couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t involve some kind of pain, slow death, or public display.  I didn’t want anyone to know I died, or how I died. I had no one to impress, no one to feel sorry for me, no one to send a message to.  I just wanted it all to be over.
I found a solution: drowning.  I knew it would be unpleasant.  I had a plan for that. Nitrous oxide.  I would feel myself drowning, trying to pull air into my lungs, trying to breathe, but I wouldn’t care.  I’d laugh my way into death, gulping in whole lungfuls of water.  Then peace, with a smile on my face.
The water was deepest near the dam, about 75 feet, so I’d plunge deep into the numbing cold water. I wanted to sink, and sink fast.  I found four twenty-pound ankle weights.  It was hard walking with them, but I practiced until I managed to just look like I was just drunk or high or old. And jeez, was I ever old. Too old for life to hold any interest anymore.
With a small canister of nitrous oxide, I crossed Deep Creek’s concrete bridge leading to the dam.  It was 3:00 am.  I walked, slowly and silently. There was no traffic that time of morning.  I’d been there often enough to know.  I climbed the fence to the dam, clumsily, but without making a sound.    There was a maintenance ladder on the dam itself.  As I grabbed each rung, my legs felt dead.  It took a lot of effort to pull them up with me.  I was sweating in that nearly freezing air.  Those weights got heavier with every breath.
The water was calm, and inviting.  I opened up the canister and let it fill me with gas.  I had a small mask to cover my mouth and nose.  It took longer than I thought.  I hung there on the ladder, a few feet from the top.  My legs were tired. My feet were hooked uncomfortably in the rungs.  My hands, wrists, and ankles ached from the climb.  After awhile, I didn’t care much about the slight pain anymore.  I didn’t care much about the cold night air.  I was really happy, for the first time in many years.  I didn’t feel like laughing, but I was smiling.  I dropped the canister into the water.  The splash was reassuring, calming, a funny preview of my own fall.
I threw myself out as far as I could.  I was taking no chances, but there was little danger of hitting the dam wall, as it curved inward at this point, near the long tunnel that takes water to the powerhouse.  The water flows past the turbines, back into Deep Creek lake, back into the Youghiogheny river, continuing on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.  I hit feet first, as I expected. There was pain, pain to my feet, despite the thick hiking boots I’d worn, pain to my knees, pain to my hips.  But the water was so cold, and I was so excited, it didn’t matter.  I sunk quickly.  I opened my eyes, surprised that I’d had them shut so long, surprised that I was holding my breath.  There was not much to see. It was dark, but some light from the power plant was reflected down into the depths.  I had expected to touch bottom, but I seemed to be drifting down incredibly slowly.
It was time.  I pushed my stomach in with my fists, expelling a lot of air.  It blooped out of my mouth and nose.  When it seemed I had no more air left, I held myself still, trying not to breathe until the last possible second, when my reflexes would kick in and force me to.  It was peaceful.  As I faced death, I realized I was ready.  She was gone forever. There was no one left to care for, no one to mourn my passing, no reason for my existence.  I was now useless.  I’d had a good life.  I’d loved, and lost, and loved again, and again.  I’d worked many jobs, some I’d enjoyed, some I hadn’t.  I had done all that I had set out to do, and I was content with my lot in life.  Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t want to die out of regret.  Hell, if I’d still had any regrets, I’d have wanted to keep on living, kept on trying to overcome those regrets for the rest of my life.  No, I had no regrets. It was just time to go.
My lungs burned with the beginnings of pain, so I opened my mouth and swallowed, deeply.  I sucked greedily at the water, blowing some residual water out my nose.  Then, then there was only water, and I was afraid. Fear stabbed at me like an ice pick through my heart.  I wanted to breath!  I wanted air.  My brain felt funny.  It was hard to think, but I kept trying to breathe. There was a heaviness in my head, a feeling of darkness.   My lungs struggled, again and again, for air.  The water was too heavy, too thick. I kept choking.  I started retching, water into water, and water back in again.  It hurt.  It hurt bad.  Worst of all was the feeling of panic, of absolute fear.  I thought I’d wanted to die, but now I wanted to breathe, to live, to think again.
Too late.

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Winding down, dow, do, d….

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on February 16, 2010

Emo warning.

Do you know that odd feeling in your throat when you get emotional? It tightens up, you find it hard to breathe, and maybe your eyes water.  Happens from time to time.  Sometimes I watch a sentimental movie and feel that.  There was a time when I felt deep regret over a lost love and I’d get that way.  Doesn’t seem to happen much anymore.  It’s an odd feeling, and only seems to occur with a sense of great loss, or empathy with someone’s loss or near loss.  I remember when my step-daughter survived cancer.  If it had been something I was watching in a movie, I’d have choked up like that, with my throat tensed and a feeling of  being overcome by emotion, regardless of outcome.  However, when Maya survived the surgery, and then again, when I found out the tumor was gone, after a whole lot of radiation and chemo treatments, I felt joy.  It was the purest joy I’d ever felt.  I was happy.  My throat did not tighten,  I did not cry, I did not feel overcome with emotion.  I was, instead, blissfully happy.  I stayed that way for a while.  I am, of course glad that she is fine today, and in complete remission, and it is not the type of tumor, being so rare, that she is likely to experience ever again.   The joy I felt back then was for her.  I love her so much.  I don’t need anything from her, don’t need to have love from her, or anything at all.  I wish her a long and happy life.

Mine is not so happy.   I experienced depression for a time in my life; got counseling, and medication.  It may have made a difference.  There was a change from that deep hopeless depression.  I was sad a lot.  It was sometimes overwhelming.  There was an almost physical pain, tightness in my chest, sighing.  That part is over now.

As always, I stay busy, even though I’ve retired from work.  I hike, I snowshoe, I read, I watch movies.  I buy things online and in junk/antique stores.  I don’t feel sad.  I eat a lot, which is not good, but it hardly seems to matter anymore. Nothing does really.  It’s not the way I ever thought I’d be: just drifting along.  No sadness, but no joy either.  It is hard to enjoy a movie, a good book, a good sleep.

Sometimes I nap and I wake up nearly suffocating.  It is dark and terrifying.  My throat feels like it has been closed up.  My brain feels oxygen starved.  I feel like I’m dying.  It happens more and more often.   I don’t know what it means for sure.  I’ve no known breathing problems.  I had pneumonia as a child a couple times, so perhaps my lungs are not all that strong, and I had asthma until I was twelve years old.  I don’t feel like there is anything wrong with my lungs now.  My hikes take me up over 10,000 feet above sea level sometimes.  It’s not all that easy, but I survive.  I hiked near that altitude once for 20 miles.

I don’t know what to make of all this sometimes.  I think I will drop off to sleep one day soon and I will just stop breathing.  That doesn’t seem to scare me.  It’s just the waking up unable to think straight and feeling like I’m dying that ever bothers me.  When I couple that with my lack of joy in living, with a loss of interest in companionship or love, and with no enthusiasm for the sex that always made me happy, I wonder if this is it?  Is my life over? Not in any figurative sense, but really.  Is this what it feels like to die, or just to grow old?

I should do something, right? I try.  I have a meeting tomorrow with people who want to change the world of politics.  That used to excite me, but it’s more running on inertia now. I do the things I used to do, and new things too.  I tried out to be a VJ ( a TV announcer/spokesperson), and it was good to try.  Didn’t happen.  I went to a local winery and I will be working there a couple days a week, with flexible days and hours.  I might be serving/selling wine, or helping clear the ditches, or helping with new construction. I may be able to help with some of the tedious paperwork stuff, since I have some experience with maintaining inventory and budgets.  It’s a new place for me. Something to do.

I don’t know if my life will change again.  I tried the guitar, but I’m not doing much with that anymore.  By now I thought I’d have a few dozens songs down.  My photographs never sell, so I don’t know how much I will keep that up.  My stories never sold, and I know they’re not that good.   My poems pale next to most everything I hear or read.  You’d think that would make me sad, but I don’t feel sad so much as tired.  I don’t know what the point of it all is anymore.  Going through the motions, eating, sleeping, doing things, watching things, reading, writing, working.  I just don’t know.   I know that people say, even when they’re dying, that life is a joy, and we can just enjoy every minute.  Can’t say I feel like doing that.

In reality, I think my life is winding down.  I think it may be ending soon.  I can’t say why.  It just seems like it.  Sometimes the brain knows things we don’t consciously admit to, or recognize.  Animals have been observed doing that: preparing themselves to die.  They sometimes seem to know.  Are people any different?

There are lots of things I can do: volunteer to help kids with their homework.  Ask someone out.  I have tried to get interested in other people, but the spark is just not there.  It’s not here in the sense that perhaps there is no need anymore?  If my life is going to end soon, then there really isn’t much point in anything.   I look at that in the reverse direction, and I think, if there isn’t much point in anything anymore, then maybe that’s the sure sign that I am going to die soon.   I have no regrets, no bucket list, no things I need to resolve. Death doesn’t scare me.  Nothing scares me.  Nothing excites me either, so that seems the same as death.

Well, tomorrow is another damn day.  Who knows what will happen?

I had a dream last night: I was moving.  I didn’t want to move. There were other people I was living with, and I didn’t want to go with them.  I stayed in bed while people finished packing.  I got up after awhile. There had been a very young kitten hanging around for awhile, feral, skittish.  I didn’t know where it had come from.  I saw it now, asleep by the bed.  It looked so sweet and happy there.  I went into the bathroom to pee and noticed little bits of cat shit around the toilet. Seems the kitten had decided to stick around.  I thought about sticking around myself, just by myself.  I heard a truck horn.  There were to be two vehicles going. Four guys in one big truck and the two women in a car.   I remember thinking it odd that the women and men were going separately, fearful that the women were going to disappear.  That it was deliberate.

I went back to the cat, stared at it.  I decided it was my cat.  I could stay.  Then I decided to go after all, but the cat was coming with me.


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Last night I dreamt I killed

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on April 12, 2009

nightmare Woke up from a nightmare last night. Middle of the night.  My heart was racing.  I was horrified.  It was raining.  I lay there for a time listening to the rain.  After awhile I heard hail hitting the roof.  There was lightning too.  In the dream, I had just killed someone, someone I loved.  In the dream, I didn’t feel anything.  I killed without remorse.  That woke me up, I think.  I had been thinking (in the dream) I had no feelings in me, but as I came back into consciousness, I realized I did care, and the horrible reality that I could do something like that terrified me.

Oddly, I can’t remember now who it was I was supposed to have killed.  Never saw  the face.  It was, however, very real, and I was really sure who it was when I woke up, but now I can’t remember for certain.  But, I clearly remember coming from behind, strangling her, and burying her.  The whole time that was going on, I was aware, in the dream, of my disconnect, of my inability to feel, or care about morality. It was as though I had actually lost all socialization, and had become a serial killer, and without the slightest hint of remorse.

Got up this morning after lying there for hours after that.  It was only 6:00 am on a Saturday.  I should get more sleep, but I wake up nearly every night, sometimes at 1:30 am, sometimes at 3:30 am, or 4:00, and sometimes I just watch the clock tick off the half hours until it’s time to get up. Made coffee.  caffeine It’s a special blend of mine: I take a can of  “Lite” coffee, which already has half the caffeine of regular coffee, and I mix it with a can of decaf coffee.  Still I can’t sleep at night.  I’ve tried doing without coffee altogether.  After the headaches stop, I feel good, but I still can’t sleep right, not even after months without caffeine.  I never get 7 or 8 hours sleep anymore.  The amount is not always vital, as long as there is some deep sleep involved, but 5 1/2 hours is my longest time spent asleep, with or without coffee. I don’t think it’s enough time to get a good rest.  I’d imagine this is why I’ve been so tense, irritable and depressed, but those things affect sleep, so it’s hard to say which came first.  Doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, I usually fall asleep right away, but I always wake up long before it’s time to get up.  I’ve gone on ten-miles hikes in the mountains, dropped into bed, to sleep, perchance to dream, but still I wake up, sometimes sweating, sometimes with a bad dream chasing me.  It’s aging me fast.  People used to think I was younger than I was, but now they’re sure I’m older than I am.  I have permanent dark circles under my eyes.  My hair rapidly turned from salt and pepper to almost all-white, so I dye it now.

Today a rental movie came in the mail: Hancock.   I enjoyed it.  I even felt some stirrings of emotion at all the appropriate times.  Movies somehow do that to me.  Hancock, of course is about a guy who happens to have super powers and creates more havoc trying to help than he helps.  Not knowing who he is, or where he came from, he stumbles along until people step up to help him straighten out his life.  In the end he does OK, and even finds out who he is.  Heroic, and a happy ending too.

After the movie, I sat back to daydream, because I always imagine myself in any movie I watch, or any book I read.  I became a superhero.  I don’t have super strength or the power to fly, or magnetic power, or x-ray vision – none of that.   I have the power I’ve always imagined I had, to transport myself instantly anywhere in the world or universe.  It’s a dormant power that surfaces when I need it.  My step-daughter Maya goes into the hospital soon for brain surgery.  The doctors are highly skilled at it, and the danger is not insignificant, but any operation is dangerous, and a brain operation seems more so.  4 1/2 years ago, Maya had her brain opened to remove a tumor, and they got almost all of it.  Enough cells remained to regrow, and she had chemotherapy.  The chemo didn’t work.  She lost all her hair, was sick as a dog, but the tumor actually started growing faster.  She had radiation treatments then, and the tumor was “burned” out of her skull.  No traces left on MRI, nothing in her blood, nothing in her spinal fluid all this time.  Now there’s something there.  Could be scar tissue, a common occurrence with radiation treatment.  They don’t know.  So, they’re going back in to find out.

In my daydream, I get a call from the hospital. She’s just died.  I scream, and suddenly I am there, standing by the phone hundreds of miles away. I ask to see her, and I grab her hand, talk to her, tell her to come back, and she does.  She’s not dead.  She recovers, but I die.  It’s a funny-strange scenario, but it actually makes me happy to think I could do that.  I’d readily trade places with her now if I could.  I don’t want her to suffer through the pain again.  I want her to continue enjoying life.  She can have mine.

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Trippin’ Through the ’70s – Chapter Thirteen

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on October 27, 2008

Now I’m the criminal the border agents expected me to become, Sean thought.  “Public drunkenness, failure to pay a fine, theft.Time to get the hell out of Dodge. Sean headed back to the US, to the border between the Sault Sainte Maries.  So much for Canada, he thought.  At least I’m still headed west. He had to deal with the border again.  US customs this time.  Well, at least I don’t have anything they can arrest me for.  I wonder if they’ll ask me for my draft card? I’m screwed if they do that.  I mailed the ashes back to the draft board long ago. What if they don’t let me back in? A man without a country, that could be me.

The customs agents weren’t used to seeing a man on a bicycle crossing the bridge.  They saw the bulging yellow bags on Sean’s bike, and they knew he had dope.  “It’s all these kids go to Canada for,” agent Stimson said aloud, to no one in particular.  Everyone had heard it all before.  Everyone had pulled dope out of car trunks, glove compartments, door frames, and spare tires.  They’d seen it all.  Almost.  No one, including agent Stimson, had ever seen anyone brazen enough to load a bicycle full of dope and just ride right up to them.

“We’ll have to inspect those bags,” he told Sean, hoping this hippy would run, hoping he’d have a little fun.

“What’s this?” he asked Sean.  “Oh, those are soybeans,” Sean told him, and Sean was enjoying this. “And this is brown rice, and this is granola, and these are alfalfa seeds.”  Sean smiled.  He saw the agent frown, “We’ll have to open these.”  Sean didn’t like the idea of having his food pawed through, but he knew there was no choice.  Nevertheless, he complained, doing his best to make the clown think he was hiding something.  “Well, I’d rather you didn’t, you know, it’ll be messy.”  The agent took the bait, dumping each bag out one at a time, sifting through each one, but there was nothing there but soybeans, brown rice, granola and seeds.  “What did you say these were again?” he asked.  “Alfalfa seeds.”  Stimson could tell this hippie was jerking him around.  He’d could always have the jerk held, say he’d detected an odor of cannabis.  Instead he said, “We’re gong to have to keep these.  Can’t tell where you got ’em, or even if that’s what they are.  Too risky.  Agricultural rules.  Well, Sean thought, that takes care of that. God knows when I’d ever have been ever to stop somewhere and sprout them.  I can’t eat them this way. The less weight the better. He smiled.  Agent Stimson saw the smile, and he wasn’t about to let a hippie get away with anything.  “We’ll have to inspect your bike,” he said.  What’s in these tubes.” “Tubes? You mean the frame?” Sean bleated. “Yeah,” agent Stimson said, “you could have all kinds of things inside the frame.”  Sean just stared.  It wasn’t something that had ever occurred to him.  “How could I, where, how could I get anything in?” he stammered.  “Well,” agent Stimson said, calmly, “what about right here under the seat.”  He bent down and looked underneath.  Hmm, well, nothing here, damn it.

“Have a seat,” he told Sean.  “We’re going to take a look at this. I’ll bet this seat comes off.  Who knows what we’ll find.”  He imagined the hippie was squirming now, sure he had him.  Sean, however, was not looking forward to reloading all his gear.  Stimson took the bike into the interrogation room. Sean pulled out a paperback from his back pocket and read.  Stimson took the seat off, and looked inside, tapped the frame all around, and decided that was enough.  He kept his eye on the hippie, but he was too young to be so calm if he was hiding something.  “Alright,” he told Sean.  “Here’s your bike, and all your stuff is on that table.  You can go.”

Sean grabbed a leaflet he found and used it as a scoop to get all the grains back in their respective bags.  At least they didn’t mix everything up, he thought.  He reattached the saddlebags, gathered up all his tools and loaded them back into the small basket under the handlebars.  He refolded all his clothes, and had to roll the blanket up again, laying it out on the floor and pulling it tight, banding it with bungee cords.  He strapped it down under the spring on his luggage rack, in between the saddle bags.  Giddy up, he thought.  And, Hi-yo Gypsy, away.  He rode back into the US, back into Michigan.

There wasn’t much to see in Michigan’s upper peninsula that wasn’t beautiful: lots of birds, water, and trees, but on the road and along it there were also lots of trucks with camper shells, and lots of Winnebagos, the RVs, not the Indians.   It was cold at night.  Sean began the afternoon in shorts and a t-shirt, but ended up with a long-sleeved shirt and long pants by nightfall.  He rode for days, weeks, crossing into Wisconsin,   then quickly into Minnesota. Every state looked the same close to Lake Superior.  Beautiful, Sean thought.  Gorgeous country up here.  I had no idea.  Looks more undeveloped that I thought anyplace in the US was. And colder.  The nights seemed to be getting colder as he went.  He rode, days and nights, stopping to buy a piece of fruit and a small carton of milk for his granola every morning.  In the afternoons he continued cooking brown rice and soybeans, then cooking some more for dinner.  He slept out of sight.  There weren’t many towns, gas stations, or restaurants as he got farther from the lake.  He stopped in a bar one chilly night, on the road to Hibbing, Minnesota, asked if they had any coffee.  They didn’t.  Didn’t seem very friendly to Sean either.  That night he wore socks, two heavy shirts, and long pants over his shorts.  It was getting harder to pedal with all that on.  The lights of towns and homes were farther and farther apart as he continued west.

It became routine.  Get up, ride for awhile.  Stop and eat. Ride for awhile. Stop and eat. Ride as far as he could, eat, sleep, get up and start it all over every day.  The miles flew by, and Sean was happy.  Sometimes he stopped to wander through old ruins of houses.  Sometimes there was a pond he could jump in.  He sang songs, thought about things he’d forgotten, nursery rhymes, Captain Kangaroo’s riddles, and Tom Terrific. Rocky Jones and the Space Patrol with the booming voice over.  He sang songs out loud: I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Bingo, Eency Weency Spider, The Farmer in the Dell, Hickory Dickory Dock, Hokey Pokey, If You’re Happy and You Know It  (clap your hands),  Ring around the Mulberry Bush, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain (when she comes), Take Me Out to the Ballgame, This Old Man, Three Blind Mice, and even Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  It didn’t matter what.  I didn’t even know I knew those songs, he thought.  There was something about the rhythm of the pedaling, the steady push and pull.  Sean decided it was like meditation.  He had never tired that, but decided it must be something like this.  Get your mind off of everything stessful; let it go; spinning, caroming through the dusty corridors. He felt better than he ever had his whole life.

I’ve always lived by others’ rules, he thought.  He had always done what he was told. The nuns and priests had told him to love God is to obey God, so he had.  They told him that heaven was the goal of his life and hell waited for him if he failed to follow the rules, the commandments, the laws.  So he had.  He had aspired to heaven, to see God, to experience the bliss and rapture of this God being’s presence in his life.

His parents told him to go to school, to do his homework, to babysit, to do as they said, so he had.  The priests and nuns had made it very clear that, after God, one must obey one’s parents, and the law.   Rules and laws told everyone what to do with their lives, he had understood that.  His parents told him that, as the oldest, he must set an example for the younger kids, so he had.  He did what he was told to do.  Through countless sinks full of dishes scrubbed spotless, linoleum floors that shone cleanly through the Johnson’s Floor Wax, the near-spotless bathrooms, the hand-waxed hardwood hallway, the lawn manicured with a push mower, and the weed-free beds of flowers and tomatoes, he had done as he was told.  He was as perfect as he could be, although his parents would dispute that.  He had thought of himself trying to be the perfect son, the pious altar boy, the virtuous boy scout.  Good grades, but bad dreams.

Often, in his dreams, he had been chased.  At first there had just been the wolves waiting in the shadows, waiting for the hand to fall alongside the bed, or for eye contact.  Sometimes Sean had lain awake hours at a time, trying not to look, holding his body stiff, arms tight against his sides, afraid the wolves would strike if he moved.  In his peripheral vision he could sometimes see their eyes shining in the night.  He knew they were there, snarling, waiting to bite and tear bloody pain into him.  He kept his breathing even, and stared straight up at the ceiling until he passed out into fitful sleep.  As he dreamt, he was still terrified.  He was pursued by dark, threatening things that towered over him, chasing him until he fell into holes, terrified of pain at the end of the sudden stop at the bottom, but the darkness went on and on, and it terrified him, this endless falling.  He never stopped, but he would suddenly know he was awake, and see the grayness of dawn.  Sometimes he woke up sooner, with the urgent need to pee, but when he went to the bathroom it wouldn’t start, and he knew it was his fault, and he tried to relax, to let it happen, and eventually it would.  The relief was wonderful, and he was happy, relishing the relief, the warmth, but he was still in bed, still half-asleep, and he knew he had to get up then, and tell his mother.  She didn’t want wet sheets on the bed all night.  And it got cold anyway.  After awhile all that stopped.  He sometimes had dreams about a girl in his class, and she lay there in bed with him, and they kissed and snuggled their bodies together. He didn’t learn what sex was for some time after those dreams started, but when he did, he finally understood the dreams.  Sex, however, was forbidden, especially to teenagers, and girls didn’t like him anyway.  Sex was just for marriage and making babies.  Sean had decided he’d like to be married and make babies.

Maybe.  Sean wasn’t so sure of that anymore.  The world was facing enormous problems due to overpopulation.  He didn’t want to add to that.  He learned how to have sex without making babies, and that was just fine by him.  Right now, however, he was all by himself, and, he was running low on money.  Pretty soon he’d have to find work.  He stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere one evening.  The guy there told him to check out the carnival down the road.  “There’s always work to do tearing it all down.  Tonight’s their last night; they’ll be looking for people.”  Sean thanked him, and practically burned rubber.

Posted in 1970s, Bicycling, crime, Dreams, faith, family, Life, My Life, rambling, sex, Travel, Writing | 1 Comment »

 
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