Boa Feathers and Leather: The Downside of Daytime Dreams

“…where did devout Party enthusiasm end and sardonic lampoonery begin?”

~ Philip K. Dick from “Faith of Our Fathers”

Between daydreams and daytime dreams lies a wide chasm. Daydreams are essential, if for only allowing to rise above the tedium of daily life. Daytime dreams are another story. Daytime dreams leave me ragged, worse off than nightmares.

Today, I felt sick. So, I came home from work and took a nap. That’s when the daytime dreams began.

The first one took me to a park where I saw some familiar faces. There were others there as well; those strangers who populate our dreams and who, for reasons unknown to us in the waking life, appear as if dear old friends; the populace of the dreamscape who know us by the other lives we lead there.

In the park I saw a guy I knew from high school. He was with his daughter. They were kicking a soccer ball back and forth. The daughter kicked the ball and it veered right, away from her father and headed straight for me. It was a good kick. By the time it reached me the ball was airborne, about waist level; so, I trapped it the way they taught us in school, brought it the ground, and booted the ball back to the girl. The ball went sailing over her head. Several yards behind her there was a marsh. The ball landed in loose mud, kicking up a splash.

This is where the dream went off the rail.

The girl’s father, the guy from my high school, started shouting like a madman, jumping up and down like a monkey on crack, using every name in the book as he verbally assaulted me. It would have been comical if not for his daughter being there. The bland “what the fuck, dude?” soon turned into a rant against liberals (“They‘re what‘s fucking wrong with this country!”), Barack Obama (“Commie Muslim!” — though I suspect, and I have to research this in order to be sure, you cannot be both a follower of Islam and a devotee of revolutionary socialism), and all things that did not jive with his outlook on life.

I left the park, feeling sorry for the guy’s daughter. Soon, as it happens in dreams, I didn’t have to walk far to return to my neighborhood. Where I lived in my dream was a cross between a boardwalk shore town, an amusement park, a rather run-down version of Key West, and all the buildings in the business district there were framed by perpetual scaffolding that had been there so long vines had grown up and around the metal framework.

I remember thinking in my dream that all I wanted to do was go home and write. But the town was too noisy, not New York City noisy which, when you get used to it, I imagine is tolerable. Philadelphia is the same way; only, it offers a different sort of noise. My dream town offered none of these things. I passed people on the street who appeared to be in a festive mood. Some wore costumes; others were nearly naked. I remember boa feathers and leather. Despite the wild festive flair of the townsfolk and the tourists, there was something off about the whole thing. The faces in the crowd were fatigued; as if something drove them against their will to be happy, to have a good time, to sing and dance in the streets.

Before I could get back to my dream house, I woke up. It was 4:20PM. The significance of this number, I will admit, did not go unnoticed.

I hope I feel better soon. I can’t imagine a steady diet of these daytime dreams. They bring back too many memories from when I used to work nights and sleep throughout the day. That, however, is another story for another time.

Judge Not, Lest You Be Accosted

Lately, I have noticed a phenomenon going on around the area where I live.  People are becoming more and more agitated.  When I lived in northern New Jersey, not far from New York, I decided it was a given that people were rude, short-tempered, etc.

Now, I live in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.  In every region of our country each population possesses its own habits and foibles.  Anyone who has ever traveled anywhere (save maybe for Vegas which is another story that will stay in Vegas) knows this.  But socio-geographical differences aside, I have noticed the same in my quiet little neighborhood.  Unless there are transplants arriving enmasse from places like the greater New York metropolitan area (or Paris), then I can only surmise a few scenarios that have turned people in mean-spirited, pupil-pinpointed, raging lunatics.

Scenario #1: Economic difficulties.  This is one that has merit, but judging from the agonizing looks on people behind the wheels of their Mercedes and their BMWs I have serious doubt about how much the economic decline has hurt their wallet.  I would pass judgment too on those drivers who hide high above the road in their Humvees but my compact Korean-made car doesn’t allow to see those folks eye to eye.  In our society there have always been the haves and the have-nots.  This will never change.  The titles just shift from time to time, but the margin is not that great.

Scenario #2: Conspiracy Nut Spoiler Alert: a virus released into the air that effects those portions of the human brain that control compassion and reason.  Not for nothing, but my half-assed research has proven a correlation between chem trails in the air and my run-ins with the emotionally unstable, rabid few that ruin the day for the many.  Take from this what you will…

Scenario #3: A moving away from any sense of spirituality.  I’m not talking about goose-stepping, Lord-praising, mindless born-agains who lack the wherewithal to question the validity of their faith.  I’m talking about a simple feeling that exists within us more rational types that allows us to differentiate between the micro and the macro.  In other words, the sense that humbles us when we pause and consider something greater than ourselves.  We, as a society, have moved away from family as a center of gravity in our lives.  In its place we became possessed with the desire to define ourselves as consumers first.  And let’s not forget the myriad pharmaceuticals prescribed by the mental health industry that rain down on this great land of ours like sweets from the Big Rock Candy Mountain.  The very same drugs that are altering the neuro-chemical processes in our brains faster than any data from drug companies that can be made available to the public about real, long-term side effects.

It pains me to leave the house most days.  I don’t want to deal with people who sacrificed any shred of decency long ago for the sake of the ego-centered universe.  Still, I do go out and suffer their delusions of grandeur and ignorance.  Perhaps if I started taking medicine for the mind I wouldn’t feel so bad about being accosted by these monsters.  At the least I wouldn’t be aware of it. And at most, perhaps, I might even view arrogance and meanness as acceptable behavior.

In the end I suppose that our Beloved Maker gave us Free Will as means not to choose what is right or wrong, but as a means to solidify our own miserable end.  And people ask me why I don’t go to church anymore…It has less to do with a failing sense of faith in something greater than me and more to do with the tantrums my fellow congregation members throw once a church service lets out and everyone jockeys for position to exit a church parking lot.  These are the faces of the possessed.  The ones who exist outside God’s good grace.  Only, they don’t know it.  Or maybe they do and that’s why so many people seem so mean and crazy these days.

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