My vivid dream life is a constant source of joy and wonderment to me.
Even if the content of the dream is dark or stressful, I revel in the (did I use the use the word before?) vividness and intensity of what I’ve just experienced, marvelling at the clear detail and “realness” of what my brain has just created: the scene, the plot or conundrum, the texture of characters’ faces or clothes, their words, my words, my predicament.
Just this morning, in the dream I had before awakening, I’m trying my hardest to convince my mother, dead since 1984 but uncannily alive in my head (in what I would call her “lively” phase in her mid-50’s), that I can’t afford to support her to help pay for her room at a nursing home she’s just “joined”.
“Ask Marlene,” I beg, “I’m only making…” And I mention my rather low weekly salary and tell her all my other expenses: rent, food, etc., easily convincing her to in fact ask my sister for the money.
In one very clear scene, attempting desperately to find my mother in a very modern office building in order to plead my case, I fall down an elevator shaft. In a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible moment (I love doing this in dreams, particularly flying), I fling myself out of an open elevator door just before hitting the bottom of the shaft and end up unscathed except for a dust-up of my suit (apparently, I work in that building).
In the dream, my mother is herself at her best: attentive, attractive, loving and understanding. I feel crazy love for her, wanting to help, but unable to.
And then I woke up.
At breakfast, I read the Dear Annie column in the morning paper over tea and toast. In the first letter, a writer castigated people who bring their pets, notably dogs, into stores. While it’s cute to have a little dog sitting in front of a shopping cart, the writer said that many people are allergic to cats and dogs and that their hairs could cause a lot of grief.
“Annie” completely agreed, saying that the people who can’t bear to be without their pets for even an instant while they shop are the insensitive ones. “Bring along a disinfectant spray or wipe,” she suggested, “in order to clean your cart before bringing your son.”
The second letter, from an irate reader, was reacting to previous suggestions from “Annie” for women to try harder in the sex department with their husbands when most or all of their own sexual desire has abated.
“I would appreciate some foreplay,” she wrote. “We just wait around for his Viagra to work and then he hops on me.”
“I’m tired of being an object. I’ve had it!”
Lady, I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel like hitting my forehead with the butt of my hand and go, “C’mon, men, what are you thinking?”
Why do men feel entitled to treat their women like shit, or a sex slave, because they happen to be married? Your wife doesn’t owe you to play the sex game by your rules alone. She deserves respect and, of course, the same pleasure that you’re demanding in your Neanderthal manner. Wake up!
While I was washing the dishes from breakfast, I appreciated listening to Burt Bacharach’s Walk On By on my IPod. Hey wait, I thought, that’s not what’s-her-name? (I temporarily forgot the name “Dionne Warwick”).
What came on my shuffle was Diana Krall’s version of Walk On By from her 2011 album Quiet Nights. I enjoyed the jazzy version of the song, all the while thinking, who sings the other version? (Which I also have on my IPod).
When it was over, still over the sink with my hands full of dish soap, guess which song comes next on the shuffle?
Dionne Warwick’s version of Walk On By!
Anyone who knows IPod’s Shuffle knows that the music genres switch all over the place: you can go from Classical to Jazz to Pop to Singer-Songwriter, from one song to the next.
This is why my wife recently insisted that I make Playlists in different genres: she doesn’t like it when a jazz song is followed by a classical tune; it’s jarring to her, while not at all to me.
But what are the odds of the same song coming in a row? Pretty high, I’d guess.
And that was my morning!