Sunday, October 29, 2006

dark road and missing time

Coming home from a Halloween Party in Long Beach, it was clear driving for the first 50 miles or so. Then the world got moody. There was a serious marine layer, with waves of clouds passing in front of the yellowish half moon. Looked like smoke at first, but it went on for too many miles. We stopped at a rest area to switch drivers, and there was the moon, low over the Pacific ocean, with it's reflection shimmering off into the distance on the sea that never ends.

We hit highway 78 and it was a wall of brake lights, then twenty minutes of merging lanes and selfish people not giving an inch of room, even though cooperation would actually SAVE time. Lost the two left lanes. The stink of flares. Bored highway patrol officers waving us over. We must look like an endless stream of idiots to them, but we didn't have the luxury of knowing what was going on. The whole highway was closed, and we were forced to exit. We got a glimpse of some line of emergency lights under one of the bridges, cutting across all lanes. Probably a ghost or two sitting on the median that night.

So we took back roads home, and there was a wall of fog covering San Marcos, waves of clouds scraping the ground, looking for souls to consume ...

... if only we could remember the spirit of Halloween, not just buy buy buy all the crap we can get. And not plastic masks and cheap scares? How about breathing some of the old spirit and realizing that we're powerless fleas on the skin of the earth, and there are secrets all around us?

I don't know. Maybe the magic is truly gone. The cure for cancer is probably waiting in plain sight, in some kind of crab grass that we never pay any attention to, because we're only looking for the big thrill of the moment.

Friday, October 20, 2006

boils, bugs, bird

A rare "dream inside a dream" event: We found ourselves in an upscale senior center on another planet. I couldn't sleep, because I kept dreaming that I had a horrible rash and all my skin was falling off. Not in the red, soupy radiation-sickness way, no -- that would be too normal. Instead, it started as white spots, which became white rings, then turned into hard cake frosting and flaked off. So I'd wake up screaming, with that alien world beyond the window. So they'd drug me back to sleep. My dream-dreaming mind got revenge by giving everyone the cake frosting boils one time, but then I woke up and there was nobody left on the planet to get drugs from.

So I woke up and walked around the dark house a bit, to clear my head.

Fell asleep, and dreamed that I was helping a park ranger turn an abandoned gas station into a tourist info house. It was in a rocky place, with a small town like Quartzite visible in the distance, and the ground had just as many antique bottlecaps as pebbles. I knew something was up when she handed me a six-foot pole before we went inside. The place was overrun with giant bugs. There was a knee-high praying mantis guarding the garden, chasing mice under the house. Inside, it looked like a Halloween spiderweb store, except that the webs were real, the spiders were chattering and covered with a pink jelly of baby spiders. After a while, leeches started appearing out of thin air, and that was it for me. I almost ran away, but ended up chasing a 12-pack-sized grasshopper across the desert.

Carmen woke me up then, because there was a bird in the house, and the cats were going nuts trying to kill it. So she herded the carnivores into the sun room, and I chased the bird as it bounced and flitted all over the house. Finally, I threw a washcloth on it and it calmed down. It weighed about half an ounce, was about three inches long, and had a nectar beak. Don't know why critters can't tell when we're trying to help them...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the 6-run homer

There was baseball on all the big screens. Fermius said he once hit a triple and knocked in three runs at a company softball game. But the liar was also at pizza that night...

"Nyeah, I once knocked in SIX runs. Yeah, six. You ask how? It was Canadian rules baseball. They've got six bases, a hexagon, yeah. But the exchange rate killed it off. It got to where those six Canadian bases were only worth four American bases, see? So they started laying off shortstops. You know, shortstops ain't necessarily short. They used to be regular joes, all shapes and sizes. And when the shortstop's over six foot three, you don't call 'em Shorty, you call 'em Sir! Yeah, those were the days ... a guy could drive in six runs, fair and square."