Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dream Log: On the Tough Side of Town

I dreamed I was living in a large apartment on the top floor of a four- or five-story building with a motorcycle gang: a couple dozen tough-looking guys wearing biker colors, and a couple of their lady friends. It was pretty crowded. I don't know whether I had moved in with them or they had moved in with me. In any case, a lot of my books were there, out there in plain sight where anyone could touch them.

I felt I had to leave -- not just go out for a walk, but go out for a walk and not come back. Even though it meant leaving my books behind. When I got out into the hall, I realized that I was barefoot. And outside, it was cold-autumn or semi-winterish weather. I went back inside and looked all over the place, but I couldn't find my shoes or socks. Finally I mentioned to some of the bikers that I couldn't find my shoes or socks. Someone took pity on me and found a pair of sneakers that fit me okay, and a good pair of socks.

And so I walked out, leaving the bikers behind forever with those books and hoping that at least some of them would get something out of the reading, with my feet quite comfortable in the cold weather. I hadn't taken a good look at the socks and shoes before putting them on, and now I wondered whether perhaps the bikers, what with their high profits from who knows what all sorts of scary activities, were connnoisseurs of fine expensive footwear. (I am not.) Outside it was dusk and getting dark. As I walked I had to keep my eyes open, for in the park outside the apartment building, in addition to sparrows and squirrels, there were buffalo, and some of the buffalo were aggressive. For the most part I managed to avoid them as I crossed the park, but once I had to run fast and climb a tree, just barely evading a charging buffalo who crashed into the big oak just below my climbing feet and made it sway alarmingly.

On the other side of the park my Dad had an apartment, and he let me spend the night on his couch. The next morning, somehow, my mail was already being forwarded to my Dad's apartment. A box about a foot long and wide and tall was addressed to me, from a Christian publisher. Inside the box was an enthusiastic letter about a piece of writing I didn't remember sending to them, and a small television monitor which played a video in which people were acting out the writing I had submitted to the publisher, intercut with brief shots of me watching the performers, wearing a dark stocking cap similar to caps which several of the bikers had worn. I called the publisher, who was definitely interested in publishing the piece, but kept tenaciously avoiding any mention of money -- he wanted to publish the piece but didn't want to pay me for it. I told him that if he ever published anything I'd written without giving me an agreed-upon amount of payment in advance, he'd be hearing from my lawyer, and I hung up.

My Dad and I had breakfast together and discussed the buffalo problem in the park. Heavily-attended city council meetings were discussing the issue, with very vehement members of the public loudly weighing in on both of the two main options: let hunters come in and blast away until all the buffalo were dead; or shoot the buffalo with tranquilizer darts, put them on trains, and ship them west to some place where there were already a lot of buffalo. (This was in a part of the Midwest where there hadn't been large numbers of wild buffalo since the 19th century. Nobody knew for sure how these buffalo had managed to suddenly appear in this park in the middle of a Midwestern city.) My Dad and I were firmly on the ship-'em-west side of the debate. Besides the two main opposing sides of the question, a small minority wanted to leave the buffalo alone, and remove people from the area if necessary. I had a lot of sympathy for this view, but didn't see how it would be possible to realize it, and was supporting the ship-'em-west side in order to stop the shoot-'em-all side.

No comments:

Post a Comment