Archive for July, 2012

I Flew Once…

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

For as long as I can remember I’ve been plagued by reoccurring dreams.  There are probably 5 or 6 that I have had since I was a child.  Some I retain and some I don’t, but I always wake up remembering that I had experienced that before.  Some are horrible, some are fun.  One in particular is me sword fighting a man in a black Zorro type mask that takes quite a while.  We parry and thrust at each other throughout various locales for what seems like hours and every time he gets the best of me on the roof of an old Ford Fairlaine convertible while the hard top is retracting into the trunk.  I always wake up from that one feeling a bit drained and thinking that it’s taken about 6 years off my life every time I have it and even though I know all of this has happened before, I still can’t beat this bastard… I never change up my moves.  However there’s one dream that I only had once that I still remember with advantages word for word, move for move.  I recall the smells, the sounds, and the sights of it like it happened to me yesterday although it happened on June 24th 1999.

I was about to graduate college (after a near decade run) and the anniversary of my grandfather’s death had just passed.  I have no recollection if there was something I had eaten that may have caused it because after it had happened, I didn’t think anything of it.  It was certainly a cool dream but I didn’t realize until the next day that it was something special, because I had simply retained all of it as if it had actually happened to me.  Everyone has had a dream like this, I imagine. One so vivid that you could swear it had actually happened to you and it has since had a profound effect on your life.  I also am fully aware that your dreams, while something magnificent to you, are about as interesting as stories about one’s cat to the listener, but I don’t care.  I’ve been re-living this one in my head; desperately hoping that it would happen again to no avail, so maybe writing it down will jog some sort of replay device for me.  In other words, I know you probably won’t care, but suck it… this is my outlet.

In the dream I’m a boy, younger than 10.  I’m standing outside of my grandparent’s house with a pair of overalls on and they’re rolled up to just under my knees.  I have my arms spread out like wings and I’m running around in circles pretending to fly around the yard… like ya do.  I’m stopped short by the sound of a screen door shutting on the porch and look over to see my grandfather jogging away from the house pretty quickly.  I had never seen my grandfather run before in my life so this was a little peculiar.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of my grandparents or my father run ever before or since… weird.  But I digress.  I start running after him to see where he’s going, like any intrepid kid would.  We run past their yard and the scenery changes to somewhere I had never been before.  I approached a brook of sorts, a little babbling stream that was somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 feet wide, just in time to see my grandfather landing on the other side after having hopped across like a hobbit.  The water was moving fast and it looked deep so I needed another way to cross it since I was pretty sure I couldn’t make that jump.  I looked down and saw several colored round stones floating in the stream that I could navigate so I hopped on the closest one with my right foot first, making sure it would hold me, and then made my way across the 7 others one at a time to the other side where my grandfather had already disappeared into the woods that lay ahead.

After traversing the stream I run headlong into the woods only to be greeted by my grandfather standing next to a gigantic tree about 20 yards in, triple the size of any surrounding tree, holding two sticks.  He waited for me to get close enough then began hitting these mushrooms that were growing out of the trunk of this tree.  There were several spouting out here and there but he specifically hit three of them in a rhythmic fashion, four taps to the bottom purple thick one, four taps to the one close to the top of the outcropping that was pinkish in hue and flatter than the others, and one tap to one of the mushrooms growing out of the middle which was 4 spores down from the one on the top and looked exactly like the various other ones.  He dropped the sticks and took off again, running out the back side of the woods but not before looking down at the sticks as if to indicate I should do this as well.  When he struck these mushrooms they didn’t make a sound, but as I took up the sticks, which turned into drumsticks for some reason when I grabbed them, the mushrooms made sounds as if I were hitting a drum kit when I struck them.  I’m not musically inclined but I can hum to you the sound it made when it hit them in the same way he did.  I immediately took off after him through the back of the woods.

After about 10 feet of running the woods dispersed into a waist high field of grain as far as the eye could see.  Even though he had run off no more than 5 seconds earlier he was a good 50 yards ahead of me by the time I hit the field.  I could see him well ahead of me and I followed his path through the field, laboring as I went.  I even remember putting my hands out in front of me in a wedge fashion in order to move the obstructive grain out of my way.  He seemed to pick up pace but I was young and managed to catch up to him after about 2 minutes of running.  He had come to a complete stop in the center of the field and he had his eyes closed like he was a toddler attempting to hide from me.  Grain was still waist high on me as I stood next to him for a second, staring at him… waiting for him to move again.  He never did and I never spoke.  Instead of running off he kept his eyes closed and bent down at the knees as if doing some variant of lunges, basically squatting down bending at the knees with his body still up right, eyes still closed.  I watched him do two or three reps before closing my eyes myself.

Now here’s the part it gets weird.  Instead of just closing my eyes and squatting and rising like him, I did it a bit different for some reason.  I have no idea why but after I squatted I balled up my hands into fists and pointed them straight down.  Instead of just normally standing up as he was doing, I almost jumped, pushing my body up but not so fast as to move my body off the ground… just moving my body to its fully upright position as quickly as I could, fists still balled up and firmly at my sides.  My eyes were clinched shut and upon reaching my fully standing position I felt as if I was flying.  My feet felt like they were no longer on the ground, but I continued to squat again anyway.  I thought for a second there that I had perhaps just moved my body up a bit too fast and had actually jumped, which I did apparently because when I finally did open my eyes, I was shooting skyward looking straight down at my grandfather who was now about 50 feet below me, looking up and raising his fists skyward in jubilation as if he had just won the lottery.  He was very excited.  I was not.  As soon as I realized I was flying my fists went from being balled up securely at my side to flailing about my body and my legs, knees still close to my chest from squatting again began swimming through the air in a  hopeless attempt to stop myself from elevating to the heavens.  My assent stopped as quickly as it had begun but by this time I was very very high off the ground and I felt myself go weightless.  I floated for probably a second and had a moment of clarity I had never experienced before or will probably ever feel again.  It’s hard to explain but for that brief second suspended in air, before any panic had set in, I was more at peace than I can ever remember being.  Elated.  I took in a deep breath and exhaled.  The air tasted sweet and smelled like the air from an air conditioner… clean.  You know that smell?  It was short lived though, as my body lost its fight with gravity just as quickly and I began to fall toward the earth like Icarus.  Nothing below me looked familiar, the wooded area, stream and field were gone and I was falling into a city with rolling hills and mountains that certainly wasn’t my hometown but felt as familiar.

I couldn’t aim myself and had no control whatsoever over my descent so I made peace with the fact that I was most likely going to die in this strange land and hoped against hope that I could regain some sort of power of flight to at least make my landing somewhat bearable, but to no avail.  I screamed as I fell fast and hit the roof of a house hard and bounced off skyward like a tennis ball being dropped from a helicopter.  My body shifted and careened upwards then downwards again, appendages flailing about as if independent from my body, when I hit yet another roof.  This time I took off a large section of a brick chimney with me as I bounced off this tin roof and continued my precarious descent down this mountain community toward what would hopefully be a graceful landing in grass.  The sound of my body hitting these roofs and chimneys was terrifying.  I can still hear it in my head.  None of this hurt mind you, it just surprised me and kind of took my breath away.  This was as real as your subconscious allows your dreams to make it and in hindsight I was pretty sure that if you fall when dreaming you are supposed to die as your mind isn’t capable of dying in your dreams, lest you die in real life.  Not for me unfortunately.  I hit another two roofs before skidding to a stop on a dirt road, giving my arm a powerful strawberry in the process.  I also remember after hitting the third roof I could see a man, who I didn’t recognize watching me fall, mouth agape in wonder.  I stood up and brushed off the dust from my body and looked around to try and figure out where I was but I wasn’t scared.  I wasn’t the least bit scared… I had just flown.  My grandfather taught me how to fly.  Standing in that dirt road I balled up my fists again and squatted with my eyes closed in hopes to duplicate what had just happened because I was absolutely sure that if I had kept my knees close to my chest and my fists balled up next to my sides I could somehow control this and fly again… but it didn’t work.  I started walking down this dirt road in an arbitrary direction since I had no idea where I was.  I heard a car coming up behind me and I stopped to see if I could tell who it was.  As it approached, I could tell it was my dad’s car but I couldn’t see him.  I put my head down, like I was embarrassed and began to despondently shuffle toward my father’s car  still holding on to my bloody forearm when I woke up.  I was never able to fly again and I have yet to have that dream again.

I think about this all the time.  I’ve always wanted to fly.  I even remember the next time I went to my grandparent’s house after this dream I went further into the yard toward the back of their house as far as I could in hopes to find some sort of remnant of that dream, some field of grain or a strange tree.  Hoping against hope that I’d run into that stream in real life but I’ve never found it.  I came close to finding it in Vail Colorado but although the stream looked very familiar there were no floating stones.  I stood next to that water for probably 10 minutes remembering that dream.  I’m going to keep looking.  I know it’s ridiculous but I miss my Papaw and I hope he’s figured out a way to fly himself.  It was the greatest gift I’ve ever received, no matter how short lived it was.  That one second of peace will be with me until the day I die.  When I feel shitty I think about it.  If I could bottle it I’d be a millionaire.

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We’re Inherently Good… But Inherently flawed.

July 26, 2012 Leave a comment

“I wish I had never quit piano lessons.  I wish I never put that cigarette into my mouth.  I wish I had the patience to practice guitar.  I wish I had a decent guitar.  I wish I had better luck in relationships.  I wish I wasn’t so selfish.  I wish I didn’t have to worry about money.  I wish my body could keep up with my mind.  I wish I wasn’t getting older.  I wish I were more courageous.  I wish I respected the fact that I have it pretty good.  I wish I didn’t look so much like my dad.  I wish I would stand up for myself more.  I wish I had a job that I loved.  I wish I was brave enough to look for another one.  I wish I knew what she was thinking.  I wish I didn’t run from every good relationship I’ve ever been in.  I wish I understood my heart.  I wish that I was given the gift of faith.  I wish I wasn’t so cynical.  I wish I wasn’t so filled with anger.  I wish I wouldn’t let that anger out.  I wish I could fly.  I wish I could stop time.  I wish I was right.  I wish I knew what I was doing.  I wish I didn’t let on that I totally know what I’m doing.  I wish that one day I’m called out.  I wish I never failed.  I wish I had a wife.  I wish I was never cheated on.  I wish I had kids who needed me.  I wish anyone needed me.  I wish I could express myself in ANY way.  I wish I had the guts to tell that son of a bitch off.  I wish I wasn’t so frugal.  I wish I went on more trips.  I wish I didn’t lie to people that I love.  I wish I didn’t have to lie.  I wish the truth were easy.  I wish there was someone just like me.  I wish I never saw that dead body.  I wish I never saw that person when they were alive.  I wish I didn’t hear their cries for help after the fact.  I wish I went to a different school.  I wish I stuck with acting.  I wish I went on just one audition.  I wish I stuck with singing.  I wish I didn’t feel so sorry for myself.  I wish I had just one good run.  I wish I didn’t have so many good cries.  I wish I was an explorer.  I wish I owned a kite and hammock shop.  I wish life were no harder than it has to be.  I wish my family understood me.  I wish I was comfortable confiding in just one of them.  I wish I was comfortable confiding in anyone.  I wish I acted on my thoughts.  I wish I invented the things I dream up.  I wish I wasn’t beaten to the punch.  I wish I could throw a punch.  I wish I had been in a fight.  I wish I could win a fight.  I wish I were fearless.  I wish I had more confidence.  I wish people noticed me.  I wish I had the balls to go up and talk to her.  I wish I were so cool that she’d want to come up and talk to me.  I wish I had style.  I wish I could pull off wearing a bowler hat.  I wish I knew another language.  I wish I knew every language.  I wish my parents gave me different parts of themselves.  I wish I could pick and choose.  I wish I understood art.  I wish I understood music.  I wish I had more time.  I wish I didn’t waste the time I’ve already been given.  I wish I could seize the day.  I wish I were more cavalier.  I wish I had perfect teeth.  I wish I had green eyes.  I wish I were 4 inches taller.  I wish I had more muscle.  I wish I had the drive to work out.  I wish I liked more things.  I wish I wasn’t so damn good at video games.  I wish more people would confide in me.  I wish the people who did confide in me weren’t so fucked up.  I wish my friends needed me more.  I wish I didn’t need them so much.  I wish everyone had the same morals I do.  I wish I had better morals.  I wish people didn’t trust me so much.  I wish I had more trust in people.  I wish I trusted anyone but myself.  I wish I could tell my mother everything.  I wish I could tell my father everything.  I wish I were more giving.  I wish someone needed me.  I wish the world knew my name.  I wish I had a legacy to leave.  I wish I could ride a motorcycle.  I wish I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I wish I found that Easter egg.  I wish that there was no cancer.  I wish I didn’t have to outlive the ones I love.  I wish they never have to grieve for me.  I wish a giant meteor falls from the sky and takes out everyone on this rock at the same time so no one has to deal with the loss of a loved one.  I wish Space Food Stick tasted as good as I remember them tasting.  I wish there were more people like my grandmother walking around this world.  I wish we made contact with aliens in my lifetime.  I wish I had something to believe in.  I wish I could teach people the good things I know.  I wish I could reverse the bad things I know.  I wish I was a masked vigilante.  I wish I had the balls to destroy evil.  I wish I had the knowledge and power to erase bad from this world.  I wish I knew the difference between the good and bad.  I wish I knew where we came from.  I wish I knew where I was going.  I wish the dinosaurs weren’t extinct.  I wish people wouldn’t hide behind religion.  I wish parent would let their children make up their own minds.  I wish I had perspective.  I wish that someone would look at me like my dog used to.  I wish I knew unconditional love.  I wish there were no heartbreak.  I wish I could put someone above myself.  I wish I were a gentleman.  I wish I could talk to animals.  I wish I had a normal brain.  I wish I was smarter.  I wish I were better at math.  I wish I was more serious.  I wish everything was easy.  I wish I had a million dollars.  I wish we lived for the common good.  I wish charity meant more to more people.  I wish I didn’t get jealous.  I wish more people were jealous of me.  I wish I had a time machine.  I wish I could go back and smack people for doing things that would eventually harm my life.  I wish I had a house.  I wish I had a backyard. I wish…”

“Woah, woah woah…. let me stop you there. When you kicked over this lamp and I suddenly appeared and asked you what you wished for I wasn’t being rhetorical… I wasn’t asking for your fucking life story.  You people are so pathetic.  I’m fully prepared to give you one…”

“The million dollars…”

Categories: Uncategorized