Posted by: normanlgreen | November 13, 2011

Dream, November 13, 2011 clutter & confusion


Dream, home, 5:35am

The shop where I work is busy, crowded and confused – I cannot tell what it is that we do there, if anything at all, other than generate messes of half-eaten lunches.

I force my way through crowds of people composed customers and co-workers from my past. Counters are terribly close together, and it is challenging to move from one end of the old storefront to the other. The street entrance is on the East side of the building, with a cluttered space that used to be a funnel-shaped doorway with display windows. The glass walls have been moved out and squared-up with the side-walk, though the raised platforms that once held manikins and furniture were left in place to hold more of the debris of our work life.

Moving from front to back, I collect Styrofoam food cartons and wax paper wrappings with cold bits of uneaten lunches. All of the trash receptacles are full of what should be recycled glass mixed with other waste food. I mash down the overflow of one trash can and put what I am able to squeeze into the bag, remove the liner and head for the front door like a garbage bearing santa.

I get the bag into a dumpster out front and return to the entry hall to find that the door has been locked with a dead bolt, but from the outside. I turn to face a young woman who is also in this entry area. She has locked everyone in as a joke. “Like piggies locked in a pen.” she proudly proclaims. I shout at her that the fire marshal might not laugh at her joke.

Once the door is unlocked, I go home.

The next day, I do not bother to go in until after noon. I do not call to let people know that I will be late, I simply do not show up. When I do go, it is with no intention of staying, but rather to collect some personal article.

However, when I arrive, the staff has moved the business to a new location, a big space in the middle of an empty parking lot. I do not announce my arrival or thank them for getting a new, roomier building, but when I am spotted, the rest of the crew disappears. The building is so large inside, that some of the space has been sublet to a man who sells used scanners. He wants to demonstrate one to me, but customers need my attention, so I go off to work with a bride and bridesmaid who wish to make over-engineered invitation.

They have no clear idea what they want, have many hand-painted renditions of how things might be.  They have come to me before they know what details they want to impart to their would-be guests. I am unsure where to find any of the work orders, as we are in a new space. I grab after pieces of paper to take notes as the two ladies talk at once, never focused on a single topic. Every paper I find  has some important information already written on it. I get to the point wherein I write on their hand-made masters.

They want the invitations to be in the form of a song, which they proceed to improvise – I cannot record the lyrics quickly enough with my pencil as they keep going back and revising.  The only stable feature of the lyric is the opening “Come up to Como Bay… ” *  On some passes the rhyme is “stay”, on another it is “day”.  By the fifth or sixth version, both the rhyme scheme and the rhythmic pattern are discarded.  I come to think these girls are stoned.

In the mean time, a woman in her early fifties with two girls in tow, come up beside us and take chairs, waiting for my attention. The walls have disappeared, and we sketch out the design on top of a table in the middle of the parking lot. The bride gathers up all of the pieces of paper and stuffs them into a binder, taking all of my notes with her. I tell her that she has to get her ca-ca together before we can get anything done. I apologize to the mother with the two daughters for my “French”, dismiss the bridal party and turn my attention to the woman and her children.

*now this insipid tune is an earworm that will not leave me alone.

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