Posted by: normanlgreen | April 9, 2012

Dream, April 8, 2012 rumba riff and tea lizard

Dream, home,5:44

Staying in a motel, 2nd level. Unsure whose room.

Leave the motel to play small part in play with old friends from school. After show (skipped) Chuck (Ray) gives a speech of appreciation for the rehearsal experience. To work on his lines, he would randomly insert the word “Peanuts”. I chime back with that rumba riff (ta – ta lala – lala – tuhta, tuhta – ta) .  He leans over and says “partially, yes, but ask me later about the rest of it.”

Annalisa sits behind me on my brother’s captain’s bed from Houston – the theatre transforms into his old bedroom – much smaller than the bright performance space we had been in.  AL wants to talk about the effect of cheerleader stereotypes on the development of little girls. She invites the audience to sit closer. One mother and her two daughters, come over. The tall, skinny, blond mom expresses her displeasure and then drags her children out the door. AL shrugs and lets them go.

Back at the motel, I am presented with a tin of loose tea. When I pry off the lid, I see sticking from among the leaves, a stiff curl of something dried. I pull on its hooked end and reveal the tea lizard, a dried reptile. The instructions say we are to pour a warm cup of water into the canister. We do so, then replace the dried lizard. There is a scuffling noise from within, as the lizard comes back to life. I place the open tea tin into a dry aquarium. The tea leaves expand and fill the space. The glass sides fall away. I struggle to hold them up, and to contain both tea and lizard.



  1. Interesting blog. Do you find that you often dream of the place where you grew up? Over the past year, my dreams have often been set in my home town. It’s odd, since I haven’t lived there in over 20 years and rarely think of it. It’s not even somewhere I could picture myself now. But I do often feel like I have no home or roots anymore. I feel it as a dull ache. I wonder if those of us who’ve moved away from our “homes” dream more often of them than those who stay rooted in the same place, perhaps as if our dream selves are trying to give our waking selves a taste of what we no longer have. Which reminds me of a quote from one of Amy Hempel’s stories that is frequently floating in my head upon waking: “Dreams: the place most of us get what we need.”


    • thanks, Sean:
      my sense of home is complicated by a dozen family moves. many of my dream locales are an amalgam of places visited or lived in, while others are more purely a product of the dreaming mind. some of the latter are the most comfortable and homelike.
      i agree that our dream worlds are a resource. many of us feel under-served, starved in our waking lives. i have read that there are those who have reached full satisfaction on the earth and that they cease to dream. if so, i expect to be dreaming all of my earthly nights.

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