Posted by: normanlgreen | July 14, 2014

Electric Hair & Keg Crush


Dream:  5:34 am

 

I find a hand-colored a flier for a fund raising event. There is a to be a party in a tavern in Ferndale. For a ten dollar cover charge, attendees will have pre-paid for two drinks. I decided to invite my wife. I call her and give her the address.

She meets me at the door. The bar faces north and extends a single storefront’s width, with windows along the north facing street side. Just inside the door, at a table in the northwest corner, one table has been setup to collect the entry fee. The back room of the bar has been designated for the private party. We can see a few faces through the open door frame. I offer to take care of the cover charge while Sherwin goes back to look for people that we know. Attendance looks sparse, so I have my doubts.

At the collection table sits the beneficiary of the fund raiser. He looks happy with his little cash box. I step up and pull loose bills and papers from my pants pocket. He spots a pair of third party checks and decides these are how he would prefer to be paid. Since one has been made out to “Troop 19 BSA”, I have to scratch through the payee line and scribble in his name. He begins spelling it but gets distracted.

A lady, perhaps early 60s, perhaps younger but with the look of one used to finding herself in saloons, offers her opinion on how his name should be spelled: “that’s ie, not ei.” I look at my black handwriting which overfills the space allotted and see that two of his four names have an ei in them. I ask “In which case, there are two of them?” She looks at me with disgust. “I’m only the neighbor, ya know.” The check has been shifted from one of my pockets to another for years, and though I have paid my own cash to cover it, the thought of it passing through the banks and winding up on the statement of the account holder makes me nervous. I fold the check in half then tear it lengthwise. “Better I give you cash.”

I pass through the shallow front half of the bar, looking for Sherwin in the back room. I pass Sherman Alexie who is seated at the bar. While the front room is lit by the light from the windows to north and west, the back room has unwelcoming blue fluorescents. Every face looks unhealthy in this light. Less than twenty people stand about the eight foot deep room. Sherwin waits at the bar built parallel to the back wall. I look into a trough of ice behind the bar man. I spot a can of Dr. Pepper and a couple tins of beer – thoroughly picked-over. Sherwin wants me to get a proper drink for my money, but I ask the bartender for a tonic water. Sherwin waits for the drinks while I find a seat in a booth.

As this is a party, the people seated on one bench are not surprised when I slide across the bench opposite to them. I wait in the corner of the seat, wanting my wife to hurry up, hoping that no one will expect me to join a conversation. The walls and the ceiling have disappeared. We are seated beneath the blue sky of a late afternoon. The couple across from me do not look in my direction but sip their drinks, communicating with each other with gestures and rare, quiet murmers. Another couple traps me on the bench as they take the outside end. These two look to be in their late teen years, she with her hair dyed electric pink with sparkling LED shimmering in patterns, he in his FFA jacket and sullen attitude.

She teases him: “Now I know one good memory you have from school. Remember the day of the test? The test? The test?” her voice raises in pitch and volume as she asks the two word question over and over, climbing toward what is supposed to imitate an orgasmic peak. The boy turns to me and asks: “Do you know what she is talking about?” I answer: “I’m a reasonable man, so I could make a reasonable guess.” He turns back to the girl. “You’re always embarrassing me.” He pushes her out of her seat, using his hip. They walk away to the west, her pink hair shimmering.

Sherwin takes a seat with the people across from me. She sets two semi-transparent plastic cups on the table before her. Neither look to be tonic water. Both are half empty, and neither has ice.

The building across the alley supports two wooden fire escapes built onto its back side. The flights zig zag in mirror image to each other, with a landing at each floor and one halfway between floors. Singing waiters start the descent from the third flood. They move in synchronization and wear marching band uniforms- rental costumes for a cheap production of the Music Man. I tell Sherwin, “I should get some striped pants like those.” She answers: “ I’ll lend you these.” She lifts her leg into sight above the table, but her pants are earthtone stripes, not the red and ivory of descending performers. I see, walking down the alley, another girl with an electric hair-do, fire engine red. I realize there is a trend for battery operated hair.

On the next morning, we find ourselves in a room on the second story of a large country house from the 1870s. The western half of the floor is a single room. Morning light pours into the window in the southwest corner. Sherwin works on a project near that window. Further along the west wall, another bond haired woman sits at a desk. She may be playing a computer game. I realize that it is Sally Struthers. (Sorry, but that is who it is.) I sing the opening bars from the theme song of the TV show “The Jeffersons”. (Strange that I should sing the theme not from her series, but from a spin off.)

I ask: “Is that what you have been doing? Moving on up? To the East side? To a deluxe apartment in the sky?” She answers with a killing look. I crawl along the floor and notice that the flooring material does not extend all the way to the wall. This leaves a gap in which stand the left hand legs of her unlevel desk. Splintered wood chunks of the chipped linoleum have collected in the space close to the wall.

Ms. Struthers calls Sherwin to her desk to show a creature that she has won in her game. I anticipate some picture on the screen. Instead, her prize has manifested into the material world. I lean over to look into a little box where an environment has been set-up for a fuzzy black cross between a kitten and a gremlin. Three and a half inches long, two and a half high, he walks about his tiny town on all four feet. He takes careful steps, as he is new born and learning to navigate. On the side of the box closest to Sherwin and I, a knothole provides a wee window for him. He sticks his head out, barely clearing his tall pointy ears. He looks at me with startled eyes and struggles to pull his head back in. I wince at the thought of him bonking his little head.

A boy enters the room from the east side of the house. He carries an aluminum keg on his shoulder. A man follows him. The man stops in the center of the room and demands to see the creature. Ms. Struthers commands the boy to “Crush Him!” The boy tosses the keg onto the man who is flattened onto the floor, The crushed man melts like wax and the keg shrinks and is replaced by an electric clothes iron. In less time than it takes to describe, the man has been evaporated. The boy walks to the now miniaturized keg and picks it up like a soda can. He balances it on his shoulder and it resumes its former size.

We hear voices from outside. Ms Struthers commands the boy, “Be ready for them.” He asks, “Is that the new rule? Crush all strangers?” She answers, “Yes. Any and all strangers.” I follow the boy out onto a veranda that runs the width of the house. A man and a woman stand on the walkway that leads to the door. I brace myself to watch them die. I wonder if we should not remove the welcome mat.

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Responses

  1. Great to see you’re back, Norman, and what a doozie of a dream this one was!


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