Saturday, October 9, 2021

I slept late, then spent some time writing groggily in my dream book, and now finally I am semi-awake, or at least able to shape a few thoughts coherently. I daresay whatever it was I wrote in the dream book is not clear at all. But that's part of the point of keeping it: trying to preserve the strangeness of dream experience before I have the wherewithal to refine it into narrative.

So, let's see what I wrote. I have very little memory of any of the words I put down:

Office building, Portland, Maine. I seem to be employed as some sort of low-level clerk. But I am also crime-hunting. There is a mysterious map, with an odd inset, and somehow I must make it clear that I am not complicit. The security guard promises to watch the map for me, but suddenly we are on a work outing to see the Red Sox and I am admiring my new sandals. An annoying bossy rich lady gets involved and we all reappear in a parking garage at the office building. I have no idea where my car is so I decide to walk home along Back Cove, which is dark and waterswept, as if it's in the midst of a hurricane. A menacing bicyclist keeps appearing and disappearing into the mist.

There's a cinematic feel to that last scene: a French New Wave clarity framing the menacing bike rider. Also, a Chinatown sensation about the office and the mysterious map. And yet the situation itself is sewn together like Frankenstein's monster.

Today I'm going to pull carrots and plant garlic, read the Iliad and a few more contest manuscripts, simmer a little batch of tomato sauce with my few house-ripening San Marzanos, maybe ride my bike up to the cemetery, possibly do some grocery shopping, bake a loaf of bread . . . 

Last night Tom bought us a set of airline tickets to Chicago. We've decided to spend Thanksgiving with James, as Paul has been invited to Kentucky with our Brooklyn friends, my parents and my sister's family will all be together, and we'll see Tom's family at Christmas. It seems like a good way to make sure that everyone has somebody for the holiday. I'm a bit nervous about flying, but rationally I think we'll be fine, and I really, really want to see my son.

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