Wednesday, May 24, 2006

You might say

I've been in a bit of a daze since Sunday night. I was dead to the world Sunday night at about 8 PM, and just haven't been able to shake off the sleepiness until today. Apologies to anyone whom I tried to hold a conversation with the past few days.

Part of my problem is this weird sleeping condition where I'll have hours of sleep without any REM sleep (I have proof of this), and then it feels like I'm trying to make up for it in the last hour (which is a guess). Yesterday, writing about it seemed to help, so here it is:

Monday morning dreams

A wise man taught me how to freeze and thaw ice at will. He was explaining to me that this was not illusion but true transmogrification. I could walk between the Aleutian Islands by freezing the water underneath my feet, one block of ice one step at a time.

I'm searching for the wise man who can finish my lessons of this form of control over the elements. I'm on the Pacific Ocean riding on a gigantic rubber duck, that looks like a real brown duck if you look at it from a distance. I keep going due north and due south, back and forth, looking for the man. Either someone points out to me or I realize myself that I should probably branch out and look to the east and the west, but I don't.

There is a Saturday Night Live skit with an actress — it's someone who resembles Natalie Portman, but isn't quite her — point is, there's this very slap-stick skit where she's fallen out of her parents' minivan and is somehow skidding along with her left foot in a hubcap scraping the pavement. A rope or a torn strip of her own clothes is stuck in a car door, keeping her attached as the car drives on. It's at night, and it's all downhill. At one point, her right foot catches fire from friction with the road. There are young couples in love whose dates are ruined. A pier catches fire. There is a ridiculously disproportional explosion caused by the still-flaming foot.

The SNL skit plays again, briefly, but by day.

That guy who used to be on the Drew Carey show and now has a spot after Letterman comes on TV. He and Drew Carey make fun of the SNL skit of the actress going down hill. That guy is dragged behind the car; Drew Carey plays a couple of people he passes. Wilford Brimley is there.

Wilford Brimley is fishing off a pier. As he pulls his rod back to cast forward again, the line entangles on a telephone line above his head and the hook catches on the back of Natalie Portman's (or whosever's) t-shirt collar as she's dragged behind her mom's van. He gets pulled up towards the telephone line as Natalie (or whichever actress it is) continues down.

There are three Wilford Brimleys fishing. All their fishing lines get tangled with each other. One is also tangled on the telephone line above, which gets hooked to the person being dragged down hill. All three dangle in mid air, just below the telephone wires. Eventually the tension is too strong, the line snaps, and the men collapse to the ground in a heap of Wilford Brimleys.

Tuesday morning dreams

I'm lying down in bed and it's really early in the morning. It's not my bed, it's a sleeper-sofa at my parents' house, and Mom and my sister are sitting on it, too, waiting for me to wake up already. We're talking about funny things we remember from our childhood. There are some anecdotes I can't remember because my memory of the dream is fading. My 93-year-old (keyn ay'hora) grandmother has finally published a book based on the memoirs she is writing. I'm reading a paperback copy of it (a trade paperback) looking for funny things to add to the conversation. Bubby's prose style is a little stilted, which makes it not quite as funny as it could be. Someone in Bubby's story of remembering people at Synagogue when she was young has a gigantic mole. Mom remembers one of the people in the story. The book rambles, but that's Bubby for you.

Mom tells a story about how she ordered a shirt and had the shop alter it for her. Both Mom and the salesperson then forgot about it. Over a year later she got a call saying her shirt was ready, but the guy from the shop was somewhat rude. He didn't say, "Hello, we've cleaned and iron your shirt for you to pick up," he just said, "Steamed shirt." Mom thought he said "Steve Shirt," and thought that was an odd name. So Mom continues the story, "After almost two years, I wasn't sure I still wanted to buy the shirt, especially since the shop had completely forgotten me. I tried to explain this to the guy. Eventually I said, 'Look, Joe...'" at which point both my sister and I interrupt by saying, "Joe Shirt!" For some reason this actually is funny, and the three of us laugh.

My sister tells a story about the Minnie and Mickey Mouse stuffed animals she had. Sometimes she would have them argue. If it got bad enough, Minnie would leave Mickey at the chest at the foot of the bed (there really isn't a chest in my sister's room — never was) she'd put a sock on the dresser as a flag, and hide away near the dresser at the window sill. When she took the sock away, that was a signal to Mickey that she was no longer mad at him. When she got older, my sister had Minnie say to Mickey, "We're out of socks to use as flags. If we get into a fight again, I guess we'll just have to stay together and tough it out from here on."

I think she's trying to draw a parallel between this story and Mom and Dad's relationship, and how appreciative she is of both of them. She starts parodying a noir film to take an edge off the sappiness of what she's about to say; "I've spent a million years in this city; and met millions of people, and..." I interrupt, "One of them named Joe Shirt!" For some reason this is now hilarious. The three of us are rolling in laughter.

Dad is waiting in the garage for us to go to breakfast. He's already started the car. It's really early in the morning, and I'm surprised anywhere is open this early. We get ourselves up, snickering about "Joe Shirt" and something else from Bubby's memoirs. We head out to talk with Dad and figure out where we want to go to eat.

* * *

I'm lying down in bed and it's really early in the morning. I wake up and it takes me a minute to be sure that it's my bed and I'm alone. The clock says it's five-ish. I stumble into the kitchen because I'm really hungry for breakfast. I don't find anything I particularly want to eat, so I return to my bedroom and try to remember the dreams I've had the past couple mornings.

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