Last evening I met an old friend I haven't seen in quite some time for drinks. In honor of this event and out of respect for my revered companion 'V,' I dressed in all khaki. He was so overcome by my sartorial remark that he had to excuse himself only nine or ten times to presumably wipe away tears and and/or powder his none-too-distinctive nose. Additionally, I'd like to share a dream I had back in the heady month of November of 2014 featuring V, who we will now call A.
'A' had recently become obsessed with an original member of the Doobie Bros because he had read that the musician had survived a horrible near-drowning in a subway station. A had decided to get around in an electric wheelchair that didn't work and was a bitch to push in homage of the injured Doobie. One day after drinking a Guinness, he still had the foam over his lip, he got into a loud screaming match with another one of our friends and took a souvenir rectangular guitar and threw it down the corridor of an emptied school. To cool off, I encouraged him to come with me outside. There we saw a small do-gooder group building some kind of ring of honor in a little wooded area next to the school. They asked A if he'd like his picture taken with them in the ring. We struggled to maneuver his wheelchair into the circle over the branches, twigs and pine straw the group had gathered. With his Guinness grin still in tact, A posed with the do-gooders as they gave thumbs up all around him.Continue reading
Taken from a dream sometime December, 2017
We are in the Appalachian Mountains, walking along a scenic road and following it into a driveway. My Dad is with me, there are others scattered around. The house is a small museum with a gift shop on the first floor. Through the house and out the back door is a gathering area where a stand is serving beverages. This area is outdoors but seems to be bricked in with attractive shrubs and very healthy grass. Incongruously, the house in another angle opens into a shopping mall. I now see that this is the house of Warren Zevon. The house itself is tidy and neat, no real flavor. The gift shop is small, not terribly commercial; a few cds, mugs and maybe a t-shirt on a stand. Our attention is drawn to the backyard where Warren, noticeably not holding a beverage, is holding court. He is dressed more like a suburban dad than a rock star. He has on an aqua blue polo shirt and khaki pants. I go up to the group he's speaking to and listen in. Closer up, he looks like in his mid-50's, a short goatee and a little pot-belly. As the group disperses, I catch Warren's eye and drop a few well placed comments. He smiles as he can tell I'm more than an average fan and I get a feeling that he'd like to chat more but has to obey his duty to mingle. As "Hula-Hula Boys" plays on the built in speakers, our paths cross again in the garden a little later. We are standing beside a steel contraption that resembles a single covered seat on a Ferris wheel or a non-glassed in cab of a bull-dozer. Inside there is a single lever, like for an airplane. Outside, the top is connected to an array of long arms of metal folded upon itself. Warren gets in to demonstrate for the people. He sits in the car and tugs on the handle. He rises into the air about 20 feet or so and its unfolding arms move him above the crowd any which way he chooses. When he lands it back in his dock, he exclaims that this is his 'flight simulator' and its where he goes to 'be by himself.' Having read about this device, I ask him if its from... And he interrupts me. "Yes William Burroughs found it for me." As my Dad and I wander the small gardens I ask him if he knows who Warren Zevon is and more importantly that WZ died back in 2003? We walk into a modern looking classroom and in the build up before class begins, a young woman about 16 and pleasant, asks me about my shirt. I look down and its a NYFF shirt from the late 90s with letters in the bold primary colors of blue, red and yellow. I laugh having never seen this shirt and she makes some comment about how recent it was, (or old.) I ask her if she's a fan of Zevon and she answers in the affirmative. As she talks about her favorite songs, I watch her to see if she is referring to him in the past or in the present. I determine she is not speaking of my present. I walk over to another desk where my father has a large portfolio opened examining old photos of me when I was a baby. Some of these don't exactly look like my baby pics, some even have my eyes as blue. As he packs up the large portfolio and we exit back into the driveway, I tell him my theory that we've stepped back in time somehow by going into this house. Without surprise, he says that its possible and we continue to a place that resembles the first apartment I grew up in, just updated in style from the early 70s when my dad used to live with us. He has his hands full with the portfolio and other things he's pulling out of the mailbox. He tells me that he'll see me later and I go upstairs and to what seems as my bedroom but positioned where my parents room used to be. I sit in the bed and lean against the headboard with the window above my right shoulder. I glance up and see a shadow, which is odd as I'm on the second floor. The shadow appears to be the shape of the grim reaper. Its shaking about but not at all in a menacing way. I stand to see what's up. Its a grim reaper shaped balloon on a stick being hoisted up to the window by two of my longtime co-workers. They are shaking it and laughing. One of them says that my dad forgot to leave it with me.
Taken from a dream the night of February 27, 2018
My lady and I walk into a restaurant that I've been to before. The ceilings are very high and the room is very spacious. The tables are arranged as to make way for a white, enamel colored dance floor that must have been built in the early or mid-century. Where the band would be is a large parabolic window running the length of the large room. Behind the window, which has pink curtains drawn to the sides, is a group of about 20 or so musicians taking their seats and tuning their instruments. They are all clean cut, middle-aged and wearing tuxedos. Behind them is another large space and an actual bandstand. I can't quite make out the thin, cursive letters that form their logo on the stands. In the restaurant, most of the tables are empty, it feels as if we are arriving before the dinner crowd, if there will be one. I comment to Ned that this place used to really swing back in the day. The maitre d, an older Jewish woman, takes us to our table which is draped in a royal red cloth. As we settle the orchestra begins a slow, lush tune that would be right at place on the Lawrence Welk show. I keep my observation to myself as I doubt they had the Lawrence Welk show in Ireland. The waiter, a 60-ish man in an uniform that matches the tablecloth and must be a few decades old ambles by to take our drink order. He's holding an old-school notepad. I ask what kind of red wine they offer and with a slight smile he responds that the restaurant only has one kind. I tell him that I remember from my last visit it was perfectly acceptable. My partner orders a seltzer. In his New York Jewish accent he asks her where she's from, she replies, "I'm from Ireland." "Ireland has a lot of ports" he remarks. We both nod in agreement with his observation.
As we're listening to mellow strings of the band our waiter returns with our drinks and two dry, flaky, square biscuit looking things. We have a glance at them but return out attention to the music. A family walks by our table and a 6-year-old stops and without guile reaches over and grabs a bread. As he mashes it into his mouth, crumbs flying, his father turns to us and says "Sorry about that," also in an urban Jewish accent. I somehow come to the realization that the restaurant must be situated in either Forest Hills or Kew Gardens in Queens. "No worries" Ned replies with a giggle. "Where ya from?" asks the 40-ish father of the crumbmuncher. "Ireland." The man takes a pause and cocks his head to the side in contemplation, "A lotta ports over there..."Continue reading