I find myself with somebody I already chased off. We have no good reason to be in each other’s company. He invited me to a celebration that centers on the customs of his heritage, their seasonal celebration. It’s one whacked vignette after another except much worse than mere folk dances in traditional costume. Far worse. Unbearably worse. One wearisome set piece after another. I cannot stand another moment. I resent being taken to this cultural event. And it does not even match the real thing. The individual is 2nd generation Italian immigrant. A very good man, actually, by any moral standard.
IRL he cared for his aging blind father who presented him problems in series. Every day. He cared for his father every day, looking in on him and resolving the problems worked up by his dad’s girlfriend younger by decades but still quite old, another oldster who was stealing things from and abusing other old women at their nursing residence. Every day was a new vexation, but he stuck it out with dad resolving his issues right up to the day that he died. And I admire that.
But good Lord, the man likes to argue. He challenges every single sentence I say and I don’t like that. Moreover he is typical liberal but even a bit more fierce than the usual dope. He jumps every bandwagon that goes trumbulling by and leaps ahead of it imagining himself trailblazer of the latest great human insight. The chief one being at the moment cutting salt from the diet.
But this celebration is Nordic and all of the skits and dances and historic recreations are ridiculously twee and born of Viking imagination. The food presented is inedible. The treats unfit for livestock.
Finally, a woman dressed in extravagant long white gown similar to a wedding dress takes position as archeress. Her bow is oversized, decorative not utile, with impractical multiple pull strings that simply will not work in the physical world. To compensate for the bow’s contradiction of physics, the oversized arrow is channeled by a crude wooden chute. The chute is lined with revelers. The target an apple smaller than the arrow circumference. The entire thing is too much, too far, too demanding of patience.
“Goddamnit, I’m out!”
I leave the celebration in anger. And not just regular anger. Hot anger for acquiescing to any of it. I’m pissed off at myself for agreeing to meet there. I knew better all along. I already chased off the guy from my life. I was tired of his habit of contesting every sentence, for his need to argue every last thing. And I mean it. His form of communicating with me. Absolutely everything is argument. Apparently he cannot argue with anyone else, so I’m the one he’s chosen to challenge and I became sick of it and told him so but he persisted to the point of ruining all contact. I honestly don’t know what the fuck the guy’s bag is or why he bothered pursuing a friendship.
I'm angry all over again just thinking about it.
But outside in the parking lot, the revelers anticipated all this. They knew in advance that some outsider is going to find the whole thing intolerable and cut out. All this happened before, and they are ready. They know in advance someone invited will be leaving in anger, and exactly like stupid shit stories that Rose Nylund tells the two other Golden Girls they prepare what they find an hilarious punk. They removed the battery from my truck. And now I am furious.
I demand the gang outside return the battery post haste and stop fucking with me. I’m cross as I ever get. My blood vessels are bursting with anger and they find that hilarious. This is their top fun.
I charge the gang leader arms outward to shove backward to smash his head on the parking lot. But he stands there like a man made of concrete. They knew all this in advance. Their most powerful person is made leader of the gang specifically for this purpose. It’s all a joke to them and that adds to my fury. I use my truck to press against my back, lift both legs and shove him with my boots backward using both feet and the man doesn’t budge an inch. Everyone laughs hysterically. This is their moment they’ve been hoping. John, the argumentative friend is abashed by the scene that I’m creating, my inability to take a joke. Everything I do falls into their joke and it flat pisses me off to extreme.
To demonstrate their good nature contrasted with my predictable bad behavior, a guy begins soaping up my windshield. I scream at him to leave my goddamn truck alone and get off it. They intend to leave my truck better than it arrived to prove their high spirits and good intentions, but I want my battery back right now, I want to leave immediately and they’re all preventing me like goddamn bunch of stupid Vikings with sorely displaced sense of humor.
I lamely call the police and the police’s attitude is, “here we go again, another victim of the Nordic party.” They’ve been through all this before. A few cops are Nordic themsleves.
Additionally I had a good deal of trouble separating out the two keys needed, one to open the door to the truck and the other for the ignition. The frustration of keys added to my misery. I never did see the them return my truck’s battery. My intention is sue the whole goddamn lot of them, both inside and out, their entire community, and put an end to their weird party and very strange ways of celebration.
I wake up mad as hell. The most irate that is possible for me. It took a very long time to calm down. It made me despise the real guy, J. Orlando, even more. I blame him for the whole thing, even though he has nothing whatsoever to do with what just happened. I still blame him. I’d never even think of anything like that were he not so goddamn contentious, again, apparently only with me. I don’t know why, I never will know why, J. Orlando chose me to be his backboard to bounce off all his whacked liberal opinions. He’s wrong about everything. And too thick for me to even be around.
I’m awake. Sat up and fuming. Reviewing all that went wrong and how and why. I conclude again I’m better off not having the guy visit anymore. I recall the woman I met right before all this. How she entered through the opposite door nearest the elevators and saw me enter at the far end. She’s with a small child draped in an adult’s t-shirt that become a cotton maxi gown on her. The woman explains to the child why they are holding the elevator. The door is programed to shut its doors. They are fighting to keep the doors open for me. And all that is quite unnecessary. They can easily bolt with no hard feeling. It would be perfectly reasonable. The woman is young, I’d say millennial age and her daughter only four years or so. Both are fighting the door as I walk the long length of the hall. It’s embarrassing but the mum insists the two wait.
I thank them for doing that, they could shoot off perfectly reasonably. Another elevator will be right there.
No, no, no, we want to hold it for you.
“Who gets to push the buttons? Do you?”
“Yes, the mum answers, she can do it.”
“Five, please. Wait, you know your numbers? “ I ask the child incredulously.
“Yup.” The child reaches way up to touch 5 then tippy toe to touch 7. She turns around and looks up at me, well chuffed at handling the elevator situation.
I act amazed.
Still inside the woman introduces herself and extends her hand to me and asks my name. She introduces the child and I shake her tiny hand too.
Now all of that is unusual and it left a lasting impression. Women are never that assertively friendly, but this young woman is. She wanted to meet me and I’m left wondering why.
Recalling the woman IRL that occurred a few hours previously covered and tampered the raw anger that the dream caused in me.
I dropped back to sleep and dreamed immediately of another woman IRL, another frustration similar to to J.Orlando but not nearly so serious. Had I married this woman back then it’d be nothing but psychological disruption thereafter. Although very smart about nearly everything, much smarter than me, she is a thorough emotional mess about personal relations. She has more expectations derived from literature than is possible for any man to fulfill. Honestly, she is a character out of a Jane Austin novel, and not the timeless heroine that makes those books great, archaic in her impossible views and ever unhappy, and it’s everyone’s fault but her own.
She and I go to Morrison to partake in another seasonal cultural celebration hosted by the Fort restaurant involving life on the plains of indians and interaction with white invasion of the old West. Again, one frustration after another, too many details to enumerate all centering on my expected behavior regarding every detail of my interaction with her and with others. Truly she really is impossible and all that adds up to permanent unhappiness.
The dream segues to driving in an open automobile. An older man who I don’t know or recognize is driving. He understands my plight. Traffic out of the place is backed up for miles. The situation appears dire, we’re in for a very long wait. The man pulls off the ramp and drives over the divider and right through the median, ignoring all of the traffic rules, and the highway ramp. He turns right onto the road leading into Morrison and we’re free! And sailing with the wind in the sun. Just like that. I tell him, “That’s brilliant!” He answers, “I know.”
He says, “You know, Bo, you’ll need two two braces to work the stone.”
I think, “WTF?”
He’s talking about me chiseling stone. I visualize a stone block braced with two clamps to hold the block solidly steady in all directions. I say, “Okay. I can see that.”
We reverse direction on the road, the traffic is cleared and the most outstanding geology is shown all around. I can choose any type stone of my heart’s desire. He is showing me stone. It’s all a matter of my choosing. Layers of color of stone cliffs without any vegetation on them. It is a breathtaking sight to behold. Cliff after cliff of colorful layers of stone. We drive by cliffs of perfectly white marble, there for the picking. All I have to do is make my selection, go up there and take it. Marble for taking. I can do whatever I want. I am bewildered by the vast choices of stone.
And I never chiseled anything. All this is suggestion for the future. Only my Egyptian bas reliefs out of plaster. Like scratching away background to raise faces of coins. The man is showing me possibilities heretofore unimagined. And not actually real. The stone is not actually there, but there is similar. A place actually named Marble Colorado, stone quarried and used for the Washington obelisk. I think. My housekeeper retired there IRL. And I don’t even know who this man driving the convertible is.
I wake up well pleased and happy and cheered. Recalling how the dream man covered the unfortunate woman IRL, and how the elevator woman and her daughter IRL, a resident here, covered the unfortunate dream of J.Orlando’s Viking gang.
It was an emotional night filled with misadventure and pleasant encounters, for real and in dream.