Collected Thought Fragments

I stayed in bed far too long last night. I was in bed around 8:30 and got up this morning around 5:30, nine hours. That’s too long for me. Six or seven hours usually does it. But I wasn’t feeling at all well last night, so I decided to indulge myself (even after a short nap yesterday afternoon) and go to be early. It didn’t “take” completely, as I was up for a bit sometime before eleven. But I was back to sleep shortly thereafter. But it was a fitful sleep. And, of course, there was a dream.

My wife and I were in a small aircraft, maybe forty seats. Among the passengers were perhaps a dozen young men wearing black cowboy hats. Other passengers included a woman who had just begun a job selling some sort of product that held absolutely no interest to my wife and me. The woman chattered incessantly. I wished someone would choke her.

During the flight, I got up and walked to the back of the plane, where there was a large picture window on the right side of the craft. I was surprised to look out and see how near the ground we were. I strained to look in front of the plane but could not tell whether we were nearing the airport until the pilot announced “brace for landing.” I was standing up in the back of the plane when she made the announcement. I had no time to make my way back to my seat. So I just leaned against the rear of the plane as it bounced alone the runway.

But it wasn’t a runway. When the plane stopped, the pilot opened a front door that turned into a stairway to the ground. As some of  us got to the bottom of the stairs, the pilot called out, “Be careful crossing. There’s traffic.” The stairs led to a grassy patch that looked like it hadn’t been mowed in weeks. The plane’s front landing gear was just barely on pavement that apparently was a street. Not a runway, a street. We had to let a couple of cars go by before we crossed the street and entered a covered walkway that, we somehow knew, would take us to luggage carousels. My wife and I exchanged harsh words as we walked, but I don’t know what had us upset.

I think this next part is somehow connected to the first dream, the remainder of which seems to have dissolved in my memory. But maybe not.

At the end of a long walkway, a small group of us (I have no idea who the others were) arrived at what appeared to be a restaurant, about half of its tables which were empty. I somehow knew I was supposed to change from wearing a pair of shorts to wearing some sort of sports wraps when we got there, so I proceeded to do so. I was embarrassed to be changing in a public place, but I hoped no one would notice. I felt only a few stares drill through me.

From that point on, the dream is hazy and incoherent. It involved a leaking toilet in a women’s restroom and my futile attempt to keep the water from flowing into the hallway by placing toilet paper in the gap at the bottom of the door.

I think I interrupted the dream several times by me awaking just enough to roll over or otherwise change positions. Then, when I drift back to sleep, the dream continued. But it was as if it had continued even while I was busy waking, because it was as if I’d missed pieces of it when I drifted off to sleep again. I equate the sensation to watching a television show and leaving it to get a glass of water and returning. Something happened in my absence that would have explained the new set of circumstances to which I returned, but I don’t know what.

Back to the blog from a brief coughing binge. My body aches from too much time in bed. While sleep is a good thing, too much inactivity breeds arthritis pain. That’s my opinion, anyway, based on sufficient experience to form an inexpert opinion.

I plan to attend today’s insight service at church. My concern is that I might go into a coughing fit in the middle of the service, but sometimes I can go for literally hours without coughing, so I think I’ll risk it. I don’t think I pose a risk to others (if I do, I’ve been posing the risk for three months or more, it’s just more persistent and more visible lately). Today’s topic, “Beyond the Echo Chamber: A Look at the Threat of American Tribalism,” is of significant interest to me. I’ve missed the last several Sundays, though I’ve tried to watch the videos (the people at Geek Squad suggested, but could not confirm, that my computer’s sudden death was related in some fashion to watching those videos). I dare not watch them on my computer, just in case there’s something to their suspicions; I’ll have to go to the library, I guess.

I want to clear both my schedule and my lungs so our friends from Fort Smith can come to visit. It has been far too long since we’ve seen them. It’s their turn to come our way, which they’re ready to do if I’d just stay home for a while so opening in our collective schedules coincide. There’s something especially rewarding when friends stay in our home; it’s a little like having a family, I guess. When there are more than two of us in the house, it feels different somehow. Even so, I don’t want children. Unless, of course, they are self-sufficient adults whose generosity is exceeded only by their wealth and who desire to lavish their parents with gifts of cash and exotic vacations. Those are our kids. We forgot we had them. We must have left them in a gas station many years ago. We’re so fortunate that they do not hold that against us and try, instead, to cement our love with their enormous wealth. I think I’ve drifted off into dreamland again.

Today, I shall write something for tomorrow’s read-around, which I have committed to attend (along with a very small group of others). I do not know whether it will be something typical of my writing, dark and troubling, or a piece that’s funny and bright. Of course, it could be utterly different. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I have to have it finished and printed by 12:25 p.m. tomorrow in time to read it. I just wish I could kick myself in the rear with enough force to keep my writing going. I really do need to spend time locked in a room with a computer and keyboard until I finish a book or a story or a something.

At least I’ve written something that will be published. It’s only a short poem, but I’m glad that I’ll see it in print in the not-too-distant future in Do South Magazine. The editor told me it will appear in the October issue and she will send me a copy. I read the poem to my niece, then had her read it from my computer screen. She did not understand it. It was, to her, a scramble of words that did not belong together. I’ll be interested to receive feedback—if I get feedback—when it’s published.

I feel better today than I did last night. That is a very good thing, for if I felt the same or worse I’d feel like drowning myself in a bucket of hot tar. I’ve never actually wanted to drown myself in a bucket of hot tar. Or any other liquid. The idea is patently offensive. I can think of others I’d gladly drown in that bucket, though. But I shouldn’t let my mind go there today. Instead, I should think of fields of spring wildflowers, stunning mountain vistas, and long stretches of waterfront tidal pools along the Pacific coast. I’m not sure what thinking of those places will do for me, other than make me want to travel (if I see fields of spring wildflowers, I’d have to travel both in space and time), but I’ll give it a shot.

I’ll be eligible for Medicare next month. I’ve stalled in my exploration of insurance options, but I will return to the process of collecting and analyzing data so I can make the best decisions about the best routes to take for me. It seems unreasonable that some of the early decisions are essentially irrevocable (unless one wants to be subject to the whims of insurance actuaries paid to limit their employers’ financial risks). But that’s the way it is. So, I will do my due diligence and make the best choices I can.

It’s already 7:00! Time to face the day.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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