Another bizarre dream last night.

I bought a car from a friend, Craig (who does not sell cars), with a loan made available through an insurance program created to help a Missouri town recover from a devastating flood. Craig used my name in an ad promoting the availability of such loans to purchase cars. I thought nothing of it until I visited that Missouri town, where I saw a one-page ad mocking and shaming me for taking advantage of the flood. The ad, obviously placed by a local car dealer, did not reveal the name of the dealer; only my name, in a context dripping with contempt. There was more (a visit to a tiny law office and a voice mail I could not quite understand, etc.), but nothing that makes any sense.

Whether part of the same dream or in another one, I was in a car with a friend (not sure who) and three teenage boys, one of whom was the driver. The boys were part of a sports team that had just beaten the Arkansas team (I think the game was soccer, but I am not sure). The driver stopped at a street corner, where another teenager approached us, offering to sell us cannabis gummies. When asked how much, he said “$20 each,” as he held out a handful of them. He offered to let us try one, first. The price was too high for all of us and we told him so. But he wanted payment for the one “sample” he gave us. After much unpleasant discussion, I handed him a $10 bill. The others refused to pay, telling him it was a lesson in salesmanship. We left; we may have been headed to that Missouri town.


Last night, I woke up at 1:09. I do not know how long I stayed awake in bed, but it seemed like a very long time. I thrashed about in discomfort, my knees and my hips aching, for what seemed like hours. The air temperature was too warm for me, so I threw off the covers and let the ceiling fan attempt to cool me, to no avail. This morning, around 5:00, I awoke, uncovered, in the same discomfort. My back aches and my knees seem intent on causing me moderate amounts of grief. The word “elderly” streams in and out of my consciousness. I think the dream occurred sometime during that four-hour stretch.

I have not yet bothered to make the bed, though the likelihood that I will return to it before tonight is extremely slim. I suppose I’ll make the bed about the same time I shower and shave and brush my teeth. I should have brushed my teeth when I got up; instead, I sprinted into the kitchen to make coffee and put some dishes away. The coffee would taste better with a slight hint of toothpaste sweetness in my mouth, I think. Too bad I haven’t come across cinnamon roll flavored toothpaste. A quick search of Google reveals that there are a few cinnamon flavored toothpastes, but the appeal for me would be the cinnamon roll flavor. If I can find a way to manufacture such a product, it could be my ticket out of here.


I may participate in another “spiritual practices” Zoom gathering this morning, if said event takes place and I am sufficiently motivated when it occurs. At the moment, though, I am not sure my participation would be wise. I feel snarky and ready to inject arguments into any conversation, not a particularly appealing attitude in an environment dedicated to peaceful immersion in the “here and now.” I could, instead, make obligatory phone calls to church members, urging their participation in Sunday’s annual meeting. Snark is not especially suited to such engagements, either, but what the hell:  it might be fun to suggest to my list of congregants that failure to participate will guarantee them an eternity of hellfire and damnation. But they might not know me well enough to know my sense of humor. Hmm. We’ll see.


The sky remains dark at this hour, but Alexa tells me it is cloudy and 65°F. Today’s high, she says, will be 81°F, with some sun and the possibility of thunderstorms. My agenda for the day includes a termite inspection of my house and little else (other than possible phone calls and possible attempts at spirituality). But I’ll probably go to the post office. And I may take a drive north of the Village just to see whether the forest has changed much during the last thirteen months. In an ideal world I would encounter, on my drive, produce stands along the roadside, where I could buy all manner of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have a hankering for a huge platter of grilled mixed vegetables…squash, onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatillos, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, tomatoes, etc. To satisfy that craving, though, I suspect I would have to go to a grocery store, where produce from Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, and other breadbasket countries end up. I wonder how our grocery stores (and we) would cope without access to foreign-grown veggies? Not to mention fruits: papaya, avocado, citrus, pears, peaches, apples. Maybe peaches and apples (and pears?) would come from domestic sources. And some others, perhaps. People who eschew globalization tend to overlook its impact on their diets, I think. I realize, of course, the CO2 and fossil fuel issues associated with importing fruits and vegetables (and damn near everything else), but we must find solutions to those problems.


I crave a hug. A tight, lingering hug. One that lasts minutes, not mere seconds. My church used to periodically, at the end of a service, have people stand up with signs (I think) saying “free hugs” and we would have a mini hug-fest. Those were fun. But the hugs were rather short. I’m looking for a full-on hug FESTIVAL, in which hugs are given until the hugged person decides to relinquish rights to the lengthy embrace. I suspect my idea for a hug FESTIVAL would break some sort of code of decorum or, perhaps, a civil ordinance. Or a State law or Federal regulation. “No public displays of affection allowed.” Something like that. What the hell. Let’s all become law breakers. But participation is allowed only for those who are at least two weeks past their second COVID vaccine shots.


Enough dawdling. It is time to explore frontiers of food and cleanliness.

About John Swinburn

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