Friday, March 20, 2009

Woke up at 5AM after a weird, oddly complex dream in which the International Space Station crash-landed on Hawaii. Amazingly, there were survivors. I and my family were working for some camp/commune operation and I had determined that there was a conspiratorial cover-up regarding the ISS crash. Camp facility managers were wiping everyone's memory clean by making them wear these strange, white felt hats. I refused to submit, only to find that all of my friends had been brainwashed and now were coaxing me to give in, invasion-of-the-body-snatchers style. I got my family together and we made a break for it in a truck hauling a trailer full of aluminum. They were catching up to us. I was about to surrender and quit when a few friends snapped out of it, their memories returning. They told me I had been right all along, and then dumped the aluminum, and a large tube tv, out of the speeding trailer and onto the highway, resulting in a multi-car pile-up.

I emerged from the wreck. The Little Ditchman walked up to me. She had cake frosting on her face. And then she said, "I'm done with this," meaning all of it.

Which is when I got out of bed. The little guy was yelling his head off. Not crying, mind you, just yelling like he was sick of being in his crib all night. I decided not to argue, and after an unsuccessful attempt to get him to go back to sleep, we went downstairs for black coffee in the dark. With cream.

Perhaps I've become too involved with Lost and its mind bending plot scenarios. Perhaps I'm paranoid that the government is going to catch on that I don't deserve all this good life in the suburbs, and then strip it from me. Perhaps I shouldn't have had that extra helping of lasagna last night. (Which reminds me of my favorite palindrome: "Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog.") Perhaps I've just spent too much time digging lately.

Digging through old photos, digging in the garden, digging holes for footings for aluminum patio covers... You know the day is going to be a long one when you arrive at the job site, announce that you're the man who's going to be digging and pouring the footings for the new patio cover, and then the foreman comes over and offers you the use of his jackhammer. (Yes, I ended up having to use the jackhammer, and yes, it was tiring -no doubt contributing to this end-of-winter ennui.)

But that's life. We don't know why the kid won't take sleeping seriously, and I'm troubled by the image of the Little Ditchman with frosting on her face. Is it meaningless? Or is it some latent symbolism of birthdays passed, her aging and growing? Time is fleeting, as we arrive at Spring of 2009. This is the season of birthdays in my family, and you can't help but feel that nagging abstraction of AGE, like a rock in your shoe. But then comes Summer, which means open-toed sandals, so we'll be all right eventually.

Another thing. In the dark this morning, trying to get the Little Digger to settle down, I stared out across the yard and watched the fog just slide up over the suburbs like some sort of spectral blanket wrapping around the trees and street lamps. I heard a low distant rumbling that came and went, came and went, every 20 seconds or so. It sounded like the ocean, and I would have sworn that it was. Somehow the fog had dragged the sound of crashing waves all the way up to this dark inland shore, where I was standing, waiting for the first day of my 40th Spring to begin.