Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the hot dog joint

[Here's another dream, from 30 years ago. I occasionally remember it and wonder about it. ]

I was driving between Little Rock and El Dorado, Arkansas, with my first wife. Somewhere near Fordyce, I spotted a food joint way off the road on the right -- out in the middle of nowhere. It was kind of like a forlorn Dairy Queen. We were hungry, so I took the sloping gravel path. And down to where the little building was surrounded by trees and picnic tables. As I got out of the car and walked up to the order window, my first wife conveniently disappeared.

I gave my order for hot dogs (hot dogs were all they offered). I felt a large presence standing behind me. It was a large presence: a man wearing black-rimmed glasses and with a crew-cut above his 400 pounds. He ordered his own hot dogs. While we stood there waiting, we began to casually chat. Moments later, two overweight black ladies sashayed past us. I'd say they each weighed about 271 or that spectrum. My new friend lowered his head toward me, gently elbowing me in the ribs, and whispered in a mocking tone, "Get a load of them."

We got our hot dogs and walked together toward one of the picnic tables. The only one close that was available still had some trash and uneaten portions on it from previous guests. And actual dogs. With hind legs on the benches and front legs on the table top, two mangy dogs were scruffling down the leftovers. They were fairly large, like a cross between German shepherds and coyotes. This pissed me off.

I rushed to the table and "shoo'd" them as persuasively as I could...with uncharacteristic authority and determination. This pissed them off. One especially. As I came up to him (I assume), he glanced up at me side-wise, snarling, and baring his teeth, which were still buried in hot dog remnants. I "shoo'd" him again, louder. He continued eying me with contempt and from the periphery. Then -- and I kid you not -- he said in low, broken tones: "You. Son. Of. A. Bitch."

For a few moments, things were in state of high uncertainty. Then, he and his mangy buddy reluctantly withdrew from the table, heading off to god knows where. After that bit of excitement, things got vague. Probably a thousand other events transpired, but I can't remember.


  1. I absolutely love this--the first sentence is right out of my head and my own life

  2. Thanks, Kris. Yeah...some of these things stick pretty good in the head.

  3. It is a dream of transmigration. The hot dog symbolizes eternal spirit. The big man was a guardian of the afterlife. The big women were your amanuenses, your muses. The dog who imparted to you was a messenger from the other side. It was a message of acceptance of the null nature of flesh, and a dare to step up to the next level.

    That or you got some bad pecalili.

  4. I think I was living off hot dogs at the time, which was, most likely, a heady plunge into karmic hell.

  5. But the more I ponder your interpretation...the better I like it. Even if it's not true, it has to be.