Wednesday, January 27, 2010

fever chills, afternoon nap, and a dream

Robin Willhite (Gothic Rangers guitarist and my dear friend) and I were driving steadily uphill through a moon-haunted night way out in the wooded boondocks of central Arkansas. We finally pulled over and stopped at a weird convenience store on the right. Inside, a German couple was sitting on a bench, looking very forlorn. They asked me if I knew anything about cars and coolant systems. I was so pleased at being asked that I faked it and said "Sure."

They told me how their car was broke down outside. I confirmed their hunch that something was terribly wrong, that indeed the exhausting of coolant fluid from the tailpipe was bad. And yes, the hydraulic imbalance would cause their car to suddenly lurch forward in big, dangerous hiccups on the road.

At that point, Robin stepped up, with jacket zipped tight to this chin and ball cap pulled down tight on his head. A fiercely confident and looming presence. He unfolded a piece of paper from his pocket and produced a pencil. He wrote down his phone number and handed it to the German man and said: "I know someone who is an expert on coolant systems. So the next time you're here, give me a call, and I'll bring my friend to help you out." This news cheered up the hapless foreign couple. And in this dream, it was perfectly in order that the present coolant-system break down could somehow be deferred to a next coolant-system break down.

Robin and I paid for whatever we had selected, and I skipped out the door way ahead of him. Some kind of odd logic was at work, because we both knew then that our car was also broke down and unusable. Ahead of Robin, I retrieved a child's wooden sled from the trunk, made a running start, then jumped on it. Snowless sledding back down the miles of gently descending road would be our mode back home. Robin sprinted up behind me and jumped on back of the sled, with me steering up front by yanking a rope this way and that. I moaned miserably that it would take us hours and hours and hours to get back home.

Robin, still somewhat cheerfully, remarked: "Well, as I left the store, I almost stole a pumpkin pie out from under the noses of two vicious guard dogs at that little house back there." When he said that, my misery increased exponentially. Instantly, I was starving my wit's out. So I yanked on the steering cord, sending us flying through the woods and very near the edge of a steep ravine. That path would be something of a shortcut.

As the dream faded and I began to slip into consciousness, I pictured myself finally back home. And eating every single thing in the refrigerator.

No comments:

Post a Comment