A straight street in the grid of an unfamiliar tourist town. I park underneath the eucalyptus, with a view to the sandy ocean beach further. Maybe somewhere in central California. There’s some stalling — young lovers saying goodbye in their own car parked in the right lane. When I step out I discover the charming miniatures set up on the asphalt road, placed by local art grant no doubt. I warn the young lovers of them. I go back shortly thereafter and find that the tiny tourist town has already towed both of my rental cars. My immediate thought — perhaps maturely, or even fatalistically — is that I need to make it to the impound lot as fast as I can to save money on added fees.
After learning some purported factoid about Congressional envelopes, I actually get my hands on one. It’s hugely overlong, with a vertical gold band and a tasteful border for the address. A surprising design feature: if you hold it a certain way, the flap closes itself! I get my wife to try it; it’s tricky and it takes a while to get her to correctly press the pads of her thumb and forefinger over the gold corners. Why would they spend money to develop this technology? Who is this for?
I’m riding a personal cart on a single-track railway line that serves as public transit for a small rural community. It feels empty and follows a long highway along the convoluted recesses of the town. The trackway is obscured down the slope of a hill or levee, so you can’t even see it, and the routes seem to follow a river that’s out of sight. It’s a strange gray autumn day. I can’t recall why I’m riding the train, but I may be transporting garbage — a railway just for trash disposal.
A custom-designed webpage prototype with four alternate positive opinions for any submitted negative. Creates URLs for its suggestions. Created by a short girl wizard, who’s becoming a bit famous for it. (I’d guess this was Plarvolia, whom I just re-discovered via her online activity after meeting her at a party in March this year.)
My family’s got a new fridge, so big you swing open the door and have to walk up to the inside. I lean over the front shelf and discover rows of of wheeled container stacks that roll, and beyond that a half-size kitchen. Remember that I have PBR in my crappy tiny dorm-size fridge that I could now bring. While inside, a corner with twin stoves, I knock loose one electrical clip plugged into the counter wall outlet. I then try to figure how to let my dad know.
Outside, on a street underneath the highway & close to the doorway, I watch a long car pull up (against advice). From it emerge a color-coordinated pimp-styled group, orange and gold and white everything. I continue off without gawking, heading the direction of a town my wife texted me from, hoping to surprise her — Plum Falls (a semi-inversion of my hometown, Palm Springs). I pass unexpectedly through an underpopulated corner of San Francisco, near the wharf, somewhere called like “Southeast Neighborhood” I’ve visited in dreams before. I cross the street at an oddly shaped intersection at Winston Way downslope of a curvy hill, jogging across as a car abruptly pulls around the bend.
I reach the quaint rural community of Plum Falls, a tiny 3-or-4 street grid town from out of my past in Oregon and/or Australia, cast in foliage of bright autumnal orange. Reminiscent of many other dream locations. I amble into a garage sale inside the house of an elderly, thoroughly-countrified man. But I wear no pants or underwear, shuffling side-to-side hiding my naked lower half. An excuse I use is that I just woke up from dreaming (what!?). As I’m behind the man’s table, I take my chance and finally wrap a black t-shirt to cover myself. The man has a only a few items laid out sparely, each clearly special and treasured, and the one he’s pitching to me is an old hand-bound bible. It’s beautifully crafted, raw-edge leather, highly textured and deckled paper, embossed gold lettering (some of it in Ge’ez script)… but unfortunately the font gives away that it’s much newer than it might seem, especially with its deep modern-styled embossing. I find a way to turn him down gently, especially considering his high asking price, but I’m immediately distracted by another book sitting on the corner of his table. A stubby thick hardcover with glossy dustjacket, I remember thinking I’d glimpsed someone casually drop it there while we spoke. It’s a book by none other than Chicken John. I’m forced to improvise an explanation for how I know him, going into how we “collaborated” and why we “fell out with each other”. The experience is terrible: alienating, frustrating, embarrassing, and ultimately useless. I unwisely make the open claim that he must’ve put that book there himself, just recently. All rapport is gone now, and the countrified old man has lost interest in me.
The next day I’m idling along near (but not on) one of the few sidewalks in the dusky town. I spot a familiar figure from behind, and approach him from the side. Turning his shoulder, I stare into the face of Chicken John, who looks more ginger-haired and solidly mustached (almost like my 4th-grade teacher Roy Suggett — if you’re out there, Mr. Suggett, you’re still my favorite). I lead Chicken back to the house where I was yesterday and allow him to believe there’s no one there. He unlatches a small window and reaches in, only for the old man from the garage sale to poke his head out saying “Excuse me. Hello?” I gesture meaningfully, demonstrating that what I said yesterday was true, and exposing Chicken for whatever scheming he planned against me.