As a rule, dreams don't stick with me more than a few seconds after waking, for reasons I have not yet determined. My best guess is that the story ends and the mechanism shuts down as I fumble my way to my feet. This does not, of course, explain the few I do recall, which I assume weren't finished at the time of shutdown, leaving files, or whatever, still open. And the ones I do recall have a few characteristics in common: they're just this side of chaotic, and something has happened somewhere in the storyline that I had had no particular reason to expect.

Saturday night — Sunday morning, actually — was a little different. For one thing, there were two separate narratives going on. Since I am not particularly good at multitasking, I was forced to travel back and forth between two different staging areas, trying to keep up the storyline, and trying to explain to the people in those areas why I kept disappearing for long periods of time. (In between, there was a small bed containing a large cat in deep slumber atop important papers, though I recall no incident that required me to dislocate kitteh.)

On the right, there was a meeting with a couple — mid-thirties, suburban cute without being distinctive — who were active in the self-publishing game, and they'd delivered two books I was supposed to approve, apparently for appearance rather than for content, which I would then have sent to some unknown addresses. For some reason, I had to write them a check for twenty dollars, but my writing hand failed me: twice I'd shorted them by a cent — there must be something about $19.99 — and I'd had to restart. The books themselves I don't recall, though one had a yellow cover, the other two-tone brown. Certainly I didn't write them, or at least I didn't remember having written them.

Out to the left, the old crone waited for me to assist her with some research project. And the term "crone" is used in a typical mythological sense, an old woman with connections to knowledge that are not revealed to us younger folk; she wasn't beautiful in the 19-year-old centerfold sense, but her appearance was compelling just the same. She wore what I though was a tiara, though closer inspection revealed the headgear to be made of simple fabric; sandals in the Roman tradition; and in between, a floor-length silk gown, the lightest shade of blue I could imagine, slit all the way up to there. Let's just say the potential for distraction was high. And I was no more effective at producing readable copy on this side of the set as I had been on the other: for some reason, I had largely lost my ability to type. ("Madonna," you'll want to know, contains no L.)

On the dubious basis that my brain wouldn't have cooked up something overstewed like this without a darn good reason, I spent the next hour replaying the bits and pieces I remembered. Both scenarios have some connection to writing, an activity for which I claim no particular talent, yet one which I do in vast, or at least half-vast, quantities. And getting bogged down in minutiae is something I do on a regular basis. At the heart of the matter, though, seemed to be the fact that I was not capable of being in two places at once. Now in this household we routinely obey the laws of physics; still, the fact that this was an issue told me that it was standing in for something else. And that something else, I suspect, is the length of the day, which, multiplied by seven, gives me 168 hours to work with. Around 50 hours, including commute time, will be devoted to my actual day job. Left to my own devices, I'd probably try to get ten hours of sleep every night. This leaves a mere 48 hours to do Everything Else In The Entire World. Could this be a memorandum for record, to the effect that I don't have time to do Everything Else anymore? Or just that I'm falling woefully behind on my sleep quota? There are maybe two nights a week I can get ten hours; the rest of the time, it's more like five or six, and the new white-noise generator in the office makes it entirely too easy to drift off to lower levels of consciousness at precisely the time I need it the least.

Maybe I just need a vacation.

The Vent

  16 June 2014

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