Saturday, May 21, 2005

Last night I had a dream so odd

Last night I had a dream so odd that I felt that I must share.

I was sitting on a rooftop recently with an old man, like Isaiah, but it wasn’t Isaiah. We were talking and the sounds of traffic way down below were slowing down, becoming more sporadic. It sounded like:

“Beep” (a small polite car)…. “HOOOOONK!” (a driver pissed off at a bike messenger)

[high-pitched] “Hey! Look at me!” (a brat screaming at her nanny at Rittenhouse Square)

[fast-paced, Valley-girl like] “I put on this lotion, feel it. Can you smell it? Its smells like lilies.” (two girls walking out of Bath and Body Works)

“Hmmmmphhhhf” (a SEPTA bus hitting the break)

Maybe the sun was starting to set too…. I don’t really remember.

For some reason, there was a scarecrow on the roof. And it was made out of jute and wicker baskets. Like you know how in the suburbs they have those “ducks on a stick” that people put in their gardens? And their feathers spin around when it gets windy? Well, it was like that…. with arms capable of spinning around…. But instead of arms, the scarecrow had wicker baskets to catch things. It was twice the size of me….. the size of those puppets you see at protests. The hand baskets were coated with dry leaves and old newspapers mostly…. I guess valuable stuff didn’t fly up there.

So I was talking to this old man…. I don’t know about what, I just remember the way he smelled. He didn’t have that old man smell…. More like the smell of someone who worked hard. Anyway, it got windy all of a sudden and the scarecrow started going ape shit….. its arms spun around like an old Brit at a punk show. When it slowed down we saw that it caught a little bottle in its hand basket. It was a tiny black bottle with dust all over it and a fading white label. I was glad it didn’t hit me in the head, but the old man wanted to see it.

He opened the hotel-fridge-sized bottle and took a whiff of it. I remember feeling disgusted. He didn’t know where it came from.

He leaned back, closed his eyes and went “ahhhhhh”

I went “Ew, throw that away. Why are you touching that?”

“Its whiskey” he said.

“But you don’t know where it came from. If you want a drink, I will buy you a drink” I said.

I don’t think he heard me. He put the dusty bottle to his lips and leaned his head back and took a sip.

“Ahhhhh!” he screamed. His eyes weren’t closed anymore. His scream echoed.

“Are you OK?”

He flashed his teeth and said “You gotta try this.” I stepped back and curved my posture. “Its fucking New Deal whiskey girl!” I gripped the edge of the building with my fingers. “Somebody was saving this bottle for something real special. “ He held the bottle up to the sky to examine it in the last glow of natural light. “Person who bought it probably died. Too bad he didn’t get to enjoy it. We gotta do it for that guy. We gotta celebrate on his behalf, it would be a shame if someone threw this down the drain. Damn, sure am glad this didn’t fall into the wrong hands.”

I apprehensively took the bottle into one hand and examined it. “Probably saving it since the 1930’s” I heard him say as background noise. It smelled horrible.

One drop got on my tongue and burned it. “That’s the way you do it girl. You’re drinking history baby, HISTORY!” He was worse than a frat boy screaming “chug chug.” My adrenaline was rushing so I decided to close my eyes and chug the whole thing. “You show ‘em baby. You show ‘em. Nobody can control you! That's the way you say fuck you to the American government.”

It was an adrenaline orgasm.

I fell on my back and opened my eyes. Bad idea. You know how it’s easy to deny you are drunk when you aren’t standing up or have your eyes open? The sky was spinning and the clouds were on fire. The old man was laughing in the background. It all seemed so so real.

Then I woke up.


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