No one’s read the whole thing

I know reading about other people’s dreams can be terrible and boring but bear with me. Mostly I’m writing it down for myself because I thought it was funny, and maybe I can use it in one way or another down the line.

In my dream I was… somewhere… and these two men showed up. They were both wearing all black nylon/Kevlar tactical gear, helmets, bandoleers, night vision goggles, the whole set up. Stompy black boots. Carrying huge assault rifles. They were both doughy, pudgy middle aged white men. And they demanded I stop what I was doing, whatever it was (I don’t remember).

Me: You’re from the government, aren’t you?

Them: We don’t have to tell you that.

Me: Show me your official government identification or I’m going to keep doing this.

Them: <awkwardly looking at each other> Uh…

Me: You have to. I’m a citizen and it’s my right under the Patriot Act.

Them: It doesn’t say that!

Me: Oh, look at these guys! They’ve actually read the Patriot Act! OK, wise guys, tell me where it doesn’t say that and I’ll back off. You can’t, can you? That’s because nobody has read the Patriot Act! For all you know it could be in there! Now show me your IDs, stat!

Corner of SE 17th and Tacoma

I’m currently writing a (fictional) scene about a flash mob taking over a bar in my neighborhood, and I just wrote this, and I’m really really proud of it. Don’t normally share works in progress but I’ll make an exception just this once.

The parking lot outside overlooked a quiet corner of Sellwood at this time of night; some light fog hung just above the telephone poles, tinted orange yellow by the street lights. And huddled in groups of five to ten or more were more bar patrons, talking to each other, smoking, some dancing or singing alone or with another, some sober, many not. A few more people were crossing the street diagonally from the off-brand convenience store with snacks, prompting an angry honk from a car driving west along Tacoma Street towards the bridge and the safety of the West Side.

The bar is real, but the off-market convenience store is now a 7-11, but since my story is set in 2007, I’m relying on memory.

Anyway, back to writing.

We regret the error(s)

I mistook the take out pizza chain Papa John’s for the take-and-bake pizza chain Papa Murphy’s, and suggested that the first one accepted SNAP (food stamp) benefits in exchange for piping hot ready-to-eat pizza. I did this on a Facebook post of a friend, who was understanding about it, at least.

I texted a friend excitedly about a baseball game, the first game of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Los Angeles Dodgers three-game series, that I thought was being played tonight, but which in fact does not happen until tomorrow. I owned up to it after discovering my own mistake.

I forgot my reading glasses at a restaurant where I had dinner with my sister, catching up on things and stuff. I had to go pick up the reading glasses today; luckily it was in my own neighborhood, and within walking distance.

In an excited Tweet where I was celebrating the anniversary of purchasing this very domain:

I clearly got the math wrong. I corrected it in the following tweet, but not until after a friend called my attention to it on Facebook.

I’ve made some mistakes today. Mistakes were made. By me.

I regret the errors.

Face time

The woman behind the counter at my corner convenience store was dressed up in a fancy satiny red dress, all lace and beads and gold edging. Her dark hair was styled and up. Her make up was impeccable. In the center of her forehead was a tiny, shiny red gem. The buzzing fluorescent lighting did not do her justice. I wish I knew more about the culture from which she came. The way she was dressed and decorated had a purpose and a context, about which I was stupidly, insensitively unaware.

As she rang up my purchase of two small donuts and a beer, she kept poking and waving at her phone, a white older iPhone. From the phone came the sounds, clipped by digitalization and the tiny speaker, of a man’s voice speaking a language foreign to me. When she put the phone down on the counter to count back the singles of my change, I could see the screen filled with a man’s face, handsome, middle-aged, much like the woman.

She was laughing and giggling, and she would wave at the screen, distracted from her job. I was patient and smiled. I kept the thought in my head that I was in no hurry to keep her from her conversation, that the two glazed sugary treats were of far less importance than the man she was clearly infatuated with.

“Are you FaceTiming?” I asked.

She bubbled out a yes, her eyes still fixated on the tiny 4 inch screen laying on the counter just above the lottery tickets.

“Thank you, my dear. I hope you have a lovely evening.” Her eyes lit up in laughter in response to something the man had said and she swept the phone up in one hand and spun away from the register, her other hand coyly covering her mouth.

I walked out, clutching my bag of fried dough, setting off the buzzer as I left, into the dark rain soaked sidewalk.

Disclaimer: All Persons Fictitious

The scene I’m writing today in my untitled political novel is basically an homage to Walter Peck’s visit to the Ghostbusters. Except in my case, my Portland slacker Congressional candidate and his stripper campaign manager gets a drop-in by local Democratic Party officials.

I should probably include in my disclaimer, along with the usual “all persons fictitious” bits, that I have honestly never actually met local Multnomah County Democratic officials, so I’m just making these folks up whole cloth. I swear. Honest.

…I wonder if William Atherton will still be available when I work on the film adaptation?