A Very Chairy Nightmare

This is what it’s been like for me:

Last night I dreamt that a guy named Hampton, or Harrington, with a portfolio in his hand and a hat cocked to the side of his head as if he was an old time reporter – think conservative writer Matt Drudge – came to my door trying to sell me something.

You know the type

I instantly backed away because he wasn’t wearing a mask.

But he kept talking and, when he saw I wasn’t responding to some right wing or religious claptrap he was peddling, he reached his arm out to jam the door and blurted out incredulously,

Wait, you haven’t heard of me????

I then gave him one of my famous eye rolls (Note: Okay, two) and slammed the door in his face.

My heart was beating fast and I was pissed!

This demented, unknown asshole —  how dare he infiltrate my safe space!

NOW!

Never mind this was my old apartment, located on the ground floor of a duplex from the sixties, that I haven’t lived in for 10 years.

Anyway, I turned from the door and went through the living room and then around the corner, past my bedroom, and through the hall to my home office, where I see Hampton, or Harrington, or whoever the f-k he claimed to be, actually crawling through my floor-to-ceiling door/window.

How he got it open, I have no idea, since as I recall there were bars on all those windows.  But these type of people, well, as we all know too well after the last four years, they have their ways, right?

If only Clooney was in this dream…

In any event, there I go running into the room where somehow this little sh-t has now somehow gotten his foot through the glass, ready to push him out and break the glass and sever his presumptuous soon to be dangling limb, if need be.

But before I can do anything I notice right next to him this cute little young woman, sitting at a large table she’s set up on the landing next to my doorway.  It’s got a large colorful tablecloth with a gorgeous set up of orange juice, muffins, teacakes, coffee, lemonade and the like, and she’s commandeered my entire area, ready to sell or perhaps even give it all away to a line of very clean-looking smiley people from, I’m guessing Indiana or some such Midwest state, certainly not West Hollywood, which is where my apartment was located.

A real Anna Camp type

I look at this woman, also mask-less and unsurprisingly sunny blonde, and think what the f-ck, but she just stares at me with this Up With People sort of smile and gestures to the o.j. and muffins.

Despite how good they look (Note:  Yeah, I have to admit that) I say to her almost tongue-tied:

What???  You can’t be here.  What are you doing here????

Hello? Hello?

Meanwhile, Hampton’s long leg has now almost touched the floor in my office, as I’m pressing the glass door closed against him and start yelling:

Get out!  Get out!   GET.   THE F-CK.   OUT!!!!!!!!

And then….

Well, I can’t tell you if I won or lost because then…

I WOKE.   THE F-CK.    UP.

But is it really?

Of course, missing from this dream was my husband of almost 32 years, who was living with me in that apartment.  God knows where those people stashed him.

Also gone was any semblance of anyone else to help me.  All that I saw was the phony sunshine being offered by these charlatans from a demented world that people were lining up to buy into in droves.

Does any of this sound, well, familiar?

Drink that Kool Aid

As I watched  Donald Trump this weekend immorally and probably illegally nominate someone who will arguably be the most conservative person ever to occupy a seat on the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, I couldn’t help but reconsider, in light of this dream, what I secretly thought about myself at several points in my childhood when I had feelings about things that, in a matter of time, would turn out to actually happen:

I have ESP!

Open 24 hours

Then I realized the ugly truth.  I’m not special and I’d bet all 65 million of us have at times in the last four years been having various versions of this very same…well, let’s just call it as it is…nightmare.

Amy Coney Barrett, as well as the young girl at the breakfast table, and even Hampton or Harrington, might seem perfectly sunny to hang out with.  In fact, this would be especially so as long as they bring those muffins and orange juice and we have all taken a cup of Instant Smile in order to avoid talking about anything meaningful aside from their glistening and hypnotizing, well, cleanliness.

Follow the light Carol Anne!

But if we dare to blink our eyes a few times or, god/gosh forbid, think, it quickly becomes clear that what we’re really feasting on is, in reality, the beginning of our own demise.  The homogenization of difference.  The demonization and illegalization of the essence of who most of the 65 million of us are, or certainly believe in.

Ms. Barrett and Mr. Trump smiled a great game from the Rose Garden Saturday afternoon.  Heck, so did even  Kellyanne Conway and Fox News’ Laura Ingraham from the audience, and when was the last time you could say that about the latter?

She looks better than I thought #shade

But make no mistake.  If you are female, if you are LGBTQ, if you are not guided by religion, if you are non-white, OR if you are at all an ally in any sort of way of any of the aforementioned above, you should be more than alarmed.

Not to mention, you can also now count yourself, as allies, among that infamous 65 million of 2016 whose beliefs and lives will truly be in peril. (Note: aka The Majority).

I won’t go through all the many ways we should be panicked at the nomination and likely immoral confirmation of this woman.  Read these links and simply let the facts do it for you:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Blessed be the fruit

But what I will do is encourage you all to remember that though dreams and nightmares are personal works of fiction, they spring from the reality of your mind.

Now more than ever in the next five weeks heading up to this election it’s important that each and every one of us trust in our minds, in our own ways of thinking, and especially in our own instincts on impending danger, and take any actions available to save ourselves, our compatriots and, most of all, even our fellow citizens/enemies from the worst of themselves.

Or shall I say, all of ourselves???

Alice Cooper – “Welcome to My Nightmare”

 

Light vs. Dark

When Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president this week in a forceful and, frankly, awe inspiring speech, he opened his remarks with a quote from the late African American civil rights activist Ella Baker:

Give people light… and they will find the way.

I’m not much of a light vs. darkness guy because I tend to see the world in infinite shades of over analytical grays.  This accounts for my lifelong disinterest in comic books and all things superhero and sword and sorcer-ish from the time I was a pre-pubescent up through the present day.

Sometimes I wonder if I ever would have made it out of young adolescence with all my limbs intact if I had grown up in the age of Harry Potter.  (Note: I’m the kid in the corner with his arms folded wondering why we can’t instead talk about Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie).

Also me in the corner

Though I imagine I might have figured out a way to find value in Harry’s lessons.  I’ve pretty much had to do this as a writing mentor for any number of students inspired not only by the worlds of Potter, but by the actions in Marvel, DC, Spielberg and Lucas.

I try to temper my enthusiasm

Of course, the lesson in this is to not be so quick to dismiss out of hand something that is not your thing.  If you do it that fast it is likely the universe will actually put you in a place where you will absolutely be forced to keep dealing with Dumbledore or the inevitable Avengers 5, 6, or 7 until you can stop dismissing it from way up on the very high perch from which you sit and choose to judge.

Such was my experience listening to Mr. Biden – oh heck, let’s just call him Joe cause that’s what he likes anyway and that’s what fits these days when you’re speaking with or writing about him.

And Joe it is

As Joe talked of being the harbinger of light in these dark Trumpian times I had a knee jerk, split second intellectual reaction of imperious resistance.

He can’t possibly be putting it this simply in these horribly awful and complicated times, could he?  I mean, this isn’t Star Wars or a Marvel movie or even one of my students’ basic notions for an as-of-yet unwritten studio blockbuster.  This is real life.  And real life these days is….

EXACTLY about darkness and light.

Much to my surprise.

It helps that it’s color coded

This is because in that instant I finally got why many young people of all ages crave superheroes and sorcery.  When things go so bad all around you it helps to have a powerful figure of stature on a stage that big drawing the curtain back, looking you in the eye and assuring you that the power of the light inside you is enough to fight the darkness attacking you IF you deign to believe in it.

In fact, in this case it is especially powerful because, unlike most superheroes, you don’t have to fight the fight alone.  You have a whole force of ordinary people very much like you and if you simply pool your forces together you can together shine bright enough to…

*cough* *cough*

Well, I was gonna say light up the lights of Broadway, which explains so much of why I never gravitated towards superheroes to begin with.  But instead, let’s go with vanquish the darkest of enemies, and call it a day.

Because by now you know what both I (and Joe) mean by the metaphor.

There are some moments in time where simplicity rules no matter how complicated you think it all is and I want to get.

Well, this too

We’re living through incredible darkness at the moment, as Joe’s 25-minute speech pointed out.

  • There are 176,000+ Americans dead from COVID-19
  • There are 5.68 million Americans infected with the virus
  • The U.S. leads the world in confirmed cases and deaths
  • More than 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment this year
  • More than 10 million Americans will lose their health insurance this year

And yet this just in from the President’s counselor and all-around right hand gal Kellyanne Conway when asked about plans for this week’s Republican convention:

You are going to see and hear from many Americans whose lives have been monumentally impacted by this administration’s policies.  We definitely want to improve on the dour and sour mood of the D.N.C.

Ah yes, behold all the doom and gloom.

But, um, how will that strategy improve on the dour and sour mood of the D.N.C.?  I mean, if we actually have real Americans speak? 

Well, there might be a casting call going on right now since its just been announced that two producers from Trump’s The Apprentice have been signed to help guide the festivities and wrangle talent.But here’s what we do know at the moment.  The Missouri couple that a few months ago toted assault weapons at Black Lives Matter demonstrators, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, are scheduled to appear.  As is Nicholas Sandmann, that smirky Kentucky teenager who got up in the face of Native American elder Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial last year and tried to stare him down with a Cheshire cat smile that only the Church Lady could love.

Talk about darkness vs. the light.  Or shall we say, the Light vs. the Dark.

Ugh, fine, I get it.

Well luckily, I don’t have to because Joe did it for us in his way.  All  we have to do now is follow his lead and make the right – I mean left – choice.

Though admittedly I have a ways go with that.  On Monday, the night before the convention began and three days before Joe spoke, an elderly masked woman and I were riding up the elevator alone to the same floor in a medical building on our way to different doctor appointments (Note:  Don’t worry, I was only getting an allergy shot).

In any event, during the ride she suddenly turned to me and  said:

Excuse me sir, I’ve taken it upon myself to be the town crier, in this upcoming election you must vote for Trump.

To say the least…

To which I proceeded to say things to her I have never heard myself  say out loud to anyone and couldn’t print or put on TV.  This was after excoriating her on her feelings about Black and Brown people and telling her to turn off Fox News and educate herself.

Though before she accused Joe of being senile and having Alzheimer’s.  To which I shouted back at her down the hall (Note: We were no longer in the elevator):

Well, you should know about that!  And good luck with your message in Los Angeles….HONEY!!!

Yep

This is all another way of saying the light has probably come for me and us just in the knick of time.

Sutton Foster – “Gimme Gimme” (from Thoroughly Modern Millie)