Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cleaning House

So, I'm trying to clean up my office in preparation for my 50th birthday party later this afternoon. My problem with cleaning is that there are lots of notebooks in which that I've written down dreams, scraps of ideas for stories along with scores from domino and Scrabble games, and grocery lists, and I don't want to throw them away and I don't really want to keep them either, so I usually end up just shuffling them into the deal-with-someday pile. But I'm going to try to extract everything interesting from this one notebook and then pitch it.

Dream from 12-4-99

I dreamed I met that strange guy who used to do the sports on TV way back when I first moved to Charleston, back before sportscasters had to be pretty. Now he comes to the Port occasionally delivering parts for Bumper-to-Bumper. He was sitting on a picnic table reading a book. I struck up a conversation. He was grouchy of course, but eventually he showed me the book he was reading. It was a paperback with a picture of some garish, kindly-looking monster surrounded by children who obviously loved him. I read the back and found out it was about a friendly monster who everyone loved and then a mean monster who looked just like him wreaking havoc and destroying his good name.
I thought at the time -- my first lucid dream -- "This must be a story idea for me to take back. I need to remember this. It's a great story and I don't want to lose it."
I'm glad I remembered it and I'm glad I was able to go lucid, but it doesn't seem like a great story to me now. It's a lot like the 1944 Superman radio show tape I've been listening to.

(These are lines from some forgotten book that I loved so much I wanted to keep them. No idea what book or who wrote it)

"On the smooth brown hair was a hat that had obviously been taken from its mother too young."

"I reacted to that just the way a stuffed fish reacts to cut bait."

"I pushed the bell but nothing happened. I rang it again. The same nothing happened."

"Her voice was as cool as boarding house soup."

"Her voice faded off into a sort of sad whisper, like a mortician asking for a down payment."

I'm sure of the author of this next fragment. It's me, getting the beginnings of an idea for a column:

"I'm as romantic as the next guy -- nay, verily, I am more romantic. How do I know? Because I don't confuse love with mental illness.

(This actually became the middle portion of this column -- one of my favorites.)

Then there's the stuff that must have made sense at one time, like this page that just says:

Jack Larsen
Jack LaLanne

And then it obviously became my work notebook when I was in the police department as there are several pages of driver's license numbers, names and addresses of drivers involved in accidents in the late 90's. And then a section where I plan for an upcoming fantasy baseball season.

And there you have it. Now 30 minutes later I've thrown away one notebook. My office is still a mess.

1 comment:

Kim said...

LOL! I love this apt description of your house cleaning. Remember a few weeks ago when I noticed that all the car doors and the trunk too, were standing open in the driveway? I found you in your office typing away and asked you about it. "That's because I'm cleaning out the car."
Well, of course your are -- what was I thinking!
I love you, TMD.