A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.

John Barrymore
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Stray thoughts: 7/3/2018 

This is sorta part 5 in a series, though this time it simply ended on the balcony eating leftover Chinese takeout. I say it’s part 5 because it started out the same except for the various cereals were replaced with some Lo-mein, beef pepper steak,  some shrimp fried rice, crab rangoon and a couple of egg rolls. It really is better for me to go to a Buffet, because with Chinese takeout I still like a variety and will order a few different combos. The con to that is it can get expensive, the pro is that I have leftovers for a few days. Of course with the buffet, the food doesn’t last for days. 

Same condo, same balcony, same ice cold AC, and safe level of undress.  

Stray thoughts:4/30/2017

Stray thoughts: 4/30/2017

On to part four.

Everything started out the same except cereal was replaced by a chunky granola bar loaded with chia seeds and numerous other things.  Same view, same balcony and furniture, and I was still naked. I still moved on to the steamy hot shower, and the big ole robe that could easily engulf someone inside it with me.

I open the door and I finally see the face. It was a woman standing there, but her image is blinking or morphing very fast. Then it finally settled and it was like the woman was a combination of Sophia Bush(Chicago PD) and Abigail Spencer(Timeless/Rectify). Sorta like everything was combined. Her hair color was in between and layered with a bit of both and was shoulder length but a untamed, her eyes were a dark hazel, her voice had Bush’s raspiness laced with a little twang that Spencer portrayed in “Rectify”.

She asked, “Why aren’t you dressed?”, and I’m dumbfounded because I don’t know this person. All I could say was “I just had breakfast and got out of the shower, let me get dressed.”  Walking away I was remembering how she was dressed so I could have an idea of what to wear. She had on a pair jeans, black beach shoes a white top with an unbuttoned Myrtle Beach Pelicans jersey and she was holding a hat, so it looked like we were headed to the ballpark.  I walked into my bedroom and I woke up.

Stray thoughts: 9/26/2016

I guess we could call this part three. I question why I keep having the same dream, but even more odd is why does the cereal keep changing? This time it was “Sugar Crisps” in my bowl. A cereal I haven’t had in years. Same condo, same décor, same kitchen, same balcony, everything is the same except the cereal and the new part.

Like last time, I was able to make it to the shower where the hot water pelted my body. The crisp cool air meshing with the hot water gave the room a steamy affect. I was about finished with the shower, when I heard a knock at the door. I cut the shower off, grabbed a towel, gave everything a once over and then slipped into a huge terrycloth robe. Had I been walking down a drive way for the morning paper, I would have felt like Tony Soprano. I was reaching for the door, opened it and I saw a blink of a face and the dream was gone. I was waking up. It’s almost like I saw static from an old tv set after the station cut it’s broadcasting for the night.  

I actually woke up pissed off because I couldn’t get back in to it. This was around 4:30 this am and I read a little bit and finally faded back to sleep, but I didn’t revisit the dream. Maybe it will come back to me for the fourth installment.

5/2 to 8/14 to 9/29 If the time frame keeps at the same pace, I should be having the 4th installment in about 3 weeks. Yeah, I’m #’s geek with stuff like that.

Stray thoughts: 8/14/2016

I think everyone has reoccurring dreams the same nightmare, driving a 911, at a high rate of speed through the snake on Mulholland, or the topless blonde laying on a blanket beside a river bank waiting to be a picnic, you name it.  I copied below the original mention of this dream which was the first time that I recall having it.

It was the same dream for the most part. Same ice cold condo. location, lack of being dressed, etc.  The only difference was that the cereal I was eating was Raisin Bran. The same smells, feeling the heat from outside swarm over you as you walk from a 63 degree room out on the balcony that was in its mid-day bake.

Another difference was I dropped a raisin from my spoon and it hit the table and then down between my legs. I grabbed and flicked it off into the sky knowing a gull would find the treat at some point.

Maybe this dream had a little progress, because I finished the cereal, drank what little milk was left from the bowl, put that in the sink and went back to the master bedroom and turned on the shower. I started waking up as I felt the hot water bounce off my skin.  

Who knows, yet 3 and half months later I revisit it.

Free Writing 5/2/2016

I had one of those dreams last night where part of it was crystal clear, yet part of it was like looking through a window with years of dust and decay slapped all over it. My dad used to work for/with a family/company that one of his friends/bosses/whatever had a condo at Myrtle Beach. 2 beds, 2 bath, simple concept. Master to the right, the guest off to the left, the dining/kitchen/living room all crammed in-between (I’ll look for a diagram). It was a nice, private, secure, luxurious, pools, gym, tennis courts, a lot of amenities. After a quick search they sell today anywhere from 319-475k. I didn’t compare them to others, but they are still quite expensive. We would stay a week in the summer a few times when I was 12-17.

Well, in the dream, I wake up in this unit. It’s mostly the same, the décor is less 70’s/80’s beach bamboo, but much nicer (to me) looking filled with somewhat more modern furniture. I like simplicity in most things, even though I can be a complicated person(or so it seems).  In the dream, I wake up and walk out to the balcony. It wasn’t an ocean front, but it was on the side of this Y shaped building where only the units that were on the “street” side(top of the Y) had zero view of the ocean.

Street

Y

Ocean

Being 17/18 floors up and it being a dream, I didn’t keep the sliding glass doors locked, the smaller “master balcony” had doors that entered into the kitchen and the master bedroom, while the kitchen also had an entry to the main/larger balcony as well, which also had doors leading into the living room and the guest room.

Well, in the dream, I went from the smaller balcony into the kitchen, grabbed a bowl, some Fruity Pebbles, added some milk and took it and my tablet out to the patio table that was on the balcony. Sitting there eating the cereal, with the only sound being the waves, the wind and a random gull flying bye. Feeling the warmth of the sun start to shine. Not knowing; why I was there, what I was about to do. Such an odd little dream.

I haven’t been in that building in over 22-23 years. The last time was in a different unit when a couple of friends and I were the cheap hired labor for another friend/coworker of my dad’s that had just purchased a unit there. I recall one of my friends saying. “What a cheap bastard, buy a million-dollar condo, and hire us to paint it.” (he was known to inflate the value of things, but maybe it was a million dollar condo in the early 90’s). In the end, he likely had to have it professional painted, but in the very least there were a few stories that came from that 4-5-day period. I might have documented one or two so far. Maybe not. I can’t recall.

Either way it was just an odd little dream. Fruity Pebbles, 11am, Myrtle Beach, half or fully naked on a high rise balcony. Odd indeed.

Diagram

At times, I have very detailed dreams that play out like a movie inside my head. Some I am able to recall in great detail, some are pictured above. Last night, I had one of those cinematic versions happening; I woke up near 5am to use the bathroom, and ignored my pen/paper on the night stand to try to get back in to it. Now, I can’t even offer two sentences on the subject. I spent a good portion of the 8am hour trying to brainstorm through possible topics, but nothing made sense.

Frustrating. 

The Night Before Thanksgiving, aka Wednesday

2017

I’m sitting here typing this, mostly forcing myself to get something down, and It will be shorter than the others. I just have a haunted feeling engulfing my mind after reading through the previous 4 installments. Sitting back with last year’s installment knowing had I made that journey I would have had at least one more night with a good friend who took his life over the summer. That is hard to reconcile. I’m not thinking that the one night would have changed anything. There were a number of other friends at the get together, but selfishly it would have been a night where stories would have been shared. Memories rekindled and shared. …..A moment that is gone, that never was…. kinda reminds me of the Springsteen line:

 Again,hard to reconcile and process. 

Oh and those Jonathan Tropper quotes still ring true:

Below the “keep reading” are the previous installments. 

2013

thoughtsthatstray: Written 11/27/13

The night before Thanksgiving used to be one of my favorite nights of the year. Back in my hometown, it was a night when friends would gather at one of the few watering holes where said friends could share some adult beverages.

We’d usually start off at one place with dinner and beers. Note there was an s on the end of the word beer, but then we’d cross the street to a new place that had karaoke, more BEER, and more old friends. Well, truth be told a few old enemies would pop in here and there.

We’d share some memories, stretch some truths, tell some lies, and it was fun seeing old friends. Of course it was fun seeing old flames too. We’d have a ball, signing each other up for the previously mentioned karaoke and trying to find the most fucked up song or funniest song for them to sing. Oh how I wish it were modern day where every cell phone had a video, because watching an ole ball coach singing “Funky Cold Medina” or “Brickhouse” as his long hair swayed and his hairy little nubby feet attempted a bit of a drunken dance. Oh I’d pay good money to have footage of that, but of course if that were modern day, seeing a coach/teacher slightly intoxicated on youtube or some other form of social media would be grounds for his dismissal which is bullshit, since he was simply an adult having some fun with other adults. Like I said I would pay good money (if I had good money) to see that footage once again.

You’d see faces pop in of people you hadn’t seen since high school, or hadn’t seen in quite some time You’d see a bombshell walk through the door and you are like well I could always see some cuteness in that awkward teen from years ago. Of course at the end of the night you’d have the same two or three guys trying to sneak out on a bar bill. At times you’d have a group of them trying to bribe someone into trying to get on top of the bull in the corral. Yes, an actual bull in an actual corral out in front of the steakhouse. He wasn’t there long, but he was there.

An ex would walk up and whisper in your ear, “I’ve got something to show you”, and you simply respond what’s that? While she says come out here and you walk to the back side of the building and she takes your hand and slides it down her pants and you feel her freshly shaved pussy, which was definitely new. You make plans for Black Friday to spend the day fucking like you used to.

As I said, you hear some old stories, that 55 yard touchdown was up to about 63. You argue about beating a rival 43-34 when some former teammate is swearing on his Momma that it was 43-30. You simply say, look, I know what it was. That is my pin # and has been ever since. You flag down another teammate and he confirms that it was 43-34, and then he gives the other guy a hard time for forgetting it.

At this point you are 15-20 beers into the night and you know you could very well drink another dozen or so if the bar wasn’t closing. You crawl into a minivan which was basically a shuttle service. You drop the old ball coach off at his miniature mansion and tell him to cut his hair. He flips the group off with that stumpy middle finger and then he waves.

You come home, crawl into bed and think about the night. You think about the memories, you think about that freshly shaved pussy.

Oh I sure miss those days.

2014

thoughtsthatstray: Written 11/26/2014

It’s still one of the things I miss about my hometown. I don’t miss much, but I miss my friends, the old haunts, the stories that stretch the truth from time to time.  Someone bringing up a time at party and someone trying to deny it ever happened.   As I said in the original post it was a time for friends to see friends. That is/was one of the beauties about a small town. A part of it you didn’t really respect or understand completely when you were there.

I no longer have ties to my home town other than a few friends, with my parents being gone, and having moved away quite some time ago. A small part of me regrets leaving, but the majority of me is glad that I did.

Memories don’t die, but they sure can fade away.

2015

thoughtsthatstray: Written 11/25/2015

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, I’d call it just not in the mood to reminisce. With that said, I’ll give it a shot, since this become some annual ritual. I do know I’ll be tracking down the Ron Green(former Charlotte Observer columnist) annual Thanksgiving article tomorrow.

Earlier tonight on the back deck while grilling some burgers I thought of some old friends, some old times. That  made me remember that I have really neglected my YD&B side blog, but that happens.

Thoughts drift back 18-20-22 years. Thoughts drift to better times, happier times. Maybe it was being more carefree, not fully understanding responsibilities. Then it reminded me of a quote from a book I read this year year. “This is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper, it was made into a movie which was decent, but the book was better as books often are.  I know I shared the quote, but here it is again.

“It’s just hard to see people from your past when your present is so cataclysmically fucked.”

The last time I saw most of my old friends was the summer of 2014 at the funeral of one their father’s. While I sit here typing this, half thankful that I’m not there at the moment, I know it would be like that July night. Wouldn’t miss a beat and it would be like old times. Telling stories, sharing memories, laughing till you are about to choke on a beer. So I’m torn. Part of me wishes I was there instead of typing this, but another part is glad that I’m not.  The dreadfully sad part of it is that is one a handful of times that I’ve actually enjoyed myself.  Past > Present, with the future yet to be in the equation. Really sucks.

It really sucks knowing that the next time I’ll likely see most of them will be at another funeral. But that is how the cookie crumbles at times.  

2016

Thoughtsofstray: Written 11/23/2016

This is the 4th time I’ve sat here on Thanksgiving Eve slapping these keys trying to make sense. 2013, 2014, and 2015 can be found below.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to go back to my home town and hang out with some old friends, but I had to pass. I didn’t trust my car to drive the 30-35 minutes to Statesville to ride the rest of the way with another friend. I don’t trust it to go much further than the short trips that I generally take. It has two issues on it’s to-fix-list. One was quoted out at about 1k(and hopefully will be addressed shortly) the other yet to be determined. I’ve already thrown about 400 at that particular problem and that didn’t fix it. It’s frustrating. But, to be brutally honest, I could have had a 2017 whatever with 17 miles sitting in the drive way and I can’t promise that I would have gone. Well, maybe I wouldn’t be in the same mindset if the 2017 whatever was sitting outside.

This is where I could easily insert that Jonathan Tropper quote. Maybe it should just be my mantra, but it fits. If I didn’t mention it last year, I would quote it again, but if you read this whole jumbled cluster of letters you’ll see it, or you can click here.

It would have been nice to see them. In this little snippet from last year, I also wrote about the last time I saw them. I could quote that again since that hasn’t changed either. But it would have been nice to sit around with a cold beer or four and catch up, and spend some time with them.

Maybe I’ll wake up one day soon and shake myself out of this funk. I’m picturing a 75lb puppy coming out of a river and drying himself off. Maybe that would work.

I guess when I finish this I’ll sit down and read back through the previous 3 entries and I wish I could say I feel like I’m in a better place, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc, but that would be spitting lies.  

I think at one point I made a post about being thankful for having an imagination but in the end, it might be negative thing. Hard to tell.

The night before Thanksgiving used to be a part of the Holiday festivities. Now it’s just a Wednesday.

Stray Thoughts 11/22/2017

Some nights you know exactly where a dream comes from because you see something, think of something, or catch something on TV. Last night was somewhat that night for me. As I was going to bed I saw a report online about the gridlock in Los Angeles in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. I didn’t pay it much attention,but I encountered in a dream last night.

I was stuck in the middle of the bumper to bumper traffic with music blaring and bouncing off one of the various cars I was driving. That is the strange part. At one point I was stuck in the traffic in an early 80′s 300d Mercedes Benz. My dad used to have one, so I guess that is where that came from. I kept watching the needle on the temperature gauge and it was getting hotter and hotter and there was no way to escape. The song that was playing was “Small Town” by John Mellencamp.

The 2nd car was an old late 70′s Trans-Am or Firebird. The only way I can really place that is Ferg on “Longmire” has one, and I finished the most recent of that on Netflix, and when I was in that car, I kept watching the gas needle dip as that v8 idled. The song that was playing then was “L.A. Woman” by The Doors, but half the time it sounded like Billy Idol’s cover

The 3rd and final car is more of a mystery. I have no clue of the make or model, but the radio was stuck and blaring “Make Me Lose Control” by Eric Carmen, a song I can’t say I’ve heard in 10 years. The volume was stuck on say 7 out of 10 and stuck on that song on a cd on repeat. I couldn’t eject it or turn it off, and that thundering towards the end would simply cripple the sound system. People were staring at me like it was planned.   Turn that radio up… I can’t… I can’t turn it down either. 

Stray thoughts: 10/18/2017

I had an odd nightmare last night. It was a bit all over the place, but that’s par for the course. 

It felt like I was in my hometown, on a dead end street where a friend used to live. It was night, the only real light was from a street light but that seemed brighter than normal. I wasn’t in my friend’s yard but was in his next door neighbor’s drive way, right under the street light.

I was bending down with a rubber dustpan and a hand held garden rake/cultivator type deal and was trying to sweep up what looked like broken light bulbs. A useless endeavor considering the tools that I had. 

The wind picked up and I heard the low moan of a fire truck off in the distance. I looked up the street and I saw a ghostly figure walking. It looked a bit like a human/adult male form of “Pig pen” from the Charlie Brown cartoons with dirt, leaves, stuff swirling around him. I went back to “sweeping”, and I looked up the road again and the figure was closer. It started to resemble Paul McCartney in a trench coat and hat with a tooth pick, looking a bit like Val Kilmer as  ‘Doc Holiday’ from “Tombstone”. The figure, he/it,  was still full of ghostly gray and white hues. 

I looked back over my shoulder to where my friend’s house should have been. Now I haven’t been in that house since probably around 1983/84, but to my knowledge it’s still there.  The house that was in it’s place was completely different. It was like a mash of up of Modern architecture blended with a bit of a Craftsman Bungalow. The front was rectangle with a dark brown wooden design, it had a built in alcove for the door. Minimal windows on the front, and the house was lined with a rich thicket of shrubs on each side of a stone walk way.  At the top, above the wooden wall there were rectangle windows that lined the front right below the roof, and the roof sloped backwards.It had a big “tiny house” with a twist of California vibe to it.

Inside the windows, there were flickering flames and at that point the siren that was off in the distance was moaning louder. It didn’t seem like it was my house, but I knew it, and I panicked and just ran right through the thick wooden front door knocking it down. Flames littered the interior and that was the point that I woke up, not knowing the end. I didn’t want to know the end. I got out of bed and had to occupy my mind. I remembered it was trash day so I filled the bag under the kitchen counter with all that I could and took it and the trash can out to the curb where the crisp morning air helped wake me up even more. Some dreams you don’t want to revisit.