Dreams, August 20, 2011
We got the car — full of our belongings and the art treasure we were transporting — up on top of the raised courtyard. Not sure how we got it up — perhaps someone lifted us and the car, with a crane. We drove around the square, concrete courtyard: a plateau reached by about ten steep steps. We drove in a square atop the mazelike design, looking for a ramp off. None. Only steps. What to do? We had no choice but to push the car off. First we unloaded the car as much as possible, removing luggage and briefcases, to ease the weight. We also took out the precious artwork, a painting, so it would not get damaged by the jarring.
Twenty men surrounded the car; four of them stood at the bottom of the steps to bring the front of the car down. They had the biggest burden. I watched the four, strong men bend under the load of the front car as the others around the car pushed. Their strong backs bent, and I was afraid the load was too much for them. They yelled at others to stop a moment, so they could take another step back before the next push. I feared for them.
* * *
“How many in this room attended the Bronx High School of Science?” asked the person conducting the college orientation. Almost everyone in the room, about 300 people, raised hands, including me. The orientation officer said that the fate of the school was in question. The name “Science” put many people off. What better name can we give the school, she asked. I heard many suggestions, but the simplest one was apparent to me. “High School of Arts and Science” was the obvious solution. I was about to shout it out when I felt inhibited. Didn’t feel I had the right to put out my idea. I kept silent.
Dreams, August 19, 2011
Time for me to get off the train to catch another, but I’m in the bathroom, when the train pulls up to the station and stops. I’m undressed! I grab my clothes, bolt from the bathroom, bolt from the train. Rush to catch the other train back to 202nd Street. People are waiting for me at the station! I get through the turnstile, but a train conductor in the station tells me the stops have been changed, I have to turn back and get back on the other train and get off on 212nd Street. How will K. ever find me at the station? I dash to the train, anxious and hurried.
* * *
I’m dancing, dancing, twirling. The room is a blur, I am twirling so fast. Joyous.
* * *
The dog is on a short chain, but still manages to jump up to the counter where I’m cooking. Now the dog is biting my hand. Stop it! How am I supposed to cook? Ouch! That hurts! Stop it!
A large dog is running a huge circle — runs across the street to my front lawn, leaps over the fence, into my yard, through my front door, through my house, out the back door, across the street, back to my street, through my door . . . over and over. He is running so fast, there’s no stopping him.
* * *
Some is on the ground, on fire. Quick! Put it out! No one can put it out. His head is getting consumed by the fire.
Dreams, August 18, 2011
The professor said he would only accept the homework today; no late stories. I had carefully printed out my latest blog story and . . . oh, no! I must have left it at home. I can’t believe it, after all the work I put into it. I tell him the story is done, but I left it at home, and I can’t print it out any place else.
The professor says that surely there’s a solution. What do I plan to do? I say, “Cry.” And tears to come to my eyes. He asks the class for other solutions. Many hands go up. Their solutions are beyond me, technically. I don’t know how to use those programs.
I try on my own to print it out from the school (now, workplace) computers, but can’t get it work. The professor will not accept an email; it must be hard copy. I try using an email subscription to myself, but that doesn’t work , either.
Frustrated. I interrupt some co-workers’ conversation, to ask the woman where her brother — the man whose solution seemed most workable — where his office is. “He doesn’t have an office, but I can show you where he sits.”
I show him my efforts to print out the story, including emailing it to myself to print out at work, and how the bottom of the page got cut off. He explains how to get around that, but it is an awkward, labor intensive solution that I know won’t work because I already tried it. He is resentful of my taking him from his work, and I am getting tense.
Another couple of women want to come and chat with me, and I tell one of them I am available all next week, anytime time next week, if she wants to talk then. But today, this Friday afternoon, I am under a deadline and cannot talk. I am afraid she will take offense.
Another co-worker tries to help me find my homework story, going through my file box with me. She doesn’t understand the files and stories system, thinking the files names refer to people. No, I tell her, they are story names based on the main characters.
After I tell the man I am getting tense, he says he will come back in an hour, 1:00 pm, and work on my project then. He says he does not want to be around my anxiety. I become more agitated, because what if he doesn’t come back? I cannot miss my deadline, especially after all the hard work I put into the story.
Rather than wait for him, and put my success in his hands, I decide to go home and print the story myself, or find my file that I stupidly left at home. I have just enough time to do that and get back by the deadline. It’s a long walk home, and I am tired. I catch the wind at times and let it carry me along, letting the wind lift my feet off the ground. This saves me energy and speeds me along. The walk is long and hard; I have to do it two days a week. At least, I tell myself, it is only two days a week. But today, I do it four times.
As I walk, I see some boys are trying to set a timer to blow a hole into a house. They want me to help them, and offer me a share of the goods inside the house. I’m tempted, but then realize what they are doing is illegal, so I keep walking.
After carefully crossing over the five-inch fence protecting the newly planted grass along the curb, I make it to my home in the Pelham Projects. Co-worker N. is in the window. I hope she alerts my mother to my return before I make it up to the apartment. I worry my mother will be too upset seeing me show up unexpectedly during the work day. But, they are not too upset seeing me.
I find my blog and take care of the story. Another co-worker has turned into a large box. I stroke the box hoping to soothe her, because I must leave her.
A man visiting the apartment falls in love with my new dark slate blue couch, even though it’s hard to see it under the huge crocheted afghan covering it. He loves all my new furniture so much, he offers to buy it from me for three times what I paid for it. I consider the offer, and whether or not I would tell him I got it at a special discount. But no, that doesn’t matter. I love the furniture and won’t sell it.
From our window, we can see a construction project in a large field. I am surveying the view with someone who says her father had been buried in the cemetery in the field, but the family moved the grave in August, before the construction project, out of respect for him. It cost them $7 to move the grave. My grandfather, and grandmother from the other side of my family, were in that cemetery but we didn’t think to move them. I feel some regret. I hope their graves were not disturbed. It’s been so long though, that probably nothing was left of them, anyway. That’s how I console myself for the oversight.