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They have better beds on the A ward.

Lunch in San Francisco

October 15th, 2000

Neat And Tidy
Car's dead, no way it's going to start, so I guess it's a tow truck next Wednesday in the late afternoon. If I arranged it today, I'd have to get up off my butt and pretend to be coherent, which is not my idea of a Sunday afternoon. If my car were working I could certainly drive somewhere and do something today, which I probably wouldn't; while sitting here without my car, I can think about walking somewhere exciting and not do that instead.

Another nice day outside, the Magnolia tree visible through the open door to the balcony, browns and greens and a single white flower, which will turn to rust and fall to the ground pretty soon. Which is the way of Magnolias, I guess, this being the first one of my experience.

I woke up this morning around 6:30, half an hour later than I would normally awake during the week, drank some water, took a leak and went back to sleep, more because I could than any need for more rest. I dreamed I was late for a plane, a business trip of some sort to Austin, Texas, and although my bags were packed and somehow properly attached to my motorcycle. (I have no idea why it was a motorcycle rather than a car, other than the fact my car doesn't work at the moment. It was a late model motorcycle with short clip on handlebars and a racing faring, but other than that, just a motorcycle sitting at the curb, ready to take me to the airport.) I'd left my helmet and a carry on bag I needed to pack my shaving gear and toothbrush back up on the fifth floor of a large wood framed building that had been converted into apartments, all of them opening onto the same internal stairwell.

When I first climbed the stairs, the stairwell was filled with people milling around looking over a Berkeley parade maze of living units, some of them just small rooms with beds and dressers, albeit nice beds and dressers, single rooms on a floor of single rooms in some sort of group living arrangement, some of them small, some of them larger. It had been crowded going up those stairs, but I'd managed to move my way through. I returned to the street and the motorcycle, fretting about the business trip, not wanting to go on the business trip, but realizing I had no choice and that I had to return to the fifth floor to retrieve my forgotten motorcycle helmet and carry on bag if I were to catch my plane. Going back to the first floor of the building I was now having trouble finding the stairs and what stairs I was able to find no longer seemed designed as a common area, climbing these stairs now put me into the private living quarters of the people who inhabited them, the crowd of apartment seekers had disappeared, the people I now found surprised by someone walking into their apartments, which were much larger now, almost like houses, not understanding that I was trying to climb to my coworker's fifth floor apartment to retrieve my motorcycle helmet.

Complicated? Yeah. I haven't been remembering my dreams. I wake up and it's time to feed Wuss and take a bath, wham, bam, step in the water. No half asleep awakenings, no particular memories of dreams or, at least, any that I've remembered.

They've reported experiments recently that suggest dreaming is a way to process the information you've accumulated during the day. The more stress, the more change and information you're assaulted with during any given period, the more time you need for your dreaming mind to sort it out and mull it over. Or you go whacko.

The images make some sense. I'm not sure about the motorcycle. The communal living wood framed building (why the fifth floor? fifty years old?), the person who I was visiting a member of my current company, yes, a manager, but also at another level the old president of my fraternity in college, representing, in some sense, my own circumstances, perhaps at my beginnings. It isn't so much the logic, but the associated emotional charge, I suppose, so the story line is less important than the individual elements. Unless it's the other way around. A business trip. They are still talking about sending me to Europe, although I think that will fall under the axe if this is a rational universe. (A worry, this rational universe thought, rationality varying, as it does, daily, by the hour.) Anyway, those were my thoughts as I sat down at the computer this morning: Work, age, travel, stress and motorcycles, all wrapped up neat and tidy just before breakfast.

The banner photograph was taken at lunch during a week long software class in San Francisco last month, the second, taken at the "How Berkeley Can You Be? parade. The quotation is by Groucho Marx.