Monday, May 3, 2010

I thought you were a life-sized paper doll

Hans and Mom meet Andrew Bird somewhere - maybe a mall - and bring him home for me to meet. They suggested we take a walk in the woods together to "get to know each other." He's on a tight schedule - probably has to leave for tour or something. We go walking in my parents' wooded back yard. He's nice. Sensitive. A good listener. We see an old wooden inn that looks like it's from the days of King Arthur. There's a festival going on inside and we decide to check it out.

While he's finding a place for us to sit, there's a showing of the guard. A hundred midgets come marching in. No. Not marching. They're all riding pigs. Pigs with saddles, bridles and everything. They line up before - is it the king? - and perform a dance. Then a hundred giants stomp in and perform an Irish step dance, making the pigs and midgets bounce everywhere.

Andrew comes back and says he forgot that he needs to go hunting. He leaves me with money for food and walks back into the forest. I continue to watch the festivities. The giants, midgets and pigs are singing drinking songs now, smelling strongly of beer and roast pork. When Andrew comes back he's carrying a stuffed rabbit that is obviously fake. He holds the rabbit to his chest. It's not his catch, it's his wubby.

We find a spot on the side of the building and lay out a blanket for a picnic. He's watching every move I make - the way I sip my drink, tuck my hair behind my ear. He seems amused, and asks me hundreds of questions. I'm in love with his shyness and introspective nature. I ask him to sing for me. After some talking, he clears his throat and becomes rather serious.

"I . . . I um . . . I'm going to school in Nebraska in the fall. Taking some writing classes to help with my lyrics. I don't know what your plans are for school, but I'd like it very much if you attended with me." Because that's how Andrew Bird talks. I was waiting from him to tip his hat and say, "If it . . . if it wouldn't be too much trouble, ma'am."

This song was playing throughout my dream:

MX Missiles
And now as I would judge and say you're aloof
but you know the truth is a seed
you know what you need is a conflagration
cause when I see the blood
and the bits of your broken tooth
it gives me the proof that I need
it's the proof that you bleed
it's a revelation
yeah it's a revelation, it's a revelation

I thought you were a life-sized paper doll
propped up in the hardware store
propped up on the front lawn watching the parade
of those legionnaires with two-by-four's
as they're marching off to war
yeah they're marching off to war

I didn't know what you were made of
the color of your blood, what you're afraid of
are you made of calcium or are you carbon-based
and if you're made of calcium I'll have to take a taste
cause, listen, calcium is deadly tender to the tooth
and it's one sure-fire way to know if you're
MX-missile-proof, oh no, or if you're just aloof

You were in the ground in late November
when the leaves in earth are down
did you, did you think they would remember
how you almost made stage-out
cause when you're running for the game against Alfonso
and you fell upon the ground and chipped a tooth
oh no, listen, I really have surprised her
to learn that you are really MX-missile-proof

Oh, I thought you were a life-sized paper doll
and you're propped up in the hardware store
you were propped up on the front lawn watching the parade
of those legionnaires with two-by-four's
as they're marching off to war
yeah they're marching off to war
oh they're marching

I dreamed that I died. Someone stabbed me with a colored pencil, and now I'm lying on my mother's living room couch while various people inspect my body and try to figure out what happened. I want to jump up and tell them "well you see, someone stabbed me with a pencil, and the wound became infected, and I died. You should probably quit asking 'how' and start asking 'who.'" But I can't, because I'm dead. Mourners come to pay their respects. I don't know why I'm not lying in a coffin by now. Maybe the police still have evidence to collect, though a wake is a funny time to do so. Or maybe it's sentimental. Mom didn't want me laid out in a stiff (sorry) wooden coffin for my wake. She wanted me to be comfortable, which, even though I'm dead, I appreciate.  As the different visitors come and go, they each have a different way of paying their respects. Some hold my hand and tell me the things they wish they'd told me - how they were mean out of jealousy, how they loved me more than they ever had the courage to say, how they wish I'd done the things in life that made me happy, instead of listening to their practical and heartbreaking advice. Some of them kiss my forehead. Some smell my hair. Some lie down with my body for one last "Suzie snuggle." And some punched me in the stomach for never returning those DVDs before I died. "Now we'll never find them," they say, making the sign of the cross as they look down at my blue lips and translucent eyelids. When the wake is over they still don't put me in a coffin. The living room couch has a hide-a-bed, and they just neatly fold me back into it. I'm thinking, are they just going to leave me here? It's kind of dark and dusty. I don't know how I'm thinking these things, since I'm dead. I'm liable to start stinking after a few days. Maybe they'll move me then. Or maybe this IS my coffin, and they just plan on burying the whole couch.

In the middle of the night I decide to come back to life and see what's going on in the rest of the house. See if there are any clues for my funeral plans. I think everyone's asleep, so I quietly climb out of the couch. Just then Amy comes home. She's in her pajamas, but she's been shopping. I hide behind the couch so I don't startle her (dead sisters coming back to life have a tendency to do that). She comes in the living room, sees me crouched behind the sofa, and says "wanna see what I got?" I stand up, brush myself off (there were a lot of crumbs in the hide-a-bed), and say "sure." We sit on my coffin and she shows me all the cute outfits she found for Hannah . She bought 4 different kinds of tutus, saying they would make good models for our next generation of toddler tutus. As she's showing me her shopping wares I'm thinking how very nice this is, spending time with my sister, and how I wished I could have spent more time with her before I died and came back to life.
. . .
There is a secret antique cabinet hidden in the wall of a house. I am a man who loves this house and all of its old secrets, and I've taken extra special care to make sure this cabinet remains hidden in the wall. I give it a new coat of paint every year. Then, some jerk decides he needs to access the cabinet and whatever is stored inside, so he rips apart my precious layers of paint, picks the lock on the wall, and ends up breaking the hinges on the door. Inside the wall it's dusty and unfinished. I'm a little embarrassed to see the raw materials my beautiful ancient house was made of. It took some of the magic away, and I was furious with this man for accessing the secret cabinet, which turns out to be a junk cabinet full of paper clips, batteries, and dried up ball-point pens. He just needed some AA's for his remote control car. Why didn't he go to Walmart?
. . .
Riding bikes up a hill with two other guys. I'm the fastest, but they are close behind. One has a fancy kind of bike that allows him to lay flat on his belly and pedal with his hands. He's about to pass me, and it just feels wrong to let him. We're riding through a Tuscan vineyard. When the two other guys pass me, they leave me behind and I wonder why it is I keep pedaling.


courtney*adele said...

you have some of the most vivid dreams. my oh my.

Suzie said...

Haha! I know! I can't make this crap up!

Rick said...

have you looked into any of Jung's dream interpretation stuff? Your dreams are very archetypal. Andrew Bird, Migets, Giants, Dying, folding up into the couch, old man in a house with a precious junk cupboard - all very archetypal. You should look into it - or we could talk about it sometime or something.