Sometime there are things I just have to write about. I can’t tell you where I surfed most recently, or how good it was, though I feel perfectly unrestrained in recounting how many times I’ve been skunked out here on the inside elbow of the last push west and north in the contiguous United States. Numerous, with sessions where it was the wrong tide and closed out but one had to surf because it was going to get windy, so one (meaning me) did, and it did get windy, so much so that it was completely blown out by the time the tide did allow the waves to properly line up. Or the time when one (still me) waited a few hours for the swell to get in, and they sort of did, but the objectively weak, measure-ably small waves completely disappeared by the time I got into my wetsuit and back down the beach. Or… or…
Or I can post something I just had to write one morning, a piece I wrote and polished and sent to Keith, because he’s in it, and Drew, because he’s a huge Dylan fan. And now you.
IN DYLAN’S DREAMS, PERHAPS…
Perhaps it’s because I was working in Uptown Port Townsend the last few days, and perhaps it’s because I was bleaching and pressure washing decks until dark last night; and bleaching always makes me feel a bit like I’ve spent too much time in the pool; but, in the dream I’m trying to put back together, Librarian Keith and Bob Dylan are skateboarding on the sidewalk alongside a block of Victorian era buildings.
The action isn’t like ollies and flips and that kind of skateboarding; they are gliding, slaloming, leaning into easy turns, scootching into the entryways, clipping a hand on the corner of the alcove, coming perilously close to the curb, but staying on the sidewalk. And then I join them.
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours… I said that.” Bob Dylan, ‘Talkin’ World War III Blues.’
I got the impression, perhaps realizing I was dreaming, that neither Keith nor Bob really appreciated my joining in, but this being a dream and all, my knees are flexible, my ankles fine, I am spry and holding my own. Yeah, Dylan, ten years my senior in real life, is also ripping; smooth moves, never even having to put a hand up to avoid losing his white, flat-brimmed, Panama style hat. You know the one.
In another dream scene, just before I woke up, an hour later than usual; with our cat, Angelina, sounding an alarm halfway down the hallway; I was looking through a window (pretty sure it was from inside the Rose Theatre and through the ticket booth) a guy blocking a couple, a man and a woman. The man was trying to reach over the guy to get a ticket to see, of course, Bob Dylan. I had the impression this was a sort of a date. The guy blocking them doesn’t move until the man with the woman reaches over his shoulder with a wad of, yeah, cash. Rose Theatre; pretty good place to go… on a date.
“Meow! Me-ow. Wake up!” Angelina.
This isn’t my first dream featuring Dylan, and, in fact, there was more Dylan in last night’s: Somehow, I had some connection with finding a place for him to stay in the area, and two people were selected to have the privilege of hosting him, preferably in a place near the water.
“Wait a minute,” I said (or maybe I didn’t have to say it, this being a dream and all) folks know these folks, and those folks’ll just cruise in, hang out;” and Dylan says (or doesn’t have to say- and this is the older, Salvador Dali looking Dylan), “The question here is, do you know where they live?” “I do.” “Oh.”
Yes, that does kind of leave it hanging.
So, here’s a question: Do you ever have those dreams that are so real you put them into your memory bank as if some of what happened is… real?
Don’t answer; I can’t hear you. These are just keystrokes. History. I’m not here.
Anyway, I have had several dreams in which I’m in what I have to believe is some sort of roadhouse, and, somehow, I’m thinking it’s somewhere up in, like, San Bernardino (weird in itself, San Bernardino being way south from where I am), and the room is filled with musicians, sitting around, evidently taking turns playing guitar and singing; and Dylan’s there, but he’s not playing… or singing… or talking.
But then he turns to me and, specifically, he looks at a harmonica in my hand. And then I see he has a harmonica in his. And then I notice one of his eyes is kind of, I have to say, quivering. And then, pencil-thin mustache and all, he smiles. Not a friendly kind of smile; a resolved kind. Perhaps.
Side note: I have limited time and my list of ‘should do’ and ‘must do’ is way more pressing than my list of ‘want to do.’ I want to work on “Swamis.” I am making progress. But, something I’ve already cut from the manuscript pertains to how, back in the late 60s, there was a persistent rumor of an FM radio station in San Diego that played stuff we didn’t hear on the AM channels. KPRI, barely-catchable from the North County; but what has remained in my memory cache is listening, with my dad’s earphones, and the DJ says, “We’re going to go in the back now and get our heads on,” and put on “John Wesley Harding,” in its entirety. I’m not sure if someone had to return to flip the record, but, in the years since, my mind has added someone coming in, and in a voice an octave lower, saying… shit, I don’t know what, I was fifty miles away and it was fifty-plus years back.