Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Big Dipper and My Coffee Maker

Sleep escapes me once again. I did sleep, because I remember the fragment of a dream, but I didn’t sleep as long or as well as I wanted to, or as I needed. Sleep has eluded me again. I get up at four in the morning because even the dogs have given up on me getting any more sleep than I already have. I get up to let them out and count heads in total darkness. Lucas runs ahead simply because it is in his nature to run ahead. Sam stays close to me because it is in Sam’s nature to stay close to me, and Bert brings up the rear because Bert is dying slow.
Bert gets medication for the pain and arteritis but he’s over twelve years old and large dogs have an expiration date that a decade can see easily. To have brought him a pair of years past ten wasn’t easy and there are old wounds that have come back to haunt him. Yet Bert struggles forward still, happy and content. The puppy I love inhabits an old dog’s body now, but Bert is still in there and he’s still trying to make the most of it. Lucas launches towards the woods as if there might be something to chase and Sam gamely tries to follow. Bert plods along behind the pair and they all disappear into the black and I listen for their tags. Nothing. They’ve learned to travel in silence and they do it well.

The coffee maker is dead. That’s a tragedy at four in the morning. The last one burst into flames on me about four years ago, and this one was one someone had in their shop, and let me have it for free. Now, like Bert, it doesn’t work so well early in the morning, but there is no medication for a twelve dollar coffee maker. It slowly leaks out half a cup of coffee, stops, and waits for a while before gasping back to life and dripping out another half cup. The burner is cold. This is now a two-step operation at four fifteen in the morning. The dogs are back and they want to be fed, and as always, it seems as if the four of us have been separated by months or years. I pet Bert first, making the other two back away from him to keep either of them from knocking him down, and then I pet Sam. I make Lucas sit and wait, and he does. Lucas has the highest sense of discipline of the three, and once again I am so happy I started training him when he was just a puppy.

I sit on the front porch and contemplate a trip into town. The dream returns to me, poking me under the arm like a dog wanting pettings, and I lean into it. There was a circular building, with an open area in the middle where there were plants growing.  This isn’t a home, or even so much as some business building but a giant thing, like a stadium with a low roof, and flat, but it is made entirely of wood. The roof is made of green tiles that are also made of wood, and I think this structure is used for some ceremonial function that involves some government. It isn’t our government, or someone else’s government who operates here but a different government. This isn’t from out world, but it isn’t alien either.

The trusses that support the roof are many and they are left in the open with no attempts at beauty here, except in simplicity. This is a strong, powerful building, and even when it is totally empty there is a sense of crowd here, a sense of purpose greater than those who have engineered this. I remember walking through the building, a long time ago, in another dream, and it was a maze of supports and rafters, and massive square columns that were made of four square beams bolted together, with the heads and ends of the bolts sticking out enough to catch a stray sleeve. There is real craftsmanship here, but it is a very utilitarian edifice.

The Big Dipper drifts in the sky, the coffee maker gasps back to life, and I can’t remember the why of the building.  It’s a Dreamscape that has now reoccurred, like a few others where I visit the same places in my dreams which do not exist in my real life. I close my eyes and squint at the Dipper, trying to remember something else about the building, and I get an image of walking through a hallway made of boards, all painted white, and into the central reservation of the building where the plants are. There is a low mound that serves as landscaping in the center, and as unlikely as it seems, there is an overabundance of flowering plants to be found here. There are lupines, snapdragons, and foxgloves, as well as a willow tree that dominates the middle ground.  The color of the garden is made even more startling by the monochromatic green- over- white of the building.

There are rules against using the garden as a thoroughfare and it is one of those odd rules that everyone obeys, and as I’m looking up at the gap between two Oaks in my yard I realize the Dipper is making its way through the Oaks ever so slowly wheeling across the sky.  I wonder about the why of the rules of the building, and for the life of me, I cannot place any reason it is, or who has been in it. It is a brand new Great Pyramid without a single Egyptian to be found.  The paint is fresh. The floors are clean. The garden is immaculate. But there are no people or any of the accruements that go with human activity. Yet I know this building.

Bert begins his howl and Sam’s yelp isn’t far behind. Lucas’ voice is more steady than that of the Elder Mutts, and it takes a full second before the neighbor’s dogs lift up with mine. The coyotes are near and I can hear their yipping.  I sneak a peek at the coffee maker and there’s enough for another cup. The dogs need to be fed. Boston Georgia needs to be written out, and explained in depth, and that will take some time, if I am to do it right.

Take Care,


  1. Very nice.I felt this moment with you.

    1. I sure hope you had more sleep than I did, B!

  2. I've given up laying there, when the sandman has stopped off somewhere for a beer.
    It's strange I should know exactly what a building looks like, when I've never seen it, not even a photograph, but I do.

    1. I can even tell you where the bathrooms are.

      I swear it is like I have been there.