Friday, May 14, 2004

Backyard Dreams
Must have been the combination of ouzo, retsina, and overstuffed gyros that put last night's sleep into a downward spiral. Viewing "28 Days Later" probably didn't help the visuals either. So, the dreams last night were vignettes directed by David Lynch and starring Dennis Hopper and Harvey Keitel. I think there were cameos by Tom Waits, Mickey Rourke, and Steve Buscemi. Yeah, we're talking about a well groomed cast of characters.
The bedroom windows were opened; it was 65 or so and breezy. Sleeping without a/c is a beautiful thing. A glass of iced water was on the bedstand. The sheets were tight and chilly. This was going to be a fitless night of pulling zzzzz's. I sat in bed, listing the backyard jobs that I knew had to be finished shortly. Long, but do-able.
I then listed the honey-do's. Also long and possibly finish-able, with a little negotiations with the job supervisor, my ever-loving wife, and with a little sweat output by the tall & laconic son. LIfe was good and sleep beckoned with its promise of in-head movies.

There are many types of dreams, but it's the scary ones that live with you the longest. And if that scary dream is realistic (i.e. not scripted by Gabriel Marquez) and free of digital imagery, it usually is one that you're convinced that you're awake while you're freaking your way through it.
I woke up with the sun pouring through the Venetians and the sound of water dripping everywhere. Looking outside, I saw no one, just water and drowning grass. Steve Buscemi was sitting out on the deck, switching his gaze from the flooded lawn to me, tsk-tsking as he smiled.

While a man's home may be his castle, his backyard is his playpen. It was out BACK, where both strangers and relatives could not see you having your type of fun. Your imagination was let loose from the constraints of the house and, most certainly from the public view that the FRONT yard represented. As long as the folks were willing participants (which they were at times), the grass did not have to be cut completely, trees could be burdened with all sorts of ropes and wooden Gehry-ish structures, and the infinite pleasures offered by refrigerator corrugated boxes could be explored. As all things buried in one's childhood's memories, the playpen tended toward the extreme......hey!!! Adulthood was so far down the road that possibilities were endless. Pools were perpetually clean. The vistas were forever. The Three Stooges were clown princes. And school was the necessary thief of time that made the reprives in the backyard so deliciously sweet.

So, how did I end up in a backyard water fiasco (backwater??)?
Where's the backyard I'd imagined?

I'll be the guy at the Ritz theater in Philly next weekend, screaming questions at the screen.
Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes is opening there this weekend.

Mr. Buscemi & Mr. Waits have some 'splainin' to do.

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