Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cucumbers


My father had everyone’s pay in a flat leather case, but he had decided that he was going to give the case to a courier for delivery. I tried to convince him that the courier would steal the money. Although there was doubt in his expression, he insisted that wouldn’t happen. Still hoping to persuade him, I followed him through the back entrance into a gloomy institutional kitchen. No one was around. We passed through a set of swinging doors with round windows in them. Suddenly there was about twenty feet of space between us. He met and whispered briefly with a very tall man in a suit. Then I followed him back outside. We were standing in the shade of huge buildings held up by granite columns. I tried again to tell him that the money would be stolen and that he would be held responsible. But he seemed powerless, as if the decision were now out of his hands. About that time, we were joined by the courier. She was about thirty-five, and clearly someone that shouldn’t be trusted. My father handed her the case. Once again, a large space opened between us, and I tried to guess which route she would take away from the buildings. There were several narrow passageways that led directly to the road, but she surprised me by taking the long way around. In no time at all, she had run on ahead of me, and was rounding the base of a mountain. I started to run after her, knowing full well that when I try to run in dreams I often have trouble gaining traction, or I run on my hands... so I stopped running and stood up to take a deep breath, trying to remember how to run properly — and then I was off again... until I was distracted by some cucumber plants alongside the road... the cucumbers were ripe, and if no one picked them they would be wasted... my father loved cucumbers... and then I remembered he was no longer alive. I felt one. It was soft. On closer examination, I found something wrong with all of them. I looked up in time to see the woman disappear as she followed the bend in the road.


Update:
In the Forum: Gerald Locklin’s “Beer.”

10 comments:

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

Hi dear William,

...dreams are the mirror of our fears (I think)

William Michaelian said...

Hi, Laura. I’m sure that’s part of it, anyway. Fear, guilt, disappointment.... and even so, sometimes they feel like a nice letter from home.

ALeks said...

Next time you dream of your dear father,trust him on his word and stay a little with him while you can,in your dream,and let the criminal minds get what they deserve!Cucumbers getting all soft,hmmmm....what a waste, not nice at all(most hard part of being a gardener ,even worse for a farmer) but sometimes letting things go,as hard as it is for us, might bring us some ease and peace of mind.Even when you dream you remind of someone I knew all along!Very vivid writing,like I was standing next to you or making a film of your running and it sounds to me as a good script for a film,silent one,like Charlie Chaplin one,love it!

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

yes I think the same
"sometimes they feel like a nice letter from home".

I'm very happy to discovered you!

William Michaelian said...

Aleksandra, I love your observation — dreams like this do feel like silent films. And yes, what happened to the cucumbers felt like a tragedy — the waste, and also knowing how much my father liked them. In my next dream, I will try to follow your advice....

Thank you, Laura, it’s nice of you to say that. I feel the same way about you and your beautiful artwork.

Anthony Duce said...

I have dreams like above all the time. most are related the bad times I'd thought I'd put behind me, had finally gotten through. Thanks for the good words.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Anthony. I guess these things are just part of our fabric, and while other happenings may seem to eclipse their importance, they reassert themselves from time to time. And then of course you have to wonder if they aren’t also altered by what comes after them. Dreams and memories — a mysterious realm.

Noxalio said...

William, this is wonderful! now i have no choice but to get a copy of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams ... alas, if my grandmother was around i'd ask her to do the same (interpret i mean), she used to, a long time ago ...

noxy.

Elisabeth said...

Your dreams always start off as bits of memoir and then morph into some dream world. I love the blend of the real and the sublime. Thanks, William.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Noxy. If Sigmund has an explanation, let me know — although I think I’d prefer your grandmother’s interpretation. Some of my father’s old aunts were experts at reading coffee cups.

Elisabeth, I hadn’t really thought about it, but I guess there is a memoir-feel to many of these. It isn’t intentional; I suppose it’s just my way of telling. And as we’ve discussed before, in my life, the real and the sublime, as you put it, are not easily distinguished — if they are, in fact, distinguishable at all. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read and comment.