I'm at the beginning of day three of a four day writing retreat. It's just me in a rental at McKenzie Bridge. My writing output is okay, but my story is stalling: I'm working on stories set on Venus, and I want to submit one to a particular market with the theme of "darkness" ... only that's not what's coming out.
So I go to sleep hoping for dream stories I can write. What do I get?
+ Dreams about farting, and identifying the farter.
+ a segment where a talking cat repeats my sister-in-law Maria saying, "Oh my Gawd. Dat's disGUISTing." in a gravelly voice. It was like a parot, and the cat was repeating a much longer dialog along the lines of somebody telling Maria something like going to the beauty salon to have armpit hairs plucked. All of this is coming out of a cat that's sitting on a chair grooming itself. Everyone is listening, and when the cat says, "Oh my Gawd," they almost fall over trying not to laugh because they know "Dat's disGUISTing" is coming next.
+ Really large wasps coming out of a pear I was eating, and who now think I'm some kind of pear because I've got pear juice on my hands or something. Batting them away as they strafe me isn't very effective.
+ Mark has rearranged the kitchen -- moving the sink, the stove, and adding a new sink. This was somehow related to the wasps and pears and I was trying to clean something up and I used the sink that wasn't connected to a pipe and so the water came out on the floor.
+ A roving band of folks fund-raising for The Child's school appeared to make funding pitch. It's like a progressive cocktail party with kids. While a Committee Mom is telling me about the benefits of Montesouri, her two kids have turned a hose on and are spraying some of Mark's watercolor and oil paintings on the wall.
"Whoa, whoa! They need to stop that," I say.
Other parents with cocktails and kids continue to hold a party in my house.
"Oh, but isn't it interesting how they're learning about art?" Committee Mom says.
There's some more, but sensing the social ackwardness, the fund-raisers leave.
+ Something about stray pets and owners and a floating cat head.
+ Evil crime-lord children with giant lego guitines. I think there was something about "paying someone back" and union-busting New York sewer workers.
+ Finding myself in Central Park as Burt Ward playing Dick Greyson watching Caesar Romaro as The Joker -- the Clown Prince of Crime, dressed in a white tail coat jacket with thin puprle pin-stripes, joins some little girls in a game of jump rope and leads the kids in a new counting chant about wanting to see Batman's underwear. All the kids join in; all the Gotham parents are hapless. Since I can't reveal my secret identity and punch the Joker, I try to derail the song by shouting, "Batman already wears his underwear on the outside!" The song changes from "show us your underwear" to "show us your wiener and balls."
I wake up with the chant "wiener and balls" fading as gentle chimes of the iPad wake me. Should I phone home ? -- the last two segments were obviously something The Child would dream, so maybe he dreampt about my stories set on Venus?