If you knew all the dreams I’ve dreamed!
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary, 1856)

Imaginary City – Fish Market (Dream)

fish_market_3On the quest for whisky I arrive at a converted warehouse on the harbour, seeking a bar I’ve looked for before and found twice in the east Exchange. One time it was deserted without customers or staff, on another, crowded and too expensive for anything but a visit to the washroom. Third time lucky, and just right, like Goldilocks would say. I make my way to a long polished oak bar with bottles of whisky in front of the mirror behind and several empty stools to choose from in front.

 I am getting something for dinner, and this  a little diversion. I order my favourite Irish whisky double, and enjoy the first swallow in a long time. It’s then that I notice the bar doubles as a seafood market with fresh fish bought that morning in the harbour.  This is great, I figure, I don’t even have to get off my stool.

I receive octopus as the first part of my order, and while I’m waiting for scallops, snapper, basa and mussels for my Australian’s wife’s superb soup, I feel a tug at my sleeve. It’s my middle child sent to find me, as if we’re in a prohibition era movie. I drop the octopus on the wood floor as he tugs my arm, and before I can explain I’m really buying supper he has hustled me outside.

 Suggested listening: Phil Ochs – Pleasures of the Harbour.

Off the bus in Elmira (dream)

ON-Elmira1After reviewing my conference package, I sign up for a bus tour to Elmira Ontario, leaving from the Toronto downtown Delta Hotel , the next morning. After an uneventful two -hour drive spent looking out the window and dozing we disembark at a cheese makers, our first stop.  Despite the promise of a cheese tasting accompanied with some fine Niagara Peninsula red & white wine I am too bored to stay; my choosing he tour to Elmira had been misguided.

It feels like I’m playing hooky as I walk to the nearest Smitty’s and order pancakes with locally produced maple syrup.  I ask the waitress if there are any car rental agencies  in town that would allow me to take a car to Toronto. No, she says, putting her order notepad in an apron pocket. An elderly couple at the next table overhear my request and offer me a ride. They’re going as far as Milton. I accept.

Standing at the side of the highway, I turn my face to the sun and stick out my thumb , thinking Life doesn’t get much better than this.

Piss on ’em (Dream)

UrinalI  piss into a urinal in the east side main floor john in University Centre at the University of Manitoba. I am alone in the room. My new hearing aids, in my shirt pocket,  fall or jump (I’m still waiting for the forensics report), into the urinal. In mid-leak there is nothing I can do but piss on ’em.

Father and Son Dreaming

Posted January 6, 2013

Last night I dreamt my father and me set out from Fort Richmond, down Pembina Highway and Highway 75,  one dark Friday early spring evening.  The snow and dirt being washed away by driving rain,  the wind whipping our faces, and our long coats flapping behind us as we rode our CMC coaster fixed gear bicycles.

Glenlea Mennonite Church Sunday morning, once upon a time.

Glenlea Mennonite Church Sunday morning, once upon a time.

When we were finally out of range of the city lights, I looked behind me to see how Dad was making out, and he was gone. I continued, finishing the journey to the old white clapboard church in Glenlea, which was deserted. No-one else had come to catechism class and choir practice. I sat in the pews, dreaming of how I might convert the place into an arts or literary presentation space. Fade to

Organization and Staff Development Dream

I hurry, think I’m late. I take my seat at one of the many long rows of tables on the mezzanine of a large government office building. Fortunately the clock is wrong, resets, and I’m a few minutes early. I look at the materials on my desk and don’t understand what is expected of me. I can’t do the calculations or find the right answers. The lights go down, darkness falling on the room full of government employees.

hear one man say, “Again? Don’t worry if you don’t know.” “This happens a lot.” Nobody moves until the end of the workday amid confusion when they lift their heads about whether that means
4:00 or 5:00 o’clock. I wait for everybody to leave and find my way to a lighted hallway, and down stairs that don’t seem to be connected to a way out of the building. I try squeezing through a gap but can’t get through – until I kick it apart. I fall jump about four feet to the ground into an empty lobby, button my black coat and hit the handicapped buttons on the doors which let me out into the cold winter Winnipeg light.

Horse and buggy dream

Published: OCTOBER 17, 2012 | Edit

Last night I dreamt I was travelling by horse and buggy from Winnipeg to the Klassen homestead in southern Manitoba even though the Red River was flooding the valley plain. I was able to keep to the road even under water, thanks to Dancer, my sure footed brown quarter-horse mare with a black mane and tail.

I was bringing Lynn to meet some of my relatives. I had some misgivings about our reception (which I kept to myself), since my relatives were conservative Mennonites, and this was my third marriage.  I was counting on Lynn to charm them with her Australian accent.

We arrived in time for Sunday vaspa as planned. The relatives greeted us suspiciously as I had not written to tell them we were coming, and my wife was not the one they knew from the wedding they had attended two decades earlier.

I showed Lynn where my grandparents were buried, though the headstones were hard to find, the plot uncared for.  My father joined us, happy we had come to visit my mother’s relatives. He helped them with paperwork and organized the burials for their suicides.

It was a long way back, and I wanted to be sure to in Winnipeg by dark. My father was disappointed we were leaving so early, concerned our departure, so soon after we had eaten, would be considered rude.

Gerhard helped me harness Dancer. She had been grazing in the paddock.  He and I set off, arguing about which roads to take to avoid the flood as much as possible. The route I chose put us in the middle of a flooded farmhouse, horse and buggy and all. I slapped the reins on Dancer’s flanksas she dragged the buggy over a hope chest and out the barn door. The sun was shining, the road dry.



September 28, 2012

Last night I dreamt about my favourite pants, ever. Drapes, possibly, pants men wore after the war until things got skinny in the sixties.I  shopped hard at thrift stores, and owned a substantial collection of double breasted suit jackets designed to  cover shoulder holsters.Later  a lovely fine summer weight woollen green Frank Sinatra summer suit,  thin lapels, skinny pants, skinny tie. worn at the rail switch from the SWG to the Globe. What a great party! I love to dress up.

Lets get back to the pants in which you could pack pistols, with no-one, even women, attentive to what they didn’t know might behind those pleats. I keep looking for those pants. I wore them to an Mennonite Writing Conference, and they were my only packed pair, and they tore up the seam, before there was any time for a real sewing remedy. Somehow, even with 20 safety pins, I made it through security making my departure and a safe arrival back in Winnipeg, meaning nothing

Yes, I deamed  about those pants, and  though not a dancer, I’ve got a new pair on order.




I regain consciousness

September 3, 2012

Another night another dream. This one, about a psychotic break in the country,  me struggling to return to the city.  I walk through a ditch, dry, heavy with tall grass. I enter a shabby make shift community hall, only cooler like homemade with logs and stuff. I am sad.  Just before the singer begins to sing his song I ask if anyone is returning to Winnipeg after the concert. Most turn to look, no-one very interested until a sandy young  muppy couple sigh, and say sure.

I try to make myself less conspicuous, hallucinating quietly in a corner. The concert is over, and the couple says come on. As we approach the city they take the perimeter and I ask if they are intending to enter the city. “No, sorry  we need to turn down Number 2.”

I ask to be let out at a crossing still quite a way from my destination. I have a backpack, and my stick. It’s past midnight when a pick-up truck stops and offer’s me the truckbed, which I take. I notice the woman’s purse next me, and just as I try to remove a couple of twenties from her wallet we stop, and the woman catches me and I say “I was just putting it back.”

We’re not in the city but in the parking lot of a small country health centre, where they deliver me to very uninterested staff annoyed with my interruption and need. I become abusive, angry, violent, wanting to go home. The facility security, looking like every big-boned bully I’ve ever seen holds me while they give me an injection. When I regain consciousness it is morning, and they don’t so much release me as expel me into a bird singing morning. And I’m back on the road trying to get back home in the city. This would be more accurate if the word crying was added to every sentence.

A Wedding Gone Wrong

September 2nd, 2012

I dreamt I dreamt a dream of a wedding gone wrong.  What I remember isn’t much, but there was a storm. I’m thinking if comedies end with a wedding, and tragedies with death, what is it when the bridal couple dies before nightfall?

I dreamt I dreamt a dream of appearing at the home of a very wealthy family preparing for a wedding.

I dreamt I dreamt a dream from out of the newspaper. In the news story the bride dabbled her foot in the river, which soaked up through her wedding dress, toppling her into the water. The photographer and a friend tried to pull her from the current but the dress was to heavy and the river claimed her.

I dreamt I dreamt a dream in which the couple in their finest, wed on their groomed grassy waterside lawn, under a darkening sky. They stepped into a large powered boat to leave for their honeymoon. The storm came up and the boat capsized, and the couple were swept away as the wealthy family and their butler (and me) watched.

I dreamt I dreamt a dream where no-one was hungry to eat the carefully prepared wedding banquet when the butler offered. The mother was getting drunk as if it was any other day. Her sister, the aunt of the bride was angry and jealous yelling she had come all this way just to witness a disaster. I helped myself to a large serving of roast beef and horse radish in the  kitchen when no-one was looking.

I dreamt I dreamt a dream where it was decided we would all go to a restaurant to dine as no-one had eaten their wedding supper (but me). The family became the one I which I was raised, and my brother tried to get a booking, but it was after ten and it was at least a half hour drive …. . I had changed my clothes to something casual, but somber. I was asked to dress for dinner again and I couldn’t find all the parts, but wasn’t allowed to wear my  ragged grey wool tie, and another was found.

I dreamt I dreamt a dream in which I stood on the imposing steps of a mansion waiting for a black limousine in the dark and stormy night.










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