Dispatch from the home front: Labor Day morning

It’s beautiful and grey out today. The breeze swirls the flag outside my apartment and sends gusts of wind through my living room window.

Last night, I woke up at around 3 in the morning to rain and a faint sound of knocking. I realized that Adam, a friend staying for the weekend, must have gotten locked out.

After I let him in, I had a hard time falling back asleep. The channels of my brain throbbed from the whiskeys I drank earlier in the evening. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles played in an endless loop through my mind at an obnoxious volume.

In the morning, when I woke for the second time today, fragments of a strange dream lingered. I’ve been having such odd, cinematic dreams, mashups of lived life and observed or imagined life. One that I had about a week and a half or so ago, at my brother and his then-fiancee’s apartment in Indianapolis, involved my trying dispose of a corpse near the high school in my hometown along with two friends who’d visited New York City the weekend prior. None of us went to high school at the same time or the same place. A washing machine and a lye-like substance were involved. The dream I had last night had elements of my brother’s wedding, Game Of Thrones, and Asian Mom issues, with a Biblical verse thrown in. I don’t remember which one.

Yesterday, I had a serendipitous online conversation with a former student of mine. He’d asked me about a Salinger short story we read some time ago. I recalled the story, “The Heart of a Broken Story,” but didn’t realize that I’d read it with my students. The serendipitous aspect of it all was that only a few days ago, a good friend had sent me a link with Salinger’s uncollected stories, and just earlier yesterday afternoon I had read that particular short story, and so it was fresh on my mind. Moments like that seem strange and important and meaningful somehow in the idealistic half of my brain, but the practical, realist part of my brain, which has been winning out recently, is quick to chalk it up to coincidence.

I don’t believe much in “meaning” these days, but on mornings like this one, it can be nice to pretend I do.

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