The squeaky metal fan churns white noise burying me alive in a deep REM sleep suddenly shattered by a car alarm. I slide out of a sheet wet from perspiration and into a wrinkled wash and wear suit, out the door holding a Styrofoam cup of instant coffee tasting like battery acid. There’s no need to join the Foreign Legion, travel the world, hang out in Paris coffee houses or drop “LSD” when your mind serves up a dream loaded with the ingredients of a murky, subconscious stew, rich with flavor resulting in the next story.
Consider the “RSVP” carefully when opening the invitation from your subconscious mind to follow it down the “rabbit hole” because you may be surprised what you find.
Caution. Watch the highway! Muggy mornin’ summer air, a prelude to a monotonous job I crawl towards in heavy traffic. Seeking distraction from the radio dial but find only missiles of rage fired at me from morning talk radio generals. Damn, another soldier advancing towards his own war cut’s me off, forcing me down an offramp named “Boadyland” dropping me into a neighborhood resembling purgatory. I stop on a chewed-up street of people and dreams. Dilapidated homes occupied by people without hope. Unhappy, maybe alone, and desperate for their dope. A delicate hand waives me into a cozy house frontin’ a street smellin’ of mace, meth, and death under the concrete overpass nobody but the disenfranchised know. I meet a beautiful single mom planning a party for her baby girl. “What can I contribute?” “Whatever you choose, sweetie.” “I’ll write her a birthday poem.” I write and the tears flow witnessing mom’s resolve to make a gift out of nothing except people filling the street, their clothes resembling festive wrapping paper, showin’ up to celebrate a child’s life. Everyone chillin’ and catchin’ a breath before they hit the next curve ball thrown at them. The ethnic potpourri creating culinary delights provides an abundance of light warming the celebration like a huge candle atop a cake made for a princess. Cops cruising by, pointing their spotlights, scoping out the delight, but only meeting a paper plate of savory treasures. They’re appreciative and confess, “Our badges have become too heavy to wear!” “What about winter?” “Ah, it’s hell, man” “Don’t listen to that dude, baby. “It’s the same peeps, eats, just turnin’ the metal barrel barbecues into sidewalk space heaters, and icey cold drinks become soul warmin’ liquor laced liquid treats. Same vibe wearing heavy clothing.” I was dancin’, eatin’, and lovin’ inside a far out, freaky fraction of urban blight. The bass tone to the jam was the incessant din of cars racing along the superhighway above us like subatomic particles blasted through a particle accelerator designed to crash into each other revealing the “G-D Particle”.
Sweet baby mama draws me near and whispers,
“That elusive particle is ethereal and found inside every human heart.”
I shout upwards towards the overpass,
“Crawl out of the Petri dish, stand firmly on both legs, and head over to the party at Boadyland! I heard Galileo, Hawking, and Feynman might show.”
Jonathan Ferrini is a published author who resides in San Diego. He received his MFA in motion picture and television production from UCLA.