November 4th, 2001


New Dance -- The Recurring Dream

Unloading had never gone so rapidly. He set off across the creek with two bags of salt, one on each shoulder.

I wonder if he's a weight lifter. He makes those 50 pound bags look as substantial as sacks of potato chips.

She headed up to the house to make a few phone calls to see if anyone needed a good hired man.

Maybe I can deliver him someplace safe before dark.

A soft rap on the door announced the end of the unloading. She waved him in as she continued her conversation with a local cattleman who needed a shed re-roofed following a recent wind storm.

Lowering the phone, she inquired, "Do you roof?"

"Tin and wood, shingles or shakes."

"Sounds like an interesting dance to learn the steps of." Playfully, she offered him the phone, but he shook his head. Get a grip. You're not dating him. Briskly, she spoke into the phone, "When would you like him?"

Intense black eyes. Holding his gaze, she asked, "Is 6 a.m. too early for you?"


"Do you have the supplies on hand?" ...

"Would you be willing to help him haul hay?"...

"Can you drive a tractor?"

He nodded.

"He'll be there." She hung up, then looked him over. Long black hair was gathered into a pony tail that had been hidden by his coat.

"Would you like to shower? I can wash up your things while you get cleaned up, if you'd like." My nose will be ever so grateful if you say "yes". She was embarrassed to feel her nose twitch, and watched, appalled, as his eyes glinted with humor as if he'd read her thoughts.

She pointed down the hall. "Third door. Just set out anything you'd like cleaned."

Instead of starting down the hall, he opened the outside door, quickly returning with his pack. Soon an impossibly large pile of clothes appeared outside the bathroom door.

Wherever did he have all THOSE stashed?

Using cold water so he didn't get a nasty surprise when he showered, she started the load with double the normal amount of soap, then dug out some of her father's baggiest pants and a black oversized sweatshirt she generally wore with a good six inches of sleeve rolled up, and deposited them outside the door.

He exited while she was loading the dryer. The legs of the pants she always thought were so big hit him mid thigh. She burst out laughing. His long black hair hung loose around his shoulders, and the sleeves were just slightly too short.

Eying him appreciatively, her wayward tongue commented before she could stop it, "You sure clean up nice."

"Clothes make the man."

A startled bark of laughter burst from her. "So I've heard."

He could play the lead in a movie, even in rags. It's a wonder he's such a hard worker. Most good looking guys are pretty good at getting others to do their work for them.

Last updated 1/20/02
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    Italian Symphony by Mendelson
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Range War III

Suddenly, the tavern door is wrenched open, revealing a surreal moonlit landscape outside. A disembodied voice calls, "Sheriff, you might want to attend Range War III. It's about to erupt in the parking lot."

The door slams shut.

The sheriff jumps up with alacrity, covering the space between their table and the door in gigantic strides, while appearing to walk, not run. Before he gets there, the door mysteriously opens again.

Taking a firm grip on it, the sheriff peeks his head around, then pulls it back in. "Bradley, come on in." His pleasure on seeing Bradleyis obvious from his tone. He steps aside, holding the door firmly open, his bulk clear of the doorway.

A wizened old codger slowly eases his way through, holding the door in one hand, and a cane in the other. His shoulders appear permanently hunched forward, leaving a severe hump in his back. His knees are obviously painful, and his outstretched arm jitters as it supports part of his weight on the cane. He shuffles slowly into, then through, the portal while Mickey beams at him.

Nodding his head toward Despina, he commands, "Watch her for me, will you, Brad?" The sheriff ducks through the portal as soon as Bradley clears it, letting the door slam with a thunderous bang.

Despina continues to watch it, then switches to Bradley's crawling advance. His knees creak as he eases himself into the sheriff's chair.

The ever-observant Óscar appears magically with a water glass, a shot glass and a nearly empty bottle of Gold Schlauger. "Feliz cumpleaños, Brad. Theenk you can still navigate if you keell this bottle for me?" He sets the water glass down, emptying the pitcher into it with the same tidy motion he used before, then carts the pitcher off for a refill.

"I don't believe I've had the pleasure of your acquaintance," Bradley croaks. He extends his gnarled hand shakily across the top of his glasses, which are in danger of being knocked over any second.

Quickly moving them out of harm's way, she says, "I'm Despina MacKenzie, the new elementary teacher at the Stone Circles Reservation."

A male hand reaches over her shoulder, taking Brad's the instant she releases it. "And I'm Paul Peter Sorensen, the secondary English teacher at the Stone Circles Reservation, he announces loudly so Brad, who is evidently a bit hard of hearing, can understand.

Smiling reassuringly at Brad, he hooks one toe under Genio's former chair and tips it toward her as he hisses in her ear, "Whatever are you thinking being alone in a place like this at this time of night? And don't tell me you really expected HIM to be able to protect you when the sheriff couldn't even keep that lecher's hands off you!"

"I see you've donned your Sir Lancelotarmor again. Are you sure you're sober enough to handle a broadsword, pike, cudgel, and chain mail without drowning in the moat? I know how you disdain water in the face, much less consuming gallons of it."

Plopping his empty glass on the table, he decants his 6' plus frame into the chair, disdainfully pushing Genio's water glass away. "Óscar, set me up again."

"One steaming mug of black coffee coming rright up," Óscar tosses over his shoulder with an impish tinge to his voice. Reaching the bar, in clear line of sight of Paul Peter, he sets out an oversized mug, then cupping the coffee pot loosely in his bar towel, pours the piping hot java into it.

Grumbling in his non-existent beard, Paul Peter fishes a handful of things out of his pocket, picking through his keys, a few screws, some roofing nails, a pair of finger nail clippers, a clip of bills, a pen, and a tiny spiral notebook, carefully separating 50¢ in change from the rest and setting it in clear view of the bar, then stuffing all the rest back into his pocket. "Change gets so heavy when it accumulates."

With a startled laugh, Despina quips, "Don't ask to use MY washer and dryer with all that junk in your jeans!"

"What washer and dryer?"

Eyes widening, she says, "No washer and dryer?"

Raucous laughter bursts from Paul Peter. "Well, I suppose they could set you up with your own private rock in the river..."

"You're despicable!"

"But at least you are SAFE. In case you haven't noticed, the vultures are circling.

Óscar reappears, setting a pitcher on the table. "On thee house," Óscar addresses Despina, breaking in when she starts to fumble in her coin purse. "The sheeriff ees about to do some of that "hot and theersty" work. We take care of our own around here. The heat goes, but..." Earnestly, he looks into her red-flushed face as he pours her water, looking for some sign that the crisis has passed.

Sipping the water, she calms as she watches him set the huge mug down in front of Paul Peter. In one smooth motion, he sweeps Paul Peter's money into his hand and starts to return to his station.

"Reached my limit, huh?"

"Sí, about 1:30 this afternoon, I'd guess, from the length of your siesta, señor."

"Ouch!" Paul Peter barks. "That hurt. You know I can hold my own."

Silently, Óscar walks off.

Studiously ignoring Paul Peter, Despina focuses on Bradley, nearly shouting. "So, today's your birthday, huh?"

"No, actually, it is tomorrow, I think." His face becomes puzzled.

"And how old will you be?"

"Eighty-three, no..." he holds up his twisted, calloused hands and counts on his gnarled fingers. "I lose track. Eighty-four sometime this month."

"Well, you do very well for yourself at your age."

Giving her a clearly I'm-a-dirty-old-man look, he confides, "At my age, I can say anything. The trouble is," he leans forward, indicating the cane he leans heavily on, "I just can't do anything any more, if you get my drift." Making a horrid face, he winks. Something is wrong with one of his eyes.

"Where's your patch tonight, Pirate Pete?" Paul Peter shouts, breaking in.

"Oh, don't tease him!"

Ignoring the interruption, Bradley continues, "I walked a half a mile to get here, and look at me," he points to his rapidly rising and falling chest, "I'm winded."

"Where do you live?"

Leaning back, he fumbles a fist into his pocket.

Horrified, Despina blurts, "You can't remember? You have to look it UP?"

He withdraws his hand with a packet of business cards in them, offering her the top one.

Last updated 2/4/02.
  • Current Music
    Italian Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn
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...and the Bees --The Recurring Dream (Needs Song Link)

"Where did you plan to spend the night?"

"Do you have a plat map?"

Rustling around, she produced last year's edition. "Oh, now what did I do with the new one?"

"Is he in this one?"

"Yes. He lives on a century farm."

Quizzically raised eyebrows greeted her remark.

"When one family has owned a place continuously for 100 years, they can get the designation, "century farm".

Holding out the book, he said, "Show me."

As she discussed the distance and landmarks between the two farms, the dryer dinged. "Your clothes are done."

Unbidden, he headed into the utility room and removed his possessions, returning to the bathroom.

Definite star quality. I've got to get him out of here.

Returning, he said, "If I leave now, I can make it to work by 6," giving her a wry smile.

She formed an "O" with her mouth. "I was just so tickled to be able to find someone who wanted to hire you, I didn't think about how long it would take you to get there using shank's mare."

Turning his body the directions he would go the same way a honey bee dances directions to its hive mates, he repeated from memory the route she'd showed him in the plat book.

It looks like a tribal dance,Despina thinks as she watches him wide-eyed.


"Uh, I wasn't following the route; I was just admiring the scenery."

Impulsively plucking her body from the chair, he began the dance again, holding her at arm's length before him, facing the same way he was, turning her as he recited the land marks. Her heart thudded so loudly, she couldn't concentrate on his words. "Right?"

Flustered, she pulled away. "I guess I wouldn't make a very good worker bee. I'd never find the flowers."

Ducking past him, she headed down the hall to the spare bedroom. "I'll take you, I guess. Let me clear off the spare bed."


She stopped, turning slowly to face him. She raised one eyebrow in question.

"Who lives in the old house down by the barn?"

"Nobody. It doesn't even have water or heat."

"Who owns it?"

"I do."

Picking up his pack, he slid it on, opening the door. "May I?"

Mother, May I? Frowning, she silently nodded her head. His feet would have hung out over the edge of the bed, anyway, I bet.

Last updated 1/20/02.
  • Current Music
    "I Talk To the Trees" from Paint Your Wagon

How to Get Journal into Campground Culture

Sunday, November 4th, 2001 9:19 am

How to Get Journal into Campground Culture

How the Dream gets integrated into the story:

Integration #1

"You're awfully antisocial tonight. A penny for your thoughts," muses Paul Peter. "I'll bet a dollar they have nothing at all to do with desert flora and fauna."

His eyes are really blue, not dark like the other's! "What?" she asks in confusion. "Flora who? I don't remember which one she is."

Soft laughter greets her remark.

Integration #2

Paul Peter, at the campfire.

"Things are kinda dull tonight. Let's hear some more drivel from that infamous journal of yours."

"Not if I am just going to be an object of your ridicule."

Hand over his heart, Paul Peter swears, "I promise not to call a spade a spade, from henceforth on, referring to one as a shovel, and to refrain from making any true comments, less they offend the sensibilities of our totally defenseless flower of femininity who has graced us with her presence."

With some misgivings, she hands it over.

Opening it toward the back, Paul Peter flips a few pages, then reads,

Day One: First Saturday free! I'm Off to Arizona on the Grand Adventure. Sure beats attending summer school!

Day One -- Noon:

Whatever was I thinking promising my students so adamantly that I would write every day? I just ate lunch somewhere in a desert not as famous as the Mojave Desert, but just as HOT, waiting for a kind stranger to return with a water can because Baby Blue Ram blew his top. It is AWESOME when a 10' long hunk of metal starts to smoke and threatens to explode if you don't let him STOP. He always HAS had an unusual personality*. He spent his youth jealous of the dog, the stallion, the cats, chasing them downhill whenever he could.

Of course, my appointment with John Quantico, he of the beautiful, meaningful, intelligent letters in two different languages, was for noon, and I am HUNDREDS of MILES away yet... I think I should have gone through the mountains instead of taking the flats... But this is the route the on-line trip planners suggested. So much for best-laid plans, and all.

Lowering the journal, Paul Peter quips, "That seems to be about all that gets laid around you, judging from the number of unused condoms you've returned to me after one of your 'hot' dates."

"PP, you're unspeakable! That's not idle conversation for a camp fire!"

"Sure it is, Despina. You have a problem here. You know, virginity is NOT like fine wine. It does NOT improve with age."

"Now you sound like my sister and her infernal jokes on that topic."

"Oh, for instance..."

"I don't remeber."

"Strain yourself."

"She watches TV."

"Most people do."

"She said, 'What did the whore say to the virgin?' --'Try it; you'll like it.' She had to explain to me that it was a well-aired line from a current commercial."

"I told Leon, and he had the perfect come-back for her -- another line from another commercial. So, I accused her of only telling me HALF of the joke. 'What did the virgin say to the whore?' -- 'So I did. Thought I would DIE.'"

"Sounds just like good old Leon to me. That guy ought to be here with us. He'd enjoy it immensely."

"Invite him for next summer. If you tell stories all year at lunch, maybe he'll get the itch to travel a bit next summer."

Integration #3

Staring into the campfire, Despina frowns at the unbidden memory.

Integration #4

Some people are so pathetic, they can't even manage to have a romantic interlude in their DREAMS!

Last updated 2/9/02.
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    "Wandering Star" from Paint Your Wagon