Don’t Analyze These

I should have used the peephole in the hotel door, but I just let him in. It was a dumb thing to do. There was cash all over the room, and this guy was huge — and miffed about something.
“Is Frank still here?” he asked.
“Yes,” I told him. Frank Sinatra was very sick, unable to move in the next room.
“So you got our money?” He asked. “Two hundred a grand . Every week. Just like that.”
“It’s Frank’s money,” I said.
“A guy who can’t even move. We’re paying $200K a week to a guy who can’t even move.”
He leaned over me and appeared to be reaching for a gun. I knew I had to respond.
“Look,” I said. “Keep this up and you’ll end up in a mason jar. Locked tight in a landfill somewhere. For eternity. You’ll be sentient yellow liquid, contemplating a box of Ajax that never deteriorates. Forever.”
“You’re right,” he said, backing off. “Sorry.”
“That’s right, you’re sorry.”


Back when I was a Catholic priest, I was waiting in a train station with my younger brother, when my dad, who looks exactly like Don Draper from Mad Men walked into the waiting room and said to my younger brother: “You’re up. You need to give communion and then go to bat.” My younger brother couldn’t do it because this was his first star fleet command and he was about to get beamed up. “Oh, that’s right,” Dad said, “Okay, Jim, you’re up.”

This felt a little strange being second up after my younger brother, but I got up and walked towards the cathedral. Dad, behind me, yelled, “you need to get a hit.” We both seemed to know that after I got a hit, I would be pitching in the next inning, so I said, “fast ball?” Dad said, “everything you got. Fast ball. Curve. Whiffle ball too if you have to.”

The Cathedral was full, just completely chock full of older working class Catholics, and they already had the wafer part, and they were a little grumpy. I thought I heard someone say, under his breath, “not this guy.” I opened the tabernacle and there was a chalice and a crystal goblet. I chose the goblet. The wine looked a kind of light purple-brown color. It didn’t look like communion wine so I grabbed a bottle of the deep red stuff, and I heard someone say in the audience, “no, no, no, not that stuff.” I compromised and poured one into the other and then worried the other stuff might not have been wine. “Where’s the Chalice?” Dad (Don Draper) said, in only the way Don Draper can say stuff like that. I was panicked because the only part of the liturgy I could remember was “and also with you,” and I was pretty sure that was the audience response part and then I woke up.


So, I’m in Las Vegas, at the Bellagio, with a small parasol in my hand that I bought at the gift store for one of my granddaughters. The wind is just right, so I open it up and see if it will carry me aloft. It does. Not Mary Poppins style or anything, but just enough to sail around in front of the hotel entrance for a good 10 minutes, about 12 feet above the ground. It creates quite the stir. A farm guest recognizes me and laughs. I laugh. We chat as I float along above his head. I notice that by extending my legs, and turning my feet I can maneuver around a little, and rise or fall. When I touch down, someone says, “you could sell a hundred of those right now.” “You’re right,” I said, not terribly concerned about missing the opportunity to sell baby blue parasols in front of the Bellagio.

Buoyed by my ability to hover, and feeling something like a celebrity for it, I pick up my satchel, complicated cell phone case, and parasol and begin walking through the hotel grounds. In an open courtyard, I decide to consolidate my baggage, by opening up the big satchel, and stuffing it inside another interior satchel with parasol and complicated cell phone case. A young couple is going through their luggage near by. The young woman is crying about losing her wedding ring. It becomes apparent they think I have stolen their ring by doing this nonsense baggage maneuver, when, really, I just don’t want to be walking around the Bellagio with a baby blue parasol in my hand. I zip up the bags and leave, but the man follows me, making threats. I hit him over the head with my luggage, and this slows him down, but he keeps coming. I hit him once or twice more. We get to talking. I convince him I would never steal his wife’s ring, but I ask him for his business card, in the off chance, it fell into my luggage. I see from the card that he’s the senior pastor at a mega-church in Kansas.

I meet up with some friends and strangers and the same sort of luggage snafu occurs with baggage and cell phones going in every direction. We gather things up and decide to have a drink, but we get in a long line for a buffet instead. I meet my old dentist, who is in his late 90s now, but makes a totally acid funny joke about one of my FaceBook posts. His utter clarity of mind at age 99 is weirdly unnerving, and realizing this is just a buffet with a long line at that, I go looking for my friends, but they are missing. I realize I now have someone else’s phone in my hand. I have a little cash in my pocket so I find a bar stool and order a chardonnay. There is a language problem. The senior bar tender and the junior bar tender argue with each other. They bring me a shot glass with an egg yolk in it.

The horror of not having my actual phone wakes me up, but a thousand other things happened in this dream, including overhearing a beautiful English sales girl talk to her boss about a hat, with a ribbon on it, that I decided to buy for Mary.