I had a dream about the ghost of the old hippie lady exiled from Berkeley for insufficient collectivist spirit, not to mention less than rousing progressive activism, who lived in a ramshackle house on this hill overlooking Monterey Bay before me. She ate a lot of brown rice and fresh vegetables that she grew in her garden. I know it was a dream because who believes in ghosts?
In my dream, she looked like she could have been yours, or mine, or another’s, mother. The same sun was flashing naked on Monterey Bay back then and it burned unprotected heads no less. My friend the unpaid Internet content provider, whose mother was a living acquaintance though not a friend of the old hippie lady, when both of them were younger than I am now, provided some snotty details. According to her, the old hippie lady was a tad more than somewhat crazier than a loon. It was a fairly spooky story to me. Especially since ghosts are well known to be invisible.
I said,”It’s not loons that are crazy. That’s a common misconception. It’s coots who are crazy.”
My friend said, “You should find a way to put that nugget out there.”
“Do you mean on the Internet?”
I said, “I’m not sure if crazy recognizes crazy more easily or not.”
My friend said, “I have no clue.”
I was not concerned whether the hippie lady was crazy or not, though. No more than the unpaid Internet content provider. She was dancing in my dream to Sunshine Of Your Love, spooky enough in retrospect, while apparently lost inside of her head. Plus, her velocity was increasing toward an unknown direction from which there was and still is no coming back. That particular path forward was shaped roughly like an arc of galactic dust with wriggling sub-species attached, a lot of them. The mother of the unpaid Internet content provider was wobbling on high heels and nowhere to be found when the waves got rough.
When I woke up, somehow it was the middle of the afternoon. I don’t know how that happened and I did not deem it a very good idea to ask out loud. Before I knew it I was standing. Then I ended up in my kitchen contemplating rice, brown or white? Infinite possibilities caused me to sit down with ennui. Fortunately, there was a chair on hand.
If it was the middle of the afternoon, that meant I was not alone.
Three tween girls from middle school, Brianna, Heather, and Courtney, had come to study seventh grade biology with the yang twin. If I’m not mistaken, that included a survey of the reproductive system. I said, after it was too late, and before any glimmer of comprehension occurred to me, “What does that mean, exactly?”
The yang twin hissed, “What’s it supposed to mean when you say what does that mean? Why do you pull this shit on me all the time? And what are you talking about anyway? Why can’t you understand anything?”
I said, “Seriously?”
I examined the contents of the refrigerator after he stalked off. I tried to better remember seventh grade biology. Didn’t the reproductive system in question belong to a frog? I concluded it could be benign enough if the issue of blood and guts was basically ignored. The purple basil, yellow squash, and green beans facing me in the refrigerator began to take precedence. There were always red onions, of course. If I cooked white rice, I would have to pay careful attention before it became sticky. I thought, nah.
Then I realized if I made a pesto from the purple basil, I could whirl everything all up together. All I would need to add for proper lubrication was oil. No one would know what was what once the colors blended. That would work.
The yin twin was meanwhile busy gagging in her room, sticking her pinkie finger down her throat. Metaphorically that is. She did not approve of Brianna, Heather, and Courtney. They thought the yang twin was cool enough to be a study partner because he was a surfer, sort of. The yin twin knew for a fact, sort of, that she was better than her brother at everything except complaining, but she refused to talk about it.
Soon, she said, “See ya.”
I asked, “Where are you going?”
I should have known. She was wearing a wet suit. I asked, “Do you need a ride?”
She said, “I’ll be back.”
I asked, “Brown rice or white?”
She said, “You decide.”
“What about pasta?”
I said, “You got it.”
In retrospect, I’m glad I came up with the idea. It’s a good thing I woke up in time to get started before it became too late.