Essay / Misc.

Sleep Talkin’ Theologian 2: “Looks Like Birds But It’s Really An Angel.”

Transcript 2 of 4 in the annals of the sleep-talkin’ theologian. These notes date from about 1997. My long-suffering wife, a morning person, asks me questions like “when do you want to wake up?” and “what are you dreaming about?” Still asleep, I answer her questions. Sometimes she interjects ideas into my dreams, and I accept them. She’s especially fond of lobbing kittens in.

***

PiƱatas
Homer Simpson is trying to break one open.
It has meat in it
[what’s Marge doing?]
She’s at home cleaning the floor
[what about Lisa?]
(makes sucking noises)
Pacifier
[honey, Lisa’s not the baby]
Try telling my dream that!
[what’s Maggie doing?]
(makes sucking noises)

***

I’m just going to tidy up a bit first.

***

Some kind of beauty contest.
Ball gown competition.

***

A guy named Piod.
I think I made him up.
He’s a Belgian Jesuit.
He’s trying to get his illegitimate son to choose a religion.

***

On Mars
Picking up rocks
Carrying them around
[what color?]
Reddish orange.
[any kittens on Mars?]
Yeah
There’s one with me
Inside my suit.
She’s full of ideas.
Like which rock to pick up.
[are they good ideas?]
Yes
[do you like having a kitten in your space suit?]
Yeah
Except the landings are tough.

***

Glory
[what does glory look like?]
Kinda like a waffle. Bigger
[what color is it?]
Like a waffle!

***

Shopping for paper.
[what kind?]
Grey
[what are you going to do with it?]
Make paper wads.
Yep.
[what will you do with the paper wads?]
What do you think?
[I don’t know]
Make a paper wad man.
Look like Parson Brown.

***

Hippies
Panhandling
Everyone’s giving them Easter eggs,
Like tie-dyed Easter eggs.
Everyone thinks it’s a funny joke on them.
They’re bummed out.
They sure weren’t getting their PhDs in theology!
[had they been to school?]
Mm-hmmm.
[what did they study?]
Beat poets.

***

Oh, this thing in Latin.
It distinguishes between creation and redemption.
It screws all the other doctrines up.
You have to know what a table’s for.
[what’s a table for?]
Redemption.

***

[What time do you want to get up?]
Oh, sometime after the real edition of the Institutes.
[after the what?]
Are you trying to cause trouble?
[when were the Institutes?]
Oh, fifteen-something.
[when do you want to get up?]
Fifteen-something.

***

[what time do you want to get up?]
Fourteen
[is that two p.m.?]
It’s fourteen minutes after I would feel good about getting up, plus fourteen, or minus.
(what time would you feel good about getting up?)
Fourteen.

***

The Trinity.
[who’s in the Trinity?]
That’s a dumb question.
[well, answer!]
I’ll give you a smart-aleck answer:
The person who first took you to Sunday School,
The person who’s going to take you back,
And the teacher.
That’s the Trinity.
[what are they doing?]
Rapping your knuckles for religious ignorance.

***

Remember when I wore that bow tie?
Well, what was written on it?
[nothing.]
Oh yeah? “Kierkegaard Fear and Trembling.”
[it does not say that on your bowtie]
How do you think I did so well on my test?
[you didn’t wear the bowtie to your test]
Had it in my pocket.
Like a hair ribbon.

***

[are you dreaming about any kittens?]
Yeah
They’re walking in circles, lost.
In the Pentagon.

***

Some kind of angel.
The kind that looks like birds but it’s really an angel.
Hiding behind the sun.
[how can you see it?]
Sticks out.

***

[what time do you want up?]
Pretty poi.
[what?]
The time I want up.
(how do you spell it?)
PRETTY, poi.
[like Hawaiian food poi?]
Like when you need to get something apart, and you get the damn crowbar.
Excuse my French.
[what are you dreaming about?]
Haven’t we been over this?
Pretty poi!

***

Some guy in prison.
[why is he in prison?]
Something about cupcakes.
BIG cupcakes.

***

Corn
Off the cob.
We had to threaten it to get it off the cobs.
It likes to hang out in gangs.
[what’s it doing now?]
Acting tough.

***

Birds in a tree.
I think they’re doves.
They just landed and they’re looking around.
[what are they looking for?]
I can’t tell.
There are six of them.
They keep landing over and over.
They’re just looking around.

***

Little tiny people
Trying to help
Getting in the way
[what project are they helping with?]
Moving the comic.
Down to the basement.
[where is it now?]
(moves hands under covers)
[in your pants?]
Yes
[I don’t know if I should write that down]
You’re the one who said it.

***

[are you asleep?]
Heisenberg.

***

Firemen
Upside down in letters in a manuscript.
[what kind?]
Religious.
It’s burning and they’re trying to put it out from the letters.
Just the capital letters.
The first ones on the page.

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