One day in spring/summer, 2007, when I was unemployed, depressed, and generally a pathetic creature, I set my alarm to wake me at 11:00 a.m. My alarm is the radio playing WTTS, and it frequently starts in the middle of a song and leaves me jarred. This puts me on edge and I start off the "morning" unpleasantly. This time, it came on at the very beginning of Straight Lines by Silverchair. The song is a little silly and self-indulgent ("I'm a sex change/And a damsel with no heroin?"), but listen to it while you read.
At 11:00, I had probably gotten five and a half hours sleep, so I would typically wake up groggy. About 95% of the time when I sleep, I either wake up with a sore back or groggy. Sometimes both. This morning, I was slowly stirred from rest as I finished off a dream. I have no idea how it started.
Jordan, Kathi, and I were in an old-timey car with running boards. We were laughing and listening to music (Pixies - Gigantic?) and driving to nowhere. Whenever I looked to my left, another one of my good buddies would materialize: Jason, P. J. (Jillian? Joseph? Doug?) I had a gargantuan bag of buttery popcorn; twenty-gallon trashbag size, but clear, and purchased at Wal-Mart for 99¢. And it was delicious. The best popcorn anyone has ever eaten. And as we ate, the bag stayed full. Overflowing.
We drove along the straightest, longest road in history through golden fields of wheat (barley?) in Kansas (Nebraska?) The fields extended for eternity, with intermittent windmills and red barns dotting the horizon. The windmills were 300 feet tall and the barns were big enough to be aircraft hangers. We and the wheat were the only things alive.
In real life, the sun was warm on my cheek and the breeze blew in my window and smelled as fresh as life. In the dream, our car broke down; steam poured out of the radiator. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere and got out of the car. Someone passing by stopped and got out to assist. He had a sensible grey suit with a hat; he was from 1954 and had an Iowan accent. These men all carry today's newspaper and a briefcase. They pay their taxes in full on time and support the local ball team. They vote because it's their civic duty. They mean no harm, but we smiled and said no to his generous offer. He drove off puzzled. We started walking west, into the sun.
As we walked, we started laughing hysterically and we grew. Every step took us forward and upward. We were soon giants and then impossibly tall: 10 feet, 25 feet, 60 feet reaching for clouds. We grew and laughed and walked westward, casting shadows for miles. As we laughed, the sun shone brighter and the wind blew stronger and the wheat encouraged us to move and live. I looked to my left and my right and we were only happy and hopeful and young and full of love. We had nothing but love in our hearts. We were so young. And