The Bones of a Weird Dream

I’m sitting in a cafe staring out at a rusting cityscape of old factories — I believe it may be either Cleveland or Baltimore — I know it’s something I’ve seen before in real life, at any rate. As I get up to refill my cup, the chairs begin to float and congregate around the ceiling. The sound of whispering begins to emanate from above, and gradually it dawns on be that it’s coming from the chairs themselves. The whispering changes to shouts of, “Long live the Revolution!” With that, the chairs descend and begin overturning all the tables.

As this is going on, one of the chairs gradually morphs into a mustached, thin, elegant looking man in a gray-brown tweed suit and a pink fedora. He’s quite friendly, and begins asking me questions in a flat, Midwestern accent despite having a strangely British manner about him. “I say,” he says, “do you know my friends Hegelian Dialectic, Siddhartha Weber (his friends call him Maxine), This Jar of Mustard, and The Old Lady Up The Street?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t,” I reply. “And what’s your name?”

“Old Angel Midnight,” he says nonchalantly while sticking a fork in his hand, “and it’s time for you to wake up again, although you’ve never really been there. Nor here, for that matter.”

It just hit me while writing this that “Old Angel Midnight” is the title of one of Jack Kerouac’s most wildly experimental pieces of spontaneous prose. I’m looking it up now in a book I have, and he called it, “the sounds of the entire world . . . now swimming thru the window.” I’m not sure if that makes the dream make any more sense or not.


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