January 4th, 2005

Prosaic, yet odd. That's my dreaming mind.

I'm in LA, driving down the freeway with antoniusrex to meet redhound at LAX. We're having a great conversation, when he gets a call from redhound, whose flight is delayed. antoniusrex needs to get back (to work, maybe?) so I drop him off but realize that because redhound's flight is delayed I can return the rental car and pick up my own car instead, which for some reason is parked in San Diego somewhere. (My waking self realizes that his flight must be absurdly delayed, because this is a good four hour round trip--but perhaps redhound is flying in from back east and is attempting something challenging like changing planes at O'Hare in winter.)

Traffic on the way to San Diego begins to clot up--now there's a surprise!--so I exit the 5 (why the 5, from LAX? I guess it's plausible) trying to get to a less congested highway--possibly the 73 toll road--and find myself driving on a parallel surface street and abruptly realize that there are two things wrong with this picture:

1) all the traffic is driving on the left; I have just exited from the 5 and have driven up the offramp out of the lowered roadway on the left side. (The fact that I don't think there's much lowered roadway on the actual stretch of I-5 is a minor anomaly compared to the rest of the weirdness that I just let it pass.)

2) the neighborhood I am driving through is all two to three story wood frame houses with little yards surrounded by chain-link fences. It looks like that piece of the Garden State Parkway around South Orange, NJ, except, of course, everyone is driving on the left, as they do in the UK. There is obviously no place in Orange County that is like this; I have driven down this piece of freeway any number of times and can tell you this, but I know in the way you know in dreams, that I am somewhere between LA and Camp Pendleton.

(Writing this I have difficulty believing my brain has been so twisted as to link The Oranges in New Jersey with Orange County, California, but my unconscious mind has been known to do some strange things.)

Exactly where in San Diego I have parked my car is obscure, but somehow I know where I'm going.

I wake up from this dream very confused, and never do end up picking up my car, or meeting redhound's flight.

Sorry, redhound. :)
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    confused confused

Ian Buruma on the Netherlands after the Van Gogh murder.

from http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050103fa_fact1:

"After the war, and especially since the nineteen-sixties, the Dutch prided themselves on having built an oasis of tolerance, a kind of Berkeley writ large, where people were free to do their own thing. Liberated, at last, from the strictures of religion and social conformity, the Dutch, especially in Amsterdam, frolicked in the expectation that the wider world would not disturb their perfect democracy in the polders. Now the turbulent world has come to Holland at last, crashing into an idyll that astonished the citizens of less favored nations. It’s a shame that this had to happen, but naïveté is the wrong state of mind for defending one of the oldest and most liberal democracies against those who wish to destroy it."

(Btw, bryant, I thought of your email to me when I read this.)