Night Visions, August 2016
Codes: "IRL" = "in real life". "INV" = "in Night Vision", meaning untrue in real life.
"Skip" means a sudden transition from one segment to another. "The 1250" references my childhood home, a (too) frequent setting for my visions. Josie is my daughter, and most of my life has been spent with Chicken and Alex as friends. Any other people referenced, past jobs worked at or life experiences are real unless otherwise noted.
(Dates of awakening listed)
"That's It, GO TO OUR ROOM!" (August 29, 2016)
While at Josie's school, I discover I have another child—one whose mom is out of the picture. How's this for logic: since the kid has been getting to and from school just fine, I'm not terribly concerned with anything else about her situation. Still, I pop in her classroom and overhear her teacher banning use of the word "summer" since school is back in session.
Returning home, I lie around and flash back on all the times I was grounded over the years by my mother...and my ex?
Geez...Was It The Smell? (August 28, 2016)
I'm with several others from my youth, partying at Usher's house. Usher takes me outside to see the green cat he keeps posting about on Facebook. Sure enough, there is a "green cat" hanging from his wall—it's really clothes and a shoe folded up in the shape of a cat, which is both relieving and troubling all at once.
Back inside, I perform my song "Kick Off", an NFL-themed parody of Kesha's "Tik Tok". Following a quick poop, I return to find that all the guests have left except me and old IRL pal Keith (who is ironing.)
After Usher gently agrees it's time for us to leave, he bro-hugs me and sends me off with a Tootsie Pop. What a guy.
Not A Very "Bright" Idea (August 27, 2016)
I'm in line at Safeway. When the cashier finishes up with the lone customer ahead of me, he simply walks away—no explanation, no nothing. After about 10 seconds, I bellow "I WANT SERVICE!!!"
Up comes another cashier; I explain to him what's up, he quickly serves me, and I'm so appreciative of him and guilty about my yelling that I give him the $7 change from my purchase. He doesn't hesitate to take it, implying he deserved it after my outburst.
Outside, it's dark—my car is backed against the lot's side fence, and two deer are goofing off about 100 feet in front of it. I try to leave but the car won't start—apparently I'd left the headlights on for the deer to play upon my arrival, killing the battery.
I frantically try to get the engine turned over before a now-approaching deer gets too close (unsure why I'm worried...the window is up). At long last, I get enough battery juice to slowly inch the car out of the lot.
I'm able to make it home in time for "The Roommates Show", which is basically about two loser surfer dudes lazing around.
Jerry...You're A Tad Bit Late (August 26, 2016)
It's a Seinfeld episode in my very apartment. Jerry is very busy, trying to get a bunch of errands done before going to shoot JFK. Eventually he leaves with one of his roommates, Kramer, leaving his other roommate George—the only employed tenant—to nap on the couch.
George's father Frank and a helper come for the furniture; when it's time to move the couch, they never consider waking George, simply tilting the couch and spilling him to the floor. Not long after, Jerry returns and is asked by Kramer's girlfriend to try on the puffy shirt, as in the real episode. Unlike said episode, the girlfriend shoves Jerry over a table when he expresses his disdain for the garment.
Hey, I Need Help Myself (August 24, 2016)
At my apartment, I take a colossal dump that refuses to flush. Out comes the plunger; toilet finally flushes...the water only, leaving three sizable turds up against the bowl. Oh, and no clean water flows in...delightful.
As I'm trying to figure out what to do next, my 20-year-old cousin shows up asking me for "help". I agree to "help" her, not knowing exactly what that entails. Turns out she wants me to walk her to her boyfriend's apartment across the way, and "wait".
We leave my place, which for some reason now lacks locks—there are black iron bars surrounding the whole building now that simply close behind me. No clue how I'm supposed to get back in.
We make it to boyfriend's place; he's waiting for her on the porch and it's quickly obvious the two want to make out. So I give them privacy by going in his apartment, waiting as I was asked to do. Eventually, boyfriend enters alone—we've never met, and I struggle to make small talk with him until finding some of my baseball cards in his living room. What an awesome icebreaker!
Bowling, Bawling, Barry And Bryan (August 23, 2016)
A lot went down tonight; little of it made sense.
Things begin at a random bowling alley, where I am walking with Klay Thompson to his locker. Why there's a locker room at a bowling alley is unclear to me, but there you go. We're talking almost like old pals when the subject of his recent Olympic stint comes up—without thinking, I describe the Games as "dumb", then quickly apologize and prepare to get bitched out for it.
Klay isn't mad at all, though, but when we reach his locker, jovial Klay is replaced by all-business Klay—apparently, he takes his bowling very seriously and informs me "The Olympic talk ends NOW"—implying it's all about the lanes presently. I leave him be.
On the way out of the locker room, I pass an IRL ex-classmate not seen or really thought of in 20 years—Ricardo Esquivel. He's on a bench, holding a phone photo. Two others stand with him. They're crying. Not a good time to catch up, I decide.
Eventually, I leave the building and walk outside to a cache of about 10 trees. Two of them are green from the roots up. An arrogant Barry Bonds appears and points out the trees—apparently, he names lesser players after them, because "Green Tree Batters" meant a green light for him in the batters' box. Nothing about what he says makes any sense, but it's still nice to see Barry...sort of.
Finally, I come across a man of about 60, standing alone, sadly blowing the propeller lid of his coffee mug over and over and over again. Somehow, I figure out his late son was ex-military, likely Air Force, and the next thing I know somebody is handing the guy a DVD—they felt bad for the grieving dad and made a tribute video to his son.
The video begins with (what else?) a close-up of Pops blowing hard on his propeller lid, which then dissolves into a highlight reel of his son in military action, flying planes, high-fiving colleagues, everything you'd expect from a badass military highlight reel...except the soundtrack, which is "Do I Have To Say The Words" by Bryan Adams. I just report 'em, people.
Beer Plants, Prison...Same Difference (August 21, 2016)
The A-Team is back, and tonight's mission: ending sexism in a beer factory. You see, women work at this plant, and apparently that's reason enough for management to shut the plant down. (Uh...didn't management hire the women?)
Hannibal is displaying effeminate behavior (crossing his legs, tying his sweater around his waist, etc.), and since no one is sure if he's acting or not, Murdock takes the lead. His first order of business: finding the hugest goon at the plant and deliberately offending him, getting flung across the floor in response.
B.A. jumps to Murdock's defense, but not even he is a match for this goon, who's about to body-slam him when Murdock beats his foe senseless with a folding chair. B.A. is dropped to the ground hard, and the vision ends tenderly with the nutty Murdock crawling to his sprawled-out friend: "We killed him, buddy. C'mon, buddy, wake up. We killed him."
I Suppose I Could PAINT One (August 20, 2016)
I go to rent a room in a Victorian-style home. But there are some catches: the room isn't really a room, it's more like an oversized corner...with no door. There is a doorway, but it's partially obstructed by the landlord's husband—he's chair-bound for some reason (not wheelchair--bound. Chair-bound) with his chair affixed to the side of the doorway.
However, the landlord does allow me the privilege of "working on my bike" in the garage! (I have no bike of any kind.) She leaves me alone in the garage to mull things over. As I look for her, I pass a TV with ex-Major Leaguer Mark Derosa ripping an inside-the-park home run in his warmup jacket, then capping it with a silly Heisman pose while vigorously trying to catch his breath.
Damn Ghost Burglars! (August 19, 2016)
The gang of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 is chillin' in a parked car when Steve falls out and dies. The editing is so bad that as the camera bounces between shots of his friends deciding what to do next, Steve can still be seen siting with them.
Next, I'm at some elder's house, and I've brought three guys I met at b-ball just today IRL. I use the restroom and exit to find literally all the woman's belongings—even the furniture—now loaded in a pickup outside...one that just so happens to belong to the hoop guys I brought.
I feign disbelief that they were involved in any way and instead, repeatedly bemoan "the guys responsible" for the attempted burglary as we all unload the woman's property from the truck and carry it back in.
As for the rest of the vision: me trying to outrun MLB star Joey Votto on a trail, and directing a fixed-route bus driver who's...lost. (?)
If You Leave NOW, You Can Make It (August 18, 2016)
Former IRL bud Bob and I are going to a late-night party. When we arrive, "Skillz" is still outside changing clothes, so I go inside alone to view the hosts' replica, full-size Wheel Of Fortune wheel, then split.
Too tired to drive far, I crash at my mom's, where she decides at 3am to start calling random people from Florida and invite them to Zumba.
What Do You Mean, They're GONE? (August 17, 2016)
It's a S.F. Giants game on TV. Players are subbing themselves in and out of the game like pickup basketball, and a massive gray-shirted fan in the left field bleachers is continually standing out like a billboard—equally for his size and obnoxiousness. He isn't respecting others' space and won't shut up...plus he's spilling food everywhere.
Finally, Pat Burrell (?) hits a home run to left, and ol' GrayShirt is literally launching himself into the sky trying to corral it. When he falls into the laps of youngsters below him, the section has enough and they all attack him until he's cuffed (with plastic) and removed. Love happy endings.
Taking a break from the game, I walk through what turns out to be a long maze from Point A to...my junior high locker room. On the way I pass two separate flagrant public urinators as well as Sgt. Rick Hunter, who seems like he wants to question me but doesn't. Once inside the locker room, I search for dirty gym clothes I left behind 22 years ago.
Maybe We Looked Hot? (August 16, 2016)
It begins with me outside my mom's apartment surveying a cracked window, then trying to dodge her landlord so I don't get stuck performing the repairs.
It ends with buddies Nate, Aldo, D-Rock and I climbing a ladder into another window, at the same time, with water being slowly poured on us by the inhabitant.
Heroism Skillz (August 14, 2016)
We start out at in the expansive lobby of some office building that apparently doubles as a FedEx drop-off hub—several different drivers are dropping off/picking up stacks of boxes. I arrive here—in what capacity is unclear—to learn there had just been a shootout; apparently bad guys stormed the place and sprayed bullets, killing one FedEx guy.
Cops are everywhere, but they receive a call about a fire nearby and split (?), leaving two officers to stand guard. Feeling the violence hasn't ended yet, I tell my IRL former friend Aaron (unseen in 14 years) that I'm going home to get my gun permit...you know, in case I need to use the Glock I've been carrying all this time, it seems.
Just as I make my way to the exit, a middle-aged black woman and 30ish dark-skinned man saunter down the stairs—they do not appear to be on the up-and-up. Sure enough, they reach the ground and pull guns, demanding everyone's attention. I'm partially obscured; they never see me, so without hesitation I fire two shots at the farther-away male, striking him once fatally. Then I end the closer female with one shot. I almost instantly awaken feeling a rush of adrenaline unlike any I've felt in forever...
Is Shaq Dunking Too Hard Again??? (August 11, 2016)
In the beginning, we're at a huge gymnasium, gathered with the 50 greatest NBA players of all-time, as per the 1997 league vote. Also present are a few contemporary stars who think they should be on the list, like Grant Hill. It's mesmerizing sharing the same space with such athletic greatness, especially since several legends have come back from the dead to attend the festivities. Thanks, Wilt.
Everything is going good, until A) I find my estranged father has crashed the party, and B) broken glass appears by the pound all over the floor. Everyone tries to sweep it out of the way, but more just keeps appearing. Charles Barkley, who had been talking smack all night long, eventually drops a whole shirtful of shards on the ground (why not the trash?)
Skip to an episode of Wheel Of Fortune. Contestant A is a Didi McCall from Hunter lookalike, she guesses 'E' unsuccessfully. After her co-contestants repeatedly make dumb guesses—to the point an annoyed Pat Sajak snaps at them to pay attention—someone guesses 'E' again with success. McCall's protests go nowhere—they mistook her 'E' for 'A'—and a controversy is born.
Feeling unsafe among a hostile audience, McCall somehow hires an armed guard to escort her out of the studio without incident. She then writes up her experience on her website, posting a photo of Sajak's heretofore secret bald spot as revenge. But all any visitors focus on is her mention of God in her rant; the comments turn into a religious war zone. The humans once again live up to my low expectations...
You Got SERVED, Zander! WOO! (August 10, 2016)
This will only make sense and be of any potential interest to General Hospital fans, and maybe my pal Tammy. I was a GH viewer for the better part of 15 years until 2014...but it remains in my subconscious, evidently.
Emily Quartermaine has died, and I (as a viewer) am utterly devastated as if personally affected by this fictional character's passing. "It didn't have to happen! IT DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO HAPPEN!!!" Yet I continue watching...
Emily's love interests Juan and Zander have no love lost; when Zander has a gathering of Emily's grieving friends at his loft, Juan is cruelly banned from the premises under the not-so-subtly-implied threat of physical violence. Defeated, Juan utters "You are not...", slinks 50 feet back to the elevator, then completes his sentence "...worthy of Emily's love" as the doors close. BURN!!!
Approaching the funeral later, Emily's forlorn grandfather Edward leads her relatives toward the grave site, some of whom have come back from the dead themselves to be present. But in his grief, Edward somehow swallows a key needed for the services...rats.
Edward later decides to take over Emily's job at a local pizzeria (which, if you are familiar with the show, is laughable for a multitude of reasons). The old man tries hard, but he's left utterly useless by the loss of his granddaughter, and spends the day trance-like pouring sauce and toppings all over the pans instead of dough. RIP, Emily Bowen Quartermaine.
You Sure That Wasn't YOU, Harold? (August 9, 2016)
I'm an ex-major leaguer doing sports talk with former MLB star Harold Reynolds; he shares his disdain of fellow retiree Delino Deshields Sr., who apparently used to call him very bad names from the batters box and demeaned women whenever anyone would listen. I try to ask Harold about his own career, but he's very uncomfortable looking back and instead questions me about the "gay stuff" I used to do with Matt Williams in the outfield.
When we wrap, another studio camera records some very young (18 at most) reporter/intern/whatever in little clothing cozying up to some fully-adult jock pre-interview. She's hugging on him, rubbing herself against him, and at one point he even tickles her bare feet. Maybe that was the interview...
They're HOT For Each Other (August 8, 2016)
At the outset, my IRL 4th-grade classmates and I are now adults and taking the same college course. The instructor calls me "Kevin". The instructor is no longer cool.
Skip to the back corner of some hotel. I step outside for whatever reason, and IRL bud Zin's (fictional) ex-wife and child roll up—she's dropping him off for some father-son time. I head down this weird, angled hallway to track him down, only to interrupt ironing with his (also fictional) current lady—that's no slang; they're really ironing.
Back down the hall I head, planning to ask his ex for a few more minutes—only she's already turned the son loose inside the hotel; he proceeds to treat it like his personal playground while his mom chills patiently in the car outside. Fantastic...
From there, Zin and I wind up on the hoop court—it's a full-court game between he, I, and...the IRL sister of my friend Mitali, who appears to be about as athletic as a salmon with about as much interest in playing. The game soon fizzles out, expectedly. (I met this person once IRL, about two months ago. Why she's here is beyond me.)
Things conclude with me and the entire (large) family of my buddy Paul sitting high in some bleachers as the sun sets. We are enjoying each other's company; the only downer is Josie's pending departure on a trip with her sisters. Watching her laugh and play in the grass below makes me miss her before she's even gone; I tear up. Even writing this is triggering mild emotion. It's a NIGHT VISION, Skillz...better move on.
You Killed My Man...Pucker UP! (August 6, 2016)
We start out innocently enough—I'm Theo Huxtable, being sent for a burger by dad Cliff. But when I walk out of our apartment (? LOL; the Huxtables in an apartment) and down the sidewalk, everything takes a turn...
Now myself again, I'm at the apartment of IRL friend Miriam, who's throwing a moving-away party (as she recently did IRL). A couple I've just met is leaving; I hug the girlfriend goodbye and, since our faces wind up an inch apart, gently smooch her as well. She doesn't care, but BF is displeased...
Later, he confronts me, and I wind up stuffing him through a "death tube" with his blood and brains pouring from the back of his head. The GF, originally pleasant, pretty and normal, devolves into an alcoholic troll hell-bent on getting more smooches from me. No longer interested, I flee...
...ending up back at Miriam's apartment building (which INV is several stories high). After accidentally walking into the wrong apartment—which didn't concern the occupant one bit—I finally make my way to her now-empty unit. There, some Shadoe Stevens-type dude seated behind a desk tells me Miriam's out and I may not enter. I enter anyway and grab some skin cream and a few other odds left behind, and Stevens does nothing except silently mimic applying the cream. End vision.
Climbing Old Folks Day (August 3, 2016)
On-screen siblings Nick and Victoria from The Young And The Restless lead things off; Vic is perched on a stepladder or something similar, speaking to her brother down below. After a while, she blissfully leaps down from the 2nd rung—impressive, considering she's 43—and immerses in a light smooch session with Nick. Good for them.
Skip to the outside of AT&T Park (I've been in the area twice recently IRL). Giants announcer Mike Krukow and I find our way to some structure located along the bay; despite being 64 and disabled, Kruk climbs up several levels to the top and sits, ready to talk baseball with me. Now sitting opposite him, I admit regret over not seeing more of his playing career.
Kruk goes on to share the (incorrect) story of the final home run he gave up, "recalling" that Kendall Gill scored on the play. Considering Gill was a longtime basketball star IRL, at this point I write Kruk off as unsound mentally and sadly end our conversation.
Why Didn't You TELL Me, Bron? (August 2, 2016)
Barry Bonds is being inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, which is interestingly being held in the (fictional) lobby of my building. In full reporter mode I'm compelled to refer to him as "Mr. Bonds" which does me no good—my questions are still ignored.
So I make my way over to LeBron James, in attendance for God knows why, and ask him if he models any parts of his game after those before his time (pre-1984). But during his answer, I notice the window is now open and I'm part-nude—with teenagers lounging in
the grass down below. This reporting gig may not be for me...