the silence can be like thunder
I wanna take to the road and plunder
--Bob Dylan
Love Sick

Sometimes I feel like I am standing on the same street corner waiting for a broken light to change. Sometimes I think I have to rip the mechanism open myself and fix it but I don't have the right tools. So I wait some more. The horizon keeps changing colors but I stand in place, sometimes shuffling back and forth, sometimes standing still.

It has been a month since my last contact with the other side. I felt a deep sorrow yesterday when news of the Columbia disaster reached me. My sorrow was unlike that of most who wept and were troubled by this loss. They were explorers. I am an explorer. We are both riding out into dangerous territory from which there is always a chance we will not return. I began to realize how fragile our forays into the unknown can be.

A month ago my contact with the other side came in the form of a woman I loved and who had passed. She reached out to me from there to let me know she was in a better place and had found happiness. Last night I crossed over again in my dreams.

"If you abandon the path you are meant to take
we will remind you.
Don't you know that by now?"

The dream began in a strange and freaky way. Most of my dreams where I enter another world are slow moving and clear cut, relaying slow and steady messages that are not very difficult to decode. This time I was in a burned out dormitory building going to breakfast with a group of cartoon characters. One of the cartoon characters, Porky Pig, didn't have money to pay for his eggs over easy, 1-1/4 toast and bacon. I picked up his tab for him. No, I don't know what 1-1/4 toast is, except that it is quite black. Yes, I do realize there is something odd about a pig ordering bacon for breakfast.

"Now that you have finished what you were sent back to do,
we give you a gift.
The door is open for you to find what was lost.
This is the hardest thing you will ever do."

Am I supposed to take such sentiments seriously when they come out of the mouth of Porky Pig, even if they are spoken in a voice that definitely does not belong to said pig? I question this. Yet, I went on, to the place that always appears in these dreams that have grown from my death experience. I went to the cabin in the woods. I walked along a dirt road covered with snow. As I approached the cabin I saw a truck parked in front of the place. A man was standing outside of the truck speaking to she who has been lost. He was showing her a document and asking that she sign it. The name of her horse, Trouble in Tucson, was at the top of the sheet of paper. The rest of the words were too small to see, but at the bottom was a large word, all in caps, stamped onto the page with bold, red ink.


"Trouble is gone," she told me when she looked up from signing the document.

"I'm sorry."

"It doesn't matter any more. Do you want to come inside?"

We were inside the house for mere seconds before we began to kiss each other with overwhelming passion. We threw each other onto the floor and wrapped our arms tightly around each other. She reached down between my legs and smiled.

"Notice how you aren't sexually aroused by this. It isn't about sex, you know."

"I know." We resumed kissing.

"What do we do about this? I can't take it any longer," I told her after a lengthy period of intense kissing.

"You can't stay here. You need to call Uncle Fishnets. That's where you're staying, isn't it?"

"Yes," I said, feeling a sense of responsibility and the need to get in contact with Uncle Fishnets, even though I don't know who Uncle Fishnets is. I disappeared from the cabin and appeared at my Uncle's house. He sent me down to the basement where my brother, his wife, and their two sons were playing with a very elaborate model railroad, complete with an entire village of little houses and cars. My oldest nephew, who is autistic and has serious Rain Man tendencies, looked and me and then pointed at the model railroad. There was a house that looked exactly like the cabin in the woods, except it was a plastic scale model.

"That's where she is. You have to make yourself smaller."

When Alex was six I bought him a game program for his computer. I loaded it onto the computer with my brother-in-law and we could not get it to run. We kept trying to figure out how to get it to run, and six year old Alex tried to stop us. "You are wasting your time. The software is not compatible with my system. It will not run until grandpa buys me a new computer. Let's go upstairs and play with something else." He was right. We wasted the next hour trying to get the game to run. When we went back upstairs, Alex handed us glasses of orange juice and told us with great exasperation, "Fifty-six minutes we could have played." I guess it wasn't an hour after all. He has this ability to speak the plain truth and sees things others don't. He was the only person I know I would have trusted to point me in the right direction. I just don't know how to make myself smaller. Maybe I'll call him and see if he knows how. He'll probably just laugh at me.

I'm crossin' the street to get away from a mangy dog
Talkin' to myself in a monologue
I think what I need might be a full length leather coat
Somebody just asked me if I'm registered to vote

The sun is beginnin' to shine on me
But it's not like the sun that used to be
The party's over and there's less and less to say
I got new eyes, everything looks far away
--Bob Dylan