Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Yet Another Re-run, But This One Has a Purpose

Those of you Gentle Readers who read the comments to our posts may have noticed The Second Mrs. Pennington made a rare and not unwelcome appearance in comments yesterday.  That appearance sparked the usual, quite customary and somewhat unreasonable exchange between the two of us, which lasted for well over an hour, if not two, and constituted a grand total of 16 back-and-forths.  Like this:

I disputed TSMP's assertion that I've been disrespectful to her on the blog and sent her a link for her perusal, challenging her to find just ONE case of disrespect.  I doubt she'll find any but... just in case... I went looking for an example.  The closest I came to "disrespectful" was this:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


All throughout my life I've either been cursed or blessed... depending on your POV... with a general inability to remember my dreams.  I've done a little light reading on the subject and know enough to understand we ALL dream and roughly half of us remember every minute detail of our unconscious nocturnal adventures.  Not me.  Not usually.  Until lately, that is.  Over the course of the last month or so my dreams have been vivid enough to wake me up and some small bits and pieces of those dreams remain in memory.  I'll relate a small part of last night's dream in a minute, but first a digression.

The Second Mrs. Pennington was (is?) one of those types who recall their dreams in exquisite detail.  Her dreams were the subject for conversation over our morning coffee... every morning.  It was part of my duties and responsibilities as consort to listen semi-attentively to her strange and weird experiences; things would NOT have gone well if I had been less than interested.  Which, truth be told, I was... less than interested.  Some people may find it fascinating that you were trapped in a dark hallway with no apparent way out and the terror this situation inspired but I'm not among that select few.  But I did listen.  Duty and obligation.

The thing that always captured my attention, however, were those rare occurrences where I starred in her dreams and acted in an uncharacteristic manner... which is to say less than loving or outright cold, cruel, or callous... depending on the situation.  My response in those cases was "Hey!  I'm not responsible for what I do in your dreams!"  To which she would always reply "Oh but you are. Yes you ARE!"  I think she was serious, too.  End of digression.

So... last evening I was involved in a sort of French aristocratic tableau, where all the characters looked like the ones you see on the right and we were wandering around premises... both in and outdoors... that looked a lot like the image of the château below.

There were quite a few cameo appearances by people from my past but the chief actors in this dream-play were TSMP, her parents, my parents, and (of course) me.  The dream had that "endless flow of time" character that made it seem to go on forever... vignette after vignette that replayed our breakup in semi-slow motion and in the most exotic of surroundings.  There were interventions by her parents and mine, which is odd because our parents were dead when we ended, rather lengthy soliloquies on TSMP's part rationalizing her behavior and so on.  I won't bore you with more detail except for two odd images.  

The Château de Sceaux... where I played as a child.  Connections?

The first: my father was wearing an intricate, finely tooled leather cigar holster (?) from which he would periodically withdraw a lit cigar as he strode around the room, take a couple of draws on it and return it to its place.  I (virtually) thought "I need one of those!"

The second, which was the dream's final scene and the one that woke me up: TSMP was outdoors in a garden seated at a bench writing in a large gilded ledger... and this is after all the shit had hit the fan.  I walked up to her and asked what she was doing.  "This is the final entry in our book," she replied.  I looked down and saw the following... in large, bright red flowing script... "I was only playing at love."

Well.  You ARE responsible for your behavior in my dreams, Darling.  I understand where you were coming from now.
Well, now.  That ain't disrespectful, izzit?  I made sure to include the comments to that post, which are interesting.  The exchange between TSMP and I last evening was much less so, in that the conversation only served to illustrate the Liberal trope about the truth being relative.  In this case it most certainly is. 


  1. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
    Offline comment inbound...

  2. A fascinating post. On the subject of dreams, I recommend a book, an international best seller, "The Artist's Way." My copy was given to me in the early '90s by a former student and successful artist. The book recommends keeping a dream journal as a means of boosting creativity. As soon as you awaken in the morning, you write down your dreams from the night before. If you do this regularly, your ability to recall dreams is much improved.

    In the 2010 post, I'm not sure I agree with TSMP that the person being dreamed about is responsible for his dream behavior (I tend to think it's the dreamer's responsibility), but I did enjoy the way you turned the tables at the end.

    I really enjoyed the link to the older post under the Chateau de Sceaux and the story about your childhood in England and France. You did a great job in writing from the point of view of a child, which is not an easy thing to do. The tone, etc. of the piece was quite different from your normal voice. I'm curious, did you pick up the French from the kids you played with and your teacher or did you have some earlier training?

    1. Thanks for the kind words yet again, Dan... especially about the "When I Was Eight" piece. In re: "...did you pick up the French from the kids you played with and your teacher..." I had no previous training, just that total immersion thing with playmates, school, and a maid/nanny who spoke no English. It was either sink or swim, and I swam. I think young children... any child... can pick up a language quickly and easily. At least that's what happened to me.

      And thanks for that recommendation. I'm not so sure I wanna be more creative, though. ;-)

  3. Thank God and Greyhound she's gone...07 March, 2013 16:19

    Mentioning ex-wives at all is a taboo in itself. Disrespectful or not. Sleeping dogs, etc... :-)

    1. Yah, but SOME of us... the torch-bearers... never learn.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.