Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nocturnal Visitations

Visitations and bad dreams, escalating into nightmares are plaguing me, although I haven’t eaten any Thomas de Quincey opium, or consumed a Doctor Jekyll potion in 34 years, now.

They always begin the same way..with my grandmother, “Mur-Mur” opening her illustrated volume of Bullfinch’s Mythology . Or the classical History of Athens.

“Here”, Charlot Miller Allen announces in her rich contralto that she cultivated by smoking Murad Turkish cigarets, “ is Prometheus !”

When I looked at the illustration of the “Titan” it was a Michael Ramirez cartoon of a sad Ol’ Uncle Sam, dressed in Old Glory uniform, chained to Washington’s monument, with his liver being eaten by flying Congressmen...The liver regenerates and the carrion feed on.....

WHAM ! I wake up.... and am really afraid to go back to sleep, so I run to the computer, go to Wickipedia and check my memory of Prometheus. This is worse than the nightmare. Prometheus really COULD do anything. He stole fire from Zeus / Jupiter, the Chief God of the Athenians and gave it to mortals. But he was subverted and chained by Zeus, angry with Envy. ENVY...

My eyes faded and back on my pillow, I dropped off.

Only to be confronted by Mur-Mur again, this time with her classical history tome. She opened it languidly and pointed to ANOTHER frightful Mikey Ramirez cartoon. I shrieked, and could not hear myself.

It was Uncle Sam in his Stars and Stripes garb again. He had a coon-hunter’s long-john six cell flashlight in his hand, wandering around the Mall in D.C., gazing at the capitol dome. The sun shines brightly at its zenith.

My grandmother asked, “ This is Diogenes, at the center of Western Civilization. Do you want me to read the words in the Balloon over his head ?

“It says, ‘I been searching around here a long time. These are the last of my batteries, and my light is almost out, and I can’t find ary- one !”

In a cold sweat, I woke up again. I didn’t have to check Wikipedia this time.

We all know Diogenes never found his “honest” man...And he wasn’t foolish enough to search Sodom-on-the-Potomac.

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