Sunday, August 22, 2010


Gerald and I had discussed renewing our wedding vows on our twentieth anniversary. One day, as we were going to work I wondered aloud who we could get to perform the ceremony as there were no justices of the peace in Ohio. As we passed through Jeffersonville, Gerald said, "Maybe the Mayor could do it." I said, "Oh no, he's the undertaker; that would be too creepy." That day at work, one of the guys, Dave Freidenmaker, was wearing a black tee-shirt and black pants. He turned around and he had stuffed gloves into his shirt and made it look like he had a bosom. He pranced around and said, "I look like Sue!" That day I was wearing a black jumpsuit.

That night I had a very frightening dream and when I awoke I was deeply troubled by the dream. In the dream, it was as if I, myself were standing back, watching the dream and I knew that there was a wedding, but everyone was in black. A person in the dream--a person of indeterminate gender--was wearing a black chiffon jumpsuit. That person, coming near the wedding party, seemed to be in control, and the person spoke these words, "How do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mr. Death?" I woke up from the dream, frightened. I did not tell Gerald about the dream, but I couldn't put it out of my mind. At lunch I was talking to my friend David Hibbard and we oftentimes analyzed dreams. I started to tell him about the dream and as I began to speak the words, "how do you like......", David responded, "your blueeyed boy, Mister Death". I literally gasped, "Oh, my God, how did you know that?"

(Photo - Buffalo Bill) David's analysis of the dream: Everything that had happened that day played a part in the dream: Gerald and I had been talking about renewing our wedding vows and when he mentioned the Mayor, I equated that with death. At work, Dave Freidenmaker had put the gloves in his shirt to simulate breasts and Dave was acting like a woman because the perception was that I acted like a man, because I was the only woman in management. I had a great number of jumpsuits in my wardrobe. Earlier in the week David and I had been discussing "The Silence of the Lambs" movie and the e. e. cummings poem, "Buffalo Bill's defunct" which figured in the movie, and the last line of the poem is, "how do you like your blueeyed boy, Mister Death".

Another e. e. cummings poem, "I carry your heart with me" had been a part of our wedding. Gerald has blue eyes. David then said that I was obviously the person of indeterminate gender in the black chiffon jumpsuit, because I was a woman in a traditionally-male position and in control. In the dream the jumpsuit was chiffon, to denote femininity, but in the dream I couldn't tell the gender of the person because of my work role.

So why was it so frightening, I asked David. He said, "I can only say WHY you had the dream, not WHAT it meant." We did not renew our vows; I'm hoping to do it next year on the fortieth! The dream no longer frightens me.

(Photo: e. e. cummings)

"Buffalo Bill's defunct" by e. e. cummings:

Buffalo Bill's
who used to
ride on a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what I want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

"i carry your heart with me" by e. e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

1 comment:

Mona Lisa said...

Knowing you is my "liberal education"; another poet I must peruse!