uncle jerry's

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Code of Dreams


Dream interpretation is the royal path to the unconscious.

—Sigmund Freud


Joy and peace, Camper.


It has been five weeks in not-quite-a-quarantine, and the Zoom conferencing with the Nice Doctor is going very well. After a little warm-up chat, She still likes Uncle Jerry to read his dream journal to Her.


The Nice Doctor believes that dreams can reveal repressed drives and emotions that may hide beneath the conscious mind—stuff that might manifest in neurotic symptoms. Ha. Which shows you what a PhD can mean in the wrong hands.


When he started seeing Her, Uncle Jerry was only hoping to score some CBD for his oft infirmities. But alas. Now he can't miss an appointment, because Mrs. Jerry needs "some damn alone time once a bloody week if it's not too much to ask thank you very much."


The Nice Doctor thinks that Uncle Jerry may be melting down from the Everybody-Please-Stay-Home Directive from the governor. It makes Her happy to think this, because the more Uncle Jerry seems to melt down, the more She thinks he needs Her.


Uncle Jerry is not melting down, Camper. His dreams are as normal as ever; even more so. But the Nice Doctor needs to feel needed, so Uncle Jerry tries to report at least one melting-down dream per week, just to make Her happy.

Conversation at 4 a.m.

INNER PARSON: Stop messing with the blinds.

INNER PIRATE: I can’t. The neighbors think I’m signaling.

INNER PARSON: What?

INNER PIRATE: It's wartime, you know. To see who can survive the virus.

INNER PARSON: You're joking.

INNER PIRATE: I change the blinds every half-hour precisely. You know: 3 blinds up / 3 down. Up with the 2 in the middle. All of them down for 30 minutes. It drives them crazy.

INNER PARSON: So, you think our neighbors think you're sending coded messages with the blinds . . . ?

INNER PIRATE: Oh, it's war, now. I've seen them on the TV with their flags and guns and placards down to the Walmart's. They will shoot you for the right to go out and make other people sick.

INNER PARSON: Those are not our neighbors; those are nutjobs from Idaho. Nobody is looking at our windows.

INNER PIRATE: They are!

INNER PARSON: You don’t know that.

INNER PIRATE: I can see them through the telescope.

INNER PARSON: What? Oh, for . . . Okay. Who do they think you’re signaling to?

INNER PIRATE: Dunno. The radical left, I guess?

INNER PARSON: You mean the Flints?

INNER PIRATE: No. The deep left. I don’t use a secret code to signal the Flints. Ha!

INNER PARSON: How do you signal the Flints?

INNER PIRATE: I just put out my cardboard sign: FLINTS— HOOCH ON THE DECK. 5 PM.

INNER PARSON: You know they can’t come over for drinks. Social distancing.

INNER PIRATE: It’s not an invitation. They drink on their deck, I drink on ours. We toast each other, Baxter nuzzles crotches. Etc.

INNER PARSON: You can’t toast them if you can’t see them. And they can’t see your cardboard sign. They live a block away.

INNER PIRATE: It’s the virtual thought that counts.

INNER PARSON: The Flints are not that "radical" anyway; they’re just good-looking professors dipped in gin-and-tonic.

INNER PIRATE: Well, one of them has an accent—that’s pretty suspicious. Can’t remember which, though.

INNER PARSON: It’s Colin, duh. He’s from London or something!

INNER PIRATE: Told you. He seems harmless because he speaks a form of English, but . . . Hey, what should I say this time?

INNER PARSON: What?

INNER PIRATE: With the blinds. What’s my message?

INNER PARSON: I thought you weren’t really signaling.

INNER PIRATE: I’m not.

INNER PARSON: Then how do you send a . . .

INNER PIRATE: I don’t! Pay attention.

INNER PARSON: Then . . .

INNER PIRATE: They need to think I’m sending one. Don’t you get it?

INNER PARSON: . . . Now I do: you’ve finally cracked.

INNER PIRATE: Yeah, no. Look. They want to crack a code, and obviously, it's more convincing if I give them actual words. Like yesterday I signaled, “Meet @ usual place.” That really got ’em worried.

INNER PARSON: I bet. And where is that?

INNER PIRATE: Where is what?

INNER PARSON: The usual place.

INNER PIRATE: Where we usually meet.

INNER PARSON: We who?

INNER PIRATE: The deep left.

INNER PARSON: The secret liberal pirates of the mind.

INNER PIRATE: Zackly.

INNER PARSON: But where’s the usual meet-up?

INNER PIRATE: How do I know? It’s a secret!!

INNER PARSON: . . . I’m going downstairs now. . .

INNER PIRATE: I think I’ll say, “Protest tomorrow. Temple Square. Colin bring gin.”

INNER PARSON: It’s almost dark now. No one can see your message.

INNER PIRATE: I have timers, too, so the lights go on and off. That gives me more lines of code to work with.

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