Saturday, August 23, 2008

Only In Your Head

Because Moses had a persuasive reputation as an interpreter of dreams, he was able to tell old Pharaoh to let his people go. Sigmund Freud made a practice of looking for the meaning of dreams and created an industry of followers. Bob Dylan said, “Them old dreams, they’re only in your head.”

I have the same recurring dream, which I call my Hillbilly Heaven dream. I call it that because of an old song from Tex Ritter, singing cowboy actor in my childhood. Dolly Parton, incomparable but never unnoticed gift from the Tennessee mountains, has updated the song. It goes something like this: “I dreamed I was there in Hillbilly Heaven." With Luke the Drifter himself, old Hank Williams, and Blue Yodeling Jimmy Rogers, and Sweet Dreams Patsy Cline. You get it. Of course, Dolly’s more recent roll call includes the great Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Tammy Wynette. The tag line of the song is, “Oh, what a star spangled night.”

Actually, I had versions of the Hillbilly Heaven dream even before I ever heard the song. As a kid, I used to dream that I was kneeling in the on-deck circle, as if posing for a baseball card, glancing back in the dugout, where side by side were Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. From time to time, I still have a variation of the dream in which I am at a table in the Tabac Tuilleries in Paris drinking vin rouge with Ernest Hemmingway and William Faulkner. Hemingway challenges everybody in the café to arm wrestle. Faulkner is going on and on, and nobody has any idea what he is saying, but I am laughing so hard I am afraid I am going to spring a leak.

Last week I dreamed that I had been hired making a dollar-a-minute as a fly on the wall in the Cabinet Room of the President Barack Obama White House.

Meeting around the table:

Vice President Joseph Biden of Delaware, former chairman each of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Chief of Staff Tom Dashelle of South Dakota, former Democratic Leader of the U.S. Senate.

Secretary of State Lee Hamilton of Indiana, former 9/11 Commission co-chairman and previously longtime chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Secretary of Defense Sam Nunn of Georgia, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and probably the most qualified defense expert ever to be in charge of the Pentagon.

Secretary of the Treasury Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City, successful businessman, former Republican, and no stranger to money.

Secretary of Homeland Security Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, former Ambassador to the United Nations, as well as other important positions during the Clinton administration.

Energy Czar Al Gore, Nobel Prize winner for Everything Green.

“Leading our agenda today,” began President Obama, “Is the announcement of our first appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Has the nominee arrived at the White House yet?”

“There has been a delay,” explained Biden. “Her husband wandered off to see if he still knew the way to the Intern Lounge.”

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter

1 comment:

Tina said...

That's a good 'un, Bill !!


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