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Sunday, January 4, 2004

field of dreams

Driving with Ryan and Jeff in his SUV, going to some party, but first to a liquor store. O'hare area late at night or some otherwise wide open, empty suburban area. Liquor store in a strip mall.

Ryan's cell phone works but he keeps on asking to use mine. By the third time he does, I look at my diminished battery indicator level and ask him why he doesn't use his. "I don't want to use up all my battery," he says.

Jeff hops back in with the liquor are we are off to socialize. Almost a few seconds after we pull out of the parking lot he asks, "Does anyone want a beer?" and starts to drink .... and drive.

I decline and look up into the sky at a huge, very sharp and very clear projection of the lower sixty percent of the continent of Africa. The detail of the image is remarkable and without questioning who or what was able to project it onto the sky twenty to thirty feet above and behind us I try to direct the guys attention. "Yo, guys check it out! It's Africa, look, look," wagging my pointing finger. They look but are surprisingly unsurprised.

I guess Ryan and I and maybe even Jeff are in a band because next to Ryan in the back seat and even further back in the rear seat lies assorted guitar and amplifier equipment. Either were gear monkeys for another band or in one ourselves on the way to a show.

We continue driving and I think again about the image of Africa. The image zooms out, and I begin to see more of the continent and its surrounding areas. It must be a satellite image I tell myself as it zooms over more parts of the earth, almost randomly. As I see with a new depth and clarity the crevices and folds and overhangs and mountains of the various regions of the earth I sense the artistry of its creation. Continental drift grinding two continents together creating huge mountain ranges, or otherwise sliding them apart and leaving whole huge ocean trenches spawning an unfathomable array or marine life. I know there's something majestic about it, and I questions not it status of being pure art, the geography of this planet, uncorrupted by desire for material achievement or connection with an audience. It's beautiful and finally my thoughts quieten and soften and drool over the whirlwind tour de images projected above.

We pull into the restaurant where we are to meet our partners in binge drinking. Dark, quiet, almost too fancy for our apparel, and we are seated, someone and I next to two girls. To my left is a shy, dark, and petite figure. I smile cordially and peruse the menu. Almost instantly I being to comment, trying to establish some communication level. She sensed the slight aire of desperation in my attempt, and gradually became overwhelmed by it, as it only increased as my meaningless banter continued to unfold. Instead of asking me to slide up and out of my seat to exit her's, she daintily climbs on top of the dining table, hops down and away.

"She'll be back," I tell myself.

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