T.J. Washington In “The Long Day” Pt. 1 Morning

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6:45 am Sam’s Bar

I woke up the same way I fell asleep- almost drunk and sitting on a stool in Sam’s new bar. I inhaled deeply while scratching my stomach around my belly button and made sure to suck in as much air as I could, since you never know when you’re gonna need it. When I was as full of air as I could be, I stopped rubbing my stomach and started on my eyes.

Nothing feels quite as good as the first eye rub of the day. There’s just something about it that keeps me coming back every morning. I usually start by rubbing with my palms, then switch over to the back of my hands. When that’s done I curl them up (my hands, not my eyes) and use the pad between my thumb and forefinger until I’m done. It takes as long as it takes. There’s no rushing it. There’s no reason to. Waking up is delicate and mysterious. Best not to mess with it.

When I finished with the rubbing, I blinked several times. After enough blinks, my vision cleared itself of the morning fog and I took a look around. I didn’t feel like getting off my stool just yet, so I started bending my head side to side while stretching my neck a bit. Still feeling sleepy, I held my hands up so I looked like someone trying to imitate a goal post and made a face like I hadn’t gone to the bathroom for months and twisted side to side from my waist while making weird moaning, yawning, almost zombie-like noises. This induced a pretty decent head rush and I found myself looking at thousands of tiny silver stars. They swarmed in from the sides, converged over my field of vision and began swirling in a circular pattern. After the tiny dots finished their elaborate dance, they faded away revealing to me my surroundings once again.

I waited for the “Wonka whooooo wubbby wub” noise to fade away before firing off one more yawn. When I finished that I shook my head and let my mouth make a flapping sound – just in case.

Waking up after sleeping isn’t easy. Nor is it simple. Hell- it’s not even guaranteed to work. Lots of things can go wrong while a person is walking back from the Land of Nod. It doesn’t stop once consciousness is restored either. Once the eyes are open and the brain hands over breathing control to the mind and your muscles are once again under your authority, you have to lure your soul back into your body. This is usually accomplished through a series of stretches, strange noises, and yawning. Usually.

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T.J. Washington In “B Is For Basement” Pt. 4

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IV. 21 and Done

I took a nice long drag on my cigarette and exhaled it over the top of my coffee mug so I couldn’t tell the smoke from the steam. I looked at my wrists again, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming as I thought about the dream I had just finished doing. I say doing instead of having because it’s a more accurate description. After all, the point of language is to, as close as is possible, describe things that you can’t point a finger at and say “That’s what I mean.” Language does the best it can at this despite being used mostly by people.

Before I lulled myself into an internal debate about the differences between language and communication, I pulled a beat-up leather-bound journal from underneath the pile of last week’s mail. I had bought it years ago with the intention of keeping a daily journal of my thoughts and activities but got distracted from writing them down by the nature of my daily thoughts and activities. I fished a pen out of the pocket of the shirt I slept in and clicked it three times even though once would have been plenty.

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T.J. Washington In “B Is For Basement” Pt. 3

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III. 3×7

“I’m not the devil,” the man stressed before taking a sip of his beer before continuing, “I’m a devil and I hear you’re a shaman.”

I guessed I was in a bar. I hadn’t looked around yet, but judging from what I already experienced, bar seemed a safe bet.

This would be pretty weird if it happened while I was awake, but was pretty standard for double dreams. People are always acting like this in double and triple dreams. I’ve never met anyone who’s been in a quadruple dream.

“C’mon now,” I said as I raised my palm and pushed him back with my eyes.

“Sorry, didn’t see your light.”

“Easy mistake, I tend to keep it covered or dimmed,” I said turning to leave.

“Understood, nice knowing ya.”

“Likewise,” I replied while going through the door.

Once through the doorway I found myself sitting across from an old man, obviously a widower judging from the decor. I was wearing a black suit, a red shirt with a black tie and a two-toned hat. One of the tones was black and the other was red. We were smoking pipes in silence, one of my favorite things to do on a cool fall evening, which a glance out the window confirmed it was.

After some time two little kids came through the door without guns. One was dressed like a witch but with a long gray beard and the other was in a wizard’s robe. Must be Halloween. They were holding a broom and staff respectfully. The items looked familiar for some reason unknown to me. Recognizing stuff you don’t isn’t anything that usually needs to be worried about in a dream. No telling where one’s mind pulls dream imagery from. It’s not a question I ponder much.

The kids seemed nice enough but it was too late for them to be coming in and they didn’t have any candy. Candy-less kids on a day like this is dirty pool, even for dreams. They were covered in what I intuitively knew to be monster guts. We had a pleasant enough conversation, I suppose. I decided to leave a few minutes after I was referred to as “Grand Magus” by the old man. I knew what one was, that I was one, and why I was dressed in the manner I was. I wasn’t happy about it though.

The imagery was indicative of some of the parts of my Self that I don’t put forward very often. The reasons I choose to put a bushel over my light, so to speak, are mine to keep. Exerting spiritual or magickial energy can be, and usually is, a nuisance wrapped in a hindrance. I prefer to remain invisible to the unseen universe as much as I possibly can. Easier for everyone that way.

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03 T.J. Washington In “B Is For Basement” Pt. 2

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II. Chicken Soup For The Skull

“Hey Sam,” I said from the sidecar of the motorcycle we had just stolen. “Why don’t we make this motorcycle fly?”

“Oh, that’s right, dream motorcycles do fly.”

“If you want ’em to.”

“Yeah, This dream is so real, I almost forgot they have different rules.”

Sam put out his cigar and started the motorcycle. We zipped down the street and when we reached a good speed Sam yelled, “Hang on, I’m taking it up!” And that’s just what he did.

Dream flying is a little different than regular flying. As a matter of fact, just about everything is a little different in the dreamlands, but anyone who’s been asleep more than once knows this to be a true fact.

In the dream world, time and distance don’t have the same authority that they do in the regular one. Also, things have no obligation to make any kind of sense whatsoever. The regular world has a Newtonian undercoat to it, but not so much the dreamland. Again, this shouldn’t be news to anyone older than seven.

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03 T.J. Washington In “B Is For Basement” Pt. 1

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I. “B” Is For Basement

Sam and I were in an elevator. It was a Tuesday morning, not my favorite morning of the week if I’m being honest. Truth of the matter is I’m more of a Wednesday type fellow when it comes to mornings, that’s if I have to choose, which I don’t. My opinions about the times of day and how I feel about them were neither here nor there, though. Sam and I were on a case.

A local law firm suspected there was a vampire living in the basement and called me to have a look see. I called Sam because he likes going into law firm basements. I asked him why. He just said, “You’ll see.”

Vampires are pretty common and usually not that much of a problem if you’re smart about it, which I usually am. Easiest way to get rid of a vampire is get it when it’s sleeping. Killing something while it sleeps is one of the easiest ways to kill something mechanically speaking. Emotionally and morally it can be a different story, depending on what or who’s getting 86’d. I focus mostly on killing monsters, so I don’t usually find myself in the middle of an internal moral struggle when it’s time to kill them.

This particular elevator we were in had three buttons: “B”, “G”, and “U”.
I pushed the one labeled “B” because that’s the button that usually takes you to the basement. It’s a lucky thing that elevator buttons are pretty standard. It’s the one place where things can’t go wrong.

“Why’d you do that?” Sam said with a slightly disgusted tone. “We need to go underground, you should’ve pushed ‘U’, not ‘B’. No telling where we’ll end up now.”

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