Every Which Way

…or “Which 80’s Cartoon Was That?”
First posted 07/14/10

It’s a cartoon desert with impossible-to-believe trees and disappearing-reappearing water. There’s some scaffolding, it almost looks real yet also looks drawn. Three cartoon characters are cavorting on it but I can’t seem to put names to them. Even when someone calls them by name, the sound is blown away so that I don’t hear it. They’re doing dangerous stunts. A woman appears, watching. She’s their manager. One of them makes a mistake and she begins yelling at them. I don’t like the yelling so I leave.

I’m walking through an automotive graveyard. Engines, doors, tires, steering wheels – they’re everywhere. At the end is a large bird cage with many different birds both beautiful and ugly. There’s also a cat. The cat keeps the birds in line, but isn’t there to eat them. I enter the cage and the cat kindly shows me around. I can tell the birds are afraid of the cat, but it’s the sort of fear one has for a respected caretaker. Not as much as a healthy fear of God, but more than a healthy fear of one’s parents.

One of the birds wants to leave with me, but the cat won’t allow it. Through it all the cat never speaks but still somehow makes its intentions known. Most of the birds also don’t speak. Those are the intelligent ones. The birds who can speak only imitate. They cannot express actual thoughts; neither verbally nor nonverbally.

When I leave my youngest sister is there. She points to one of the broken engines and tells me about the time my mom almost flipped over my dad’s truck when she drove off a small hill and onto that engine. (This of course has never happened.) Suddenly, she’s gone.

I see my car by the side of the road, the road wasn’t there before. I unlock it at a distance and someone else gets in. He sits in the driver’s seat and won’t leave. I press another button, locking him in the car and I leave him there.

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