Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dream Piece

Today I seem to have gone on strike against the whole "work from home" concept, though I wasn't aware of this until around 5:30 this afternoon, when I started waking up from a nap on the couch, laptop on my lap, trying to reconstruct the tail end of a wondrous dream in which Joe Biden figured, probably as the dentist I was visiting and as the author of a bunch of posters, or postcards, that I was in charge of, with slogans some of which dealt with the phrase "another mouth to feed." I didn't get to see the dentist, but was spending some time with a kind hygienist, most directly based on my surgeon's lovely Russian nurse Natalya, a woman of inordinate compassion combined with courageous fatalism (she used to say she had experienced all the conditions the boss treated, which was certainly not true, even if she only meant it in the hypochondriac sense, which I'm sure she did), who presumably got into the dream on account of our own String (hi, String!) and a nurse in my Twitter feed called @RNSnark. She'd called me in as a special thing in spite of the fact that the office was temporarily closed (my real dentist called around noon to say the office was closed), for a job for which the dentist wasn't even going to be needed, fitting me with a kind of palate plate in opaque wax that she held in her palm, I mean in the shape of the front part of the palate, like the upper denture I had for a few months while my implants were getting done, but white rather than pink, and it didn't have a tooth, so it must have had some other function. It had been done all wrong, she said, and she was going to have to fix it for me, I think maybe by grinding it down somehow to make it fit better. The office was very dark, and there was nobody else around, but I think then there was somebody, while I was waiting for her to do whatever it was, to whom I spoke, probably a man, but I don't know what he said except that it left me curiously comforted, about the phrase "another mouth to feed," as a suggestion that that was a way Biden had referred to his children, and grandchildren, when they were infants, in a gruffly affectionate tone. With a warm smile, "Well, here's another mouth to feed."

I am feeling better, and the nap probably helped, not that I've been having any trouble sleeping, but so did Biden's primary victory speech on TV last night, the strangest political victory speech I've ever heard, and certainly the best. He hardly even mentioned the victory part, but for a brief mention in the middle—
Biden thanked poll workers and public health experts for allowing the polls to remain open in Illinois, Florida and Arizona, and said that, “today it looks like once again … our campaign has had a very good night.”
—but spoke mostly, in very somber and measured terms, about the pandemic, and what we all need to do in our different roles and in confidence in our poor old America, criticizing only Trump as he promised to restore dignity to the White House, and addressing the nation's suspicious youth with affection and hope:
“To the young voters” who have gravitated toward Sanders, Biden said, “I hear you, I know what’s at stake.”
“Senator Sanders and I may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision,” Biden said, before listing off several policy priorities he said he shared with Sanders, including “affordable health care” and “tackling the existential challenge of climate change.”
I think that's right. It's not one old white guy or another who has to win this election, but the party, with the desperately important goals we all share. The speech is hardly getting any coverage today, but if you missed it, it's posted at the top here.

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