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Squirrels, Baseball and Cigarettes

I had the most bizarre dream last night.

I work in Cambridge.  It’s a beautiful city, and home to Cambridge University, Corpus Christi, and The Human Genome Project has work done in a small community on the outskirts.  There are still Roman roads and walls loitering around the countryside, likely smoking and lamenting the rain.  Pink Floyd was born here, as was the lead singer of Muse, Matthew Bellamy.

In spite of its size and popularity, Cambridge is still a city full of that quaint British charm my parents are so fond of.  (At least my mother is, since she tries to pick up an accent every time she’s here for 10 minutes.)  It manages a bit of small-town feel, even if only in that snobby European way.  Which is why when, everyday on my way home, I stop and listen to a homeless man who plays his guitar.  He’s not like the quasi-homelss guy down the street with a dog and amp and some kind of voice box; this guy is actually homeless.

He’s a pretty good guitar player.  He has decent pitch.  But when he sings it’s all staccato, there are no held notes.  It’s.  All.  Done.  Quite.  Clipped.  And he doesn’t do anything new.  His repertoire revolves around hits from the mid-to-late 90’s.  Alanis Morrisette’s One Hand In My Pocket; Dido’s Best Days of My Life; The Verve’s The Drugs Don’t Work.

But last night, in my dream, he was a squirrel.  And he wasn’t singing the greatest hits from my high school years, he was singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  “Take.  Me.  Out.  To.  The.  Ball.  Game.”  It was the most bizarre thing my dream self had ever seen.

As I stood there things changed, and suddenly we (the guitar-playing squirrel and I) were in front of the Metrodome.  Except the Dome was in Cambridge, I can’t explain it.  Anyway, these students are passing, and each of them has a little animal with them (damn you, Golden Compass!).  One of the animals stops, another squirrel by the way, lights a cigarette, and begins critiquing the other squirrel’s skills.  Except the critic is a French squirrel.

“Theese eez no gud.  Ah can play bett-ter zahn theese.”  Even in my dream, horrible accent.  I can still see the little bastard puffing on his thin little stick of tobacco.

Eventually I leave the Britsh and French squirrels to duke it out on their own, and I head inside the Dome.  I sit down, and I’m fully expecting to watch a baseball game.  Instead, it’s some other sport that I don’t recognize or even understand.  Is this cricket? I ask myself, being pretty sure that it isn’t but not 100% confident in that fact.  You know that baffled feeling you get when that dream-state common sense conflicts with your subconscious?  That’s what was happening, because even though I live in the UK I really have no idea what cricket is.

Anyway, that conflict of is-this-or-isn't-this cricket jarred me out of my sleep.  My dreams can be pretty lucid, and this one wasn't any different.  Stupid squirrels.

Sigh.  I miss live baseball.