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Journal redux
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Tilting my head back to see the droning noise coming from the sky, I would see waves upon waves of dark bombers, blacking out the blue. The planes were carrying atomic payloads, and though they flew over our little village of Dolington, they would deploy their weapons soon and hiding under all the school desks in the world wouldn't save us.

This was a favorite theme of my feverish fourth grade imagination as translated into dreams. The mushroom clouds were all twisted up with the tornadoes straight from The Wizard of Oz that also inhabited my nighttime landscape.

I haven't had one of those nightmares in a long time until last night. The dream-movie began while my husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant that is, in this world, in Big Sur but in the dream was in New Jersey (far better suited to a nuclear attack). We watched as a lumber yard in the distance (how scenic) became a tannish liquid that surged like the tide, signaling a massive explosion. We were transported, in that instantaneous fashion only available in dreams, to a house where our kids and dogs were safe (the cats must have known that this was going to end badly and dispersed to the winds). I was seized with a compulsion to get to Home Depot (the amount of advertising and product placement in my dreams has become excessive) to buy supplies, primarily duct tape, apparently having bought into the concept of Protect Your Family Through Adhesives. There was some difficulty with getting everyone to agree to get into the car, and the dream faded into post-nuclear winter oblivion as we squabbled in the best tradition of reality show families everywhere.

This journal has been on hiatus since last summer simply through the chronic and irritating passage of time. A few days in August passed and I hadn't written. And then there was a vacation and Labor Day and it was embarrassing to admit to the depths of my procrastination. More time flowed away into the abyss and it was just easier to read other people's journals than to write my own. Beginning in January I started a paper journal in the tradition of altered books, writing a bit, collaging a few more bits, gluing the ephemera and scraps of paper that pass through my life on a daily basis into a book that quickly could not be closed without the use of a large table vise.

The finding-stuff-to-include part is pretty easy, especially when traveling because that activity generates a paper mill's worth of output for each trip. The longhand-writing part is much more challenging. I have been out of practice at that since bluebook exams in college (are they still used?) when my economics and political science professors would routinely expect multiple booklets filled for a single exam. When I type an entry, I spend more time on it, find more to say than just "went to the library today", and don't get hand-cramps. So there you go.

My kids will think it's unauthentic and cheating when they discover that I've printed this entry and pasted it into my journal. Because the little ratters read every entry and will point out that this week I said Scalia's rude gesture is a sign of the impending end of the world, while just a few weeks ago it was that 20% of Americans believe that winning the lottery is "the most practical way" for them to accumulate $200,000.

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