Dream of: 09 July 1996 "View From The Upstairs Window"

I was in a small town east of Dallas, Texas – either Greenville or a town close to Greenville. I was on my way to Ohio, and after having driven only four hours on the previous day, I had stopped and spent the night in a motel, in a room on the second floor. I had also been surprised to find that someone else was also visiting this town: the radio celebrity Howard Stern. Stern and his crew had set up a tent and a mobile broadcasting unit right next to the motel.

At the moment I was outside, standing next to the tent and watching Stern do his morning broadcast. I listened to his impressive deep voice and wondered at how quick his mind was and how rapidly he could think of things to say. But I noticed that his physical appearance seemed to be deteriorating. Instead of black, his long hair was brown and seemed scraggly and uncombed. Stern appeared to have put on some weight, his face appeared puffy, and his lips were especially thick. Nevertheless I was still awed by his wit and I listened to him for quite a while.

Finally I realized the show was about to end, and I needed to go back up to my room, pack up and get back on the road. As I turned and walked back up the stairs to the second floor landing, I felt as if Howard and his side-kick, Robin Quivers, were watching me. I thought they were trying to figure out who I was, that they had met me once before, but that now they couldn't place me because they hadn't been expecting to see me in this small town.

I walked back into my motel room. It was around 10 a.m.. Since I had traveled 4 hours the previous day, it would now be as if I were leaving Dallas at 6 a.m. That would mean I would be able to make it to Ohio today without any problem. Staying over in a motel for one night on the way to Ohio made the trip a lot easier.

Not in any rush, I lay down on my back on the bed and looked around the room. The most salient feature of the room were five or six large paintings hung on the walls – paintings which I myself had brought with me and put up. I knew it was strange for someone to bring his own paintings into a motel room, but the room looked so much nicer with the paintings. Most motel rooms just had drab bare walls. This room for instance had only had one small picture hanging over the bed. The paintings gave an entirely new and lively look to the room, and I thought it had been well worth the trouble to have brought them along with me.

As I gazed more at the paintings, I realized I didn't really know what the paintings represented, and only after looking at one of them for several minutes did the scene depicted on the painting finally become clear to me. I realized the painting showed the view from the upstairs window of a house, a view which looked out on the street below. But the view was partially obstructed by the ornately carved eaves which overhung the window. The carvings were painted black, and at first I hadn't been able to figure out what they were. Only by concentrating on the picture for a while was I able to decipher what it was. A second picture on the wall was of the same scene, only this picture had a narrower view so that less of the street could be seen. Both paintings looked like experimental works, but they were still interesting.

I finally got up, knowing I needed to get ready to go, but it occurred to me that since I was already in this small town, I might stop at a Goodwill store and check if it had any good record albums. I had learned that Goodwill stores in small towns like this were sometimes good places to find old records. But I didn't know where the Goodwill was in this town. I thought I could call the front desk of the motel and ask for directions. But I thought it would be too embarrassing to ask for a Goodwill store and I knew I wouldn't do that.

Still trying to decide what to do, I looked out the window, and was astonished to see someone I had seen before in the Fort Worth area. It was a tall thin fellow with long frizzy black hair whom I had seen buying record albums at different places around Fort Worth. I thought to myself that this guy must be a fanatic: here he was this far away from Fort Worth, looking for albums. He was probably on his way to the Goodwill store right now. I could probably even follow him and find out where the Goodwill store was. But I doubted that I would do that.

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