A Guy Can Dream Can’t He?

Posted: November 15, 2009 in The Roper Files
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August16th 2009 258Was standing at my job the other day in front of my water jet cutter staring into a dark murky swirling pool of toxic water as it slowly cut a pattern into a large sheet of aluminum and experienced a series of out-of-left-field brain spasms. One of those out of sync thoughts that has absolutely nothing to do with what you are supposed to be thinking about; some people call them “brain farts” although even typing that phrase makes me want to get up and open the doors and windows.
But as much as I dislike the term “brain fart” I am forced to admit somehow to the accuracy of it; sometimes little bits of memory from my past make their way to the surface of my train of thought. Maybe it’s the melody of some old song that works its way up from my subconscious. Or I’ll start thinking about some old sitcom I have in the back room on an old VHS; whatever happened to the guy who starred in that?
Sometimes a scene from a movie I watched twenty years ago replays in my head as if someone had installed a DVD player in there and hit “select a scene”.
All of these things began happening to me at once the other day while I was supposed to be concentrating on what I was doing. Maybe it was just boredom working overtime; I do remember catching occasional glimpses of sunshine through one of the loading dock doors and being kind of depressed about having to be in that dismal stinky factory on such a nice day. I have a slide-show on my Dell that the water jet uses of pictures from my trip to Canada in August. (https://file23magazine.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/file-23-visits-that-horrible-socialist-canada/)
August16th 2009 182
 They’re beautiful, I love to look at them and it’s not unusual to walk back up to my station and catch one of my co-workers standing in front of it open-mouthed at my pictures on the monitor.
August16th 2009 095But sometimes I look at them and it makes being stuck inside on a nice day even tougher than it already is.
August16th 2009 219And it’s about moments like that something seems to short-circuit in my mind; weird bits of memory begin bobbing to the surface like wreckage from some disaster at sea. Like take the other day for example; this melody from an old song gets stuck in my head and loops for the rest of the day. What triggers these things? Boredom digging through the album collection like an unwanted guest? (“Are these all the records you’ve got?”) For example I got this melody stuck in my head recently :
There was a comedy series that ran on HBO for six years back in the early 90’s called DREAM ON.
It starred a guy with the (for real) name of Brian Ben-ben and long story short was about a guy who watched a lot of TV when he was a kid. Like James Thurber’s character Walter Mitty; he day-dreamed frequently which they would illustrate as fast-edited little clips from old public domain movies and cartoons. I have a few of these on some old VHS tapes but I hadn’t watched them in years, yet I started thinking about it for some reason the other day; I could identify heavily with this character.

After work I had to rush home and look this guy up on www.imdb.com ; whatever happened to that guy? I hadn’t seen his name anywhere in years. Turns out he has been married to the same woman since 1982 (how many people in the entertainment business can say that?) and owns a cattle ranch down in the Hill country of right here in my home state of Texas. Strange the circles these trains of thought weave themselves into. Is Brian Ben-ben sending me some sort of psychic message? Well if he is I wish he would stop it; can’t he see I’m trying to work here ?


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