Tag: daydreams

Rocking Chair Reading

In one daydream, I am sitting on a covered porch that faces south toward a vast cornfield. There is a gentle breeze that blows and if I look up at the corn, I become distracted by the waves that seem to ripple through it. Beside me, on a small table, is a sweating glass filled with the perfect lemonade. In my lap is a thick book (like the one I am currently reading, Volume I of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative) with a bookmark slipped in after the first four or five pages. Glancing down at the book, I see I have 800 pages before me. The sun is just above the distant horizon in the east. There is not a cloud in the sky. The air is cool, but not cold. I’m sitting in a rocking chair. There is a padded cushion on the seat and a gentle, rhythmic rumble on the planks of the porch as the chair pendulums back and forth.

In another version of this daydream, the porch faces the Penobscot Bay or the Bagaduce River in Maine. In still another, the porch is screened in, and facing a fishing lake deep in the Vermont wilderness. A steady rain is falling and another thick book sits open in my lap.

Sometimes, when driving, I’ll pass a large meadow. In the distance, I’ll see an oak tree, and in the shade of that tree my imagination conjures a rocking chair. I find myself longing to be in that chair, book in hand, and a quiet afternoon before me.

The reality is somewhat different. The chair is not a rocking chair, but a rail chair. We bought it thirteen years ago, when Kelly was pregnant with the Little Man, thinking it would be a good chair for sitting in while rocking the little man to sleep. It is cushioned and comfortable, and came with an ottoman that itself rocks along with the chair. Having long grown out of the need for being rocked to sleep, the chair ended up in my office after we moved into this house a few years back. Instead of being surrounded by a wide porch, it is surrounded by bookshelves

My rocking rail chair
The rail chair (glider) in my office

I do a lot of reading in this chair, and there is a reality that never comes up in my daydreams. For instance, if I am reading, say, a thriller, I’ll find myself rocking faster and faster as the tension builds, often to the point where the chair reaches its limits, abruptly stopping and giving me minor whiplash. It happens again and again, but I can’t help it. My rocking matches the pace of whatever it is I am reading. It is probably a good think this is a rail chair and not a rocking chair. If it was, I imagine I’d have already flipped myself over backwards several times.

In my daydreams, all I hear is the sound of the wind through the corn, or the rain pelting the lake, and perhaps the hum of the rocking chair on the floorboards of the porch. In reality, I often hear the television from the living room, which is right next to my office. When we moved into the house, I wanted to put in French doors that would provide some separation from the office to the living room. That hasn’t happened yet so my reading is often disturbed but the sounds of Murdock Mysteries or Pink videos on YouTube.

Finally, in my daydreams, I set out to read at sunrise, and watch the shadows move across the land while the sun passes over from east to west and my bookmark finds its way deeper and deeper into the book I am reading. The glass of lemonade is always full. I never feel the need to empty my bladder. And by the time the sun has set and there is no longer enough light left in the sky to make out the words, I feel incredibly satisfied with just how much reading I managed to do. The reality is far different. For when the TV is not on and the house is quiet and I find myself sitting in the chair with a thick book open in front of my and a cold A&W Zero Sugar Root Beer on the table beside my, as often as not I find that I read five or ten pages, and then fall asleep in the chair.

That never happens in my daydreams.

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I Dream of In-n-Out

I have a confession to make: it has been 730 days since my last Double-Double. If that number sounds familiar it is because it also happens to be the same number of days in exactly two years. Yes, two years ago today was the last time I had an In-n-Out burger.

My last In-n-Out meal in July 2019

I’m not going to debate the relative merits of whether In-n-Out burgers are better than, say Five Guys, or Shake Shack. For me In-n-Out burgers and fries are superior to all other chain burgers and fries I’ve ever tried and that’s good enough for me. But I will recall here a recurring day-dream I have. It goes something like this:

I wake up in the morning, and grab my phone to scan the news. After scanning the headlines, I usually checkout the local Patch site for local news. On this particular morning, the top story on the Patch news for my town is a banner headline that reads:


In my reverie, this is some of the most exciting news I’ve ever heard. Forget election results, or billionaires in space, I am just giddy over the fact that there will be an In-n-Out nearby.

Some people imagine winning the lottery and what they’d do with their fortune. I prefer to daydream that an In-n-Out opens nearby. That would be like winning the lottery to me.

I never take my day-dream beyond the discovery that an In-n-Out will be opening locally. I know everything after that will be something of a disappointment. The food, of course, would be fantastic, but I could only imagine the crowds that a local In-n-Out would attract. People would wait hours to get a burger. Parking would be impossible. It would, in all likelihood, be a tease. The restaurant there, within reach, and yet impossible to get food from thanks to crowds and parking problems. It might as well be in Santa Monica for all of the good it would do me.

The reality is, I’m glad there is no In-n-Out anywhere near where I live. It makes the rare visits when I am back in California for work all that more special.

I have a good imagination, and when I have a clear vision for something, I usually manage to achieve it. I’m confident that I’ll get to have another Double-Double someday. For now, I’m happy just dreaming about it.

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More of a writer’s daydreams

I recently received a promotion in the day job. I am now a senior application developer. Upon getting this promotion, one of the things I did was to update LinkedIn, and the tagline there. Before, it read: “Science Fiction Writer and Application Developer” now it reads: “Science Fiction Writer and Senior Application Developer”.

But I got to day-dreaming about career progression and tried to imagine the progression of the LinkedIn tagline. Without any specific time-frame associated with the changes, here is how that tagline evolved in my day dreams:

  1. Application developer
  2. Science fiction writer and application developer
  3. Science fiction writer and senior application developer
  4. Award-winning science fiction writer and senior application developer
  5. New York Times bestselling science fiction writer and senior application developer

And then, finally, just:

  • New York Times bestselling science fiction writer

Like the song asks, “I can dream, can’t I?”