dreams, part 13

we want the funk.
give up the funk.

— the prophet george edward clinton

I am at the Olympics with my sister Jami. We’re watching the beach volleyball competition.

One of the members on the U.S. team is some guy I’m not familiar with, tall and lean and bronze. The other is former president and TV huckster Donald J. Trump.

They’re wearing USA tank tops and board shorts, but rather than the USA baseball cap, Trump has a (and I’m NOT making this up) “Make American Volleyball Great Again” cap. His physique was not created on Muscle Beach in Venice.

The other team’s players (my dream gives no indication of their nationality) appear puzzled. As it turns out, one of Trump’s last acts before leaving office was to appoint himself lifelong member of the US Olympic Beach Volleyball Team. He never actually said it, he just thought it, but that’s enough when you’re president. So here we are.

The match starts out much as you would expect it. He serves; the opponents spike the ball off his head. The other team serves, his teammate returns, the other team spikes the ball off his head.

No volleys, no diving saves, no setting the ball for him. Serve, return, bounce off head. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And once more.

21 consecutive unchallenged points later, the first set is over. I lament that we could be at the George Clinton concert instead of this. We’re about ready to leave.

And then.

Trump takes his shirt off and tucks it into the rear of his shorts.

He puts his hat back on, this time turning it backwards.

His shocked teammate does the same.

The crowd murmurs. Not just at the spectacle that is before them, but at the breach of protocol. Players must keep their shirts on at the Olympics. Trump points out that he changed the rules when he was president by thinking about them.

The befuddled referee can find nothing in his rulebook to refute this. The match resumes.

The crowd buzzes. There’s a new electricity in the air. The other team clearly is worried.

The set begins.

Everything changes in the second set, including a piped-in “Gonna Fly Now” Rocky theme performed by Lee Greenwood.

The joint is electric. There will be NO spiking the ball off Trump’s head in the second set. Not by a long shot.

Rather than spiking the ball off his head, they spike it off his body. It’s large and pasty and the perfect target.

Serve, return, spike, welt. Serve, return, spike, welt.

His body becomes marked with a Red Wave of impacts.

Eventually, no marks are left because the entire body is beet red.

Twenty-one of them later, the referee blows his whistle. The match is over. Trump, having lost 21-0, 21-0, celebrates.

In the news conference afterward, the press asks for his reaction. Trump assures them that more points will be coming in later and he will be declared the winner. This all seems vaguely familiar, but I can’t place it.

Jami and I leave on our way to stand wistfully outside the House of Blues in case George Clinton walks outside for an impromptu jam. He does not.

As we walk around idly, Mo wakes me up. She apparently thinks she should have one of my six pillows.

I sometimes wonder what the deal is with dreams. Anything can happen in them, and yet so many are just me sitting at my desk at a newspaper blowing a deadline. And then one comes along like this, and I can’t wait to go back to sleep again. Maybe George Santos in rhythmic gymnastics.

I still think Clinton should have won that election. We really do want the funk.

About gary

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