(Note: I first posted this article, sans the poem, on Jan. 19th, then tried again on Jan. 21. Neither attempt was totally successful. The original title was, 'Misha, Misha: some peculiar phenomena' and I used the alias Bob Furlove)
Misha: some peculiar phenomena
On Sunday morning, (Jan. 15) I was reading and listening to Air America radio. At approx. 11:45-11:50 am, I set down my magazine to write a description of my dream from earlier in the morning. While sleeping, I dreamt about being elevated above a pack of wolves, as if I was on a cliff or ledge of some kind. I may have been throwing things at them, but the exact details of the dream are sketchy.
After writing the description, I vaguely tried to symbolically link it to an incident from my high school years. In fact, a brief incident, (or stimulus), from Saturday night was vaguely connected to circumstances of the high-school incident. But I couldn't make much of a symbolic connection between any of this.
I then wrote about another memory from high school. Me and a few friends of mine used to go out behind the gym at lunch to hang out, and below us a group of Russian and Ukrainian kids played handball everyday, or nearly everyday. Me and one or two friends of mine would stand elevated above them at a back exit of the gym, and we would shout, "Misha! Misha! Sasha!" and so on, as a way of mocking them. (This was high school after all, and we weren't very sensitive. I've changed since then).
So I wrote briefly about this memory, even writing the names Misha and Sasha that we yelled. Then I went back to reading. The Randi Rhodes show came on at noon, and she began her monologue after the theme song. Right away, she began talking about the Sago mine tragedy in West Virginia, and shortly into her monologue, she began talking about the "mine safety and health administration" (I think that's what it's called) with the acronym MSHA, (pronounced by her as Misha). She began calling it by the acronym, even noting the peculiarity of how it sounded, ("Misha"). She went on to say "Misha" about a dozen times.
Lo and behold, just five or ten minutes before that, I wrote about the time when me and some friends yelled "Misha! Misha!" at the Russian and Ukrainian guys playing handball. (Note—I'm not trying to make a symbolic connection between the wolves in the dream and the Russian and Ukrainian guys from my high-school. I only took note of that in my journal as an exercise in memoir, since the memory came to me. The point of this is to point out the extreme improbability that I would write the name Misha in my journal, then 5-10 minutes later, hear a radio commentator repeatedly say "Misha," even if it was an acronym).
The Randi Rhodes show that day was a rerun from the previous Friday, I think. (Friday Jan. 13th)
(After writing this, I heard another radio commentator refer to the Mine Safety and Health Administration as MSHA, pronounced "em'shuh" and not "misha" as Randi Rhodes had pronounced it).
A thick soup
I used to think of the air as invisible gas
But now I think it's more like a thick soup
Now I think it's like a 3-D painting—every stroke
Of the brush, each imprint of every bristle,
And every particle of paint
Can be mapped out, lightened, darkened
Added subtracted electrified
Every particle can be made to dance
But why did I have to think of this?
Now I wonder why
The trapeze artist ever fell
Why any fire ever started
How any fire was ever put out
I wonder why I ever called you
Why I ever shouted
When I could have just waited
We rose from the sea with sea under our skin
What will we carry with us
When we rise from this?
A Thick Soup