Am watching re-runs of the NY sitcom Friends, it seems to be the most wittily written thing on TV right now. I recently saw the real life interaction between Ellen de Generis and Jennifer Aniston; meanwhile, who could not enjoy the fictional Matthew Perry. The series is at the peak of celebrity where movie stars are being enticed for guest appearances.

I’m writing this at 12.30am having woken from a gentle flying dream, not an anxiety generated one as a dogmatic friend once insisted that all flying dreams are. However, I wanted to write down some of its distinguishing features so as not to forget them by morning. The dream was about smoking a cigar. One of the breakfast games I play with my housemate is to work out where our dream components come from. In this instance, last night’s episode of Friends had Courtney Cox uncharacteristically smoke her lover’s cigar.

I used to smoke in my 20’s and 30’s. Also, earlier, when I left high school I helped harvest tobacco on a farm at Mareeba, inland of Cairns, north Qld, run by an Italian couple. The wife cooked the best pasta on which I gorged. The aroma of the drying tobacco leaf was magic. It was like freshly baked bread. It helps to remember that the tobacco leaf was sacred to the American Indian, and only recent foul industrial processes made the experience of smoking toxic.

So, I was flying through the air with a group of butch blokes and we were smoking cigars. The guys were blokes from my days on the railway. As a roster clerk, I travelled to work by suburban train; the train drivers allowed me to travel up front in their cabin; often, they enjoyed some quiet conversation. Most of this guild of blokes were god’s gentlemen. On one occasion a driver produced a pouch of roll your own that was unprocessed weed. You could tell from the smoke, gloriously akin to incense.

Like the operatic sestett of Friends, 3 men & 3 women, the drivers were, by and large, respectfully immersed in the drama of life, with their wives. As an artist, I exist on the margin. Back to my flying dream, I hope.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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