CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: A World of Dreams — or Maybe Epiphanies



I’ve always been fascinated by dreams, more so than something dumb like making a lot of money. You know, the hows and whys and ramifications. No in-depth psychobabble stuff, just simple explanations. And I don’t know if it’s a Jappo thing, but we tend to clam up when the subject is raised.

Talk about Camp and conversation never ends; everyone has a personal slant. With the advent of social media, no subject appears to be off limits. In mixed company, a common chord can be reached somewhere along the line during chit-chats. So why does everyone seem to freeze when the subject of dreaming is brought up?

[Confession: I know where I can get an immediate explanation, an in-depth academic analysis. But CR2S is a typical, hard-headed Nisei, don’tchaknowbynow. Although being a mahn-nah-kah (in-the-middle) with an accomplished elder brother, I have a younger sibling who happens to have a doctorate in psychology. So why don’t I go to him? He would patiently explain every question posed by his donko brother. But then I would have nothing to write about. Besides, I did say he’s a younger bro, right?

I think I’ve told all you nice folks before that CR2S dreams are very unusual. They’re not what you would call bad, but seldom good. More often than not, a sense of loss is the constant theme: Lost in a strange and unfamiliar place, without a car or money; or being in uniform unable to find my unit – a mess hall to eat in – a clean uniform to change into. Once in a while, I’m on a futuristic freeway without offramps. Or an elevator that won’t stop on my floor is another sleep invader.

On rare occasions there are episodes that involve real people and places (but unfortunately, not what you might be thinking). These real-life recreations invariably involve long-ago days at Crossroads, my old newspaper in Li’l Tokio, circa ’50s-’70. The problem is always the checking account coming up short, endangering the next edition. That’s when Sumitomo Bank becomes a villain and explains why I’ve been a Union Bank customer since its inception from Bank of Tokio roots.

And yeah, I have dreams every night! But the plot thickens here because no matter the subject matter, it is usually forgotten the minute I wake up. Which, in my case, is hard to understand because I wake up on an average of three times between lights out and 6:30 wake-up time. On occasion, an interrupted séance will pick up right where it was interrupted, like a theater intermission. Ain’t that weird?

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All of which gives me an opportunity to talk about one of my favorite words, Epiphany. Don’t ask why it’s preferred, it just is. First of all it has eight letters, my favorite number, and I like the sound of it: eh-piff-funny. Another favorite is penultimate, meaning next to last. Again, don’t ask why because I don’t have an answer. But think about it: If you’re faced with a next-to-last anything, doesn’t it sound more dramatic to be penultimate, rather than simply next to last?

Okay, back to the “E” word. It’s like when the car is idling at a traffic signal, you’re thinking about absolutely nothing, simply waiting for the light to change. A pedestrian makes a mad dash into the crosswalk just as red turns to green. Fortunately your foot goes from gas to brake pedal. At the same moment the horn from the car behind you sounds off. That, in a different sense, is also an epiphany.

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So everything went out the window today: common sense, laughter, latest Keiro sale news. But stick it out for a couple of more obtuse comments to complete today’s oddball agenda.

Let’s start by asking why people are so driven to make money? And then face a need to make more. Sandy Koufax never made $100,000 in a season pitching a baseball. Which is neither here nor there, I know. So I should leave the vagaries of economics to academics; CR2S merely asks inane questions. Why this universal obsession when chances are so slim? How many cars can you drive at once or houses needed to live in, styles to flaunt?

And pleez, no irate outbursts calling me names. I’m immune to threats and obscenities (to a point). And my financial bona fides certainly don’t make me a fat cat. [I had a good friend who was one of a few Nisei registered as a communist. He was one of the nicest, most informed guys I ever knew.]

With Veterans Day upon us, how patriotic and exciting the flyovers, humongous American flags covering entire playing fields, courageous past and present veterans being honored. Fill you with pride and appreciation? How feel you now knowing all these spectaculars are paid promotion$? With less than 1% of our population volunteering for active service, that means 99% have a passive sense of guilt that it’s someone else’s duty. So Madison Avenue and the Pentagon willingly enter the debate by commercializing patriotism to relieve the anxiety. What a great nation. Thank you, Sen. John McCain!

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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