Both Kinds Of Nimbus, #1 (Brother Dave Drops In On Mister Lister On A Thursday Afternoon)

nimbus “Nimbus” is based on an unusual dream I had. After waking from the dream, while recalling and analyzing details, the most extraordinary feature was that both of the main characters had been played by me.

Egocentric? Schizophrenic? Just plain weird?

My friend Buffy says that, rather than provide us with significant portraits of the strangers, family, friends, and acquaintances we see there, all the characters in our dreams are more representative of various aspects of ourselves. Hmm. Well, her enlightened perspective makes perfect sense to me… especially if it gets me off the hook for potentially being a latent egomaniacal schizoid weirdo!

The morning after having dreamed my dream, I drew some sketches of a few of the scenes. Sometime later, I wrote this song. And sometime later still, I used my dreamsong as the basis of the script and soundtrack for a short film that friends and I produced — a 16mm, monochrome, student film that received awards in local competition.

As for having “Thursday” in the subtitle, well, that’s the day of the week when I’m most likely to be off-balance. I’ve wondered if other people find some similar personal statistical significance in Thursdays. When I read Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” I was gratified to find a kindred spirit in the character of Arthur Dent. When Arthur is overwhelmed after learning his house is about to be destroyed by a bulldozer and the Earth is about to be destroyed by a fleet of Volgon spaceships, in a state of shock and disbelief he mutters numbly to himself, “It must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

Read the lyrics below, skip to the Lead Sheet for the words and music. — BD

PS: A few days after first posting this page, I watched an interesting documentary on the Discovery Science channel. It was all about twins. One scientist in the program summed up his research like this: Three-quarters of all pregnancies naturally abort before coming to term. Because most of those terminations occur within the first few days of conception, few of the prospective mothers ever realize they had been pregnant. 1 in 8 pregnancies begins with twin embryos. But twin births account for only 1 in 80 deliveries. Left-handedness is more common among twins than non-twins. So, in conclusion, most left-handed non-twin individuals are actually the sole-survivors of unsuspected twin conceptions. Hmm. Well, I don’t know if that conclusion will remain valid after further, independent research. But the information provided me with a new point of view regarding the interpretation of my unusual dream. I’m left-handed. — BD

Both Kinds Of Nimbus, #1
(Brother Dave Drops In On Mister Lister On A Thursday Afternoon)
Words by David R. Lister

I was walking up an alley
The summer sun shone dimly
I stopped beside a hedge
Clipped and cared for neatly
It fenced this yard completely
I was on the outside edge
And warning signs were ’round about
Saying, “Don’t pass in, you won’t pass out!”
No gateway could be seen
And then I saw my brother
And I wondered how he’d gotten there
In the middle of this riddle in a dream

Well, I was wearing sackcloth
With ashes on my face
He was wearing cut-off jeans
Against himself in checkers
He was bound to be the winner
And the loser, so it seemed
And I was long past lonely
And quite sure that he could cure me
And yet too proud to plead
He’d just won a red king
When he noticed I was watching
And he growled, “What exactly do you need?”

Though away a while, it shocked me
To see that he’d forgotten me
So soon I softly said,
“If they could and would come back,
Do you believe they should come back?
I am speaking of the dead.”
He stood stiffly on the top step
His eyes were wild and worried
His hand was on the door
And as he reeled to run inside
To find a place to hide, he cried,
“There’s no ghost of a chance anymore!
We’ve just one life and one death, nothing more!
There’s no chance of a ghost anymore!”

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