another night or day

I got to a pretty good state for awhile yesterday waking up after midnight and going from the endless night of despair into the day instead of trying to get up in the afternoon in despair and seeing things just get darker.

I thought maybe I was on the right track. But, waking up at 3 a.m. today (a favorite time of day) it seems just too dark. I think I was having one of those dreams that was just a true and graphic account of my lack of place in the world. Maybe it was better yesterday when it was all running and hiding and people being shot in the head.

But the part I remember was ending on a somewhat lighter side of trouble. After all, I found a place to pee for a change (well, it was off a sidewalk, but I didn’t think anyone was around), and did so quite easily. (I thought maybe because my penis was particularly short at the time.) So the walk was going along okay into the grey color field, skies and sidewalks and buildings.

But a vehicle starts pacing me, then falls behind, and someone is talking.. I have to turn around to see that it’s a cop car. What luck. He wants to know what’s going on or something, I say “you tell me. what do you want?” Well, it turns out he doesn’t say anything about indecent exposure, or anything of a legal nature as far as I can tell. He’s just harassing me about my life in general, and leading to, “You let yourself go bald.” As I was trying to say in a scoffing tone (don’t talk back to the cops, kids) “That’s not something one has much choice about” I woke up. And here we are, with the imaginary correspondents again.

memorable yet forgotten dream

When I got up Thursday it was Friday. It had been another strange and overly extensive day into night’s sleep. Before, I’d already stayed up a bit too long and whiskeyed a bit and was more than prepared to fall out of it when there was a last minute turn and I decided to do what needed to be done instead. So then came further hours of getting stuff ready to go to the post office, walking down there and a side-trip to a store where I bought and consumed things which I should have not. After the staying up, stayed down a sleep-and-a-half in penance; waking briefly for visits from the cat, too impatient with me to stay in my arms, and a surprising explosion from the sky followed by reassuring water fall. Maybe there were some other memorable but forgotten interruptions, but still little indication from my waking mind that it would ever wish to re-enlist.

Toward the end there was one of those long, connected, maybe lucid dreams in a place with diverse enough areas and people to seem to justify the many chapters and themes. Unfortunately, I was once again unwilling or unable to get up after, and the details and connections are eroding and wafting away.

The event was outside at first, a festival of some sort I guess as there were booths and exhibits. In front of the booth where I was, which no doubt had something to do with African-American, and perhaps Jewish-American, cultural history there was an “amusement” of some sort, a game or ride, involving a tall pole. There seemed to be a reference to lynching, a “heritage” thing I guess, and its position right in front of us felt like an intentional provocation. Frustration. Leaving for awhile. Return as things were winding down and some conversation about whether anyone had done something, or why we/I couldn’t. “Well, anyway, they are gone and we are still here, so perhaps…”, she said.

Then it was inside, after-party with many people in The Lodge. Although, there was some kind of overlapping with my place. For, in discussion with someone about my extensive incomplete and undistributed works, as I was trying to explain about how I had been a visual artist as well as songster and writer, I was pointing out that the works on the wall didn’t include any of my best prints, but there were some upstairs I might be able to root out. From nearby a confident-looking gentleman, a solid well-groomed fellow with dark hair, sidled into the conversation. He said he had heard enough to know that I had something, but that I was in need of representation. I allowed that that may be true, and he assured me that he was the man for the job and knew how to begin our business. I was all for it.

It is at this point that I began to have a recurring problem with understanding the other characters’ words. I couldn’t tell whether it was because the noise of the event was making it hard to distinguish, or they were actually using words which I did not know. However, since the confident dark man seemed to be going into academic and Arts catch-phrases of some sort it may have been the latter in this conversation. He started right out with something like, “So, you write Shakespearian <insert Latinesque neologism>s which can be related to <more gobbledy-gook> and for which there is a market in <who-the-fuck-knows>…

I interrupted with frustration (and some yelling, I suppose), to object that, no, I don’t. I had merely made some passing reference to a one-off sonnet, and that all I really do is (generally odd) songs and drawings. He walked off in disgust.

Then I was sitting in a corner next to some stairs, from under which people occasionally crawled out of a door. Someone had witnessed the encounter with the salesman and said that they had noticed his mask. It was a party, so I suppose there may have been masks, but I had not seen him in one. They said, “It was his smile. It is the mask of The Devil.”

Then from the stair-door emerged a lovely young woman who I thought was someone I know (unlike most of the nice helpful women I encounter in these places, who I don’t recognize.) She was talking of someplace I could possibly go and take refuge. A room, or maybe a box. I picture a pillar in the middle somewhere. That it would be alright if I stayed to this one side where the water hadn’t reached yet. But, I couldn’t make out what her word for this place was, and some other details. I kept asking her to repeat it, and she did. But I had to say, “sorry, I’m still not getting it.” After awhile she went off to other things, but leaving some hope that we were going to be getting together later.

The last thing I remember is doing some washing-up with some other women whose words of encouragement I cannot recall. The surfactants in the tub seemed to be working well for them in clearing off the dishes, but I was left struggling with scrubbing at some small utensils whose tiny nooks and crannies, curves and corners, held onto globs of grease.

Back to the Big House dream #10,336

Dream Suite (detail) lithograph diptych.

I had another dream where I was back in the Big House that was torn down in the late ’70s to put up a parking lot. I never stop trying to live there in my dreams. This time some group was involved in rehabbing it and someone had heard I might be interested so I agreed to rent a space. I was there having second thoughts because I had no idea who these people were or what it was going to be like, and I already was renting a place where I was all set up. There seemed to be a LOT of people there already. But, I told myself, it was good to be there with the good wood and the large spaces; and I did a little dance and stamped my feet on the oak boards of the large front staircase landing. There was a piano in an upstairs room and I was trying to tell someone it ought to be downstairs, then I went downstairs and was trying to tell someone how there used to be a full sized upright piano right there. “So, bigger than this one?” they said, indicating a little toy piano sitting there on top of a cabinet. “Yes, bigger than that,” I laughed ruefully. There were people working on replacing boards in the entryway ceiling, and I recognized one organizer as this younger musician, a much more successfully self-promoting type. I tried to tell him about how I had dreams about being back there, and thought it was going to be torn down when we left. “Oh, I thought it was just supposed to be rehabbed and sold to someone else,” he said distractedly looking at the ceiling. “No, see, it was actually condemned and…” “Excuse me,” he interrupted, “I have to go talk to these guys” and walked off while I was in mid-sentence. I went down into the basement with a bit of laundry, and tried to figure out what was going on with a bank of small coin-operated machines. The one that was not in use did seem to be a washer, so I started putting stuff in there and asked a person next to me if he had any idea how these things worked. “Well, first of all, don’t put boxes in there,” he said, pulling out a cardboard container blocking things up that I had apparently put in along with the underwear that came in it. “Oh, I don’t know what is wrong with my head,” I apologized, “I’m so flummoxed all the time.” I was having to step around construction on the basement floor, large dug out spaces having big squares of flooring glued down. I realized I had no real involvement and no say in what was going on, no real part in anything. That’s how I woke up.

Despite the Forecast

despite the forecasts, it turned out that today was more beautiful than yesterday.

The sky, appearing at first a soft even grey, reveals itself to the deeper gaze as a complex gauze of endless and unregimented strands. In the reduced palette of the gray, the constant contradiction can be sought out. That constant contradiction of the purple and green, which hides in shadows in the gaudier flashes of open sun, is playing everywhere across the largest of spaces of sky available, and there to come from the hidden obvious, lighting and intensifying itself from inner tiny fires banked against the infinite cold. “Here, see my heart! I reward you oh lone seeker!” Proud imagining of reward, available in this arena to even the one giving a moment to try to work with the failing old eyes.

Oh, I had heeded the warnings and done what I could with the hey-making yesterday what with it being Spring and all, anticipating a day of no emergence as the ice revenged today. But, a couple of partly contrived, partly coincidental errands proved enough to convince me to go out to do walk just enough, anyway. The wind in my face immediately affected judgement, there was no way to rule more enthusiastically for advance or retreat (though the latter may have allowed a second thought of retrieving mittens and balaclava). In the lapse, a great furor arose in the court. If nothing else the issue of remaining sanguine, moving blood about enough to avoid immediate demise in any case, at last and post haste was recognized.

Once underway, and under the sky (see scene one), it seemed one might just as well go down a ravine after all. There was less traffic and blather of other humans to filter this eve, anyway.

When it was sunny, there was that struggle to concentrate on the voice of the water over the humans. Like, despite efforts who can filter a lawyer who shows up in the park apparently just to speak loudly and repetitively about client billing and tax returns while managing her children and dogs. (The children and dogs were cute, but thwarted in their goals, starved for attention and riddled with unheeded anxieties about each others’ mortality. “But, I just don’t want her to die!” “She’s fine.” “I don’t want to go back to the house, we just got here.” “Mommy forgot to make a phone call.” “Davey is staying” “He’s with Jeremy.” “Why can’t I stay with him?” “Because that’s not what we’re doing.” Stick with the plan, no matter what happens; unless you have to make a phone call.)

Turning toward the ravine seemed to signal for a shift toward moodier lighting and more dramatic effects. I got the best of the snow, in my face and skirling across the blacktop in wild crack-the-whip lines. Foot traffic was light on the descent, just a couple hardy souls in their big metal shells running their engines and leaving their lights on to spoil the skyline. But, oh, above, the fingers of the trees. More overall and above all than even yesterday, between the broader dark and slightly less dark grey. Above and calling for attention with their confusing but pointed gestures. So many hands, so many fingers. More and more as they pull the gaze. The fingers are dividing, multiplying, getting tinier and more to the point all the. I feel them in my fingers, the cold that has worked through the inadequacies of gloves heightening attention and identification. Pointy, prickly little sticks burn at the ends of my sleeves. But, surely I didn’t have that many fingers when I left the house? They must be bundles of fingers within each finger that mirror the trees. The veins themselves, each becoming its own pointy hot messenger.

dream 11/20/16

I think there was a dream within a dream. It seems like I was watching/playing some sort of video game with narrative movie content, or a movie with interactive screen elements. I remember a dialogue and a related clickable room. In the scene a young man and woman were talking, and she was saying she was going to have to miss some recurring event they usually did that involved LP’s and discussion thereof. (history? reviewing? something more complicated involving relationships between disparate LPs in their history or gestalt?) It became clear that the two had once been very close in some way but there had been a rift and then a drift, as the guy was saying “I guess it wouldn’t surprise me it would be easy for you to blow off most of the stupid stuff we do, but LP night?!??” And then there was some screen play in a record store scene, and you could click on the LP’s in the record rack and their image would zoom to an enlargement with cover art and liner notes. there was some object of shuffling through them and trying to find ones of some particular significance based on different criteria and I think match the disparate releases to each other on that esoteric basis. The images of some of the familiar covers stirred deep and powerful emotions within me.

Then I woke up, and was thinking about how important LP’s had always been to me, and how weird and messed up it is that I could never manage to release any; for a second I had a wave of correct thinking, that this was what I should be devoting my time to. Then I remembered that there was money involved, and how that has always been my kryptonite and I get shorted-out whenever it is in the equation. At this point I started getting emotionally wracked, lying there in a dingy motel room with the 1950’s style ceiling fan slowly turning overhead somehow mirroring my spiral into mal-autobio. Suddenly I became aware of how strangely empty the room seemed. I looked again at the door, open to the screen, and the tear in the screen door directly diagonal to the handle. I stood to take better inventory, and it added up to zero. First thing I thought about was my instruments. Okay, the guitar was just an ebay Epiphone; but the specially worn 1917 Gibson mandolin is not replaceable in any sense!

Then I woke up again, this time in a cluttered half-double as has been more often the case. It took some time to explain to myself that I had never been in that motel room, and that I didn’t have to jump up and start dealing with this situation.

dream 11/19/16

awake after 3 hours whiskey and cigarette steeped sleep from yet another disturbing dream ending.

Was out in the country somewhere house-sitting at a big suburban kind of place, and there had been a bunch of people there partying, it was a holiday weekend or something, and we were in the big double-garage with no vehicles in it and I was doing, in the face of all logic and reason, a rendition of “New York, New York”. Kind of a half-ass jam with some video maybe. And, I guess I got wound up about it; going, hey, in spite of everything, let’s do the big ending as a parade with all these people, big video scene. Maybe it will be some sort of ironic triumph to cap my sputtering unseen, unheard, inadequate and incomplete life’s work, come on. But everyone was ready to leave, and went off saying “the moment has passed,” and ridiculing me in various ways.

And I said, “oh yeah, well you know what?” and then I floundered for a strong statement about their attitudes and lives in general and was just stammering and unable to spit out even a simple-minded curse when one of the departing suggested over their shoulder, “fuck you?” “Yeah,” I agreed, “fuck you!”

And then I was alone with my failure once again. (Except three people drove in on their bicycles; I thought maybe to see me but they had promised the absent owners they were going to drop some stuff off. They said they thought they’d find some big jam going on and I was debating whether I should suggest we play some anyway.) then I woke up feeling awful because it all seemed so everyday realistic.

Dream Journal entry

Long dream, one of those ones I returned to after half-awakening several times. It was terrifying but wildly magical, so I couldn’t help wanting to see what happened. Well, hell, since everything was in the process of being destroyed I wanted to stick around in the hopes there would be a good twist. It was just about looking like there might be, and I wouldn’t have gotten up but a stink-bug started buzzing in the window above my bed, and I knew it would soon be finding its way INTO my bed, and trying to cuddle. I keep telling them, I’m not into them in that way. Jumped up with more verve than usual for the last 20 years, and the details of the dream were already vanishing. Wish I could get a DVR for these things. I’m going to write what I remember here, looking for pen and paper will just let more escape. could be long even though a fragment.

Fragments. Foreign guy of unknown ethnicity on the road giving me some sort of cryptic predictions and sense of mission. Later more or less back in a best-case version of my ordinary life, in a cluttered rental puttering about poking at the thousand unfinished projects. Little girl who comes through the window (followed by a pet or a random stray maybe?) Woman who may be a parent tasks me with hanging with her, other important things to attend to. but there is a sense that there is something urgently important and also not that easy in keeping the girl safe. The girl is just totally fun and whacky and doesn’t think anything of crawling up on the roof and/or other dangerously wrong fun. But with a way of making it right by feeling it is. Mysterious couple, maybe self-representing as guardians. Ready to take custody. Too contained, too rich, too smart. Turn out to be involved in some grand evil scheme, fundamentally deconstructing reality (or illusion, depending on your belief system), or at least the threads of the weave that make it sometimes bearable, sometimes enjoyable for us. After some melting and reconstituting, precipitous hanging, a couple changes of residence… I don’t know, bunch of shit happened. Finally escape was necessary for a small band of allies, some method that further played on my fear of heights… balloon? top of a very tall truck or yak?… much of what had been going on was explained by the girl as she told us she realized that it was her irrational imagination that was able to reverse the destructive events, just because of the strength of her belief in things reforming. But, as she explained this it became clear that she had suddenly become mature enough to express it to us in words and thus too mature to have the power any more. By this time we were passing through a landscape with little life and mostly broken architecture and sidewalks. Foreign guy from beginning of dream passes us driving a busload of dead, broken and bleeding Mexicans. Looks pretty hopeless to me, but he is going on with grim determination and I know he has best possible repairs in mind. The girl is starting to lose it, succumbing to weeping nostalgia: “I wish we could be back in that place” and I see a picture of that bottom half of a house with the porch on front where she crawled through the window in the first place. As she starts to dissolve into it, the older woman, now holding her hand, suddenly becomes intent and as she gives me a knowing look. I know what she’s thinking. And I can feel that it may be true. The girl is becoming irrational and going back to early childhood, and if everyone can let go enough it will become true and the magic will be able to work again…