Friday, May 26, 2006

nighttime hopscotch

Celebratory dreams persisted both before and during my trip to Illinois to visit family and mythological actors.

The night before I boarded the tiny plane I dreamed I was in Iraq. There was sand and buildings made out of sand, adobe-like. With family members I clambered around, up and down stairs, trying to sneak out of the nearly emptied building. —And then people dressed in robes and turbans entered. They were after us and we were scared, but the house was not fit for running. Finally we met them. They removed their turbans and false facial hair. Alas, they were of us, having knocked out and dressed as the enemy to sneak us away. We had won.

The night after the tiny plane landed and sent me on my way I dreamed I was hanging out with Jude Law. We were frolicking about in a slew of big cities both American and European. I held off for a while, but finally I told him one of my best friends looks like him. At first I thought it would be silly to share it with him, but I thought I probably wouldn’t be hanging out with Jude Law again any time soon. (One of my best friends really does look like him. But I knew I was hanging out with Jude Law and not my friend.)


Same night, after a brief interlude, I was in board-game-like territory but on true landscape sectioned off into separate themes and purposes. I began in the center in a concrete forum pronged with spare broken pillars. My aunt was nearby. She had told me about the library. Ghosts from the Civil War appeared and disappeared from there, checkerboard floor. (I as the dreamer knew I had been there before in another dream, which, as the dreamer, I did not consider a different dream but rather a different trip.) My aunt had also mentioned the land south of the library. Immediately there was thick dirty forest and broken-down carnival gear—tents, wheels, rings, shoes. All richly gritty. Irish carnies puddled there, midgets with dirty faces and pudge-noses, worn brown hats. That’s where I wanted to go. I just had to get through the library first. I didn’t mind the library, but I’d been there and the idea of dodging angry ghosts again bored me.

Shortly afterward I woke in the dark, scared there were ghosts in the basement with me. The one with the dark mustache, pale skin and beady eyes was angry and relentless.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

two dreams

Last night I dreamed I attended an informal reunion for the National Academy of something-or-other (i.e., for people who get good grades). I was in the National Academy of Something-Or-Other’s souvenir store, where the clothing was red, white, and blue, stars and stripes. An outfit much like a drum major wears—short skirt, shirt, vest, funny hat in these colors and shapes—hung on the wall. "I’m glad my mom never bought that for me," I said. "I’d have had to kill her."

I chatted with the guy who seemed to have been a leader of the group, with whom I didn’t interact back in the day—he was up the hierarchy from me. His name may have been Tim or Andrew. His hair was light brown and sort of feathered, and he wore a light-colored long-sleeved button-down shirt. He made a cup of hot tea for me, making extra effort to be friendly with me, almost courting-like, which surprised me.

A couple people frolicked in the back yard. Red and orange leaves the size of baseball gloves and bigger were in piles across the whole yard, which appeared to be my grandma’s waking-life back yard. The leaves were impossibly beautiful.

As I pulled the tea-cup away from my mouth I felt a hair in my mouth, and another, which, when I held them out, looked like pubic hair. I wasn’t as grossed out in the dream as I was as the dreamer (or now as I write). I spoke to TimAndrew about a friend who had been in the Academy, who had become stagnant in recent years, negligent, mopily self-centered. I’d begun to lose my patience with said friend.

I woke and visited the bathroom. Upon return, I dreamed I was in a passenger rocketship.

Rocketships were becoming the new airplanes, and I was rushing to catch my flight. Obstacles diverted me, but finally I sat. Seating was much like that in a movie theater, many rows and in the red-dark. I may have begun having a dream within a dream, recalling to someone either inside or outside this dream how the last time I was on a rocketship, Juliette Binoche was found masturbating, crouched in a corner of the laundry room. What bright white walls. She was wearing a tiny white shirt with tiny yellow flowers and green stretch pants (pulled down a bit for action). Two girls wearing long blonde ponytails and no regard for pleasure found and mocked her. I felt alien on this ship. People were impersonal, concerned with their own business, and acted like a ride on a rocketship was commonplace. It felt like quick bustle on a city sidewalk.

I woke to jazz music on the radio, and sunshine.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

the ole supernatural factory's bicycle

Ripe craving for a ripe red tomato just hit me. Out of nowhere I could taste it but only long enough to stir desire without closure.

This morning was clunkered cars causing traffic to back up for miles, in the midst of which was me and other people like me with the same headache. Just past the accident was rain so heavy only the car in front of me was visible. Yet they were still superheroes who thought they didn't need headlights.

Supposedly exploding head syndrome is a disorder of the sleep. I have no time to research right now, but I'd like to propose a disorder of the wake to take on the name, because the day has brought it on.

Friday I head to Illinois to attend a retirement party for my college Greek professor, who was also my mentor and friend and who encouraged me to be a janitor after graduate school because it would fill me with experience and details to spit out in poems. My parents have agreed to attend the party with me. Essentially I'm introducing them to a deity in my personal mythology, so I'm pretty excited.

O and the days off from work.

Each time I have plans to visit my family, things of the exploding-head sort pop up in the few days beforehand, making the pre-trip days an ordeal and hardly zen-lipped, which is a sort of comical thing worthy of a tomato in the face.

There. Full red circle. Now I can drive home and launder what needs to be laundered.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

slicing up eyeballs again

Slow universe in the hump of week and I got all excited but to find I’d twisted titles in my head. Somewhere in web world I found that the American edition of Simon Reynold’s Rip It Up and Start Again is out now (March 2006). I wrote about him a while back here: once in a used bookstore in Minneapolis I found a book he wrote which included a chapter on Throwing Muses (Kristin Hersh’s first band, Kristin Hersh my hero). I was pretty excited. The thing was only 8 bucks but I literally had no money to spend—end of the month, et cetera. I figured I’d get it another time. I researched during the past couple years and the book is out of print. Unable to remember the title, I thought this was it. Nope. The one I want is called Blissed Out, and the cheapest I found it was $45 for a used copy at Amazon. Some day my prince will come. In the meantime, I’ve added Simon Reynolds’ blog to the tuliped sidewalk over on the right.

The tale I related earlier was about having read his Generation Ecstasy. While I was reading it someone I knew but not well saw me reading it out in public and said, "Are you actually reading that?" (That’s like when I told one of the secretaries where I work that I had moved to Brooklyn and she responded, "Who would want to move to Brooklyn? What a crummy place. I dated someone who lived there. What a crummy place. Just crummy." Don’t bother with the impertinent drivel, please.) Yes, I was actually reading it and, being interested but not fiendishly interested, I was fully impressed by how he told the history and development of dance music and its correlate drugs. It did what a history should do: it transcended the history of its specific topic and shed light on humanity. Unless he’s got a fanged snake in his back pocket, I’ll read whatever he writes, particularly if it’s about Throwing Muses.

Speaking of slicing up eyeballs, I was geeking out a few weekends ago when I got an unexpected alien signal for internet access at home, mazing from link to link and found demos for the first Breeders album, Pod, which Tanya Donelly of my beloved Throwing Muses appears on. There was a story about some wild marijuana and how some of the songs for the first Belly album were originally intended to be on the second Breeders album, before Tanya Donelly left and formed Belly. Anyway, one of the demos was "Silver," which eventually made it to the Pixies' album Doolittle (presently decorating the air in my office). "Silver" is one of my favorite Pixies songs, and both Doolittle and Pod hold elite coves in my ears, so I ate this story up like slice of pizza.

Now, let us all join in a sundance so that I might jog among the Polish when I get home.

Monday, May 08, 2006

the return of peter stuyvesant and the acidipholus without a proper plan

During the weekend there was sunshine and waving temperatures. There was whiskey and rice and beans. There was Australian acupuncture hungover in the shower for hours. An Escher-street neighborhood tangling with big eyes and armor. A crackhead begging, slinging racism. Jogging. There was so much pollen that heads exploded, littered streets. There was a vandal marking ugly black letters on a pretty blue car. There was code. There was Dutch history. There was fabricated thumb-wrestling victory. There was second-hand book-shopping and imaginary marriage in a tree farm. There were sad people and happy people. Scared people and blind people. Pizza for breakfast and strong bumpers during collisions. In the end, chopsticks were resilient and yellow cartoon-people were arrested.

Over at Pitchfork there is an interview with Doug Martsch and one with Leslie Feist. This pleases me. However, both end as if the interviewer were suddenly kidnapped by aliens.

You are in reverse and I am on roller skates. I’ve decided I very much like the new Built to Spill album and I’d like to invite Doug Martsch over for stew and sake. We could enjoy a little basketball on the television and make the rest up as we go.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I wanna pay your to-o-o-o-oll

Now that I drive through toll booths every day I’m getting to know the toll-takers. Exiting from the turnpike in the morning I see this guy: stereotypical hairy, friendly Jersey guy. He wears sunglasses that reflect vast concrete lands and sky and a gold chain. When I drive up, I say Good morning. He says, How you doin,’ hon? When his line is long I go to the right of him where an oversized oompah loompah greets me and wishes me a good day.

Yesterday I spaced out and I missed my turnoff for the turnpike south. Exiting the turnpike too early, I went through a different passage entirely, eluding both my men, and asked for directions. The toll-taker was a woman. She directed me back to the turnpike south, after asking me where I was headed to see if there was a quicker way. Friendly, helpful, human. We bonded in the way that non-girly girls bond.

I was glad for this because I’d begun to wonder if I was just a flirt who had a way with oldish men I had no intentions with, charming them with sweet banter from a little girl who is not a little girl. Harmless, fortunately, with the booth-car barrier and the quick driving away. We part with a smile and subsist.

Conclusion: I'm not a malicious siren after all but rather a space cadet capable of golden social prowess when snack-sized social requirements are the fare.

A 40-something guy sits at a booth off the turnpike on my way home. He’s skinny and weathered and wears three silver rings in his left ear. His eyes sparkle light blue for infinite distance. I’m pretty sure he’s tapped in, turned on, however you want to put it. Yesterday when I drove through, he gave me a warm Hey of recognition, knowing eye contact and well wishes for a good night. I did the same.

It occurred to me as I was driving away that soon this would end. I’ve scheduled a day off work to register my car in New York, get a new license and such, after which I’m going to get the EZ-Pass.

All toll-taker communications will end then. There will be only driving fast past toll booths. No faces, no greetings, nothing. It made me long.