April 26th, 2004

pod

Longitudes latitudes it's so absurd.

I had a weird but incredibly vivid dream last night:

It started out at an outdoor rail station. I was supposed to transfer trains but I don't remember getting off the first train that arrived there, just being there waiting at the station. My train pulled into the station. I decided that I wanted to check out this overpass thing and see the view from it so I started climbing the stairs and pushing past people, but it was bigger than I thought and I was slower.I missed my train. Then I saw her. LHG. I'm not sure if she'd been there to begin with and was the reason I wanted to get on the first train, to avoid her, or if I just spotted her at this point. All I know is that I saw her and it was definably her as well. I climbed off the overpass. A train arrived. We both got on it.

I think at this point I actually sought her out on the train to sit near her and talk. I'm not absolutely sure that we didn't just bump into one another but I think that's what happened. Anyway, she was not receptive to me and it was an awkward and distant conversation through the ride. We rode through the countryside towards the city. At this point agents of some malevolent mastermind showed up on the train and started looking for us. This was not a completely random thing, it felt expected and justified, and may have explained the low level of tension that had underwritten the first part of the train. We got off at the next stop, a sort of half rural half suburban train station that reminds me of one of the Metro stops in Capetown (in fact the whole train system was a cross between that system and the Metro-North system from New York, only clean and white.)

We were captured and semi-forced into a white car (it was sort of a polite invitation but I understood it to be backed up with the threat of violence.) The mastermind was the one who 'invited' us, but he took a separate car. We were taken back to his apartment and seperated. I was given the run of the place because in whatever conflict was taking place (it was definitely something epic and important, some kind of fantasy war between two sides.) I was seen as a sort of neutral party, a wild card. She was taken to the back and locked out on a balcony/prison cell type place. She was on the side of the good guys and she was in trouble. I was very worried for her at this point.

I called the mastermind, although I'm not sure how I got his number, and somehow talked him into letting me see her or release her. I'm not sure if I offered him something or if I asked him to do it as a show of good faith towards me since I sensed that he liked me or was trying to court me for his side of whatever the conflict was. He said that he'd give permission for her release but it might take some time. We hung up. I decided that since he had given permission there was no harm in me trying to find her post haste. I went around the apartment until I found the holding door. I knocked on the glass but there was no response. Then I tried the door and it slid open, unlocked, I stepped out on to the balcony calling things like "Hey, you there?" I saw her clothes (really just a pair of conservative looking panties and an undershirt) lying strewn all over the balcony, like she had stripped down for a shower. On the other side of the balcony (left to right, not as in front and back of the building) there was an open door that led into a small compartment. I was heading towards that when I heard her call out "don't come here! Don't look!"

I stopped in my tracks and said "We've got to get you out of here." Or something along those lines.

She said "Alright I'm coming out, but only if you promise to try to forget you saw me like this." I turned away and closed my eyes then covered them with my hand, trying to be a gentleman. I could hear her around me, gathering her clothes and getting dressed. I opened my eyes and she was dressed back in her same outfit from the train station, which was like a white sundress. We slipped out through the balcony door into the apartment. She wanted to look around the place for either information or some sort of weapon. I accompanied her. When we were in the bedroom I said "We'd better hurry someone could come at any moment." At that exact point someone slipped a key into the lock of the door and entered. I went out to intercept whoever it was (since my being out and about in the apartment would not arouse suspicion) and saw it was the mastermind himself. He looked to be heading towards the holding area. I started stammering, trying to explain that I had taken the liberty of freeing her myself since he'd said it was alright and…She appeared behind me in the doorway. He didn't seem particularly upset and invited us both to follow him. We did.

He seated us at a long wood table, next to each other with her on the right hand side of the head of the table and me sitting directly next to her. A bunch more people filed in and took seats at the table. They were an ecclectic bunch and I can't remember them precisely. One was definitely David Carradine (well he wasn't David Carradine but he was a character in my dream being played by David Carradine.) I think Jack Nicholson might have been there too. I'm not positive that LHG was the only woman in the room but I can't think of another one. There were a lot of people, probably over a dozen. I only saw like 3-4 of them distinctly.

Then Mastermind guy started distributing dice. These weren't normal dice. There were some that were plain white six sided dice, but also some that were like cross sections of bigger dice made up of the small white ones. One I got was like a cross section of a really big die, but made up of smaller ones with only the faces that would have been exposed if the other half of the die had been glued on to it showing. They were all sixes.

At this point the Mastermind, who was standing near the head of the table and also near like a chest of some sort (not a human chest but a storage chest) said something to LHG that included some comment on her being Jewish. The comment wasn't meant as a degradation or an anti-semetic comment but instead it indicated something about the sect she was a part of in the conflict. It was vaguely threatening. At this point I reached out towards her and put my arm around her. She leaned her head in against mine, the first time that her body language had been accepting, and we sat there for a second looking around. Then someone rolled a die, and a ripple of commotion went through the crowd. The mastermind sort of stepped off to the side and two men went up to near the chest he'd been standing near. I'm not sure if they got up from the table to do this or walked there themselves. One of them pulled a gun out of the chest and shot someone at the table. The other one grabbed a shotgun and threw it to me. I caught it and pointed it at the murderer. He turned and pointed his gun at me. I hesitated to shoot him. He fired his gun at me but nothing happened. He was going to shoot again when the guy standing next to him placed a pistol against his head and pulled the trigger, killing him. I'm not sure where he got the gun because he was out of frame when he went for it.

Suddenly there were guns on side tables all around us and people at the table started shooting at one another. One guy dressed in a wild west outfit, an old guy who looked kind of like the asshole father from 12 angry men the TV version (George C. Scott) was shooting with a pair of six-shooters. He killed someone on my side of the table several people down from me. I think I may have shot someone at this point, but I'm not sure. Anyway the George C. Scott guy pointed his guns at me and started shooting. The first shot grazed my arm, I think, I saw a spurt of red but didn't feel it. Then he shot again, only it took a few moments for the bullet to come out of the barrel of the gun, and when it did it raced towards me with the velocity of a fastball not a bullet. I blocked it with the butt of my shotgun, and it bounced away. We did this a couple more times and the last bullet I deflected went back towards him. He had to lean back in his chair to avoid it, so I swung my shotgun up towards him and took aim. As I was pulling the trigger the mastermind said something like "That's it" or "Time" but it was too late. I pulled the trigger and blood started flowing from various places on his face and neck. He slumped forward. Everyone looked at me, in shock not anger or disgust. The Mastermind said something like "Roll again" and I realized that the roll of the dice represented the number of people who had to be killed in the ensuing gunfight, where we were all staked for our lives. By going over the quota I had ensured another fight.

At this point I woke up.

I'm not sure what it all means. The theme of LHG and her rejection then slow acceptance of me as I proved myself worthy by siding with her seems fairly literal. One could see the guns as representing either movies or something phallic, although the dream didn't FEEL sexual at all, even the implied nudity was more about intimacy than sex. The dream was in color, and fairly narritively coherent for a dream of mine although I'm sure I filled in some of the gaps upon waking. There were other elements in the dream from my day, like the cowboy character was probably from previews for Deadwood that I've been seeing. Other than that I really don't know.

What kind of dream is this to have about a girl (and it was most certainly about her.) Why I can't I just have stupid wet dreams like a normal person?
  • Current Music
    Pearl Jam - Yield
pod

Set myself on fire.

Today was a day like every other. I woke up and spent the first few hours, when I should have been working, tending to my mental needs, reading the paper, writing a little something. I rushed out the door as usual, unprepared to class. My first class was American policy. I was unprepared and the woman supposed to present in front of me wasn't in class. Ryan went first. His paper is already written. I've just begun my research. When it came my turn I was the least prepared but I pulled it off through pure verbal chicanery, weaving enough depth into my meagre analysis that I was not questioned on specifics or statistics. I left class to find a flood of rain. Three of us walked across campus towards different destinations. We talked. We reached our splitting point and paused for a second of inane conversation about sports. The rain abated a bit. I walked home alone.

My next stop was Badminton, the last session of that class I had to be there for. There were only enough students to fill half the gym. We played our game with intensity and speed. I cracked jokes at slightly less than my normal pace. We lost twice. On the way up I talked to one of my opponents. We laughed about Lou Gehrig not representing the school anymore. He would not have been a communist. Another split at the appropriate point. I went home to eat a too large lunch and slap together a research proposal for first ammendment class. It came out crap. I went to Foner's class.

On the way back from that class I shadowed someone I've known since he was 3. He was talking to some girl, possibly his significant other. I wanted to say something to him but there was no opportunity. He never noticed me.

I came home to finish my proposal. I emailed it in and went to film section.

Humiliated because of my dream, my subconscious having taken unwarranted license with another person's image, I latched on to Scott like a leach. I bantered with him desperately, saying unfunny things about how the School of Hard Knocks prints its diploma in ancient Greek and drinking vodka with a vodka chaser.

During class I spoke non-stop. I literally made 90% of the comments and all the first ones. I focused all my energy on talking, making observation, engaging. I burned bright and hard, refusing to allow my mind any time to think about verbotten topics. I was witty, at times, insightful, at times, made observations that others missed. At the end I walked out with Scott and hurried off to turn in a hardcopy of the proposal.

Then she rushed past me in the rain, running toward the same place I was until she was a good way in front and then slowing to a walk. I went to the computer lab, printed out my stuff. On my way she rushed past again, gripping a muffin. I watched her receed. Went to the office and slid it under his door. It was still raining as I walked home once more.

That is a summary of my life right now. My life in general. I am incapable of making any real friends, just aquaintances. I am not the smartest man in the world and it makes me feel pathetic. I feel loathesome, horrible, unworthy of anything. I feel like a waste of perfectly good carbon. The feeling does come and go, like the undulating waves of an incoming tide, but when it comes I have nothing to anchor me against the abyss. I have learned to ride it out, sit through it, let it surround me but not overwhelm me. It never fully leaves.

I can burn bright but not bright enough to attract anyone for anything external to the scholarly situation. I have classroom friends, aquaintances with whom to joke, talk politics, complain about the draft. In the end I have nowhere to go but home, alone. I've tried clubs, extra-cirricular activities, hanging around on campus. There's something fundamentally wrong with me socially. I'm missing some piece that normal people have.

I'll never be brilliant enough to make up for it. Never burn bright enough to cast back the shadows. It's impossible. I'll always linger around the edges of above average. Always slumping against the wall where the light barely treads.

I don't have the talent or intelligence to be relevant or important. I don't have the simplicity to be satisfied with that. I won't give up because I have nowhere else to go. Killing myself would be a non-answer to an intractible problem. I'd just be going gently into that dark night, and I won't. I refuse.

Still there are moments of extraordinary sadness and the intense feeling of not being loved by anyone. My father killed himself before I reached my teens. Cut our aquaintance short before I had a chance to be anything more than a boy. I'll never live up to my potential because of it. I should have surmounted it, should have been stronger. I wasn't. I am weak on so many levels.

My mother doesn't love me, never really knew me when I was young, sees me as a burden these days. A parasite to be bourne out, an added weight in her waning years. I want to leave the nest but I don't know how to begin. Get a job? Who would want to hire me? I'm nothing, beneath contempt. I want to rip it all out and start anew. I'm 22 and my life feels done. What have I left to do? There are no accomplishments inside of me, I'm an empty shell, subhuman in nature, a phantom with no Opera to haunt.

Yet I will linger on, on the edges of society, irrelevance incorporated in a shambling form. I will walk through the rain and long to talk to people who are not interested. I will watch them receed and turn my face towards home. Alone.
  • Current Music
    Counting Crows
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So Sorry

There were parts of that dream that I didn't quite transpose properly. For example at one point we were asked our ages and I answered 22 while she said 20. I don't actually know her age.

Reading about serious damage to the scrotum is always an extremely unpleasant experience. You actually feel it in your balls, not like a sharp pain or anything, just an awareness of their presence and vulnerability. Having a cock and balls is nice, it sure as hell beats the alternative and bleeding every damned month, but it's a joy that comes with responsibility and vulnerability. That's driven home every time you read about some poor sucker who had his twig and berries trimmed. Yeowtch.

My fantasies are all over the place these days. I think about being in a bank during a hostage situation and trying to talk the hostage takers down from their position with pure reason and appeals to self-interest. I wonder what would happen if George Bush lost the election, refused to relinquish his position, and declared martial law. Would he actually nuke Detroit? I'm sure he wouldn't have an ethical problem with that, he's certainly proven willing to have Americans killed to further his political aims, but would he go through with it? Would the military apparatus come through?

That's not true. I think Bush would have moral qualms with nuking Detroit. It's easier to hate him if you think he wouldn't, though.

Most of my fantasies of success involve being a desired outsider in a glamorous world, sticking to the shadows and margains and observing the self destructive self adulation that takes hold in any elite enclave. I wonder why that is. Why do I not imagine myself a participant or someone completely divorced from that world?

In doing research on reproductive policy in the Bush administration I came across this little gem:

"People who intend to remain abstinent may "slip" and have sex unexpectedly."

Now I know what it means, and I know what alcohol is and how it has ways of helping you find yourself naked in a hayloft lying next to 3 trapeze artists and a strongman midget and totally baffled as to where your pants are and why you have a tattoo of Ricardo Montalban on your abdomen, but when I read it I couldn't help but imagine a guy going to the Laundromat to get his clothes washed and emerging a couple hours later dazed and confused, his clothes rumpled, his shirt undone, lipstick on his collar and wondering "Now how the HELL did that happen? One minute I was getting a sheet of Bounce from the vending machine and the next I was kneeling behind her in the doggy-style position wearing a cowboy hat while a Mariachi band urged us on. I was not expecting that."

Physically I feel okay. The cold is lifting. My mind is sharp again.

That's a good thing.
  • Current Music
    REM - The apologist