Journal Entries (October 6th-12th, 2012).

Saturday, October 6th–I had a few dreams.

In one dream a friend was about to make a big confession to me. I forget if it was in person or over the phone. But his voice was cracking and he sounded as if he was about to cry. I mentally prepared myself for the shock of losing some respect for him.
What was it? Had he cheated on his wife? That seemed so out of character. They seemed so much in love. She was one of the few friends’s wives I actually liked, who was nice, normal, and mentally secure, and I’d even made a point of going to their wedding.

No, the marriage was still sound–no problems there. He confessed that he’d been doing some very serious drug. I forget what it was, but it was about as bad as heroin–serious enough to make me say, “Jesus Christ, dude!” I couldn’t believe that a guy as responsible as him would get involved in something like that.

The next dream was a take on “Upstairs, Downstairs,” with me as head butler in a large London townhouse in the 1910s and 1920s. I’d been summoned, got up, and was adjusting my white waistcoat while going upstairs. (These should’ve been red flags right there: 1) I hate serving people. I could never be a servant or put myself under someone like that. 2) A butler would never be adjusting his clothes out in the public parts of the house like that. 3) Butlers wore black waistcoats with their tailcoats, not white ones. This distinguished them from the gentlemen.)

Anyway, I was to go up to the drawing room and tell the governess something. There were a great many people gathered in the drawing room, and because I have such trouble with names and faces, I couldn’t quite figure out who the governess was. But I suppose I figured it out, and in the next scene I was on the story below in the entrance hall, and found a piece of quartz, maybe three inches long, stuck under a couch cushion. A few weeks before, there’d been some fuss over a missing jewel or something, and I wondered if this had something to do with all that.

………………………..

I woke a little before 8am, I think. A downstairs neighbor was moving out (Who moves out on the 6th?), with the help of an older man. Naturally, they were bellowing at the top of their lungs, since nobody has any kind of consideration for anybody else these days.

I took Belle out, and noticed the guy moving out was some lummox from downstairs, someone I’d never had any problems with. The strange thing, though, was he seemed to be wearing black ballet slippers, but when I came back from the walk I got a closer look and saw they were those creepy-looking sock/pseudo-shoes with tips for each of the toes. Those sort of things unsettle me.

It was actually cool and pleasant outside. I think the paper declared it the start of autumn.

………………

I hate it when any presidential candidate of any party asks me, around Election time, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Because the answer is always, “NO!!!,” no matter who’s been in charge. As bad as I always think things are at any given time, they always have a way of getting much worse.

………………

I got into a lengthy IM conversation, updated my “Work in Texas” profile (though the way it’s set up, I wasn’t able to list all of my new skills or even up-load my resume), and then I finished Norman Douglas’s “Fountains In The Sand.”

I would be tempted to call this an anti-travel book to Tunisia, in that I can’t imagine that anyone would ever want to visit Tunisia after reading it. True, it was published exactly a century ago, but I doubt the country has improved all that much since then.

Douglas offers some lovely descriptions of scenery here and there, but for the most part, the country sounds hellish. He reserves most of his scorn for the natives, whom he characterizes as uniformly filthy, ignorant, backward, superstitious, dishonest, lazy, and utterly incapable of learning anything or improving themselves. He blames the problems of Tunisia, and indeed of all the countries of North Africa, on Islam.

This is not a book for the politically correct, or anyone else who likes to pretend to be easily offended, but it is an excellent look into the mindset of Europeans in the days of colonialism and imperialism.

This is shorter than Douglas’s earlier travel book, “Siren Land,” and a much quicker read. It lacks the other book’s over-abundance of scholarly references, and the style is more matter-of-fact.

Later on I watched “Illegal,” which starred Edward G. Robinson and a raft-load of familiar character actors.

When I went in to the bedroom, Belle was curled up on the bed, and behind her, in my spot, she left, to coin a phrase, “a single, perfect turd.” What possessed her to crap in the bed of all places?

I began Erle Stanley Gardner’s “The Case of the Borrowed Brunette” before retiring around 2am.

Sunday, October 7th–Today was Food Stamp day. I called to confirm my balance, then reluctantly left the house. It was even cooler out than it had been yesterday, so I broke out my sloppy-looking warm-ups for the first time this season.

I saw a rather forlorn, embattled-looking cat standing by the road behind the Randall’s super-market. I couldn’t tell if she was just regarding me or wanted me to take her home. I also exchanged greetings with the homeless guy who looks like Umberto Eco; he was panhandling at an intersection.

I went to Sprouts and bought coffee and a few other items. Then I made my way over to Barnes and Noble and stayed a good while, buying two magazines I really couldn’t afford. Then I went to HEB to buy groceries. The procedure stressed me out, as usual, the store was full to bursting with human vermin, and the long, hard walk back stressed me back even more so.

Then Belle was exceptionally loud when I got home. I walked her and gave her a treat and a chew to try to get her quiet. I even tossed her a few of the banana chips I’d just bought, while I sat trying to look at the computer.

After I finished my shower I looked for Belle and found her in the living room, eating very noisily. I assumed she was either gnawing on a rawhide chew or that she’d brought some kibble in from the kitchen. I went back into the bathroom, finished dressing, and only when I went back into the living room to pick up a bunch of papers and other materials that were scattered next to my computer table, did I notice what she was eating so aggressively were the banana chips I’d just brought home. I still have about a half of a bag left. I hope she didn’t make herself sick.

She was acting weird, so I took her for a walk, but she didn’t poop–she just pissed and frantically searched for cat shit. I took her back inside, and within ten minutes she went into the bedroom and crapped on the spread-out newspapers on the floor. I hope this is not going to turn into a habit.

I began Raymond Queneau’s “Exercises in Style,” read for a few hours in Gardner, and began Bukowski’s “War All The Time” and Genet’s “The Thief’s Journal.” I retired around 5:30am.

Monday, October 8th–Still no word from the DARS people. I guess they actually expect that my being back on thyroid medication will work wonders on me.

I slept as late as Belle would allow me to, and got up very sore from yesterday’s perambulations. Almost as soon as I became conscious I was filled at rage at the thought of all the ignorant mouth-breathers from the Tea Party and their corporate bosses trying to take over the government. I have been in a near-constant state of rage lately, over this and other matters.

I walked and fed Belle and myself, then went to Petsmart and the dollar store. At the latter, there was a long line at the one staffed register, and the clerk got into a conversation with a customer who used to be a co-worker of his. He didn’t bother calling for someone else to open a register. There were two other customers between me and the guy he was talking to. Though I was very impatient, I didn’t get too upset.

When it was my turn, the cashier attempted to chat with me. The woman behind me began putting her purchases on the conveyer belt, and accidentally dropped one on the floor. After a few seconds delay, I reached down to pick it up, then laughed: “I was just thinking, ‘That lady just dropped her purchase. What could it be? Oh look, her severed hand!'” (It was a rubber decorative object for Halloween.)

We chuckled politely over this, then the cashier ventured a comment, then said something to the effect of, “Oh, look what you dropped over there, sir–your head.” And when I instinctively looked, he chuckled, “Made you look!” I then muttered quietly to him. “I should’ve remembered my head’s firmly up my ass.”

Pleasantries all around, to be sure, but I always feel odd trying to make small talk with the hoi polloi, rather like an out-of-touch politician who doesn’t really understand ordinary people.

With difficulty I lugged the thirty-two items I’d bought home. After I settled in, I began being disturbed by a damnable noise outside. I thought it was those rowdy carpet-layers who’ve been working in the downstairs apartment for the last few days, but no–when I took Belle out for another walk I saw it was the new occupants of said apartment–a cartoonish family of obese white trash, who seemed like refugees from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and Peopleofwalmart.com. (I have an intense, visceral hatred for white trash–not for their poverty, as I am, after all, broke and on Food Stamps myself–but for their unrepentant ignorance, vulgarity, and bad taste.)

Later, I took a shower, had some coffee (which created a slightly euphoric buzz), and worked on my G-Mail tutorials. Those people kept moving furniture in for three or four more hours. I don’t know where they can put all that shit in an apartment that has only about 520 square feet, or how people that fat will be able to move around in a space that crowded.

Even later on, I did some reading.

Tuesday, October 9th–I keep writing this goddamn entry for today, saving it, then finding it’s disappeared.

I had a number of dreams, but all I remember of them is one that took place on a college campus. There were lots of outdoor areas, but they were rather dark, rather like an old souk in a Muslim country, with very little space for light to reach from overhead down to the pedestrian level. I remember a building with open doors, and outside of it a sign-board, announcing the silent films that would be playing within over the next few nights.

And then I was in a classroom, one of several people dominating a discussion. A student, played by Andrew Garfield, spoke up, and suggested that I share his girlfriend with him. I arched an eyebrow, and in my best George Sanders manner, sneered, “Wouldn’t that be a trifle, erm, unhygienic?”

…………………………..

I woke at 4:44pm. Immediately I got stressed-out and angry thinking about the election.

I think the only thing that could save the United States at this point is a genocide of all the stupid and/or greedy people. Unfortunately, no one on the Left has the will or the balls to make it happen.

I did some tutorials, watched Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix, and Ramon Novarro in the wonderful “The Big Steal,” then read in Queneau, Bukowski, and Gardner.

Wednesday, October 10th–I don’t remember anything about my dreams except a snippet where I was standing in a street, turned around, looked over my shoulder, and saw I had just missed a farmer’s market that had been held in that street, a block over. I would’ve wanted to go to that. Now the last of it was being cleared away, and tape was being stretched out here and there to hold people back.

……………………….

I woke in late afternoon. When I took Belle out I saw two skinheads sitting on the balcony of the apartment beneath mine, giving me suspicious and dirty looks. I hope I’m not going to have trouble with that filth living down there. And I hope they don’t burn the goddamn apartment building down when their fucking meth lab blows up.

I talked on the phone and IM a few times with James, then did some tutorials. I also watched Van Heflin and Robert Ryan in “Act of Violence.”

The BBC wanted to talk to me this morning after I posted some comments on Lance Armstrong on one of their Facebook pages, but I didn’t get the message in time for the broadcast because I was watching that movie.

Before bed I finished Raymond Queneau’s “Exercises In Style,” then read in Bukowski and Gardner. All creative writers should read “Exercises in Style.” It will broaden their perspectives as to what can be done with a narrative. That said, I found the more experimental exercises, the ones that were mostly just collections of letters with no coherent meaning to them, were very tiresome to read.

Thursday, October 11th–
I had a dream where I was exploring in space. I saw a chart of various galaxies, but rather than being depicted as planets orbiting a sun in oval patterns, what I saw was a hierarchy or line of descent of heavenly bodies, arranged like a family tree or a diagrammed sentence, with a sun at the top of the chart, and opening down from it like a fan, planets, sub-planets, satellites, stars, and so forth. There wasn’t too much of a difference amongst these various galaxies, and there were several charts of them spread out side-by-side.

As part of my explorations I wound up in some city. I was with my friend, musician and producer T__ P___. He had some sort of scientific activity to do in the central part of this city–something to do with engineering. We found ourselves in a high school during lunch time, and he realized that if he went up to the school’s roof, he could get a view and make some readings and calculations that would help him in this engineering activity.

So T___ took an elevator, which rose inside a cylinder, four or five stories up to the roof. (These cylinders were all over the central part of the school.) Meanwhile, I cooled my heels by going into the school cafeteria. I eventually wandered out the back door, unwittingly trespassing onto the private turf of some dangerous black gang.

The leader of the gang was determined to kill me for this infraction, but then suddenly, and strangely, claimed to have changed his tune and become supportive of me, and then he and his gang led me back into the cafeteria. I don’t know what happened then.

I wonder why I’ve been having so many racial-related dreams lately, where I’ve encountered minorities who want to kill me. They started long before that homeless black guy assaulted me in August.

…………………….

I woke in mid-afternoon, Belle wanted me to get up, but I went back to bed and got in at least two more hours of sleep….

…………………………

I had an e-mail from the DARS gal today, wanting me to come in on the 22nd for an appointment.

I listened to and occasionally watched the Vice-Presidential debate….

[Here I’ve deleted a political opinion that would probably get me arrested if I posted it.]

Later I took Belle on a walk around the block, then did my tutorials, and watched “Murder Street.” I finished reading Charles Bukowski’s “War All The Time: Poems, 1981-1984,” started (I think this was tonight) Ian Fleming’s “Live And Let Die,” then noticed Belle had taken a dump on the newspaper. She now has worms.

Friday, October 12th–
I forget what I dreamt about except the very last part of the last dream. I was in my old hometown of Katy, Texas, going north up Farm-to-Market Road 1463, with the Katy High School to my left. There seemed to be dozens of older buildings, mostly in yellow brick, and dating to maybe the first thirty years of the Twentieth Century. I was trying to see the band hall my father designed when he was Band Director there from 1963 to 1973, when he was at the height of his career (and before he married my mother), but there were too many other buildings in the way.

I kept hearing some music playing over and over. It was an Ozzy Osbourne tune that had been reworked into an instrumental for a chamber orchestra. This arrangement had been used on “The Osbournes” as the processional when Ozzy and Sharon renewed their wedding vows. But I couldn’t remember what the tune was called. After I woke up, I spent about fifteen minutes researching the matter and discovered, to my amusement, that the tune is called “Dreamer.”

………………

Did it rain most of today or was that yesterday?

I got up in the late afternoon, walked and fed Belle, then went over to Petsmart, where I bought some de-worming tablets, a big chew bone, and some treats for Belle, then went over to the dollar store for some stuff for myself. By the time I got home I was overwhelmed again, and on the verge of tears for some reason, and then when Belle started barking loudly it hurt my ears and I got upset and yelled at her. I felt immediately sorry thereafter, and apologized.
I took a shower, walked Belle a few more times, and didn’t get started on my tutorials until around 11pm.

The APD is gonna have to give me a special badge soon, I think. I was walking Belle around 1:45am, and in another part of the complex, near the road, I saw a guy darting suspiciously around a parked car, looking underneath it at the rear and sides, with a very intense, concentrated, and small flashlight. He looked to be a young man, in very baggy, below-the-knees shorts. I kept walking, because I didn’t want him to notice me and try to hurt Belle. We finished walking around the block, which took about ten minutes, and then I got home and called 911.

I watched “Breakfast With Scot” again, finished Erle Stanley Gardner’s “The Case Of The Borrowed Brunette,” then moved on to Fleming before bed, retiring around 9am.

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