Journal Entries (October 13th–19th, 2012).

Saturday, October 13th–I had a dream that took place in a rocky, rather barren-looking piece of property in the Texas Hill Country. I lived out there with two people who were supposed to be my parents, but didn’t really look like them. (You know how in dreams there are often characters who are present, but you never really see their faces, and they don’t do much of anything.)

Anyway, a young 1920s couple was moving into a house on the property. They wore 1920s clothes and drove a 1920s car. (The wife looked too conservative to be called a flapper.) I have no idea how they got into this time period.

I attempted to amuse everyone by using what I thought to be a characteristic 1920s expression: “Well, I hope after you all settle in you’ll give me the full leather-bound tour of the house!” No one laughed or even responded, which rather annoyed me.

Everyone in the group–there may have been more people there than just my parents–piled into a car–a 1920s car, I think, with the woman at the wheel, and we headed over to the house this couple was to occupy. But the woman was a terrible driver, and the unpaved road was bumpy, and covered with rocks and pitted with pot-holes.

I was in the back seat, attempting to eat soup out of a china bowl, and this stupid woman hit such a big pot-hole that almost all of the soup flew out of the bowl and onto the front of my shirt. I screamed obscenities, then shocked the others–my mother especially–by angrily flinging the bowl out of the window, smashing it onto the rocks.

I got angrier and more obscene. I threw open my car door before the woman even had time to stop the car. I jumped out of the car, calling the woman all sorts of names, then tore open her door, and yanked her hard by the wrist out of her seat. My rage and tantrum got worse and worse. And there the dream ended.

(I’ve noticed a lot of rage and anger in my dreams lately. I don’t think this should really surprise me, considering all the things I’ve been enraged about lately in my waking life.)

……………………..

It looks to have rained a decent amount today. I got up in the evening, did the usual, and finished my G-Mail tutorials. I read more in Fleming, started Charles Bukowski’s “Dangling In the Tournefortia,” then watched “Illegal” and “The Big Steal” again for the DVD commentaries. It rained again during the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday, October 14th–I had another dream where I was exploring my old hometown of Katy, Texas, where I’ve not lived since 1973. All I remember is that I was going south down Avenue D, a few blocks from my first home in Katy. I passed the old dental clinic I used to go to. It looked like only half of the building was used as a dental practice, with the other half rented out to a different tenant. And my old dentist no longer practiced, though one of the four dentists listed on the front of the building had his surname, so perhaps his son had also pursued dentistry.

I thought about how my old dentist used to play country music in his clinic, and how the treatment rooms all looked out onto private walled gardens, and how his wife was my Sunday School teacher when I was in Kindergarten, and had taped me talking way back then, and claimed she’d save the tape for when I was older. (All of these things are true, by the way.)

……………………

Some friends over the years have enjoyed describing me as “a ticking time bomb.” I fear I might seriously lose my shit if the Romney/Ryan ticket wins and the fucking ignorant white trash Tea Buggers start strutting around in triumph.

………………

There are times when I feel the craziest that I realize I am surrounded by negative, unpleasant, discouraging people, who for whatever reason, don’t treat me as a person of value. For the last few years I’ve become increasingly asocial, but when I stop to consider how many people in my life specialize in trying to make me feel bad about myself, whether they intend to do this or not, it seems to me that retreating from the world, into an environment that is mostly just me, Belle, my books, and my movies (and unfortunately, a lot of assholes on the Internet), is for the time being, quite possibly the most healthy thing I can do.

……………..

Was today the day when, while walking Belle, I finally saw the neighbor who has a black rabbit as a house pet? I’ve seen the rabbit before, but I wanted to talk to the owner about the logistics of that. The woman, who also has a black cat, was sitting on her balcony, with the rabbit in her lap. She said the rabbit is very obedient, clean, and well-behaved. He nibbled on a lamp cord once, and she told him not to do it again, and he never has.

I finished Ian Fleming’s “Live And Let Die.” Later I listened to the DVD commentary for “Act of Violence.”

Monday, October 15th–I got up around 9pm or so, and what little was left of the day was spent with the usual logistical preparations with me and Belle. Then I did some book scanning.

Tuesday, October 16th–As the day turned into Tuesday, I puttered some more, then listened to the DVD commentary for “Murder Street.” The disk drive of my computer was gummed-up and slowing down the disk, so I resolved to get a disk cleaner at Office Depot.

James IM-ed me, saying he was coming into town later. I told him I was about to leave, to go run a bunch of errands. He said he’d call after a certain number of hours, and I said I’d call him when I got home. This was presumably with the idea of going to lunch.

Eventually, I left the house. A light mist was falling. I went over the the UPS Store to buy some stamps and mail some letters. I walked under the freeway and around Seton Northwest Hospital. I noticed that out in the little park that was carved out from the scrubby forest to the east of the hospital, they’d built a rather basic stone labyrinth with a large, bench-like stone in the center. The mist was getting heavier by the time I finally got to Office Depot.

I bought a CD/DVD Lens Cleaner and a can of compressed air, paying a lot more than I’d planned. I went back under the freeway and had a rather modest breakfast at McDonald’s.

As I was walking over to my bank, I caught whiff of a woodsy scent that smelled like my late father. It was something of a sense-memory, and it rattled me a bit. But then I decided it was the smell of freshly-cut wood. Perhaps the grounds-keppers at the shopping center had recently trimmed some tree branches.

I cashed a check at my bank, then went over to a bus stop to wait for an express bus. A young woman walked by with her cute little white dog, towards whom I cooed, and who was in a playful mood, and kept dancing up on his hind legs and getting his front paws tangled in his leash. This made it look like he was waving his front paws around–something Belle does when she’s feeling playful.

On the way into town I noticed many of the flags were at half-staff. I was pretty sure the official mourning for Neil Armstrong was over, and the last I’d checked, George McGovern was dying, though not yet dead.

When the bus pulled up alongside the library, I let out with an “Oh shit,” because there was a mob of people out in front. I assumed there’d been a bomb threat and that the building had been evacuated.

But a large number of the crowd broke away, just as another by-stander explained to me that those people had just gotten off a tour bus. They then piled into the Austin History Center next door.

I learned that the library doesn’t open until 11am now–it used to be 10am–so I had about twenty minutes to kill. The stench outside was terrible from all the homeless people gathered out front. I saw a sign to the left of the main entrance, which stated that the lined formed there. What line? I assumed this had to do with some other event that happens or would happen at another time.

I got bored and took out some blank index cards and a pen from my pocket. Musing over eyesore quality of Austin architecture, I started wondering how the city would look if rebuilt to my taste. So I looked at the big, hulking, ugly parking garage across the street, and re-drew it in a Neo-Classical style.

About 10:58am I saw some stupid, trashy-looking, smug young man crossing Guadalupe in the middle of the street while the traffic was against him. He smirked because he got away with it. The police guard was just beginning to unlock the doors–first the exit door, and then the entrance door.

The young man walked right into the entrance door before the cop had finished with the process, and before the cop had told everyone it was okay to come inside. He sent the kid back outside, explaining that the people in the line got to go inside first. It was only then that I noticed that there was indeed a line of people and not just a disorganized mob next to that sign.

The kid turned and went back outside with another smirk. He clearly thought he was quite clever and that all the rest of us would be looking at him with either secret or overt admiration at his boldness and coolness. I’ve seen that sort of behavior and that smirk, on white trash and on teenagers ever since I was myself a kid.

I take it the line was for people who wanted to reserve a computer. I didn’t pay much attention. I went instead to the Circulation Desk, turned in those of my materials which were due, renewed my card for another year, and paid a fine. After about an hour’s browsing, I found some more DVDs and books, checked them out, and went on my way, my clothes vile with a fecal stench from the bodies of the patrons. It seems such a shame that Austin will soon be getting a brand-new Central Library, only to have it ruined immediately with dirty people.

I had about a twenty- to thirty-minute wait for the express bus. Towards the end of that ride I started to wonder if the pregnant woman sitting opposite me was one with whom I had been quite smitten years ago. She looked somewhat like the woman I knew in the face, especially the mouth and maybe the eyebrows. She had the same coloring, the same bad taste in clothes and shoes.

But I finally decided it wasn’t her. I’ve seen some pictures of her from a few years ago on Facebook, and I doubt her features could’ve become so coarse in such a short time. I’d not heard of her marrying and/or getting pregnant (and I’m still in touch with people who know her). And the last I heard she was gainfully employed, so there was little chance she’d be riding around on a bus, even an express bus, in the middle of the day. Plus, I’m pretty sure she’d have recognized me and I her.

I’d largely given up on the idea of her years ago, but I still catch myself entertaining the fantasy of being involved with her. But I always try to apply rigorous logic to matters of the heart, and it was very obvious to me that any relationship between the two of us would’ve been a huge disaster. Though I found her attractive, and she had many admirable qualities, I suspect her values were just too suburban and conventional for my taste. And I’m convinced she wants to spend her life close to her family here in Texas, whereas I am frantic to get as far away from Texas as I possibly can.

At any rate, I got off at the corner of Braker and Jollyville, and got a Slurpee at a gas station. The clerk tried to guilt-trip me into making a contribution to the local children’s hospital, which is named after that vulgarian asshole Michael Dell.

I went over to HEB for more groceries. I’ve noticed that if I shop there in the early- or mid-afternoon, there always seem to be masses of certain and similar kinds of customers around, as if they’d been bused in. One day it was all old folks. Another day retarded and crippled people. Today it looked to be criminal types and halfway house residents. I think I saw only one attractive person the whole time.

I lugged my groceries back in the mist. Belle was of course glad to see me, and though I took her for a walk, once we got back inside, and I stripped off for a shower, she got very upset, and whined and ran around, only to poop on the newspapers. I wish she’d learn that the walks outside are when I’d like her to do her business–not once we get back inside.

James had not called. I left him a message, and naturally, he didn’t have the simple consideration to call me back. I puttered around, and didn’t retire until about 7:35pm.

Wednesday, October 17th–I woke around 3:30am, needing to piss. I did so, then went back to bed, very tired and sore still, but I couldn’t get back to sleep, and finally got up around 3:50am. I walked Belle a couple times, then watched last night’s Presidential debate.

I finally heard from James. He’d suddenly gotten sick yesterday, and didn’t come to town, but he didn’t offer an adequate explanation for why he wasn’t able to make a quick call or e-mail and just say, “I’m sick.”

During the morning I started watching one of the movies I’d checked out, the Robert Downey “Sherlock Holmes,” but the much-scratched DVD froze up about sixteen minutes in.

The day dragged along, I stayed tired and sore, and finally went back to bed to read. I started Michael Downing’s “Breakfast With Scot,” then read more in Bukowski, but put off the Genet. Then I fell asleep and slept a lot longer than I’d planned.

Thursday, October 18th–I woke, a little shocked at the hour, at 1:32am. I had to take Belle out three times before 8am. I took a shower, then gave Belle a thorough going-over with the flea comb. In late morning I watched “Shutter Island,” and was pleased to see my theory, that the main plot twist was very similar to that in “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” was borne out.

James and Nyssa came by, took me to lunch at their favorite restaurant (and one of my least-favorites), Chuy’s, and then for a quick run to Randall’s. At lunch I outlined my plan for what I’d do after the election if control of the U. S. Government was in my hands: Mitt Romney would spend the rest of his life in a Federal prison. Paul Ryan would be immediately executed, as would Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, and all the Tea Party Leaders. Every citizen who had been active in the Tea Party would be sent to a work camp for twenty-five years. In that way, the older, more stubborn members would die in custody, and the younger ones would have their spirits broken.

James had just been to the doctor, where he’d had a lot of blood taken, and so he was rather weak.

In the last two minutes of the visit, right before I was dropped off, he started in with that “YOLO” shit, finding excuses to use it in every other sentence, and surmising, correctly, that it would get on my nerves.

Had he not been in ill-health, I told him, I’d have taken off my shoe and beaten him with it.

After I got home, I walked Belle again, then took another shower. As I was getting undressed I noticed a big vein along the calf of my left leg. It wasn’t quite a varicose vein, but it was quite apparent, and seemed to emerge from what looked like a burst blood vessel near my knee.

I tried and failed to finish the Bukowski book–I was just too tired. I went to bed at 10pm.

Friday, October 19th–In one dream, I was back at my old SHSU dorm, Kirkley Hall, which was demolished back in July. I minutely explored the cafeteria and the hallway outside of the cafeteria, paying special attention to the walls and other details. In a few cases my memory played tricks with me, and I added elements that had never been there.

In another dream I was living in a room in a big old house. I had a neighbor I hated (there’s a big surprise) who lived in the room to my left. He was a tall young man who at times seemed to have a light moustache and wisp of a beard, and who made a lot of noise. I don’t know if he hated me as well or had it in for me, but he was quite inconsiderate.

I looked out the peephole at one point, to see what all the noise was, and he had a large number of guests outside the door with him. They were of all ages, and I assumed them to be members of his family, as well as some friends. They all seemed to have wet clothes or be in some state of undress, as if they’d all come back from swimming or cavorting in water. My neighbor was running around in white pants with the legs rolled up and golf socks with no shoes.

I went around and started looking out my front windows. The house was situated on a slight rise, and had an excellent view of whatever town it was located in. The area was beautiful, and columns of mist were rising out of the greenery all over the neighborhood below.

I realized that for however long I’d lived in this house, I’d never really taken a good look at it. I always rushed out of it in the morning, and rushed back in under the cover of darkness, and kept myself locked up in my room. So I went out onto the sloping lawn to get a good look at the house.

It was a large Queen Anne Victorian, with about two or three stories, an attic, and a basement, solidly built, with lots of porches and projections. The bricks, woodwork, and shingles were all rust red, though they’d probably been a sharp Pompeiian red when the house was first completed.

The roof was very complicated, and, I think, spoiled also, since there was a great deal of heavy modern machinery sitting up on top of it, including huge rectangular metal cases for the air conditioning and heating works, exhaust fans, and a huge pulley wheel. The latter was, oddly enough, exposed to the elements, and I saw my neighbor on the roof adjusting the wheel and the cable or rope that hung from it. The presence of this pulley told me the house must have an elevator–a feature I’d not realized before. I decided my house and town were actually kind of nice, and that I shouldn’t be wearing myself out, trying to find a way to out away. (This is of course one of those areas where the dream life and real life diverge. I’m still determined to get the hell out of Texas.)

……………………..

I woke at 10:04am, still very tired. I walked and fed Belle, then prepared myself a big bowl of vegetarian chili. While I was trying to eat that, she went into the bedroom and crapped on the newspaper.

I ran back to clean it up, and then she reared up on to my dining/computer table, and knocked down the bowl of chili. I yelled “NO!!!” to her, but it only turned her attention away from the bowl.

The bowl of chili didn’t spill all the way over, but landed right side up on my chair. And there was chili spilled on the floor and chair. She began eating the chili off the floor, I brushed the chili from the chair down to her, and as soon as she moved out of the way, I sat down and finished eating. And of course, she got a lot of left-overs.

I finished Charles Bukowski’s “Dangling In the Tournefortia.” Later I watched the first four episodes of Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation,” and read a bit in Genet.

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