Saturday, November 3rd–I dreamt I was at a store or something, and took a seat to watch a slide show with images of buildings and interiors. There were two sections of seats, with a main store aisle bi-secting them. The line of vision for the seats and projector was perpendicular to the aisle. I sat in the front row of the second or back section, with my feet in the aisle.
A slide of a warm-looking room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling flashed up on the screen, and the three young women seated ahead of me in the front section cooed and said that was their favorite so far. Showing off, I off-handedly identified it as the playroom of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original house and studio in Oak Park, Illinois.
I got into a discussion with a young man who was seated to my right. I forget what we discussed, but at some point he asked me which day of my life I’d live over again if I could. The first thought in my mind was a day (any day–not one in particular) when my dog Fred was still alive, and as this occurred to me, my eyes began to fill with tears, my voice began to crack, and I found I couldn’t talk.
Finally, I told the guy, “Look, I’m sorry, I can’t talk about that day. It gets me too emotional. Instead, let me just pick my first full day in Paris, when I went to Notre-Dame and the Palais Royale, spent $1000 on books at Galignani, walked through the Tuileries Gardens, and explored the Louvre.”
I woke about 1:24pm or so, surprised that it was as late as it was. But when exactly did I go to bed the night before?
There was a great chattering going on outside when I woke.
I took Belle out for her first walk. One of the little foreign lesbians from the building next door was walking one of her yappy little dogs, and talking to my ex-con lay-about downstairs neighbor, who was sitting on the balcony, smoking. Belle was scared of the yappy dog, and turned away.
A fat, florid young woman spotted Belle and came over to fuss over her. Her face was red, almost sun-burned, and shiny or perhaps greasy. She was wearing a low-cut, too-small top from which her giant, sun-burned breasts were about to explode. One breast bore a smudged blue tattoo, impossible to make out, and starting to resemble a day-old bruise or rotting flesh.
She also had on short shorts, and her feet, which had the heavy, columnar quality of an elephant’s feet, were barely covered by white plastic flip-flops, with plastic daisies at the point where the straps met. I tried, with little success, to keep Belle away from this woman, because Belle seems to like to smell and lick feet, and I didn’t want her to bring that nasty woman’s filthy germs into our house, not did I want Belle to kiss me with that woman’s germs on her nose and mouth.
I made conversation–barely–and the gal’s boyfriend came over and tried to pet Belle on the head. But Belle got scared and quickly turned around and hid behind my legs.
I have to wonder if Belle is picking up on non-verbal cues or emotions from me, if she realizes how uncomfortable I am around these odious people, and is in turn becoming afraid of them.
For our second walk of the day, I took Belle around the block. It was cool enough outside for me to do that without sweating.
I did the usual most of the day.
Later on I watched “Bukowski: Born Into This,” for the umpteenth time.
Sunday, November 4th–I dreamt I went to an upscale Austin neighborhood. I think it was supposed to be Tarrytown, but that is to the west, and this neighborhood was to the southwest. And I also got there on the #3 bus.
At any rate, I went into this fancy drug store, though the medicine section and pharmacy counter were fairly well-hidden. The store looked mostly like an expensive gift shop. There was a small magazine section that I went to first.
The main room had a high ceiling, was rather dark, and was built around a large rectangular form–not a column exactly–that took up the exact center of the room. The partitions separating different departments of the store in some cases branched from this block, and a staircase was built against or around it.
I went upstairs. The second floor I thought at first was devoted to expensive kitchen tools, pots and pans, appliances, china, silver, and so forth, but upon closer inspection, or rather, after my eyes adjusted, I realized most of the room was a food service area, with steam tables, glass cases, surfaces for setting down and sliding food trays, and a few cash registers. But there didn’t seem to be any, or at least, that many, employees on duty. Perhaps I caught them out of serving hours.
I think there may have been some outdoor terraces located off this area. I do know that the main dining rooms were, inconveniently enough, one floor overhead, and I could hear people up there chatting and eating. I thought that would be a huge pain in the ass to have to carry a full plate of food and a beverage up two flights of stairs and risk spilling them.
Still, it was a clean, glittering, beautiful, expensive world, a world for people who bought the over-priced and unusually-branded groceries at Whole Foods, a world whose membership I sadly realized I couldn’t afford. As much as I wanted to live in the neighborhood and take leisurely meals at this store, I knew I couldn’t do it–at least not right now, since I have no money at all.
I forget what I did most of the day.
I watched “A Single Man” again, before retiring in the wee hours.
Monday, November 5th–I slept until some point in the afternoon. As I recall, within a few minutes of waking I felt like crying. Or did that happen yesterday?
I scanned some books, puttered, worried about the election, and made some pasta. Belle seemed to be really suffering from her fleas, so I gave her a going-over with the flea comb.
Tuesday, November 6th–One the first things I did today after getting ready was post this somewhat overblown speech on my Tumbler page:
“Today the barbarians are at the gate.
“We must fight them back. Fight the billionaires, the millionaires, the blank-faced suburbanites, the hateful trailer trash, the racists, the sexists, the homophobes, the rape deniers, the paranoid conspiracy theorists, the lunatic fringe, the cultic Mormon heretics, the defiantly ignorant and illiterate, the culture haters, the education haters, the science haters, the climate change deniers, the anti-intellectuals, the Klansmen, the Militiamen, the White Supremacists, the ant-environmentalists, the animal killers, the cheapskate tax obsessives, the Tea Buggers, the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, the Sarah Palins, the Michelle Bachmanns, the Rick Santorums, the Paul Ryans, the Mitt Romneys. All that filthy and degrading mix must be stopped. The contagion must be eradicated. The United States cannot survive this backwardness.
“Avenge yourself of every boss that ever fired you, of every hateful, inflexible idiot that held you down, laughed at your dreams, or told you that you were less than you were.
“Take up your sword and fight!
After doing the usual I caught an express bus into town in the late-afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that all bus fares were waived today since it’s Election Day. With only about $10 running around money to last me the rest of the month, that savings of $2.75 really helps.
I went down to the library, got some more DVDs and books, and waited about 10 to 15 minutes for my bus back. A Fox News reporter and camera man had just finished shooting around the corner as I arrived at my bus stop. I asked the reporter if there were any projections yet on the Presidential race, and she said there weren’t, and then I watched the camera man break down the camera and other equipment.
As they were getting ready to leave, I thought for a second that my eyes were playing tricks on me, until I realized that their van’s aerial was actually lowering itself back down into the roof of their van, like a detumescing cock.
When I got on the bus, I placed my hand on the top of one of the seats in order to steady myself (the aisle was very narrow), and my fingers touched something wet. I prayed it was the air conditioner leaking.
I got back to my neighborhood, went by Petsmart and the dollar store, then came home, walked Belle, and brought up the computer to start checking on the election results. I think the Electoral College votes were something like 3 for the President and 30 for Romney when I started. I felt sick to my stomach, as if I was about to shit my pants. I kept stepping back into the living room, checking, and re-checking every minute or so, while I was getting ready for my shower.
I was pleased and relieved that the President was re-elected, though unhappy a fucking Tea Bugger got elected US Senator for Texas and that that ignorant cunt Michelle Bachmann got re-elected to Congress.
Around 3am I heard a noise outside that sounded as if someone was trying to set a ladder against the exterior of my building or open my balcony utility closet door. I turned off the bright lamp by my patio doors, grabbed my baseball bat, tried unsuccessfully to see anything out the front window, then turned on the balcony light to look out there, but I saw nothing. I set the bat next to my bed when I finally retired a little later. (It may’ve been that ex-con-looking downstairs neighbor knocking about.)
Wednesday, November 7th–I dreamt went for a ride with my friend M___. We left a fictional Austin, and then he drove around in such a confusing manner I got completely lost. I wasn’t even sure what state or country we were in. At one point we went down a narrow, unpaved road with trees very close on both sides.
We eventually found ourselves in a bright, open, sunny land. The light was intense. There was a small town, and just beyond it spread out this huge hole in the earth–not a canyon so much as a mine, I think. On the other side of this hole were large old houses clinging to the tops of the mountains. At the top of the tallest mountain was a very large structure. Someone explained to me that it was the prison.
We went into the church. I was so busy taking photos that I forgot to cross myself, but then I looked up and noticed the sanctuary light wasn’t lit. I think we arrived either before or after the rehearsal of a boy’s choir. At any rate, I remember questioning some kid about the history of the church.
The population of the village seemed to be entirely Hispanic, so I assumed we were in Mexico, but when we got back into the car, M___ showed me a map, and pointed out the village on that. It turns out we were just in a town southwest of Austin that I’d never heard of before.
In the next dream I was in Asia somewhere. And because of the British influence of some of the things I saw, it may’ve been Hong Kong. I was in an Asian shopping mall, which was probably opened in the 70s or 80s, and was now showing its age.
I saw a shop with a sign that said, among other things, “Uniforms for Cinque Ports” (definitely a British thing). The shop had a porter or doorman–an Asian who was probably in his sixties. He wore a uniform that was ridiculously elaborate for a shopping mall, with a large black tunic with over-sized epaulets with gold fringe, and trousers with a long left leg, and a right leg cut well above the knee.
I approached the door (I had one to three other people with me), announced myself to the porter in a stuffy, self-important voice that someone might have mistaken for a British accent, and was ushered into the store. The owner came shuffling out into the main room from the back. He was in his sixties or seventies, and stooped over a bit, and excessively polite.
I don’t even remember why we were visiting this shop, but it was the custom for us to first eat and drink tea before any business was transacted. We were shown to a white folding table, maybe about seven feet in length, and with a plastic top. Someone–the porter? the owner’s wife?–brought out some food. In my case there was a plastic basket lined with paper, containing two fist-sized servings of fried foods.
I got up to go to the buffet to pick up something–maybe sugar for my tea or some extra napkins. I was extremely hungry, and wanted to attack the food on the buffet, but I was afraid of looking too hungry, because then the owner might realize how broke I was. When I returned to where I was to sit, I noticed my rather cheap upholstered restaurant chair still had a fried fish cake on the seat. Apparently I was to ignore this unhygienic oversight and sit down anyway.
But then I needed to piss badly. (Always a sign I’m about to wake up and need to piss in real life.) I went to the restroom in back, and not surprisingly it left a lot to be desired. There were quite a few facilities for a shop that size–two or three stalls to the left, and a stall and a urinal to the right. The urinal was very odd, though. Instead of having a nice, large bowl sticking out of the wall, there was a porcelain protuberance with a narrow horizontal slot maybe four inches wide and a foot-and-a-half across. It required excellent marksmanship, and I imagined it was a real bitch to keep clean.
In my last dream there was some commotion and noise outside my apartment door. Some of my neighbors were talking. I looked through the peephole and saw men in uniform. Policemen? Firemen? Had the building caught on fire, and were they there to get us to evacuate?
I woke up some time in the afternoon–I forget when. I am noticeably less stressed now that the election is over and has largely gone the way I wanted it to go.
After Belle and I walked and ate, I left the house, got a Slurpee at a convenience store, and went grocery shopping at HEB. (It was Food Stamps day.) They’re in the middle of re-arranging the store and bringing in new freezers, so some of the stuff I wanted to buy wasn’t available. As it was, I bought a good deal of food.
I did not have a panic attack. I think maybe the reason I have panic attacks connected with going to the grocery store is I hate the painful, unpleasant experience of carrying 50 to 100 pounds of stuff on my back and shoulders for one mile, often in hot weather.
Thursday, November 8th–What happened today? That therapist I met with a few months ago left me a phone message, wanting to talk about a possible meeting. I e-mailed her late at night, suggesting she pick a time.
I finally finished that Adobe Illustrator tutorial series with the annoying, long-winded instructor with the insufferably smug voice. I didn’t think that’d ever fucking end.
I watched “Louvre City” (“La Ville Louvre”), a behind-the-scenes documentary about the workings of the Louvre.
I read a little in Genet before bed.
Friday, November 9th–I didn’t get up until after dark. After walking and feeding Belle I went to Randall’s to buy more groceries. I managed to avoid another panic attack.
I responded to an e-mail from that therapist, picking Tuesday for our session, even though it means getting up in the morning. I’d like to get this fucking process underway.
Any time I see a dead animal on the side of the road, be it a deer, a raccoon, a dog, or a cat, I always hope that the human who did that got killed at the same time, but sadly, that seldom ever happens.
I watched six episodes from the second “On The Road with Charles Kuralt” DVD collection.
I finished reading this “Breakfast With Scot” this morning.
I came across the film by accident at the library, thoroughly enjoyed it, and decided to read the book as well. I found it charming, brief, though complete, and perfectly written. The plots of the film and book are generally similar, but are in the end two different stories. I’ll be keeping my eye out for Michael Downing from now on.