Thursday, September 24, 2009

sons and daughters of the revolution

What a very strange dream I had last night.

My first recollection: I am in what might be best described as a large maze of auditorium lobbies. Something cataclysmic has just taken place. This event is not detailed, however it will change the way we live - societies conventions and conveniences can now be forgotten or dismissed.

My first thought is to survival; accumulate food, then shelter. I scavenge through the nice, gourmet-like concession stands for dry goods. Strangely - or not so strangely to those who know me - I am preoccupied with accumulating sufficient quantities of coffee. The labels will let me know if this one is without caffeine, or this one adulterated with artificial flavoring. I am united with a group of seven, these out of a large number of people rambling about in the unseen background. Our group begins to have valid concerns about others stealing our food as conditions deteriorate.

We break up in a search for shelter, as this proves to be a larger problem than finding food. In a small room I find a couple, Amanda and Leo, with a small child - these are out-of-dream people I have actually known in the past. They have secured a bed in a small room of wall-to-wall people which they invite us to share - this is in keeping with the nature of the actual couple. It is a spacious bed, distanced from the chaos surrounding. Our group accepts the invitation of shelter, but as conditions deteriorate in the aftermath of the disaster, we realize that we must leave the maze of lobbies, swarming with unrestrained and hungry masses, in order to survive.

We decide to evacuate the maze in groups of two: down a drab, poorly lit corridor, through an exclusive restaurant full of dining people, and out glass doors at the opposite end of the restaurant. Amanda and I are the last to leave. As we begin our walk down the corridor, I worry that Amanda's height - several inches taller than myself - might arouse suspicion. Looking down the corridor, in the direction of the busy restaurant, shut doors are now guarded by an armed sentry who looks up to determine our motives. I quickly change plans and try one of the side doors - pretending that this was our original intention - hoping the door is unlocked. Leading Amanda into the room, we hurry to a small window and use a desk chair to break the window as quietly as possible. The commotion is heard, and we hear hurried activity outside the room's door. Amanda slips lithely out the window; as I attempt to follow her, my bulk hangs and catches against the narrow opening. I am punctured in the side with broken glass. Amanda and I work feverishly to free me from the window's toothed grip.

The escape out the window starts a long period of running and hiding - a period I will not record here - as the old order collapses and a new order develops. As several years pass, Amanda and I are the only ones left of the original group that escaped. Our nights are filled with scavenging; our days are spent hiding and resting in a series of post-apocalyptic bunkers improvised from the shells of middle-class houses. Eventually, near the end of our fugitive period, Amanda and I are separated. I assume the worse fate has befallen Amanda, my only companion and consolation in this grotesque new world. Separation. The loss is overwhelming. I can vividly remember the earthy-sweet smell of sweat and grime on her pale, bad-complexioned skin; the soft greasy feel of her unwashed hair; the consolation of her voice.

I remember losing hope at that time. Traveling by day. Taking risks. Daring fate. Fearless, for I had spent my life's quota. On a foggy early morning, I see a small group of soldiers standing in the road, blocking my way. As I approach, I sense that they are friendly - I knew this, (the way one knows such things in dreamland).

The dream now takes a turn for the better. The stable government that rises from the ashes of the disaster is favorable to those who dared escaped the maze in the beginning; most of those that remained in the maze were conscripted into the short-lived, feudalistic factions that sprang up after the fall of the old order. Once fed and cleaned, I am taken back to the original maze of corridors, there I am reunited with Amanda. She is weak, but alive. She looks a decade older, tired - as if the entire upheaval has been thrust upon her scarred body and gentle, swollen face. She is, however, washed and cared for - in a clean linen gown - held between two attendants bracing her unsteady body. Her eyes speak the same generosity and peace that they possessed when she offered our original group the greater share of her living space.

Those few that originally escaped from the maze of corridors were considered heroes of the revolution. A social convention was held; being the more healthy of the only two survivors, I was invited to attend. I go to the convention with a younger man that has befriended me. The gathering is held in an auditorium with approximately 2000 seats. When we arrive, and begin searching for our seats, my companion takes our ticket numbers to mean that we are sitting about 2/3 to the back of the auditorium. As were take our seats, an usher takes us by the arm, explaining that there has been a mistake. We are led down the aisle until we are at the fourth row from the front - the first ten or so aisles reserved for dignitaries. My companion is sure there is some kind of mistake, but surprisingly to both of us, I show him an engraved gold plate on a rifle that my right hand oddly seems to possess. This gun-plate apparently signifies my position in the new government. We sit down, a dinner menu is offered to me, my companion, and the rest of the elite. I think to myself how strange this has all turned out - how strange to honor someone who has merely acted out of fear and panic. I question my more worldly-wise friend as to what my new responsibilities are to entail in this government - praying that they will not separate me once again from Amanda - knowing full well that I am not qualified to hold any responsible position. An older man seated in front of us turns to inform me that the original 'son's of the revolution' are considered retired generals; my time is my own. My first pleasant thought is that I can spend my last days attending Amanda and gardening to my heart's content.

Just before my morning alarm went off, I chose the cordon bleu from the menu.

After finishing this blog post, I think I will go out and garden a bit. Due to some malfunction within my psyche, I find it difficult at times to distance myself from certain vivid dream worlds, (often recurring). It feels as if, upon awakening, I have lost a lifetime of memories and friends - at times my relationship with certain people has changed drastically - thrust at the sound of an alarm into a world no more real; my sense of loss no less overwhelming; my relationships confused and awkward. (Often the greatest difficulty is not allowing this to be noticed by my few friends, and my family that I adore.) - Gardening will help - it always does.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

excerpts from kafka's diary

A few quotes from the diary of Franz Kafka (Translated by Joseph Kresh):

16 March. (1912) Saturday. Again encouragement. Again I catch hold of myself, as one catches hold of a ball in it's fall. Tomorrow, today, I'll begin an extensive work which, without being forced, will shape itself according to my abilities. I will not give up as long as I can hold out at all. Rather be sleepless than live on in this way.

15 September. (1912)...The hollow which the work of genius has burned into our surroundings is a good place into which to put one's little light. Therefore the inspiration that emanates from genius, the universal inspiration that doesn't only drive one to imitation...

11 February. (1913)...because the story came out of me like a real birth, covered with filth and slime, and only I have the hand that can reach to the body itself and the strength of desire to do so...

21 June. (1913)...The tremulous world I have in my head. But how to free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me.

3 July. (1913)...When I say something it finally and immediately loses it's importance, when I write it down, it loses it too, but sometimes gains a new one...

Monday, September 21, 2009


Janet Sommer's skin was the texture of leather and the tint of gunmetal. Both traits matched her disagreeable personality. I cannot understand her rare and unsolicited affinity towards me. I later came to realize that she more than likely would have offered me the choice of her two daughters. The older daughter Emily, flat-chested and ruddy, was nature's successful attempt to smooth and arrange her mother's features handsomely. Emily shared her mother's sharp tongue, it was probably her exterior beauty that made this quality easier to take.

The younger daughter, Trisha, was the picture of all things beautiful and delicate. Trisha wore youthful emotion prominently and freely; ecstatic, to broken-hearted, and back again in the span of an afternoon. Being near her was to experience all of life rushing in, with no boundaries or limits. So prominent was her youthful exuberance, one was convinced that it would remain a life-long trait. She was Beauty and Life interlaced with mint, lavender and desire.

At first meeting, it was her fatuous spirit that was most noticeable. Obvious, and most often based on a floating scale of childish attraction. On closer scrutiny, beneath the infatuations and youthful pranks, deeper emotions were present - a virtue that develops more quickly in some young women. She took great pains to conceal this side of her personality; vague clues only hinted at, a serious glance, a veiled question. It was these hints, hidden behind youthful giddiness, that I found myself misinterpreting, or missing altogether.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

swiss cheese

From the diary of Dr. Bard:
(original timeline September, 1923)


"...however there are singular voids springing up in time; lone characters missing in a world oblivious to their absence.

"Where is da Vinci, for example? No one from his own point in history seems to have the slightest knowledge of his existence. His works, the records of his life, spring into being later in time. The first literary mention I can find of him is in 1863. A travel to one year later, June 1864, finds him once again a pivotal point in the (First) Italian Renaissance; his name altering preexisting scientific and secular writings.

"Conversely, where is the work and records of Jonas Peerman? The man who alleviated many of the woes of cancer - stumbling by chance upon the medicinal shrub, 'Calapus arboreus'. After a brief period in the late 2200s, he and the plant disappear from history. I have checked in twenty year intervals from 2220 - 2380.

"Has someone else used the door?
Will I, at some later date, create these holes in time?"


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

counting leaves

but then I would have never known Cole Porter,
or when in doubt, 'I' is preferable to 'me',
or that scotch can ease a troubled soul,
or that scotch would finally ease your troubled soul,
or that some twenty years later-
I can look into a mirror,
and count the leaves of grass.

~ from apologies

Friday, September 4, 2009

maybe it's the weather

it was on a day, just like today
twenty or so years ago
when I returned to my childhood home
(maybe it was the same feeling of Fall in the air)

when I met you
we talked
the crowd disappeared

when I abandoned everyone for your cement block cabin
laying for days listening to your long fingers play the piano
(maybe it was the same song playing on the radio)

when I left
and lived a life
and forgot your name

~ from 'apologies'