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1:28 pm | 22 April 2004 | i need only myself to freak myself out

I read a novel (not sure which--might've been the quietly fantastic Who's Who in Hell) where the definition of hell was as follows: You walk into a movie theatre. Surrounding you--packed house--is everyone who's ever meant anything to you. The lights go down. The film starts. It is a minute-by-minute film of your life, from your POV, and you sit there, squirming, through all your embarassments and shames and regrets and losses. Finally, the film ends. And then it starts again.

The brain of yours truly, while magnificent in many regards (Who just shout-spelled B-O-U-G-A-I-N-V-I-L-L-E-A across the office to her awesomely terrifying new German bosslady? Yeah. Me. Booyah!) works much like this little scene, and my computerless, televisionless, regular-phoneless, dahwnrahght monastic existence of late has provoked me to new levels of mental-cinematic torment, to the point where I just sleep a lot during "free time."

It's irritating. I don't have a lot of free time: between working all crazy shifts seven days a week, kickin' it in violently constipated traffic for oh i'd say about THREE HOURS A DAY, and taking care of the ephemera of survival, those one or two hours a day where I might, I dunno, get some productive thinkin' done have been shanghaied by my own retarded brain. And THEN, last night, this dream:

I am in a bar that in my dream is the Prospector but is not actually, in that masky-impostor way with people and places that dreams have, and I am drunk, and I decide I need to leave. Everywhere are people that look like my friends but just slightly wrong, and all slightly wrong in the same way: weirdly, they all look like hybrids of my friends and Chloe Sevigny. Jeff and Chloe. Rachelle and Chloe. Et cetera. Someone makes a comment about my ass.

Okay, so I go outside and I know (in my dream) that I am a bit drunky-wobbly for driving but things have gotten sinister and I figure I should just get out of dodge. I approach my car, which in my dream is a metallic cream-coloured mid-80s station wagon. Next to it, a girl sits on the curb in a black dress and cries while a policeman questions her. She has been raped but I am looking at the cop's black leather wallet, which he has left sitting on the hood of his shiny black unmarked car. It is bulging with money and I am debating stealing it when a woman approaches. She is fantastic and flamboyant in the way only Ann Magnuson and burlesque dancers are. She pulls a dress out of the back of my station wagon--it is cream-coloured with black Swiss dots. She is trying to convince me to wear it, and I take it, but then I leave. As I drive past the crying girl I see that the trash can to her right is full of broken Marvel Comic action figures.

Oh but wait, it keeps going. I go home and I am reading a novel. The novel is a fictionalized account of D. dying, written by an ex-girlfriend who was so traumatized by their breakup that the only way for her to exorcise his demon was to write him dead. I read this book and about halfway through get the horrible feeling that it's becoming true because I'm reading it. I am also listening to some album in my dream that starts out cute, like Beulah or Mercury Rev, and is getting more and more terrible and awful and beautiful, like GY!BE, orchestral and weird, with sound clips woven in and then we were all lost always lost and i get to the end of the book and there are five or six pages of weird graphic design in the back, Magritte men in suits. but the graphics are changing and moving before my eyes, and I understand suddenly that this is a new way of design that just makes stuff move, words coming in and out of focus, green on a yellow background, please come back to me and haloes of bumblebees coming from the men's hands. The music is getting worse and worse and then--

And then, praise criminy, my phone rings. My friend woke me up. And thank God, because I then burst into tears and had a raging panic attack and my pulse was all crack-fiend-crazy for about an hour, until I dulled it with sweet booze at the (real) Prospector, where I once again tore karaoke night a new one.

I don't know what my point is. Writing that dream down freaked me out super-hard, remembering it again. Shit be a-changin' once again, work-wise, so hopefully I've returned more regularly, but I am still dipping a cautious toe into these clammy waters, testing the edge. Plus ça change... clm.


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