Saturday, May 31, 2008

I was attending a high school reunion, somewhat reluctantly. My old friend Bill Suits was there. I recognized Colin O'Rourke, sitting on a couch. I went over to shake his hand and he said he didn't remember me. I said, "Well, we didn't like each other that much," wryly, out of the corner of my mouth. At one point I found myself alone in a room with Mike Simms, a notorious asshole. (He used to go to keg parties held by classmates, drink their beer, and report them to the police after he'd left.) I figured I should say hello so I said hello. He kind of grunted and turned around.

Then the reunion was outside, on a hill that resembled the front yard of the house I grew up in. There was some vague sexual tension among the classmates, the same tension that might have existed when we were seven years old and didn't know what such a thing meant. Jenny Allen was there. I understood that the event had been organized by Melissa Ladd.

I was also skiing, in what appeared to be a parallel, concurrent, dream; or perhaps it was a dream segment that formed a desultory interlude between one part of my dream and the next. I was wearing what appeared to be cross-country skis, long and narrow, and I had no poles. Someone was taking me and someone else around the bunny slopes, as though we'd never skied before. I wanted to protest, to say that I knew enough to ski down a real trail. The snow was thick and lumpy, late-season snow.

The reunion ended with lengthy goodbyes and complicated arrangements for transportation back home, or to a hotel, or to some ensuing event - it was not clear. Suddenly I was across the street, with Sara. There was a house and a vast field full of Jews of various ages and cultures, some orthodox, some young and modern. A rock band was playing, with the younger people dancing and the older, bearded men tolerating it from the fringes. It was some sort of protest event directed at the activities across the street, from where I'd come. Apparently the high school reunion was held under the auspices of the PLO or some other pro-Arab, anti-Israeli organization. I realized that the people who lived in the house on the Jewish side were kibbutzers, and this was some kind of disputed territory, like the Golan Heights. We snuck around the house and tried to avoid being caught by the occupants, who were preoccupied by the general festivities. It was a beautiful, modern, bourgeois home filled with art and books. We examined a thin volume about art, with colorful reproductions, and I fumbled with it nervously as I tried to put it back in its place on the shelf before someone walked in. We got out without being seen.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I was visiting some town in France, I think it was meant to be Lyon. I was looking at a map and it seemed to be somewhere in what was labeled "the Industrial North." I think Jim P. was there too. It was a heavily touristy city, or maybe some event was taking place, some festival. We strolled down a pedestrian street lined with stands serving beer. I was no longer the first person in the dream; I was a disembodied spectator, observing the protagonist's actions from over his shoulder. He approached a stand that sold Guinness. He asked the man if the Guinness was good, and the man replied, with some pique, that it was the best in town.

"How much does it cost?" the protagonist asked.

"Five ninety," the man replied. I understood this to mean five Euros ninety, a steep price.

The protagonist protested and seemed to be angling for a price break or even a free beer. The man handed him a mug of Guinness but then poured a carton of milk over his head, saying something like, "Here's your beer." The milk dripped thickly off the protagonist's head. The man took back the mug and said, "Eventually you won't need this anymore."

Then I was again an actor in the dream. I found Jim in some sort of outdoor market, examining Chilean sea bass steaks by caressing them with his fingertips and the back of his hand. He was dressed in a Roger Rabbit costume. It was for the amusement of his son, Leo, who was there dressed in some kind of costume too. We left the market and Jim and Leo each got into separate cars and raced back to their house along separate routes. Though I was a bit put off that Jim didn't offer me a ride, I ran after them towards their house.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sara and I were at some kind of overnight party, possibly in a foreign country. I woke up early because I heard the sound of someone playing a guitar. He was playing "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," and I was compelled to get up and take out my guitar and play along. The clock said something like quarter to nine. By the time I got to the living room where he was playing, the song was almost over. Someone else was accompanying him on an unplugged electric bass, which was inaudible to me. I got my guitar out anyway, my new Martin, and I started playing a few odd chords and riffs. The guy said, "Wow, you have a -" and he named the model of the guitar, but it was a word I'd never heard before, and can't remember now, though after he used it I noticed that it was printed on the headstock of the guitar, where you'd expect, and I said to him, "Yeah, lots of people have been telling me, hey, you have a -, but I didn't even know it, all I was thinking when I got it was, I like the way it sounds." For some reason he found this very funny, and I felt oddly proud of my nonchalant attitude about the specific model of my guitar. He introduced himself with a soul handshake and said his name was Julie Stone.

"I'm sorry?" I said.

"Julie Stone."