Friday, October 02, 2009

I was reading an anthology of several comic strips. The first one was written in, and set in, 1970. The character was describing his car, a beater of the period that he had trouble with but that got forty miles per gallon as long as he didn't drive it too fast. I thought about all the times I'd driven my cars too fast, and not gotten good enough mileage. There were at least two other cartoonists featured in the book. One was a woman with a particularly good one. Can't remember much about it, though.

I was at a party back in Connecticut, in a big, cluttered house, that had been going on for some time, maybe days. Finch arrived at a certain point and we were trying to remember whether one of us had loaned the other twenty dollars the night before to buy drugs. We couldn't figure it out so we let it go. Then it was seven o'clock in the morning. Everyone else was asleep but me and Jesse. I was reading the paper, a little annoyed and bewildered that I was up so early. Jesse was negotiating something with an official person, possibly Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. But this person soon became a woman.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tremendous difficulty putting in contact lenses. One became large and spherical as I held it on the tip of my finger. It was a sort of anti-contact lens: it was eyeball-shaped, with a contact lens-sized hole just big enough to allow the optic nerve to come out of. I wondered how I was ever going to get this on my eye as I stood in a bathtub that was filling with bubbles.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The band reunited in a dirty house. There were two acoustic guitars, one without strings. The immense tedium of waiting for things to happen returned to me. Waiting for recording to start, waiting for band practice, waiting for the time to go to a gig. In a litter-strewn living room.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I was back at work, at my old job, after an absence for an unclear reason. I had been in charge of integrating a translation feature into Office Communicator. I kept trying to find Jim to ask him what the status was. I looked at it on my computer screen and it appeared to be working. John and Britt were there. Britt was telling me that a friend of hers had asked to go on a trip with her and she was annoyed, didn't want to go. Finally I found Jim as he was racing to catch his train. He said he could chat for a few seconds if I followed him. We entered a building that had a passageway to the underground station. I followed him down on the escalator, which was going alarmingly fast and was bowing and undulating under my feet. I wanted to ask him if there was anything more I should do.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I played a soccer game. I was on a team of guys my age playing a team of teenagers. They kicked our asses 4-0. Later, I recounted the game to someone. I emphasized how soundly we were beaten, making it a story of the old being inexorably eclipsed by the young. "The game started at 2 am and lasted for two and a half hours," I said, as though this made the kids' feat all the more remarkable. Then I relived the game in my head. I cursed myself for not taking more chances. I recalled making some successful passes but I wished I'd launched the ball at the goal a time or two. Then I was playing the game, but the circumstances shifted. Barack Obama was playing. So was George W. Bush. I imagined how terrible it would be if Bush were still president. He took a free kick. His personal assistant was assigned to play goalie.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A job mourning dream. Standing around with other doomed coworkers considering our prospects.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I was having a party. Someone had some pot. A weirdly thin, hot-burning joint. I took it and put it in my mouth and lit it with another joint that came from somewhere. I held it a good, long time and as I exhaled I felt high right away. A few people marveled at how much smoke I took.

"Yeah," I said, "I'm so high already my hands are sweating!" My hands were sweating like crazy.

Later, some drunk people began to fuck with some things in the house. It was my house, or more properly my parents' house. But it was, in fact, no house I'd ever lived in. People discovered some priceless housewares from Czarist Russia, things like silver salt shakers, that were packed away in the dining room. They were unwrapping them from their delicate, embroidered cloths and putting them on the dining room table. I don't know if they were going to take them or what. I was trying to contain the situation.

Later, someone stole a whole roast turkey. I felt greatly injured by this, personally injured. I discovered that it was stolen by Jay H., a notorious ne'er-do-well from my hometown. I felt a bit sorry for him then.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

My dad had a book of poems by Kris Kristofferson. The book was inscribed to Kristofferson by my dad and others; the opposite, for some reason, of what you'd expect: that the book was signed by the author. It occurred to me that I'd missed my chance to add my own name to this important artifact and I resolved to do so. I paged through the poems first. One that caught my eye looked something like this:

T#% G*(s S@@t)ti!n S^%o!e

S@@al!e"! D#i$sc0u*^6t %e#er, c0&nd@y a^d c)g#@ars
S@an4d%wi%he3, s4ea!ks 9nd m$!re
C(h3ips, s9!oda, p~etze9s a7d 9as

Friday, January 16, 2009

I was at a concert. At first it seemed like a Dead concert but then it became some lame jam band. A waitress circulated with a tray of snacks. The band performed a version of "The Music Never Stopped" that featured a rapper. I was concerned about the location of my bag, which contained my laptop. Someone had moved it but everything seemed to be there.

I was somewhere else. It was a football Sunday. I saw flashes of games and scores on TVs overhead, like at a sports bar.

I was talking to Jay L. about his military days. Then he was driving a car and I was in the passenger seat. Some family members were in the back - possibly Jesse, possibly Sally. Jay become confused and sleepy and began to lose control of the car. We were accelerating and veering to the side. I told him to let me have the wheel, let me use the pedals. His foot was entangled and I couldn't get past it to step on the brake.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

When It Exploded There Were Some Who Died

Chris W. was operating some kind of program for kids where they'd show up to his house - not his current house, some dream house - and he'd take them into the woods. It was unclear what was to happen there but it seemed like a powerful educational experience. I decided to join him one day. I showed up at the house as the kids were gathered in the driveway. Mike R. was there too. We walked down a path and bit by bit the kids melted into the woods. This did not seem to be cause for concern. Chris, Mike and I manned a makeshift stand beside the path, from which I suppose we could give guidance to passing kids. We also apparently had things for sale. One kid came by asking for a CD of Buddhist chants to meditate to. We didn't have that but I recommended a recording of the Tuvan Throat Singers. "Not Buddhist, though, right?" I said, second-guessing myself. My teeth were chattering for some reason.

We had a van with us - though at first we had been walking - which we had parked at the edge of the woods. Someone had left the hand brake off and it was rolling backwards down a road that led down into a town square. It crashed into a building. My perspective shifted several times: I was in the building, I was a detached observer, I was responsible for the truck. It was full of explosives. After it crashed into the building, actually penetrating the wall, there was a horrible pause before it exploded, when the people in the building thought they were safe but I - being responsible for the truck - knew they weren't. When it exploded there were some who died and some who survived. I imagined myself as someone in the building, seeing the truck coming, running out and to the side to save myself. Fortunately, the building was occupied by Nazis. I didn't need to regret their deaths.

I was at the Eagles game being played today, the wild-card game against the Vikings. It was in Philly rather than Minnesota. I sat at a bar perched over one end zone and ordered Johnny Black on the rocks. It was difficult to discern what was happening on the field. McNabb appeared to fumble, yet the crowd cheered. Later, an Eagle scored in the far end zone, possibly Brian Dawkins after an interception. At times I was on the field, able to scrutinize things closely; for example, the thin dusting of snow half-concealing the "Eagles" painted in the end zone. At the bar, I ordered another drink. The woman bartender said, "Johnny wants to make sure you're for real," or something to that effect, which I understood to mean "Am I a fan?"

"Just watch me, you'll see."

The Vikings recovered a fumbled kickoff for a touchdown and now it was 7-7 at halftime. I wandered around the stadium and saw Mark B., an old schoolmate from Storrs. We exchanged pleasantries and I walked back toward the bar.