Monday, August 31, 2015

The end of the world was imminent. ISIS had gotten a hold of a nuclear weapon or something. John Kerry was desperately negotiating with them, trying to prevent them from using it, from unleashing some kind of terminal terrorist attack upon the world. Markets were in turmoil, too. I had the feeling we were all very likely to die very soon—the feeling I imagine you get in an airplane that suddenly pitches into a nosedive. Very likely to die, but there was the faintest glimmer of hope that we may not. Survival depended on skill, persuasion and luck. But all was not yet lost.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Jake was picking apart a set of earbuds and explaining why the sound was terrible and they're not worth using. We were on some kind of floating platform, or maybe a boat, close to the ocean shore.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crazy jetlag dreams. They seemed to center on a work day. It was a cross between my old job and my new one. I went home in the middle of the day for some reason. The CEO of my old job wanted to talk to me on the phone about something, an exciting development related to a company he had just acquired, and I promised to call him while I was out.
My home was an unrecognizable apartment somewhere in Manhattan. The phone rang. It was P. C. on the other end of the line. He stammered for a few seconds, distraught. Someone had committed suicide, but I didn’t understand who he was talking about.
“Who?” I asked.
“Robert Crumb,” he replied.
In the context of the dream it was clear that Crumb had been suicidal in the past and this was no big surprise, just a shattering disappointment; someone who had constantly struggled with the point of going on finally deciding no. I passed on the news to a group of people in the elevator going down. One mentioned that Crumb’s wife had died recently, so that made more sense—widowers and widows sometimes don’t survive long.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My boss was telling me about a town in England called Toast.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My workplace was a multistory building with strange escalators like moving ramps, with no steps. I looked at the window and found Atlanta Falcons merchandise in the windows of the building next door and surmised that we were next door to an NFL store and that was the Falcons’ room.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We ordered two ice cream cones, and they were soon delivered by a man I recognized as the owner of the nearby ice cream shop (in real life, he was my ex-colleague H.). I realized we had ice cream in the freezer, so I was a bit annoyed at the extra expense, but there was nothing to do about it now. The man presented me a box and I asked him how much. Forty dollars. I told him that was outrageous. He stammered and corrected himself: twenty dollars. I thought about it. Seemed like a lot for two ice cream cones in a box, even if they were delivered to our door. I could see him becoming very upset, hurt that I’d question his ethics. I paid him the money to appease him and make him go away.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The song “Apostrophe” by Frank Zappa was about a three-year-old driving a car. The moral of it was: three-year-olds shouldn’t drive. I was discussing this on stage with T.C., telling him I thought Zappa was a brilliant musician but a lousy lyricist. He wasn’t paying attention to me, instead chatting someone up in the audience. Later, we played “Mr. Mystery,” but it was J.T. on bass. For some reason I had set myself up on stage too far to the left, and by the time I began singing I realized I was in the wing, with a wall in front of me, invisible to the audience. I had some difficulty remembering the song. It was the first time we’d played it in a long time.

I was in college and had final exams coming up. One was about tomatoes and one was about film noir. I was hanging out with other students who seemed to be versions of people I actually work with, or worked with recently. We were all procrastinating. Finally I got up and went to study my tomatoes textbook alone, knowing I was completely unprepared, wondering if I could remember at least a few facts. Nutritional value, maybe. I wondered whether they contain folic acid.

My preparation for the film noir exam consisted of drawing a scene in very heavy, black magic marker. It depicted a man in a barren indoor space. I’d written the words “dark” and “terse” on it. I handed it to a friend and asked him, “This is all I need to know about film noir, right? That it’s dark and terse?” He said yes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A helicopter flew overhead. For some reason I thought it might come down on the edge of a nearby roof, then tumble to the ground. Instead it landed safely on the roof of a tall building. The passengers suddenly appeared on a hillock, running as though they were escaping from something.