Thursday, October 13, 2022

Toward the end of the party my foot began to bleed. The cut must have come from stepping on glass. It didn’t seem too bad. A few crimson streaks on the bathroom floor. I tried to wipe them all with toilet paper but I couldn’t quite do it. It was an indoor-outside party. Someone playfully jumped on my back and hung on around my neck for a while. I bounced up and down like you would for a little kid. I didn’t know this person. Someone else complained that they’d bought a new “spec version” of a MacBook. It was alright except it kept playing country music and it was driving them mad. “No fucking way!” I exclaimed. “There has got to be a setting for that!”

Sunday, August 28, 2022

I went to a concert on the afternoon of a workday but my boss was there too so it seemed OK. It was a pop act in a big coliseum, a female star. I sat in a great section that had been reserved by the agency. At intermission a group of New Orleans all stars took the stage, led by Dr. John. He launched into a slow “Friend of the Devil” with a shuffling New Orleans beat. It was remarkable how well suited the song was to it. There was another musician acting as the emcee and lead singer but before the first verse he walked into the crowd asking for volunteers to sing it. I wanted to but hesitated a moment. What if I couldn’t remember the words? I thought them through in my mind, I lit out of Reno, everything. But by then he’d chosen someone right beside me. I regretted not being more confident. The person did a so-so job, I was sure I would’ve done better. Then the emcee sang a great, powerful gospel tune.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

S., J., and I traveled back in time to see a Grateful Dead show I had gone to as a teenager. As we entered the auditorium I knew my younger self was there somewhere sitting with my friend Bill. I worried that if I encountered myself my entire life would change, Back to the Future style, and Jackie might not be born. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

I had surgery for some reason. It was a success but an unexpected outcome was that it made me ambidextrous. The doctor performed a sort of strength test on my arms and was dubious, but I felt it. I returned to the surgical theater, thinking I was meant to stay there. A woman was having a procedure that involved an IV connection to a dead baby, possibly her unborn fœtus. I was suddenly aware of how inappropriate it was for me to be there. I tried to exit but got stuck in a tangle of cables and stands set up for filming the event.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

We were supposed to play at a big outdoor party. It was a familiar crowd of friends and rowdy types. There were lots of bikers. One of them, a woman, passed around a big glass vial of coke. I snorted from it and knew right away I took too much. I pinched my nose and inhaled so the excess wouldn’t run out my nostril. I got up and walked around. Everyone in the band was high too. Eventually it was decided we wouldn’t play after all. Some vague technical issue. We all accepted it at first, maybe even were relieved. But then it seemed stupid. We should play after all. We set up our equipment. I had a lot of trouble making sure all of the strings of my guitar were fastened around the cylinders of the tuning pegs. Finally we were ready. It was 3 a.m. But there was still a crowd gathered around us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Two train stations, equidistant from where I stood. I walked to the one closest to my destination, at least I thought. The train was coming in and I had to run. No time to buy a ticket in the station. I got onboard and looked for a ticket machine. There was a problem of course. I didn’t have the right change, or I wasn’t allowed to buy one after the train started, or something.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

I was under observation at a medical facility. I had possibly emerged from anesthesia. The doctor was asking me things but he looked skeptical. Something about me was off. I felt it, too. It occurred to me that what I was really feeling was what it’s like to be asleep and dreaming.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mom was driving us home from somewhere. Dad was there too I think. We had to get on I-84, through Hartford. We got lost among the city streets. She was pretty sure one of them led east, back to the highway, but I wasn’t. We unfolded a map and looked. We were on foot now. I looked around to get our bearings. We were in an open plaza with a monument in the middle. There was a blanket of snow. This is the state capitol, I realized, so it shouldn’t be hard to find on the map. There it was right in the middle. We should know where to go from here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

I had a dream we were looking to buy a new house. A proper house in the suburbs or the country. One we looked at was nice, lots of wood everywhere. A vintage stereo system built into the sitting room cabinet. It was high up on a hill in the woods and had spectacular views of a lake. We were visiting at night and you could see lights down there by the water. But the kitchen was half submerged, the carpet wet and just floating where the floor fell away.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

I was wandering Manhattan looking for something to do. At the same time I remembered days when I’d go alone to a park, maybe Washington Square, and get caught up in a group of people who’d sort of adopt me and let me hang out. I wondered if I was imposing. Then it happened again and now I was upstairs in someone’s apartment for a party. It was a pretty big crowd of hip young people. I sat on the end of a couch drinking a beer. Suddenly I perceived a terrible commotion beside me. I got up reluctantly and looked back to find a man smashing through the dividing wall between the couch and the kitchen with a sledgehammer, inches from where my head had been. I could see now that there were two living spaces here, and the other was occupied by malevolent sadists. They had a deep, doubtless hatred for us in our space. They wanted to mock us, bully us, do us harm. A band began to play. One of the people who lived on my side of the apartment told us to try to ignore them, relax, get into the music. I walked around the space with others from my group. “There’s safety in numbers,” someone said. It was a brave act of defiance to continue the party.  Every time we passed by the other group we were taunted, shoved. One of them came up to me and gave me one of my own credit cards to show how easy it had been to pickpocket me. I felt around for my wallet. I was pretty sure that’s all he took and he’d just wanted to scare me. Finally I couldn’t stand it any more. I went to get my coat. I couldn’t get to the door without passing near the evil ones. I hoped they wouldn’t notice me, wouldn’t keep me from leaving. I managed to slip away. I walked through the streets of Greenwich Village, not knowing where I was going, looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t followed. I felt my phone in the pocket of my coat and was relieved it was still there. Did I have my sunglasses? I pulled them out and they were actually just an old pair of readers, bent and twisted like they’d been partially melted. Then I took out my phone and saw that it was someone else’s phone. The home screen indicated the time in Chicago. I tried to imagine how I’d explain all this to S. And then I woke up, startled and relieved that it had only been a dream.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Crossing a wide commercial road, carrying things, to get to the parking lot of a gas station. From there I (we?) drove an SUV to an underground lair in the mountains where men drank and gambled. It was supposed to be some kind of event.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

I was at a high school reunion, an event outdoors. Things had proceeded normally. Innocuous chats with long-ago friends and acquaintances. Then a group of men gathered at the far end. They were singing a song in honor of a friend who had died, a fraternity brother in college, not from our school, and weeping. The emotions were raw, as though this had only happened recently. The rest of us observed respectfully, at a remove. I felt clueless and out of it for not being aware of this tragedy. Everyone else seemed to be in the know. Apparently the man had died at a party, maybe similar to this one. And yet that party had continued after. This fact accentuated the sorrow somehow. Still they sang, and they wept, evoking his life, his personality. We were indoors now, a large living space. I was opening a fridge to get a beer when one of the men, P. M., passed by. I said, “How do you feel?” I thought this was appropriately sensitive. But he replied indignantly: “Well not that good, right?”

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

I was squeezed into the back of a small car, sitting in the middle. S’s cousin M. was driving. We were all going somewhere we’d gone before, with him driving before. The surroundings grew bizarre. People sat in the middle of the street and you had to zigzag to get by them. It was territory occupied by the politically hostile. They were clamoring, taunting. I worried we might not get through. M. understeered a slow corner and crashed into a pylon or abutment, but he was able to back out and keep going. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

We were setting up to play in a kind of cabin we’d rented on the grounds of a park. We charged people two bucks, which didn’t seem like much. I calculated we’d make about a hundred dollars. As we were about to go on I realized I needed to take a piss. I wandered out, looking for a grove of trees. J. T. had done the same. The park was crowded and I worried about getting caught. And I worried about Covid.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

I was invited to record some music for a tech startup in Russia, in St. Petersburg. I took a train, with my guitar. I imagined it would be a long ride, overnight maybe, but suddenly we were there. I saw my contact from the Russian company through his office window. I hurried off at the stop. When I arrived I told everyone who I was and they were surprised and delighted I had made it. But I’d forgotten my guitar. We discussed how I might retrieve it but there was no way. It had to be halfway across Russia now. We still thought there’d be a way to record something, so we started planning to.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

There was something about work. Some controversy over my edit of a page or two of copy. Then a gathering with friends in which climate change was discussed. It was clear we were completely fucked. I observed several strange creatures, bandaid-shaped, writhing on a desk. Later we were in some underground complex with rooms and businesses. One of them was a head shop. I pointed it out to J. K. “In case you need some papers.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

There was a commotion outside the window at work. Everyone rushed over to look. One man chased another on a nearby rooftop. Was there going to be a fight, a murder? The pursuer threw something at the other’s back that produced a puff of smoke. The targeted man turned around and they seemed to be having words. Then he climbed onto our window somehow, and began to wash it. There was a pool of water ten feet or so below him that extended between all the neighboring buildings. In it were several horses. Somehow it was clear that his intention was to remain on the window until a horse leapt up onto his back. Why I don’t know. Soon enough one did, and stayed there a few moments, its front legs wrapped around the man’s shoulders. Then the horse fell backwards into the water with a spectacular splash. It seemed to be alright.