Thursday, July 07, 2005

On the Threshold of Thirty

I am in London and scheduled to meet with a friend’s acquaintance (whom I don’t know). But we have missed our appointment and I leave a note of regret for the person before traveling on.

A picture book scene comes to life. I am a part of it. A 10-year-old Chinese [?] girl, drawn in mother-of-pearl watercolors addresses me out of the crowd.

“When they [she names the boys here] fight, what will you do?” I am on the young contender’s side. She implies, rightly, that they are mismatched in skill.

I show the boy into the center and left him with her. He is wearing a white karate outfit. Also about ten years old.

They start off talking, which I cannot hear. Then a karate sparring match ensues, which seems innocent enough. Suddenly, he’s screaming out in pain. I can only see his backside. I can tell her arm is angled low. Her hand, which is obscured to me, is clutching and twisting something. I wonder if she is practicing one of those ancient Chinese art you always hear about. I am also shocked that a children’s book can be so violent.

The boy is thrown back against the floor. Clearly visible to everyone is a bloody, fist-shaped wound at his crotch. My suspicions are confirmed. The crowd is immoveable.

A second fighter comes forward. He digs his hand into the opening and feels around in there for something. He’s gonna pull something out of there, I just know it.

I’m afraid of what I’ll see so I cover my eyes with my hands. Also, I am ashamed at my own vulgarity for wanting to watch the scene unfold.

“I can’t watch this… I can’t watch this,” I rant to myself. Yet I manage to peek through my fingers. I am just that curious.

I see white cartilage emerge from that boy’s body. It ends up being the one large piece of cartilage that his soul is made up of. During the extraction, the boy dies. No one really notices. We are all so mesmerized by what this white thing will turn out to be.

Other people are on Elliott Street forming book groups to talk about kids’ books. I tell them that my employer has already written a book about kids’ books. Complete silence ensues.

Explaining one’s meager armory—as if showing off. Two parties destined to be joined for a long time showing off our devices.

At the Teen Center, meeting Julia there. I’m looking around at their calendar—I am very impressed.

Missing a bridge. It fell away in the storm. Others couldn’t follow. We (I was with a guy) could barely get across the beaches raging. The color of Pepto-Bismal.


Me and K following Dana Scully and another agent—she disappears into a portal she activated, but no one else can use it while she’s in there. There were aliens advancing.

I was a guest at someone’s house, having Laotian sweet desserts. S+D’s house. S was going to grad school where Trumystic was either [unreadable] or teaching. Mom was visiting there too. I wanted to go to that program too, after reading the poetry that came out of it.

Son of [unreadable] no friends visiting mom and me. Trying to get K to say “Hi’.

“Actually, his lips are all warty,” I tell my brother, “and his mom is asking you to put healing balm on your lips and kiss his.” K refuses (or ignores me)

“May you never know what it is to have no friends,” I curse him.

M and K and me and E and my other friends are in a wooded clearing playing softball, but they soon discover yellow jackets have made a hive out of the ground.

Martin Espada whom Eric’s interviewing / Esteban was in movie—part of a reading. Eric also publishes a rag, which I’m helping to distribute. Payment is gifts, not dollars. JD showed up at the Martin Espada interview. I couldn’t make my way through the crowd to say hi to him though. I was flattered—it was a weeknight.

An alien and Chewbacca getting married. Alien-shaped candies. Ginger was across the street at a poetry thing—she refused to acknowledge me.

RCM and V. He bought a used game, a baseball-Monopoly, except it was really about trying to get to Disneyland. Copyrighted in ’34 or ’67. There was a part of the game instructions we wanted to copy from, but not sure if it will infringe upon the copyright.

I want to see him, though he is with V. And so I am shocked when I hear his voice on my answering machine when I get home. I pick up. He seems to hint at seeing me before he leaves.

“Today,” I say. “Now.” No answer. Pause.

“I’m going back to Burlington tonight,” he says. “Why don’t you follow me up there?”

“But what about V?”

“I told her I was going to see you…”

“She knows?”

“Enough to guess.”

Before all this, I am walking along an unfamiliar street. Actually, I’m new in town and have only just gotten to know that one block. I go a little farther than I do normally and I run into a man I knew back in my old town (Paul C). A tall thin man, ordinary looking. We had actually just been acquaintances. I turn back towards town with him.

“Are the blackberries ripe yet,” he asks me. I look into the brush we are walking along and see dark ripe berries, mulberries. I start picking them into my hand.

“You don’t know what you’re doing. Those aren’t blackberries,” he said. I pop one into my mouth to demonstrate that I know exactly what I’m doing.

I keep picking as we walk back, wishing I had a container, which I conveniently find on the ground. A round plastic food container. I pick it up. It seems as if someone else had been doing the same and left it to come back for it later. The container also held a wrench-type thing and a small can of corn. I filled it with my berries and snapped the lid on it.

Two Latino guys pass us going the opposite way and then promptly turn back to pass us again. They are talking stressfully under their breaths. Paul C guessed that the container was theirs and they were looking for it.

They turn back to talk to us, as I had a container in my hand. I succeeded in discreetly pulling off the paper name labels that were stuck on both sides of the container. It used to belong to Tito somebody. All that was visible now were thin scraps of paper and old glue.

Confronted, we denied everything. One of them took the container in his hands and turned it, but his fury must have blinded him. The shapes of the wrench and the canned corn were clearly visible to me through the glass bottom he supposedly looked through.

“You have to understand. This just happens,” his sister or wife says to console him. “They do this.” As if to say to expect this cultural phenomenon. She might have had a small child with her.

He hands me back the container and dismisses us. Paul C and I walked past them. I hear him resign to the loss. I realize then that they’d just moved there from Mexico to start a new life. I might have just taken all the food they had to eat. I felt bad about it.

No dreams: I pulled an all-nighter reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.

Ken McA + Ann [?] live with another family in the woods. I was driving around for a while trying to find a close enough place to park. The nudists irritate Ken’s wife—I was one of them, but followed the crowd when I put my clothes on.

Lots more dreams with lots more people.


the classy casual way to wear jeans

Digging up astrolomeria; picking blueberries. They are huge—the size of melons. A family: very young girl and brother and a girl my age living in the mountains have a huge garden. They are going blueberry picking. I lag behind, not really included.

Lots more dreams before that. But I can’t remember—involves me and lots of other people, women / mother-types.
I’m falling asleep again… a music video in my head. Macy Gray sort of tune. Oh! Part of my dream last night was reading a passage of a book. Can’t believe I can’t remember it now…

Reminds me of other dreams: deadly seduction by a reptilian thug. Being left there when his posse comes. Reptilian in a quilt. Evil, delicious seduction. I can’t help myself.

I keep falling in and out of sleep and I keep coming across scenes I never consciously knew I had in my brains, but it all seems pretty familiar to me for some reason. I have to get up because otherwise, my eyes close and I am in dreamland again.


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