My subconscious is a hack, part 1 million

I sent the most recent and I hope last (before copyediting) draft of my book to my editor at 12:10 am then fell asleep and dreamed.

In my dream, I was at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, waiting to go onstage for some kind of a reading event. There were a few people to go still before it was my turn and I was sitting in the front row when I became aware that somehow, without knowing it, I had pooped out a giant turd, which had fallen out of my butt and onto the floor beneath my chair, somehow escaping everyone else’s notice. I reached down and quietly slipped it into my bag. I figured I would sneak to the bathroom and flush it, so I got up (it would be my turn soon, but that was ok, this would only take a second) and went over to the bathroom area, but there was a long line. I began to panic. Then I remembered that you could use the downstairs bathroom if you were reading so I went downstairs, but instead of the congenial large book-sorting room that’s downstairs at Housing Works in reality, in my dream there was a maze of half-built walls and windowed doors. Shadowy figured lurked behind some of the doors. I tried to remember where the bathroom had been and began running towards it — my turn would come soon! I had to get rid of the piece of shit! — but I got hopelessly lost, and the figures behind the doors started moving around, moving closer to the doors, and I knew that if they found me I’d be in trouble. 

Now that I’ve written that all down it seems like I should have titled this “my subconscious is some kind of poop freak weirdo,” but it’s very clear that the poop is the book, right? 

My beach retreat is almost over. There’s one more day, which I’ll spend cleaning and doing laundry and replacing various household items that I used up and ate. At the beginning (last Tuesday) Keith drove me to a Wegman’s the size of several city blocks, where I bought $200/worth of groceries, which I have almost completely eaten. I’m impressed with myself about this. Mostly I cooked myself normal, healthy meals. There was one weird bean improvisation whose leftovers I unrepentantly trashed and one pretty lackluster baked chicken thigh dinner but 90% of the time I was a good host to myself. I am happy to be self-sufficient in this one tiny way. Oh but at one point  I did put yogurt on pasta, let’s not discuss it. 

Other than today, when I dicked around on the Internet on my phone for hours in the morning, I have been disciplined about getting through my revisions. I also took a lot of long, weird, deserted walks through the charming/eerie beach suburb where I’m staying, went to yoga three times at the local studio, and spent several blissful hours checking email and planning Emily Books things at a pretty cafe I was especially grateful to find after having previously done my wifi time in a coffeeshop slightly closer to my digs that had signs saying they would happily pray for you. Yikes! Also the second place brews La Colombe, my favorite. And there’s a vintage/custom jeans store across the street where I ran into the only person I know who lives even slightly near here, which seemed like magic, and I talked to him for probably much too long. As usual it took me about 10 minutes of solo isolated living to become a terrible spaz who has no idea how to interact with other humans. I encountered a broad spectrum of sociableness in my Asbury/Ocean Grove interactions, too, though. Some people seemed just as starved as I likely did, as if I was the only person who’d come into the shop in days (which, possibly, yes.) Others, the Christian coffeeshop owner among them, were downright cold. Maybe they could sense my desperation for chat/distraction. 

I saw several eastern towhees, a hermit thrush, and of course a lot of shorebirds. This morning I saw a seagull eating a piece of styrofoam and made it stop, then had to carry around the trash in my hand til I found a trashcan, much later.

I thought about the Alanis song where she accuses the listener of being petrified of silence, then offers up a few bars of dead air. “Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines, or when you think you’re gonna die?” Like all her songs this is a pretty goofy one. However I did think about all those things. I also thought about my book. It’s bizarrely  short right now. The scenes I’ve cut from it are probably longer than it. A lot of those scenes, especially the ones I’ve worked on over multiple drafts, seem like *things that happened* to me now. I’m glad they’re gone, but it’s odd to have them in my head still, all these fake memories, like dreams. 

The boardwalk in AP is still under construction and I didn’t feel like walking all the way to the one functioning staircase, which is in the middle, so instead I climbed over the railing at one end. The Italian restaurant there has outdoor speakers that blare Classic Rock all day and at just that moment they were playing “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. I was the only one on the whole boardwalk except one distant jogger and one slow-walking couple. I felt like I was in not a dream but a dream sequence, specifically one of Tony’s Atlantic City recurring nightmares. I laughed out loud as I walked off the boardwalk and back towards town while behind me the song’s final exhortation blared: “FEED YOUR HEAD! FEED YOUR HEAD!”

My beach retreat is almost over. There’s one more day, which I’ll spend cleaning and doing laundry and replacing various household items that I used up and ate. At the beginning (last Tuesday) Keith drove me to a Wegman’s the size of several city blocks, where I bought $200/worth of groceries, which I have almost completely eaten. I’m impressed with myself about this. Mostly I cooked myself normal, healthy meals. There was one weird bean improvisation whose leftovers I unrepentantly trashed and one pretty lackluster baked chicken thigh dinner but 90% of the time I was a good host to myself. I am happy to be self-sufficient in this one tiny way. Oh but at one point I did put yogurt on pasta, let’s not discuss it.

Other than today, when I dicked around on the Internet on my phone for hours in the morning, I have been disciplined about getting through my revisions. I also took a lot of long, weird, deserted walks through the charming/eerie beach suburb where I’m staying, went to yoga three times at the local studio, and spent several blissful hours checking email and planning Emily Books things at a pretty cafe I was especially grateful to find after having previously done my wifi time in a coffeeshop slightly closer to my digs that had signs saying they would happily pray for you. Yikes! Also the second place brews La Colombe, my favorite. And there’s a vintage/custom jeans store across the street where I ran into the only person I know who lives even slightly near here, which seemed like magic, and I talked to him for probably much too long. As usual it took me about 10 minutes of solo isolated living to become a terrible spaz who has no idea how to interact with other humans. I encountered a broad spectrum of sociableness in my Asbury/Ocean Grove interactions, too, though. Some people seemed just as starved as I likely did, as if I was the only person who’d come into the shop in days (which, possibly, yes.) Others, the Christian coffeeshop owner among them, were downright cold. Maybe they could sense my desperation for chat/distraction.

I saw several eastern towhees, a hermit thrush, and of course a lot of shorebirds. This morning I saw a seagull eating a piece of styrofoam and made it stop, then had to carry around the trash in my hand til I found a trashcan, much later.

I thought about the Alanis song where she accuses the listener of being petrified of silence, then offers up a few bars of dead air. “Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines, or when you think you’re gonna die?” Like all her songs this is a pretty goofy one. However I did think about all those things. I also thought about my book. It’s bizarrely short right now. The scenes I’ve cut from it are probably longer than it. A lot of those scenes, especially the ones I’ve worked on over multiple drafts, seem like *things that happened* to me now. I’m glad they’re gone, but it’s odd to have them in my head still, all these fake memories, like dreams.

The boardwalk in AP is still under construction and I didn’t feel like walking all the way to the one functioning staircase, which is in the middle, so instead I climbed over the railing at one end. The Italian restaurant there has outdoor speakers that blare Classic Rock all day and at just that moment they were playing “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. I was the only one on the whole boardwalk except one distant jogger and one slow-walking couple. I felt like I was in not a dream but a dream sequence, specifically one of Tony’s Atlantic City recurring nightmares. I laughed out loud as I walked off the boardwalk and back towards town while behind me the song’s final exhortation blared: “FEED YOUR HEAD! FEED YOUR HEAD!”

Today on my walk to work I was listening to We Used To Be Friends, courtesy of Matthew Perpetua’s 2003 Fluxblog mix, and my brain  unearthed a memory that must have taken place circa this song’s release. I was standing outside a bar near the corner of Houston and Avenue A, smoking a cigarette, and so was a jolly Courtney Taylor-Taylor, looking substantially more burnt than he does in this photo but still very rockstarish.  He was wearing white leather pants and I said something about how hard it must be to get stains out of them (?) and he told me that the way to get stains out of white leather, the only way, was to use Chanel Number 5.
This memory has the same fuzzy quality of a remembered dream and also the events I just described have the same “and then my fourth grade teacher told me, brush your washcloth with Tyra Banks’s toothbrush” logic that dreams do.  However I’m fairly certain that this happened, and almost 90% certain that it happened to me. 
I bet there are a lot of other things like this that happened and I just need to listen to the right song in order to know about them. 

Today on my walk to work I was listening to We Used To Be Friends, courtesy of Matthew Perpetua’s 2003 Fluxblog mix, and my brain  unearthed a memory that must have taken place circa this song’s release. I was standing outside a bar near the corner of Houston and Avenue A, smoking a cigarette, and so was a jolly Courtney Taylor-Taylor, looking substantially more burnt than he does in this photo but still very rockstarish.  He was wearing white leather pants and I said something about how hard it must be to get stains out of them (?) and he told me that the way to get stains out of white leather, the only way, was to use Chanel Number 5.

This memory has the same fuzzy quality of a remembered dream and also the events I just described have the same “and then my fourth grade teacher told me, brush your washcloth with Tyra Banks’s toothbrush” logic that dreams do.  However I’m fairly certain that this happened, and almost 90% certain that it happened to me. 

I bet there are a lot of other things like this that happened and I just need to listen to the right song in order to know about them. 

Rich and I watched The Holy Mountain yesterday and the whole time I was thinking (well, “thinking” is probably the wrong word) “Man I am going to have such vivid and horrible druggy eyeball-sucking nightmares from this.” I woke up this morning terrified and clutching the bed; I had been dreaming of working in an office, cleaning and cleaning all the books and papers out of a giant desk.
(Also I have to mention that about five minutes into the movie — I think while Jesus was having the flies cleaned from his dead face by a limbless person, or during a montage of alchemical-symbol color pinwheels — I was like “I follow so many Tumblrs that are like this”)

Rich and I watched The Holy Mountain yesterday and the whole time I was thinking (well, “thinking” is probably the wrong word) “Man I am going to have such vivid and horrible druggy eyeball-sucking nightmares from this.” I woke up this morning terrified and clutching the bed; I had been dreaming of working in an office, cleaning and cleaning all the books and papers out of a giant desk.

(Also I have to mention that about five minutes into the movie — I think while Jesus was having the flies cleaned from his dead face by a limbless person, or during a montage of alchemical-symbol color pinwheels — I was like “I follow so many Tumblrs that are like this”)

southtwelfth
southtwelfth:

A 1992 Polaroid photo of Slant 6, by Jane Hex. From her Flickr stream.

Christina Billotte week is continuing to be so awesome. This photo makes me wish I had been a much cooler 11 year old, like, a proto-Tavi, and that I had been friends with this band or at least had gone to see them.  
Also some variation on options a, b, and c is essentially what I wear every day.

southtwelfth:

A 1992 Polaroid photo of Slant 6, by Jane Hex. From her Flickr stream.

Christina Billotte week is continuing to be so awesome. This photo makes me wish I had been a much cooler 11 year old, like, a proto-Tavi, and that I had been friends with this band or at least had gone to see them.  

Also some variation on options a, b, and c is essentially what I wear every day.