Savage Green and Yellow

Today, try telling yourself that humanity is a pleasant race. Listen to your happy music. Try forgetting what you thought yesterday and pretend you just got here. Pretend you didn’t wake up this morning and you’re still dreaming. Touch the people you talk to lightly on the arm and smile as if each one is a creation of your own mind; marvel at your  own versatile imagination.

Have fun. I’ll be at work if you need me.

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Correspondence: 16.12.2015

from: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@email.com>
to: Babe <listentothebabe@email.com>
date: Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 11:07 AM
subject: sympathy pains

Has it been two weeks? Did we agree on once a week? I’m sorry but I’m sure you don’t mind. Really there’s no point in stabbing the river of time with red pins and hoping it will behave.

I had a dream about you. I woke up sweating and scared, but not because I drowned in the end.

On a different night than that one, I woke up after drinking spiced rum and had a terrible headache. I don’t drink spiced rum, I don’t get headaches and I have a low tolerance for physical pain. I lay there believing I would die, like the first time I smoked pot. I thought of you, and wondered how you were able to get anything done at all. After two glasses of Alka-Seltzer and twenty minutes of wishing I had morphine or Vicodine, the headache suddenly disappeared. I felt high, then, and I thought: have I been living like this the whole time? In a state of comparative euphoria?

I can’t believe you read aloud, or had someone read aloud, your last letter. I tried to listen to a similar link under one of your poems, but it didn’t work for me. You are like a phantom now. I hear your voice speaking your thoughts, but I don’t see you. I am afraid to record my voice and afraid to hear what I’ve written read out loud. I am not afraid of ghosts.

I have written nothing. I have read nothing. I work and work. Work is the best, and a certain numbness, a merciful numbness, said DH Lawrence. I stopped reading Thoreau. No time for that, not even on the train, where I have to think about things that I am forgetting. I’ve had Ham on Rye on my desk for three months. I thought having it nearby would facilitate the process of ingesting it. Maybe it has been six months. At least its yellow and blue cover match the white and brown desk.

I realized in a dream that the funniest people exist over an ocean of sadness. The dream was so strange, because I was doing normal things, and there was nothing bizarre about it. I was standing near my couch, feeling like I should die. I think in my dream I had the day off, which was nice for a change, or was it? I was feeling so sad and I thought it was stupid to do, but then I realized that the price of greatness was to be forever floating on a sea of something horrid and gut-wrenching, whether it be sadness, self-loathing, hatred, whatever. I suppose some great artists can sing from a garden of love. I suppose I am wrong. But what I realized in the dream was that if this was the cost of creating great art, I should instead write funny stories about one dimensional people. I should do anything rather than swim in that darkness. I should do anything rather than be this person.

If I am close to assimilating the darkness below, I am also more keenly aware that I, and you, are but matches struck and tossed into the gutter. If I speak of abysses below or above, of mastering or surrendering, perhaps I would do better to shut up and experience my moment.

All the best, forever and ever,

-G

http://listentothebabe.com/2015/12/04/correspondence-04-12-2015/

Abnormally Peaceful Badgers

Yesterday right before I was about to leave work, they asked if I could stick around for another shift. I really did not want to do it at all, even though i knew I had nothing to really do, besides try to write something for three hours, and i really need the money. So I had to take a few deep breaths and then I accepted it. It was fine, and then when I got off work I felt a lot better than I felt the night before, when I just tried and tried to write something. I did end up writing something that night, by the way. It was this weird vignette about a guy whose dad made him build a porch when he was eight years old and he mangled it up so it looked like an MC Escher etching and then later in life he looks at it and almost trips over a family of abnormally peaceful badgers. Sounds more like a dream I had then something I wrote in full consciousness. I dreamt last night that I had taken charge of a diseased leopard in order to get a few free steaks in the mail. Totally worth it.

I was thinking maybe I’ll just have to write really fast and try to finish stories in one go, that way I don’t lose interest in them. Like now I don’t want to write about those goddamn badgers, what the hell was I thinking? Or that road trip I put in ten thousand words on, that shit was fun to read but I don’t know what to say about it now. Guess I’ll just have to push myself.

Richard Feynman in Central Park

I dreamed of a coffeehouse full of toys and couldn’t find a place to return my dirty dishes and when I did they had all become screws and it was necessary to sort them into specific compartments. I dropped them on the floor and a fluffy white dog went to eat them so I picked them up but they multiplied like hydra heads and my wife was waiting outside with arugula in her hair.

Yesterday I went to Central Park for the first time since moving here. My good friend came with me and we stopped at a mini book fair on the way. He bought a book of Japanese Poetry and I wished I could commit to reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I couldn’t commit because here in my apartment sit a small detachment of my army of books, the rest of which I’ve locked in storage on Fulton Street in East New York, and I’ve decided not to move until I’ve read all of them.

Good Friend found a copy of On the Road and handed it to me and I remembered why I haven’t read either Good Omens or Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. It’s because I keep rereading On the Road and Catch 22.

We walked through the park for about half an hour, took some pictures and threw a few loose quarters at a guy playing an Erhu. There were two guys actually, in separate parts of the park, but the first sounded like a train derailment shrouded in sackcloth and ashes.

Then we walked out of the park and I said, “I’m unimpressed.”

Good Friend said he thought it was great but I could tell he thought it was good.

We walked up the west side of the park looking for a bodega to get some stakeout coffee without realizing that we were in the one place in the world least likely to contain a bodega. This fact became apparent after a few blocks and I looked at the map on my phone to find a more likely location.

We were surprised to see that the blue dot indicated we had covered only about one percent of Central Park. Richard Feynman said, “Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deep enough.” Gordon Flanders said, “Walk around dispassionately. Nearly everything is really a waste of time if you go into with the right attitude.”

What I’ve Done Since Last Post (Nothing)

Last night there were just two of us on the bar and there were a thousand thirsty bastards. When it was all over we went out for a drink and a burger. I have rarely had a better time with someone that I thought I wouldn’t have a good time with. Some people really love cocktails, and not just drinking them, like me.

Then I came home and ate and wrote some dumb shit and took a shower and went to bed and had crazy ass dreams. A lot of them. I kept waking up and going back to sleep. Now it’s about one o’clock and I’m eating a bunch of rice and Filipino style “beef steak,” so says the label. GF’s mom made it.

I dreamed the my parents came to the house, they don’t know we’re living together, just out of the blue, as a surprise. And in the dream I thought to myself, ok, shit this is a total dream. It has to be. And it was just my dad and my sister out there. And then I realized it wasn’t a dream at all. And I knew all was fucked. And it took forever for me to finally wake up and realize it was a dream. And then I was like damn I knew it! Phew!

And then we were playing some kind of game where the prizes were magnums of champagne, and it was a drinking game on a huge bus that was driving somewhere, I don’t know where. And I was handing the prizes out but also playing, and then this slick mother fucker got on and started asking if people were making all the profit they wanted to. And he told me just get him something to drink.

Then I was dreaming that I had to take GF’s sister to my grandmother’s because she was living on her on nearby to them but she didn’t know how to take care of herself or eat, and then we spent the night there but I was worried I had left something on at home.

Anyway none of the dreams were very good. That is all.

Thoughts Upon Waking Up (Not Deep)

Just got out of bed it’s about ten AM over here on the East Coast and I straight took off work today out of nowhere. It was probably imprudent of me to tell GF this since all she wants is a day off, having just graduated culinary school, but instead she has been scheduled for every day this week at her job that she worked part time while in school. I just realized this as I woke up from a luxurious sleep. She was good not to say anything about it this morning, she left nicely aside from the usual turning on and off of the lights, and that wasn’t so bad because she used the little light. So that was nice of her. But anyway the point is that I have the whole day off. And the more startling thing is that I have tomorrow off, too, except that I have to go in and “deep clean” at 2:00, which was abruptly decided yesterday around 2 PM.

Ah shit I’ll never have the blog of my dreams, the mad views, if I just write like this all the time, just write whatever comes into my head and call that the end of the day. Last night I dreamt that I had a surge of viewers all the sudden, and they were all swelling on this one post and then they were moving onto other posts and it just came out of nowhere after I wrote about an old person in my family dying of Alzheimer’s. And somehow the stat tracking was so crazy I just threw it over trees and draped it around and stuff. I don’t know, that was crazy. Then I dreamed that my chess playing cousin (who doesn’t play chess and no one in the family does but in the dream we all did) was hit by a car and died. He was arguing with his siblings about the way he should drive when he pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the car and was immediately run over. Bad way to watch someone go, right after an argument. Cars are deadly. Kurt Vonnegut in Man Without a Country says:

Our government is conducting a war against drugs, is it? Let them go after petroleum. Talk about a destructive high! You put some of this stuff in your car and you can go a hundred miles an hour, run over the neighbor’s dog, and tear the atmosphere to smithereens.

The Dead Weather in Cut Like a Buffalo says:

You can hit me if you have to

Whatever makes you happy

You should try to take it easy on me

Cuz I don’t know how to take it

Hoo shit my computer froze up right there thought I was going to lose what I wrote so far. That wouldn’t be such a tragedy I guess it only took me about ten minutes to write all that.

I’m trying to think of what I should do today. I think I should do something like an adult. I should go to the motherfucking bank like an adult! I can’t be funny today so I’m just using other people. Maybe I’ll get some coffee and try again. The coffee at work just tastes like shit and gives me a bad feeling. It’s weird because I don’t really believe that’s true, because I know it’s all just coffee, but every time I drink it I don’t feel good.

The First Paragraph of This Post is Mildly Interesting

What am I thinking about today? The tyranny of time and how to usurp the throne. Perhaps just get rid of all the clocks in the house. If only I didn’t have a job I could just do things whenever I wanted. Or perhaps have one clock with tape over the face of it set to the time that I need to go to work. Is there a way to get rid of the clock on the computer though? I don’t know, but I could set it to the wrong time. No I’d figure out the difference in time soon enough. Maybe just put a piece of tape over that part of the screen.

I’m always worried about how much time is passing and if I’m doing the right thing. If I could just forget about time I could do whatever I want without feeling guilty or whatever.

I was thinking about that for a while. Last night I got pretty drunk and spent some money to celebrate GF’s graduation. Last night I did not sleep well, or rather this morning I didn’t. I guess I went to bed at 2:30 and didn’t wake up at all until 8 or something and then I was in and out and uncomfortable and had really stupid dreams, like one where I was just searching in my bag for my shoes and I just couldn’t find them for what seemed like hours. And then another one with these weird fashionistas riding enormous unicycles down the street and smiling down into our cars and asking if we liked their clothes in a somehow menacing manner.

There are people everywhere sawing shit up and scrubbing shit down and making spring improvements so the street is filled with noise. It’s perfect out there except for that.

We saw these girls in a Volvo convertible waving to everyone and reveling in their lives and saying “Wooo!!!!” They were really annoying.

I want to read more novels.

I feel bad for staying inside when it’s nice out. Up to this point I have spent all day outside though. I got some iced coffee and a sandwich at Cutty’s. Then we ate them in the common.

Now I’m trying to think of something to think about.

I also dreamed that my brother worked at the 7-11.

A Door

I had a dream about a door. It was locked so I broke through with my foot. Then I fell into a room that was populated by other doors, but they weren’t attached to walls. They advanced on me and I knew it was war. I broke one door. Than another and another. Finally one door opened to me. I knew it was a trap so I broke that door, too. I busted the frame and the whole room came down. The ceiling killed the other doors, everything turned to firewood. I laid down on the ground to avoid being crushed along with the doors. But their broken remains kept the ceiling far enough away from the floor to allow me to live in that space for as long as I could. And since I wasn’t hungry I guess I lived forever.

Feeling Sorry for Myself

I’m in a weird place now. I didn’t want to start writing a post because I knew that when I did, time would start passing faster, and it’s almost time for me to leave for work. The new AirBnB guest is supposed to be here about the same time I have to leave for work, too. So I’m not really looking forward to either one of those activities, as usual, even though I don’t know what I’m doing that’s any better than that.

Last night I thought sure I was going to wake up and write something. I got everything in order and sat down to the computer at 10:30. By the time it was 11:30 I had opened up my word processor and I was ready to go. By 12:30 I had written two terrible paragraphs about nothing. So I got up and ate.

I’ve said before that the only times I feel good at home sometimes is when I’m eating something. More instant gratification. I did study for the LSAT for 30 minutes and that felt fine. Didn’t want to do it at first but it became fun by the end. Then I read some of Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now! It’s interesting and I had to stop reading it because I knew time was really going to fly if I got too into it.

And it’s cold as a bitch in this whole house again. I figured I hadn’t turned on the heat up to whatever point it was, so no reason to do it now, with only so much time to go. So now I’m sitting at the desk with my jacket and my shoes and my hat on all ready to walk right out the door. I’ve been like this since more than an hour before I actually have to leave. I don’t know why. I guess I’m scared that I’ll get caught up in something and then won’t have time to get ready to leave or something. I’ll really be screwed if that dude shows up early.

Maybe I’m trying to force myself to write too much and I’m not really having much fun with it. So many things I have to do, or think I have to do, I don’t give myself any time to just not do anything, I guess. I don’t know. Same shit all the time. Maybe I’ll try to memorize some poetry while I’m at work or something. I don’t know. Count to ten in French a bunch. That should be helpful.

There where it is we don’t need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

This morning it was bright outside. I had to take my jacket off as we walked to the train in the sun. The birds were chirping as I sat down to my computer in my house made gray by the curtains and the upholstery. And now I’ve moved to the office, with windows all around, and it’s gray outside now, too. And my feet are cold inside my shoes, still soaked with last night’s sweat.

I guess I’ll never talk to my best friend who went off to the Army again. We aren’t the kind of people who can be friends into true adulthood. My great Aunt died and my dad texted me: “Don’t know if you heard but Aunt Annie passed away. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!” Weird. Last night I had a dream that I was drunk at my parents house and I wrote some kind of journal thing and saved it on a 3.5 inch floppy disk and my mom found it the next morning and was really upset as I helped her unload the groceries from her car. And I had stolen her bag of Domino sugar and cocaine had something to do with that.

Tomorrow I am working a double so that my coworker will cover my shift on Saturday so I can take a bus to Long Island and meet my mother there, and then she’ll drive us back to Delaware. I’ll be there until Tuesday.

I’ve been wanting to get drunk all day, or at least just have one whiskey and ginger, but I keep putting it off for good reasons, just like the heat. We are having wine class before work today, so maybe I can get enough, but no I already know how that story goes. And yesterday I drank a lot of coffee but it was either too much or not enough because it was not making me feel good. I wish I had a flask but I know I’ll never do that. I’m sure they would notice I was drunk by how happy I would be.

We are set to make 500 dollars from AirBnB for the month of May. So far no one has noticed anything and we’ve had four or five sets of guests come. We have a pretty full April, too. I guess we’ve made about 350 dollars including this guy coming today for March. So that’s good. We are going to need a lot of money for our Eurotrip. GF keeps thinking we should stay for longer. I don’t know, shit, people do it but they are rich or have no debts I don’t know. Damn sure can’t throw it all on the 3,000 dollar credit card I have with an interest rate of 22 percent and already 2,000 dollars used up on that bitch!

I guess I’m about the laziest person I know, in a way. I don’t know how to live without instant gratification all the time. I don’t know how to live with a bad feeling in my heart. I don’t know how to struggle through a day gracefully. I don’t know how everyone shows up to work and acts like they do.

For a while there, it seemed like I had some perspective. I was reading the news and history and seeing myself as part of a bigger picture, instead of just self-analyzing and obsessing with myself and all that. How can I get that back? Guess I should read the news and history again.

Ah well. There goes a half an hour. Better spent than the three hours before it anyway.

Strangely Bejeweled Horses

Last night I had a lot of dreams. I’m sure it had to do with that bad mixture.

I dreamed that my dad was taking me to this beautiful place where his friend worked. And we got there and he was like, “Oh forgot to mention there’s a huge alligator here that ate this woman who was in a boat just like this one. It probably won’t go for us. Of course that’s probably what that woman said right before the alligator ate her.”

And we saw the alligator and the beautiful scenery and the chomped up boat was near the shore next to a playground. I thought sure the alligator was going to eat us. I steered the boat to shore and we had to scramble up the broken canoe to get to shore, and my dad was out quickly without a care in the world, and I could feel the alligator coming for me as I crawled up the wreck, and I was still out, and I had that dream sensation that I could not move quickly, and I put my hands on the shore which had suddenly taken on the properties of a swimming pool and I pushed with all my might to get out of that water.

And then we were in the house and we had the alligator inside the house. I was thinking about the death roll that alligators do, or is that crocodiles? It didn’t matter at the time. I thought about why I was afraid of the alligator. Was I so scared to die? Or of the pain?

Anyway there was an alligator in the house and I got a baseball bat, the one that I keep next to my bed, and I was going to hand it to my dad and go take a shower, when I heard the door knob rattle. And the alligator was right in front of the door, staring at it like a dog, and it opened and the alligator growled like a dog. I ran over with the bat and again I felt the dreamy sensation that I couldn’t move my limbs. The alligator lunged for me like a dog, hopping up and snapping it’s teeth. It grew smaller and I watched it jumping up to bite me and I tried to maneuver the bat to beat it down. I finally got a good shot in and hit it right on the head. But nothing was accomplished by it and I woke up scared.

I went to the bathroom and in the dark I imagined a pair of yellow eyes. I realized that I’m scared of animals getting in the house and eating me. I know all animals would eat me if they got the chance. I thought maybe there would be python in the toilet or a wolf in the dining room or some such thing.

I went back to bed uneasily and dreamed about squirrels evolving into strangely bejeweled horses.