Going to the chapel

10 09 2017

I was supposed to get married last night. Or early this morning. Or both, really.

This happens every so often: I am in some sort of wedding venue about to wed a man I barely know.

Last night, he was blond and nice and I don’t know even know if bridal-me knew his name. I think I knew the bridesmaids—in one version, the three of them were wearing not-entirely-awful aubergine dresses, and we acted like we knew each other—but I also remember wondering whether they were friends or family or why they were my bridesmaids. At one point they were stepping on my very long train.

In both versions the wedding was being held in some kind of funky mansion/old hall with 17 chapels, with many weddings happening all at once. It was an amazing place, and it was all quite festive.

Also, in both versions, I thought Why the hell am I getting married? I mean, the groom (younger than me, I think) seemed like a perfectly decent guy, but we hadn’t know each other very long and I felt nothing in particular for him. In one version I actually made it into the chapel and was about to head down the aisle, but in the other I (and/or bridesmaids and/or friends and family) were rushing to find the right chapel, thinking we’re late, but not. At one point in one of the versions I recall telling a friend I really shouldn’t be getting married and she cheerfully agreed, but nothing came of it. I also thought I should call this off; isn’t it too late to call this off? Then again, I also thought, Well, let’s see what happens. Oh, and yet yet again, I thought, this is all just a dream so it doesn’t matter what happens because when I wake up I’ll be single.

Also, in both versions, my hair was a disaster.

Now, when I was younger I thought—assumed—I’d get married. As a dress-hating pre-adolescent I announced that I would get married in jeans, a jean jacket, and a jeans hat. Yes, I left that particular fixation behind, but also, at some point probably in my twenties, stopped assuming I’d get married, then stopped wanting it.

Do I want to get married? In the abstract, no, which, given that my relationships never lasted long enough to advance much beyond the theoretical, meant that that abstraction reigned. But what if I met someone who was not abstract, with whom I did manage to maintain a relationship long enough for it to become real, for us to say, Hey, maybe. . . ?

I dunno. I doubt it. Then again, Hey, maybe. . . .

In the meantime, I guess I’ll keep having this nocturnal ceremonies with grooms (thus far, they’ve all been men, but that could change) I barely know, wearing gowns I’d never choose, always simultaneously late and on-time, the perpetual bride-to-be.

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Though the dawn may be coming soon

29 09 2013

Second-sleep dreams are nightmares.

It is entirely possible, of course, that my main sleep dreams are nightmares as well, but when I’ve been woken from an unbroken sleep, it’s usually out of dreams or nothing at all.

Sometimes there are nightmares, but these are “classic” nightmares, vivid and sharp-edges and with a storyline all their own. They can be terrifying, so much so the nightmares themselves wake me up, but they are clearly of the sleep-world, not that of the world awake.

Second-sleep dreams, though, they’re something else. Fuzzy and shot through with bits from real life, they are all anxiety, shifting and off-kilter. I don’t know if it’s because, in that second sleep, I don’t go fully under, such that the gears of the REM sleep slip and freeze up and tear, pinning me into a narrative which is neither fully here nor there.

These dreams tend to be of two types: One, I’m moving, and haven’t packed or haven’t ordered the truck, and possibly in the midst of this I think, Why am I moving? I don’t want to leave. The plot of the second type varies considerably (yesterday morning, I was in a high school classroom, and then at a party in the home of a bad ex-boss, and then it was as if I lived there and needed to pack to leave and, oh, yes, at some point I was naked, although a kind man—rabbi? priest?—tactfully turned away as I slid on a shirt), but at some point in the dream I am unable to see clearly and/or to walk without falling over. I keep rubbing my eyes, but everything is blurry or sliced into mis-aligned ribbons, a discombobulation magnified by a dizziness which sends me sideways. (Other, less-common recurring types: at the airport without a ticket/passport/luggage/time; having to take an exam after not attending class the entire semester; om stage and not knowing how to play my instrument/my lines/what play I’m in.)

Unpleasant, all around.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I tend to see dreams as a kind of venting off of whatever is going on in my life, perhaps mingled with bits from movies or t.v. (e.g., zombie nightmares); these second-sleep dreams, coming after a near-complete night’s sleep, seem to pull even more from immediate events. I had had a conversation about that bad boss, for example, on Friday, so her commandeering a portion of that dread-narrative is unsurprising.

Still, there are certain, ah, recurring themes in these second-sleep dreams. One concerns how well I fit into my life: Am I settled here? Can I make my life here, or will at some point will I have to go? Is there anyplace for me? The second is a kind of panic of loss of sight, of sense: I know I can see; why can’t I see? If I could just. . . get clear. And of the minor type dreams: timing and forgetting and performance. Anxieties, all.

I doubt I am unique in either the peculiarity of second-sleep dreams  or these anxieties, though I’d guess that the moving and blurred eyes bits are culled from my life: I have moved a lot, and I have problems with my eyes. A pianist or surgeon’s hands may go numb, a mechanic might forget how this moves with that, a father’s son might disappear, the ad exec’s computer crashes before the presentation—all what we rely upon and worry over refracted through a broken unconsciousness.





And they were turning into butterflies

11 06 2013

1. Politics is anti-utopian; utopia is anti-politics.

We spent this evening’s class going over Bernard Crick’s “A defence of politics against technology” and talking about scientism and technocracy and George Packer’s May 27th New Yorker piece on Silicon Valley and the dream of the frictionless and I, as ever, joined Crick in defending politics against against the plans of the smooth and predictable, against that frictionless dream of techno-utopia.

What would we do, a student asked? I noted we should be so lucky to have such problems as utopia, then shrugged and quoted David Byrne that Heaven is a place. . . where nothing ever happens and let it hang as we packed to leave.

I am political, not utopian.

2. Dreams of utopia are lovely and heartbreaking in ways dreams of politics never will be.

Once home I listened to Jian Ghomeshi’s wonderfully strange and spiky interview with the wonderfully strange and spiky Joni Mitchell as I played spider solitaire on my computer. In the intro to the segment on Mitchell’s recollection of missing Woodstuck, Ghomeshi played her slow, thoughtful lament on what might have been.

And sitting here alone I paused in my solitaire as my throat closed and eyes teared as she sidled her way through the opening lyrics.

What was that? Why did this happen? How could that song do that to me?

Mitchell noted that had she actually gone to Woodstock she couldn’t have written the song, that the bullshit and backbiting of what really was would have torn up an undreamt garden.

I am anti-utopian because utopias are not possible; if I thought they were possible, would I be utopian? Could we really have a dreamt-of garden?

. . . and thus the lovely heartbreak.





Qu’est que c’est

24 04 2013

So I dreamed last night that T.’s very laid back dad was a homicidal maniac who chopped up her mom and was now trying to kill us.

Huh.

At least I saw a number of old friends in that dream.

And had a Snickers bar.





Then I’m going to break it till it falls apart

31 07 2012

Crazy dreams, man.

We all have crazy dreams sometimes, but I have this thing about not waking up before I think I should wake up; thus, if something wakes me up at, say, 8:30 on a Saturday morning, there is no way I’ll think, Oh, I’m awake now, a little early, but that’s okay.

No. What I will think is, That is too goddamned early for a weekend morning, and will roll over and go back to sleep for another hour or so.

When that happens, when my second sleep lasts an hour or so or less, I have crazy dreams. Sure, I probably have crazy dreams in my regular sleep that I don’t remember because, duh, asleep, but these second-sleep dreams tend toward surrealism in a way my other dreams do not. They seem as if they might actually be happening, but there’s something. . . off about them; it’s as if the dream doesn’t have the time to accelerate into full-on unreal, and so gets stuck in this half-world of the weirdly real.

Disclaimer: I don’t pay much attention to my dreams beyond their entertainment value. I see dreams as a kind of vent for everything I’ve accumulated over the day, nothing more.

Anyway, this morning I woke around 6:30, a half hour before my alarm would go off; as per usual, I saw no reason not to eke out a few more moments of unconsciousness.

Which is how I found myself in the street on an office chair whooping around desks and chairs and flinging papers about and singing Echo & the Bunnymen as office workers around me danced and sang.

No, I don’t understand it either.





Out of the corner of my eye

10 06 2009

I saw Chelsea on the train today.

There she was, sleeping on a towel in that corner near the end of the car with FatCat, when she woke and stretched and sauntered over to me.

What? There is no corner near the end of the car? Ah.

Did I mention I had been dozing? And that in non-dreamland she would have hated the lurch and screech of the train?

It was good seeing her, though.