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Get Out Of My Car And Into My Dreams

Last October I rented a car with Renee for a week from the Fiumicino Airport near Rome that we used to drive through Napoli and along the Amalfi Coast. One night, in and around Nerano, a little silly, we went on a search for the ideal place to park the car and sleep. It was VW Golf, not quite a compact car, and the winding streets were often at a 45 degree angle and would barely fit three rugby players standing shoulder to shoulder. We had to fold the side mirrors and inch our way through many of the alleys. Renee completely trusted my channeling of Mario Andretti and although we didn’t find a new spot to sleep (we had already found a pretty great spot earlier in the evening and this was more adventure for its own sake), we managed to escape the labyrinth of barking dogs and angsty graffiti with only a 2cm scratch on the rear passenger side door. Tiny. Doesn’t even count as damage in the rental contract.

Weh-he-helllll, let me tell you. A few days after returning the car and to Brussels I got an email from the rental company, LOCAUTO (Please let this be a warning to anyone considering renting from them. DO NOT!), that said I owed them almost 700 EUR in damages and fees. Clearly confused, I wrote back, the only way, of course, was through a complaint box on their website. I am a bit tired of relaying this story, but to sum up, they tried to charge me for damages that were already present when I rented the car. The scratch that I returned it with was not even shown on the report. Because I was getting no where with their damned complaint box I turned to my credit card company to investigate. They reversed the charges and I hadn’t heard back from them for a few months. Done and done!

Not done. Last week I received an email from a collection agency in Italy informing me that I now owe 869 EUR for interest and fees. Ha! War. I filled an application for a small claims suit against them on Monday, but decided that since I now had a contact, despite that it was a third party and a collection agency, I would make one last attempt at resolving this before filing. I sent an email explaining my case to the collection agency, encouraged by a friend who had good dialogic experiences with these agencies (albeit in Belgium, and not the mafioso). That was Wednesday morning and I still have not heard back from them two days later.

Now yesterday, while waiting in the office of my unemployment syndicate I was reading an article in the SUN magazine that Renee had left me. It was titled “What Did You Dream Last Night?”. Great interview with dream specialist, Marc Ian Barasch. He speaks about how we need to pay attention to our dreams, that our subconscious is smart and catches things our conscious brain misses. Last night I fell asleep early. Around 11:30 PM. That is my early. I woke up to a dream:

I was returning to my apartment where a friend who was staying at my place(forget who) was packing up and leaving to stay somewhere else. She was afraid because two men had busted in and taken all my books and my computer speakers. They, interestingly, left my computer and everything else, and had left me a desk, which they placed the computer on next to my couch. It seemed they wanted the shock of seeing my wall shelf completely empty, which was actually kind of pleasing to my senses to see. Ha! Well, this friend was certainly rattled and I understood, but I simply knew I had to prepare for their next visit. It was clearly the collection agency trying to bully me.

It was 3:30 AM when I when I woke from this dream. I laid in bed for a few moments. Then I got up, returning with a heavy frying pan, my Bear Grylls Survival knife, and scenes from Deadpool rolling in my head. I think I’ll file that suit on Monday.

Healthy, baby.

Curiously, I am finding a similar pleasure, which I most experience gardening or building a fire, from cooking my meals, eating, and even washing the dishes after, things that were kind of annoying when doing them for myself and part of why I was eating out a lot. But time passes and thoughts drift in like waves and the dishes get done! Productive,  domestically and cognitively.  I also find a good amount of joy from my meal creations, seeing then eating them. I made myself 3 sunny-side up eggs topped with hot sauce, spiced up green beans, and a few pieces of toast spread with Nutella and strawberries. Glass of orange juice. Almost everything bio/organic.

Even better, I got to process a dream that left me a bit heavy hearted. I replayed a crazy experience I recently had. I tossed around my thoughts on god and love, spurred by the Rainer quotes I just posted. I brainstormed on how I could help a friend with some superhero research she needs to do for a gig. Also, I enjoyed the sound and feel of the water rinsing off the soap from the frying pan and my hands. I took in the quiet of my building despite the new stone sidewalk that is being put in outside my door. I noticed how lovely the tangerines look on my table.

Nuclear Pong

When it first starts I see a global version of Pong. Then it when it really gets going in the early 60’s it reminds me of the human/alien communication at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind(coincidentally, or not, I reference it in my last post). There’s a double-time version for the impatient.

Seeing this beautiful and horrific work of art makes it clear that these were not merely tests. More like alpha challenges. Oi.

Essays In Love quotes

Reading Alain de Botton’s book(his first!), Essays In Love. It’s a delightful read with fun story and some decent thoughts on love that feel like he’s discovering them as he’s writing them down, which allows me to take them in easier even if I don’t fully agree. However I sounded in my last post, I haven’t given up on love and its forms. Here are a some from the first half of the book:

“We fall in love in love hoping we won’t find in another what we know is in ourselves, all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise, and stupidity. We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one and decide that everything within it will somehow be free of our faults. We locate inside another persona perfection that eludes us within ourselves, and through our union with the beloved, hope to maintain (against the evidence of all self-knowledge) a precarious faith in our species.”

“The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn’t ring.”

“It is one of the ironies of love that it is easiest confidently to seduce those whom we are least attracted. My feelings for Chloe meant I lost any belief in my own worthiness.”

“On his first date with Chloe: Silence was damning. A silence with an unattractive person implies they are the boring one. a silence with an attractive one immediately renders it certain you are the tedious party.”

“I wasn’t thinking anything cruel while I ran my hands and lips across Chloe’s body, it was simply that Chloe would probably have been disturbed by news that I was thinking at all. Because thought implies judgement, and because we are all paranoid enough to take judgement to be negative, it is constitutionally suspect in the bedroom. Hence the sighing that drowns the sounds of lovers’ thoughts, sighing that confirmsL I am too passionate to be thinking. I kiss, and therefore I do not think – such is the official myth under which lovemaking takes place, the bedroom a unique space in which partners tacitly agree not to remind one another of the awe-inspiring wonder of their nudity.”

“It can seem as though we’ve met them somewhere before, in a previous life, perhaps, or in our dreams.”

“Therefore, in the mature account of love, we should never fall at first glance. We should reserve our leap until we have completed a clear-eyed investigation of the depths and nature of the waters. Only after we have undertaken a thorough exchange of opinions on parenting, politics, art, science, and appropriate snacks for the kitchen should two people ever decide they are ready to love each other. In the mature account of love, it is only when we truly know our partners that love deserves the chance to grow. And yet in the perverse reality of love (love that is born precisely before we know) increased knowledge may be as much a hurdle as an inducement – for it may bring Utopia into dangerous conflict with reality.” 

“It was perhaps a pedantic matter over which to come to such a decision, but shoes are supreme symbols of aesthetic, and hence by extension psychological, compatibility.”


Dark days.

The thing I am coming to accept, now in my mid-thirties, is that I will never be known. Not in the full way that I believed ten years ago was possible. That way where I can present my puss-ugly holes and necklace of dead babies and know that I am still wanted, loved more even. That way where the knower looks at me and sees the complexity, puzzle,  pessimism, and life ‘n shit and says, “Yes, I know you,” and I believe it. Someone hungry for me!  The one I imagine at the fire in the loneliest nights and riding thermals beside me on the brightest days. Please, please, PLEASE!!! Don’t fucking mention anything about a “God-shaped hole!” Or Jesus as my BFF that will never let me down. I haven’t given up on spirituality and all that, but I’ve outgrown imaginary friends.

My ex-wife couldn’t handle my dark WAY before I fell in love with someone else. Then it was impossible. The closest thing I’ve had to a soul mate (whom I love in many ways, but never with eros) left my life without a word of explanation. However, the throbbing hurt it caused and thoughtlessness of it fucked the shit out of any comfort I had from believing at least one person knew me. This hope and the hope I had for Heather and I to someday get to a place of deep knowing? Fuck it. I often find a place of santosha, but it is a dark existence and the light of recognition flits in and out like a shooting star fizzling into the atmosphere.

I am fucking getting tired of looking up.  And if and where I find the god that loves me like my heart needs he/she/they/it will be living in the shit piles.


ps – Don’t worry about me. I’m fine and I don’t want to talk about it.

The Dust off a Dionysian Album

The dirty water in the dirty dishes,
the smelly banana in the smelly trash,
the messy blankets on the unmade bed,
the rolled clothes in the open suitcase, I
lay on the new carpet, I
take off my cap (put it on the cap-shelf), I
create a “Genius playlist,” I
file my 15,000 KRW’s for next time.

The novels are years I wrote in those parallels,
The years are novels I write in these poems in songs.

We middle-agers surprise ourselves in our 8-bit menus,
The levels we have beaten or have beaten us
become tribute to our red, wind-beaten faces.
Our tears dry as they come, the years, novels
that we flip through to find the underlines but never reread
while writing new ones. We edit as we go.

The wildfire is contagious! It eats all and leaves none.
Our beds are barely slept in and our landlords love us.
The air is fresh when we move, but when we stop,
we get slammed by the bus carrying the losers from pageants past,
banners become nooses swinging the wreckage we kicked dirt over.

But the stories come. Oh, there is not enough ink for them!
There is no shelf so strong for the binders of source material
that collect like cars in highway traffic, backing, beeping, busting for attention.
Only we are a space shuttle and have no time for earth-thing(ling)s,
we are artists and we don’t read our own history.
The life we bring is the life we take and the balance is a high wire act that
helps the people forget how miserable they are, or reminds them how miserable they are.

“The shape of the smoke we inhale
fills the fucked ships we sail
that no one else will captain
and no one will again.”

But you’ll not understand if you’ve nothing in your gut.
Eat! Eat our food. Drink our drink.
Mind not the dirt, the germs. We share our dishes!
Let Narcissus bury Narcissus and free your hands;
let those who shelve shelve themselves!