Dream, 6/30

Dream:

A convention of notes and pamphlets. I meander the aisles and eye the vendors tables. A young woman approaches me, asks for my participation. Not now but soon, and it’s going to happen in Europe, so I say sure and sign the form. Soon I am home buying a plane ticket to Berlin.

The airport is grand and silent with sepia light warming the windows. I enter the plane and rest into a long chair at the window. The seating is sparse, each row only hosting two seats, one at each side of the cabin. Takeoff is smooth and the flight itself passes imperceptibly.

After landing I am taken by car to the city and then the city center. Berlin in name only, the city has a strong but approximate feel to the many familiar European streets which open into broad public squares. The roads are cobblestone and effulgent, buildings soft beneath an overcast and embering sky. There are blue ads for some business or bank posted about. I find my residence by following instructions given from the woman, open a steel door revealing a cluttered kitchen, dark and musty with a bunk bed in the center of it. Dust particles fall softly through slender crevaces of light. beyond the kitchen a hallway with several doors before widening out at the far end to a proper bedroom. The whole thing reminds me of the railroad apartments you see in Brooklyn. There are women, several of them, who emerge from the doorways. They’re here for the same reason i’m here, and i’m gripped by the sudden realization I didn’t tell my wife why I was coming here, or how it came about. I simply booked the trip, and left her in America.

This memory of my wife then collided with an insidious uncertainty as to why I am even here…Did I intend to participate? Did I fall in love with the young woman? It’s difficult to sense any knowing beyond the destructive threat I suddenly posed to my marriages trust. Even if she never discovers why I came here, would it eventually get around to her? Or would she continue on, tenderly, and never speak of it?

The women in the hallway direct me to the bunk beds in the kitchen. This is where I am to sleep. There are clothes and cooking items sprawled out on the mattress, so I push them aside and find rest rather quickly.

I wake and am set on heading to the convention. The hall is the same structure as the one at the beginning of my dream. The same young woman is there, and she is speaking with the other ones from the residence. We discuss something I can’t hear or understand. I am asked again to sign.

I wake. In the deep blue morning bathroom the threat persists. I find sleep again, later, after reaching out across the bed to her, the calm washing over everything in silent waves.

Dream, 6/28

Dream:

Hurrying up the sidewalk I slam into a wide man wearing a starched shirt with red and grey stripes, on the phone silently facing the peripheral roadway. My body check startles him and as I continue onward through the crowd, I hear my name from a voice that can only be my fathers voice. I spin around smirking defensively and flip the man off, who as it turns out has my fathers face. He’s there in his starched shirt tucked into a hideous pair of slacks floating above an oxblood loafer. He raises up, his eyes sad and buried into deep black sockets, staring eagerly and meekly towards me. We face each other. I drop my fingers and run to hug him and call him dad. My son, he says, stinking like red meat and sleeping pills. I hold him there for a moment, squished into his widening flesh covered in shirt and offer absent love drowned in wilted distance.

I carry with me a square tray made of iron with two shallow flat surfaces, covered in yellow grime. He gave it to me to clean. It smells like his breath and feels like soap dipped in oil. I walk up a hill between rows of black fences in an arid landscape. The fences separate me from cages, each cage holding tall, strong men that glint like chrome. They are shirtless and muscular, men of every culture and history imprisoned behind the cages, they halt to notice me as I walk diligently past. I come to a long perpendicular line of black fence, and settle myself down with the iron tray balanced on my knees. There, I polish the tray with a stained rag and steel wool, removing first the caked layers of grime and oil from the tray, then the bits of black that lingered along the grooves and piping. It takes some time but soon it is cleared enough and even shines a bit when hoisted up. The sun bears down overhead, and I am to bring the tray back to my father.

I hear him still as I wake, calling my name, and that face he made like a beaten dog. The tray never made it back to him in the dream. He waits, no doubt, until then.

OKNOTOK

Hey. Radiohead notified me today via Spotify that I should check out the newly minted OK COMPUTER Remaster. Naturally I hastily tapped OK and as I stumbled onto the sidewalk for a quick mornings erranding the opening riff from AIRBAG came to pass and I was swinging my arms down the street to the simple refrain ‘In an interstellar buuuuuuurrrrst I am back to save the uuuuuuniverrrrrrrrssse.’ There I was, walking along a sun dappled path dancing with myself. Other people must have seen me a kind of hip-hop enthusiast, but I swear i’m not that guy: I’m simply getting older, and while I take opportunities to not be set in my ways about culture, the stuff from back then is still all over me, grafted and hardening with each step further from childhood. Surely OK COMPUTER is one of the great rock records of the 1990s, and i’ll double down and say it carved a few deep striations into my pretty little brain.

Thom Yorke always sang for me. He embodied with ferocity many emotions of my more malleable years: Anger, Fear, Paranoia, Alienation — yes, each come with capital letters for effect — and Disappointment, which was probably the strongest one of the bunch. The rest are easy to sense, easy to feel as a teenager. To hate ones family, fear adults and adulthood, and to willfully separate myself from everyone most of the time became habit, and then ritual, and then skill, and I delighted in constructing these containment cells. But disappointment was the most insidious and definitely complex emotion at work, and I first felt its vibration very early in my life, when I was refused a Hannukah gift by my mother as punishment for bad behavior. Upon the realization that if I sat down to draw her a card apologizing for my actions, I could engage in a transaction with my mother whereby I would trade the folded paper apology for the gift. When I saw her face stare into the card I scribbled out, tenderly and moved, march upstairs then return to hand me my gift, shiny and ready to be opened, I knew what I had done. I felt nothing during the transfer of power. Life’s moments of compassion and family whittled its importance down to mere transactional gratification, my first and hardest singe of disappointment. The foundation this laid grew into disconnection, or, rather, misconnection throughout my attempts to have childhood friends. The ugliness of disappointment is its overwhelming sense of existing unfulfilled by activities outside of the self. It is the precursor to the more visceral and victimy emotions of Anger, Fear, Alienation… So when Thom Yorke sings to me of his disappointment with the world around him, I sing along.

‘One day i am gonna grow wings / a chemical reaction / hysterical and useless’ rises and falls at Let Downs crescendo, the hallucinatory daydream of metamorphoses into something extraordinary is immediately torn by the knowing of its waste and active futility, an acquiescence paramount to the album, and rang horribly true for me back in 1997. I listened to nothing but this record for about six straight months. Yeah, nothing else at all. I dug deep into its every pop and rustle, its imperfections — the drum beat at the end of Karma Police!? — and its cerebral majesty. It was the first record I cried to, and I never really tightened the valve enough, so sometimes I still do. It’s a hard thing to admit something can still hold such a terrible power over you, but it’s been grafted to me long enough that whenever I listen, I am thrust into that space and time again violently, and instantly. It was throttling to hear it again this morning, my cheeks and jaws still tight from the pain of holding back the need to sing out loud, to dance and swing to its pulsating hymn. If music can still take possession of us like this, what else is there to live for?

Best/Derek

Hello

So here’s the thing about me and blogging: i’ve tried a couple a times in the past to make fetch happen, and while I swear this time it aint fetch thats happening, something altogether similar instead will. I guess I came to the conclusion that time is not in the cards, so I sold them all – most of them, actually – and reconfigured a chunk of bandwidth back to what I think is better for me. This site you are now on will be updated frequently with shit i’m working on, sorting through, or with any luck will have mostly abandoned.

This big push came about due to dreams i’ve been having, as well as a waning interest in competitive gaming due to a lack of time I had to allocate, but moreso because of the void it carved out in me as time wore on. I leave it – for now – in a wake of wonderous community and a fucking expensive box of casual cards. No, man, it was the dreams that did it, the dreams!! My Subconscious is a lady on the water staring back at me, throwing thoughts to absorb and I do absorb them, if unwillingly. My cinema of dreams is burgeoning and business is good.

Poems, pictures, stories, reporting – mostly on travel – should be expected. I say should because, let’s face facts people, this is what I came here to do, not what will be done. I like writing in the subway and in the mornings, both of which are happening presently.

Anyway, watch this space. There’s more coming and i’d love it if you were here with me. Best/Derek