Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Dream of the Two Little Boys

I was in a park, somewhere in New York. I felt like I was waiting for my Mother. I don't know where she was. It was a pretty park. It reminded me of what I would imagine a park in Paris to look like: rows of trees and pretty lamps that had a lacy look to them, painted white. It was getting dark. I was standing there, and there were lots of other people around, walking in a leisurely way, enjoying the evening.

I noticed two little boys playing near me. They looked half-Asian, really cute. They didn't seem to be connected to any of the people around, and a lot of what they were doing looked dangerous(playing near the edge of the sidewalk where it fell away to the river--and in that manner of dreams that makes no sense, there was no railing). I looked around and wondered where their parents were.

They were doing all kinds of wild stuff, running up and down the sidewalk, screaming, yelling, not in a crazy way, but in that way that children who are left unattended will do. Then they somehow got their hands on a skateboard. One of them jumped on the skateboard, and went zipping off down the sidewalk at a surprising speed. He rolled over to the entrance to the subway and disappeared down the stairs.

I ran over to the subway entrance and down the stairs. He was sitting down there at the bottom, crying. There were these women standing around, not really taking much notice of him. I ran down the stairs and picked him up. I understood suddenly that these women were his mother and aunts. For some reason it didn't surprise me that they weren't doing anything to comfort him. It felt like the reason I was there.

I stood there holding him, and I talked to his mother. I said "I wondered why they were playing alone, running around." She didn't say anything, just stood there smiling in this knowing way. I went on "I guess the way I was raised was more strict."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hungry Eyes

A couple gets on the L train.

They get on at one of the more illustrious stops, Lorimer Street or Bedford Avenue. They are both short-ish. He is extremely handsome in a dark and brooding way, but his skin is sallow, unhealthy looking, and his hair is lank, falling into his face. He looks like an aspiring rock star who needs a day frolicking in a sunny meadow. She is blond and tiny. Her face, from what I can see, has this elfin quality that I associate with the women in John Currin's paintings. Her skin, if it were healthier, would be what used to be called 'peaches and cream'. She has a tiny, upturned nose.

**When I say that this couple has unhealthy skin, I'm not talking about acne. I'm talking about looking like they've been shut up in a garret in Williamsburg living out something intense and deep, a la Ingmar Bergman. This is a popular look on the L train.**

So I study them in my surreptitious way.

Have they just had a fight? He, at least, seems in a state of some emotion. Her back is to me; he is facing me. They are sharing a pole, and he is gazing devotedly into her eyes, never stopping for an instant, but keeping his face in hers. His hand, with its long fingers, runs between her shoulder blades and draws her closely to him. After a few minutes of this romance he takes an i-pod out of his bag. He puts one ear-piece in her ear and one in his own. He kisses her. The romance continues.

I don't remember where they get off.

Watching them is almost too much. I get to a point that I can't take it anymore. It isn't that its disgusting-this public display of affection. Its that, for all their seeming affectedness, its almost too beautiful, really, this young love. And me thinking this makes me wonder: am I getting old?

I turn away and look at something else.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Metrocard Dream

I was running up Broad Street in Athens, Georgia. For some reason I had a metrocard in my hand.

Suddenly, in this way that could only happen in a dream, there was this gust of wind which tore the metrocard out of my hand. The metrocard did not fall on the ground. It disappeared completely. Still, frantically, I got on my hands and knees and began searching through the grass at the edge of the sidewalk. There were all of these things that, at first glance, appeared to be metrocards. Each time I would pick one up, it would turn out to be a coupon for a sale or something equally useless. I finally gave up, but still felt frantic about the lost metrocard.

I was with my Father. We were watching something on the television about dreams. There was a burning ship on the screen. I told my Father that my dreams always looked like that. He went 'shhhhhhhhhh' in the manner of someone who doesn't appreciate their TV program being interrupted.

I was in my Aunt Kathy's house, in one of the blue bathrooms upstairs. I had gotten out of the shower and was toweling off. Aunt Kathy came and stood at the door, which was sort of half open, and told me that she still misses my Grandmother terribly. She started crying talking about it. Then she told me that my cousin Logan is drinking again. She said "He came in the other night, and I knew he'd been drinking. But I don't know, I don't even really have the heart to tell him to stop. He's sad about Mama too." Throughout this, I was still toweling off, and was mostly preoccupied with my Aunt not seeing my privates.

I was in front of the Baptist church where my Dad had been the minister. I was talking to some people, I think about the lost metrocard, when my friend Wendy came running up the street. She looked frantic and pale, and her hair was colored blond. She never really said what the matter was.

I had started a new job, in a mental hospital. It was my first day, and I was about to be trained. It was very dim inside, and there were no patients. The woman who was doing my training was older, with a great roll of white hair on her head. She explained that since I didn't know very much, we would start with basic stuff. Later, I was standing in a sort of breezeway. A group of my new co-workers walked by beneath me (I was on a sort of second floor). There was an opening in the bottom of the breezeway, and they called up to me to come down. "You mean jump?" I said. "Yes, jump" they said, like I was being slow.

I was walking in this neighborhood in Atlanta. There were large, fancy houses on each side of the street. On closer inspection, they turned out to be frat and sorority houses (with Greek letters on the porticoes).

Throughout the entire dream, I kept returning to the same stretch of Broad Street, searching through the weeds for the lost metrocard.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Numero Uno

I had a great weekend.

My scrubs, which I had been waiting on for about three days ended up being on the second floor landing. That box had been sitting there a couple of days. I had passed it on my way to the roof.

New York rooftops are a big draw for living here. One may be poor and homeless and unable to afford anything, but the view of Manhattan is always free, yours. The Empire State Building is yours. The Chrysler Building is yours.

Freed up from having to sit around the apartment waiting on the UPS man who wasn't going to come (because he had already come), I took the train on Saturday up to 81st Street. I got off at the Museum of Natural History, crossed Central Park, and got held up in the crowds who were watching a German parade. This was really weird, all these people in Bavarian costumes on floats and on foot, marching bands, a Jagermeister bus (really). I'm still finding my way around, and I ended up taking a really roundabout way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where Yer works. She had told me to come up that day. I spent a couple of hours in the Asian Art section. There is really amazing stuff up there. I especially loved the Cambodian and Indian Art. I definitely want to go back!

Yer and I met Tom in the East Village, and we went to dinner at Tara where our adorable waiter, Charles, was rushing around providing excellent service, and being up front about the fact that he needed a cigarette.

Last night we went to a club where the music was a flashback to the early 2000's rave-era. Of course, Tom and Yer were in heaven. Before that, we had gone to the Phoenix. Nobody got pushed (Sondra). To be honest with you, I don't know where we went after that. Blackouts, woo-hooooooooooooo!

Today we had lunch at this really cute place in Williamsburg called Jimmy's Diner. It was not what I would call heaven for a vegan, but there were options for a light-weight vegetarian. The highlight of the meal was the deep-fried deviled eggs. It sounds disgusting, but it was AMAZING.

We took the train to the City and wandered around looking at extremely cute clothes that we cannot, alas, currently afford (I can't wait to be able to afford nice things!). The discovery of the day was not clothes, but this bead/home store called Beads of Paradise on 17th Street. They've got really lovely things there.

Outside the American Apparel at the Bedford Ave stop in Brooklyn, I sat beside two skinny hipster boys who work in the store. They went to great lengths discussing hand-rolled cigarettes. One of them, who was smoking a Marlboro, claimed that, back when he rolled his cigarettes, he would roll them for people who bummed a cigarette. "They always appreciated it," he said. The other one, who was smoking a rolled cigarette, said that people usually don't want a cigarette when they find out his are rolled.In front of one of the store windows, someone had written the following statement in chalk: "Every time I walk by an American Apparel, I want to break shit." The handwriting was very neat, sort of small.

The manager of the American Apparel (another skinny hipster) was wearing the tightest jeans I've ever seen. He was covered in butch tattoos, but seemed quite prissy as he paced up and down on the sidewalk, trying to get the morning shift covered on his i-phone. He was waving the schedule about in the air.

A very odd couple walked by. The guy was about 5'5, with tacky jewelry and a hairy chest. The girl was about 5'10, with curly blond hair. They both spoke with thick New York accents.
Her, stopping in front of the store: Hey, lets go in here!
Him: What do ya wanna go in there for?
Her, sounding rather indignant: They've got great stuff!
Him, spreading his hands wide: You go. I'm gonna take this stuff to the car (indicating take-out food boxes)
Her, walking past the store: Fine!
Him, still standing there: Go! Enjoy yourself!
Her: Forget it.

They then continued off down the street, so very mismatched and irritated with each other...