09 March 2011

9 hours

  • Hot air balloon mishap

  • Freefalling and looking through a bag for instructions on how to land
  • A play w/ 3 new characters related to The Talented Mr Ripley
  • A dead kitten on the sidewalk
  • The bus is threatening to leave and I can’t find my case
  • A man helps me down the awkward steps of the bus
  • Remembering that I forgot my travel case on the bus
  • A hidden stash of notes and clean clothes in the slotted drawers of my caravan
  • Disco vomiting up a pile of dry cat food
  • Unable to see the time on our mobiles
  • Asking why electronics never work in dreams
  • Combing giant nit eggs out of the baby’s hair
  • A cloaked figure, like an Orc with long metal gloves, on a deserted road at 6AM
  • It’s death up the road and I can’t shake him
  • It’s 9AM and I’m going to be late for work
  • It’s 8AM and I’m going to be late for work
  • It’s 8AM and I ask Bruce to call me a taxi so I won’t be late for work
  • The shower is broken and the bathroom is massive
  • There’s nothing to wear; the drawers are full of baby clothes

03 March 2011

Mosh pit of rubbish

It’s funny how something you really want to say in the morning can become irrelevant by lunch. I know you’re supposed to be lucid and inspired during the earlier hours, but that’s the time I’m more likely to come up with a phrase like “Mosh pit of flowers” and then share it earnestly with others. If you want to feel like you’re getting anywhere, with documentation and whatever else, please don’t waste your inspiration on describing what tulips do on your way to work.

I’ve been eating lunch at my desk against my better judgment, so that I have more time to bash these out, but instead I have interested parties staring over my shoulder because they assume that I’m still working. And then I hope they’re short-sighted and can’t easily read text at 30%. I certainly can’t. Also, I have one ear to the office and suspect that they are right at this very moment having an impromptu web meeting without me, which cannot happen. Just a second.

Nope, it’s 'hideous stuff,' apparently. So where was I?

Oh yes, I was going to tell you about the little girl I saw emerging from the station; this singular, sensational figure who moved steadily against the grain of early morning commuters rushing in to catch their train to London. I wanted to stop her and say, “Wait! Don’t do a single thing more, because I am going to make you very, very famous.” Except, of course, I’m nobody, and know nobody who is anybody who is making movies in need of child stars. Not as far as I know, anyway.

Then I became obsessed with why she was coming into Hitchin at that strange hour on her own, when it’s most common to see children commuting in groups, closer to the time when school begins. I started to imagine that she was being stalked online by a sexual predator, and that she was on her way to meet him on the pretext of him being a child himself. And I took note of the time (8.07AM) and the date (3.03.11), and then wondered if there was something inherently creepy in that. So of course I came straight to you with the information. Maybe she was on her way to an audition.

I am going to see Deerhunter in 28 days and I’m very excited about this still. Do you remember how, when I first moved to the UK, I bought tickets to see The Sea and Cake on my birthday and then forgot about the show by the time it came around? And they haven’t played in London since? Yeah, that isn’t ever happening again.

02 March 2011

Girl I see on the train

Now might be a good time to tell you about this girl I see on the train every morning. I’ve been wanting to write about her for ages, because I find her intriguing in a way that I can’t put my finger on, at least off-paper.

The first time I saw her, I thought she might be drugged. Her head rested against the window, and her face mimicked an expression of sleep (glazed, narrowed eyes; a drowsy, permanent smirk), even when she occasionally sat up straight, or stood to disembark. It worried me a bit, because she was clearly school-aged, maybe fourteen or fifteen, but when I saw her again the following morning, I realised that this was simply her natural expression (at least before 9AM).

Other aspects of her appearance lend themselves to an overall impression of a sleep-walker, such as the blonde tendrils of hair that escape a hastily trussed ponytail and the soft, worn fabric of her leggings and t-shirts, outward-turned feet nested inside slouching UGGs. Her telephone number “in case of loss” is printed in black marker directly onto the cotton of her pink, drawstring rucksack (one of three that she uses – none of the others bear a visible number), and has bled and turned purplish in the wash, or the rain.

And that’s it, really. I’m not sure why this lanky teenaged girl with an odd dress sense and enigmatic fatigue has made such an impression on my imagination, but maybe that’s all it takes. I see her so often now that I almost feel I know her; part of me hopes that she’s somewhere across town in a classroom, sketching her own private portrait of that strange woman who steals glances at her while she time-releases the universe into her consciousness.

01 March 2011

Since I left you (I've not found a convenient coffee stop)

Recently, a friend on Facebook posted a video to my wall for a song that I used to listen to obsessively back in 2004. A pixie-like girl - who was obsessed with all things to do with Iceland, and who did data entry with me for a few months between semesters - first introduced me to Avalanches that summer, and I never looked back (to a time before Avalanches, I guess). Anyway, in contrast to the light and exotic scenarios my imagination painted around that island-beach-party noise you hear thumping away in the background, the video does something dreamlike and far more substantial:

I don’t often enjoy music videos (I quite liked Grizzly Bear’s ‘Two Weeks’ until I saw this video, for instance), but sometimes I get lucky.

Speaking of dreams (don’t worry, I’m not going to describe them), I’d like to find out why mine thematically revolve around distance lately. (Fine, I lied, but I promise I won’t bore you with superfluous detail). For instance:

-- I must return to work (in Hertfordshire) on foot from Vancouver, which becomes Regina and then turns into a steep, red-earthed logging road in Oregon.

-- I have to find my way back home (in Hertfordshire) from work (Regina) by city bus. I get off at the Cornwall Centre and then panic once I realise the enormity of my journey.

-- I have to find my way to a McDonalds across town in order to do a coffee run for work, and I have to take Hartley with me. (Town = home = central London in this scenario.)

Okay, so that last one was negligible. And fortunately, even my dream self recognised that there is a McDonalds on every corner, because I chose to invent one just up the road. Also, I stepped on a pizza that was displayed on the steps leading up to the cashier. (I thought I'd add that in because it's at least an interesting dream detail.)

So what have we learned?
  1. Unexpected music videos can reveal a familiar song’s hidden depth.
  2. My subconscious is anxiously preoccupied with distance and conflicting notions of home.
  3. I am a cheapskate who would rather buy my colleagues shitty McDonalds coffee than spend an extra tenner at Costa.
Pop quiz next week, fellow dreamers.