Friday, July 23, 2010

to dream.

All my dreams lately end the same way... with me killing someone. It'll begin a quiet scene, a kitchen table, hands deep in flour; in a classroom florescent lights above ; on a bus legs sticking to vinyl seats. And then just as quietly a person will appear. And I know without question that this is my enemy. And I do not hesitate. I do not run. I merely lunge. Quiet desperation.
vegetable peeler to the throat. Pencil to the heart. Umbrella across the skull. And then blood spills and I wonder about cannibals and reversing time and rage, but mostly I feel sad. A shivering red sad..
And then I wake up.

I blame the jetlag. 'blame it on the a a a alcohol baby.'

Anyways... speaking of dreams. Inception.
It's been awhile since I've been lost within a story and its telling.

I saw the movie in Chicago when I was visiting my brother. He was determined to not let me see the movie by myself. Somehow he finds my watching movies alone the saddest thing - I've found that all I have to say is, "When i was watching that..well you know, by myself..." :trail off: - and suddenly I've gained immediate power over him.

But I've always liked going to the theater alone. Sitting in a dark cool theater... when I know that outside in the city it's hot and the sun is melting and people are bumping against each other. It's so freeing and calming, randomly deciding to spend a few hours alone in some other place.. although of course, in New York a lot of the time a movie theater audience in the daytime can be a distracting experience. I'll look over and see in another row some man muttering and jacking off, usually to something wholly unerotic... like Ratatouille or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Anyway, this time in Chicago - I was amazed by this machine that dispenses liquid butter. You press a lever and there's an endless stream of butter (? yellow colored oil?) to drown your popcorn in. The machine is parked away from the concession stand, right outside the theater door, in case you know - one is ever in need of more butter midway through the movie. I took pictures of it, and forced my brother to buy us popcorn, "Well you know :sigh: i usually don't get popcorn cause i can't finish it when i'm watching movies BY MYSELF.." for the experience of this butter dispenser. We ended up with more butter than popcorn, but still... pressing the lever felt like 'Americaaaaa'.

It did feel kinda strange going to the theater with my brother... when we were growing up movie theaters were a banned place. We were in a compressed bubble of carefully filtered books and encyclopedias, fiction was limited to Wind in the willows - where animals talked and had picnics (wild!) or abridged versions of Shakespeare. And while I knew faintly that there were stories of other 'wilder' things, there are limits to the imagination. It was in grade school, our class took a field trip to the local theater (I don't know why that counts as a field trip) to watch the Special Edition version of Star Wars.. the moment Carrie Fisher came out with the doughnut hair and the stormtroopers shot their taser guns, the world I knew multiplied and seemed to explode in all the possibilities. It was like being in a trance. A new dream of robots and light years, outer space and galaxies.. fiction. And when the movie ended I cried. At the sheer beauty and visceral impact of it.

When I told my mom of my new-found experience of 'rapture' and how there were sequels! and all I had to do was go to a theater to find out what was going to happen, she was rather unimpressed. And so I ended up savoring that memory for a few years,.. Until some years later I found out what happened in the rest of the story. Which was also even crazier than I could have imagined - although by then I'd replayed so many fantasies of Luke and Leia together that I almost vomited when I found out they were twins.

Anyway.. this has turned too many tangents - but Inception - I have to say, made me remember that moment again. Of being a girl frozen in my seat, eyes wide as the credits came on.. and understanding that line, "that, when I wak'd I cried to dream again."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

river tubing pros.

I spent independence day weekend river tubing on the james river. River tubing is probably the most Southern concept of an outdoor activity, as activeness is not a requirement. The most strenuous part is the occasional sit-up in order to reach your cooler of beer. The concept is to sit in an inner tube for several hours as the 'current' - (which is snail pace) floats you along a river. To prevent this from being a very boring activity, heavy drinking is involved.

The beer is strapped in its own inner tube, which is then tied to your foot. Amateurs like us had one cooler for the 5 of us to share. We were to realize that pros have a cooler per person.

The pros - well not to label, but the only word to use would be - rednecks. So southern that even the kentucky blue I grew up with would have blushed at the caricatures they were. (But since rednecks is offensive, I'll just use 'river tubing pros') The river tubing pros came in groups - spilling out of pick up trucks - beer guts proud, tattoos out, the women in confederate bikinis. (I have no idea where one goes to buy a bikini with good ol' Dixie printed on it - I wish I'd asked). The tattoos were variations of cherry stems with dice and flames emblazoned on skulls -usually with a large cross for good measure. They were obviously expert at river tubing, one hand holding a half-lit cigarette and the other tying easy slip knots for each of their beer coolers, which as one man announced to our group were filled with "Schlitz - a 12 pack is 3 bucks y'all!" PAUSE. as he seemed to mentally try to calculate, but then turned and walked away, implying 'well don't know how much one beer comes out to be. but if it ain't cheap!'

The only drawback to this river tubing activity becomes obvious later. As you float along this river, eyes closed, sun beads on your face, feeling 'one with nature', ice cold beer in hand, thinking... I am the sky. yes I am the trees. I understand you spirit of the river. I will ask the grinning bobcat why he grins. And hrm whatever else is in that colors of the wind song..

And as you hear the sound of water on your skin, pebbles and moss at your dangling feet - every so often a sudden warm current will pass by and then another and another... and as you wonder, you will realize you are downstream of half a dozen floating river tubing pros - who are pissing their 12 pack schlitz's in the river. 5 hours on a river - with coolers packed with beer - becoming one with nature = adding to the water cycle.

that seems to define independence.

Friday, July 16, 2010

had i

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

wb yeats.