In which the Flaneur opens his unconscious toy-chest for the exploration of the over-soul.
Amid a tide of challenge and loss, there occurred to me this month not the least of them--a bout with the swine flu. I remained active despite a Dante-like tour of successive ailments and one of the side-effects was that I began to experience and remember lucid dreams. Here are a few I wrote down.
Dream #1A group of ape-men ranging a a hillside with dim sunlight. They become confused, fearful and angry when Jesus of Nazareth walks nearby. One gets agitated enough to attempt to bite the arm of Jesus. But he is either impenetrable like superman or he is incorporeal as the Risen Christ. The ape-man is unable to sink his teeth in our Savior's arm, instantaneously my arm.
Commentary: This dream may show an over-active self-association with Jesus. I never see his face and he goes from observed to observer. This dream may be related to a recent nightmarish encounter with some ant-abortion extremists on the University campus. The lesson of this parable is that even if one attempts to conduct oneself in a saintly manner there are bestial individuals who may still attack.
Dream #2Returning from the Elmwood neighborhood along Benvenue avenue. Families coming home are on the sidewalks. Dusk is descending.
Then I am on the far side of Oakland crossing from the east past lake Merritt toward downtown. As i walk I realize that I am wearing women's clothing--even low-healed light brown pumps. It dawns on me that my route will take me past tough guys loitering on International boulevard. dressed as I am in drag. But they don't notice me among the many the crowd walking in the same direction. The sidewalk takes a diversion toward the entrance to a tunnel.
Commentary: I have never worn, nor do I ever wish to wear women's clothes. I had watched Kubrick's film "A Clockwork Orange" the previous night with similar tunnels and similar urban dysphoria and threats of gender-related violence.
Dream #3Speeding downhill toward the East bay from mountains and foothills. The driver is a wild young man, possibly irresponsible. Trees whip past close to my open window.
At a gallery behind Zellerbach auditorium--an art exhibit, objects set up on a hardwood floor. There is a large tableaux of little men and other toys set up on the floor. But most notable is an animatronic pig the grey white color of computer terminals. It is free-standing on pointy hooves and it is giving a talk whether anyone listens or not. It is like a cartoon that has entered actuality but at the same time very palpable and "real."
As I walk past it the pig is saying, "...whether or not the CIA released this information intentionally, we can never know for certain..." is apparently a conspiracy theorist.
Dream #4I'm giving a lecture on Edgar Poe. It seems to be taking place in the same gallery as the previous art exhibit. A silent attentive class takes notes. Then I conclude and make ready to go. At this point I notice many in the class were wearing headphones and watching a screen to my right, the notes that they were writing were based on that. Of those who did listen to me none respond to me or indicate whether they appreciated what I said or not. When I look toward someone I was thinking was an old friend--I see it was merely someone who looked like him.
Commentary: Reflects perhaps my unease as a write and artist about a diffuse and unresponsive on-line audience and on friends one rarely sees.
I arrive early for a stage performance that I am to take part in. Nevertheless I am asked to pay the fifteen-dollar admission. I resist but they insist so I do. The impresario of the event is Joseph Spencer, aloof and authoritarian. Then I am naked and as the show begins i am informed by him that there won't be time to include me in the show. I get very steamed especially in light of having paid admission to get in. As I rant I try to get dressed. As I begin to don my boxer shorts, I notice that I have a worn and torn pair. I try to put them on without anyone noticing. But, as is human nature, everyone sneaks a peak when someone is putting on underclothes.
Commentary: The emotions involved and the circumstances of this dream make it apparent that it relates to an Over the Edge radio program I was part of last August. I lost my temper as it was beginning, due to unrelated reasons. Joseph is clearly a stand-in for Don Joyce whose program it is.
A horizontal commode--the kind of toilet you see in modern buildings. It juts straight out from the wall. Marie the cat slowly lowers herself into the basin, submerging even her head (which cats are extremely loathe to do). She settles down to the bottom of the basin and remains there sphinx-like while I grow increasingly alarmed by this. She is apparently holding her breath, at least she is not drowning. After a few long seconds I know I must reach in and pick her up. This I proceed to do and I notice that the water is quite yellow.
Commentary: While taking care of this my neighbor's cat I would occasionally see her poised on the toilet seat and leaning in to have a drink. This behavior alarmed me and I discouraged it. Marie recently moved away with her owner.