It’s ONLY a blazing fire

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

So continue my series of bad dreams of late:

Dreamt I was walking over to someone’s apartment to pick him or her up, but as I walked toward the apartment complex, which was “the projects” again, as in a couple of dreams ago, I saw that there was a massive fire on the top floors. Solid rolls of orange and black pushed up and out of all of the very large windows and I remember thinking that was where I was supposed to go. I saw that part of the front of the building had collapsed across the span of the upper burning stories, exposing a stairwell where two women were struggling to descend. After my brief glimpse of them through the collapsed wall, they descended far enough that they were then behind the wall, but climbed out the window of the stairwell and onto the fire escape. I remember thinking that was such a bad idea because the top levels of the fire escape had already fallen when the walls from the stories above had collapsed.

I stood, gawking at this fire when the person I had been intending to meet was seen walking toward me, dragging a suitcase. He or She said everything was fine; made some flippant remarks about “dealing with this, later” and motioned for us to get going. That’s when I realized that even as the building’s fire spread and clearly escalated, people were walking around completely oblivious and unaffected.

Hmmmm….

They’re all dead

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

Wow.

We finally finished the final episodes of SIX FEET UNDER and I am floored. That was one of the most painful, achingly beautiful conclusions to a series, EVER. I already had heard how it ends, but that knowledge did not take anything away from the heart-wrenching ride through and beyond the end of a genius world of characters. No one could speak for over 5 minutes as we just cried and held each other’s hands. Sitting in a room with the very people who make up the most intimate of your family and then watching the conclusion of 5 years of character development within a fictitious series is such a modern milestone; a paralleling of personal development among friends.

Everything important in my life has recently been stripped from it and either profoundly removed or utterly transformed. It’s such a difficult thing to maneuver through and sustain perspective. It’s so easy to be thrown from your perch of permanence and into the reality of life’s fragility, brevity. It’s terrifying and gorgeous at once. The very things that make life so important and meaningful are the very things that feel so torturous when emphasized.

As I sat and watched every major character in one of my all-time favorite series die, I could not help but think about my own mortality and the mortality of those in my life. I sat with the truth that at least 3 of the 4 of us in that room would have to face the death of the first of us to die. Johnny, Nick, Cyprus, and I have grown so close and have come so far through this life together…. we will end it together, too.

Wow. It all ends.

Everything ends.

Everything.

The end is never a conclusion, though. I have learned that truth above so many other truths:

The “End” Is A Transformation, Never A Conclusion.

In fact, it can be quite a shocking concept to really observe the truth of that statement.

Everything is connected, continued, mutated, morphed, transformed, altered, divided, merged, embraced, pushed, etc… but never… NEVER… EVER…

concluded

DREAM FROM LAST NIGHT:

Dreamt that I lived in a world that was dominated by robots. These weren’t the “normal” kind of robots seen in sci-fi movies; these were like liberated cars from kiddie rides at a fair or amusement park. I was standing in the street in a white robe talking to someone. The streets were very Tim Burton-esque, dark, but oily-bright, too. Cartoonish. Suddenly an alarm sounded and though the streets were clearly sprinkled with people, the alarm sent everyone either running into the confines of their home or to tighten into motionless statues. Those too far from their front doors froze like statues and pressed themselves into the nearest wall. I knew what to do, even though I was completely baffled by what was happening. From all around the streets a whirring sound descended and the “robots” sped into the vicinity. The “robots” were three-wheeled cars with molded bodies of over-sized, generic cartoon characters; huge heads and eyes speeding through the streets in search of what caused the alarm. Part of me knew the history of this world: Humans were “allowed” to exist only because most of the Robots could not detect or comprehend the existence of a Human. We lived like normal, but when Robots were in the vicinity, we hid or froze until they passed. Occasionally, someone would be realized as being Human and the Robots would descend to dispose of that Human. I don’t know what that meant, but I know it was something I didn’t want to happen. I was pressed against the wall, my robe pulled tight around me as I watched the streets fill with rolling cartoons with frighteningly large grins and giant eyes. The faces were not animated, so these static, happy faces were terrifying to watch. I remember seeing a number of robots speeding by and being glad they were farther away, but as I turned my head back to look forward, a giant cartoon car was wheeling slowly right up to me from behind the corner where I was pressed. It stopped. I held my breath. I remember that I curled my bare toes and pulled myself as far into the wall as I could. The cartoon turned its head toward me and its face carried a deep, destructive, hunting sense behind its happy, molded, grinning teeth. Its body bent toward the bottom of my robe and I could HEAR it sniffing! It was smelling for something! I remember thinking that I did not know they had any senses beyond movement and limited visuals, but this one was trying to smell if something was present! Then from the molded car of its body, from what had looked like a permanently folded set of arms, one of them reached from itself and slowly held a finger out to touch at me. I was breathing as little as possible and had no idea what I would do if it touched me! Then, a whistling call from another Robot set my robot into a whir, speedily rolling away without a second glance. I sighed heavily and began to quickly slide myself along the wall to the entrance of what I believe was my home. Then, from the distance I saw a blonde woman point at me! The Robots nearest to her swerved and pointed themselves directly toward me. I then realized that some Humans had found security in being the eyes, ears, and hunters for these Robots. She started running toward me. I ran into the apartment, which had a river behind it, apparently, and I knew exactly what to do. I threw myself out the back door and into the water, holding on to something as far below the water as possible while holding my breath. I could see up from the water and through the slatted steps that lead to a docking of some sort, I guess. I saw the blonde woman lean out from the doorway on her belly and point at me through the water. I just remained there. I was letting bubbles out through my nose as little as possible, but I was having trouble and the bubbles kept getting steadier. I could see that the woman was trying to convince the Robots that I was there, but they didn’t seem to be responding to her pleas. I held my breath longer than humanly possible. The threat passed and I was able to come up out of the water and climb back into my home. The blonde woman was sitting there, waiting. She leapt at me with a violent force, angry that she had failed to please these Robots, I assume. I fought her and this is when I realized I was “not me;” I was a young, Black woman. I fought the blonde, hateful woman until I killed her. I remember not wanting to kill her, but she was trying to kill me and I bashed her head until she died. I remember thinking how horrible it was to kill her, but how many people I was saving by actually doing so. I had no choice.

I woke up.

Witness to a "Wilding"

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Okayyyyy… I guess I am on a horrifying dream kick:

Dreamt that I was in “my” bedroom (even though I didn’t recognize it) and was able to watch on a closed circuit tv a playground that was a part of my apartment complex. I was getting ready for bed and getting all cozy when I saw two guys saunter down to a swing set on the playground. The way they were walking was too “friendly” for these guys to be straight, so this caught my eye. In the dreamworld, I was, I think, in a life where being openly gay was not cool for me or anyone I knew, or I think I was still a kid, like, in High School? Anyway, one guy got on the swing and the other pulled him really far back to let him go… to swing. I could tell they were laughing and having fun, and at one point the guy standing sort of stumbled into the swinging guy and got tangled up playfully. I could tell they started, then, kissing. Suddenly, dust started kicking up from the hill above them and all around them as a pack of guys swarmed and closed in on the two. It was animalistic and violent and enraged. The two guys were pulled from each other and each began to be beaten and kicked. It was so nightmarish to see this on the greenish screen of the CC TV, knowing that it was happening right near me in the playground of my complex. Then I heard gunshots and flinched. Those I could hear from my window, not from the TV. Immediately I was disembodied and on the playground, helplessly watching these two guys be beaten. It was clear that the intent was to kill them, not just scare or harm them. The hate and violence was sickening as now I could see that the killers were stomping on the chests and heads of the two boyfriends. One of them had been stomped so much that he was separating down his abdomen! Seriously fucked up dream. They were both dead. I was then catapulted back into my bedroom just as my mother came through my bedroom door to make sure I was okay. That’s when I realized I was actually Black. My mother was someone I didn’t recognize, even though I did, if you know what I mean… and she was Black. All of the kids who had killed the boyfriends were Black, too. The boyfriends were Black, too. I then realized I was living in a housing project and that I had just witnessed a “wilding.”

A “Wilding” is a proud term used primarily by a gang of guys who swarm a random person on the street and beat him to death, or near death, “just for fun.”

It’s a terrifying prospect and I’m sure I dreamt this (and the previous dream) PARTIALLY because of the New Orleans hurricane and ensuing violence among the people.

Still… very ugly and upsetting dream.

Sandra On The Coaster

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

I had a very disturbing and confusing dream last night:

I dreamt that Sandra Bullock was on a Roller Coaster during a massive flooding around her. People were dying and everything was being washed away, but the Roller Coaster could not stop. I was in a disembodied state watching all of this. This would seem like just a corny dream, but this coaster ran for days while the people on it starved and thirsted to death because it wouldn’t stop. I know a rescue was on the verge of happening, and the coaster had begun to slow in its motion after running for so long, but Sandra finally died. So did everyone else on the coaster. The last thing I remember is the bodies slumped and bloated in their seats as the coaster slowed to a creep and a rescue boat came whirring in from a distant.

What the…???!!!

Retribution Gospel Choir @ Lit Lounge

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Wow. I had such a great time last night! I went to see RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR, which is a project headed by LOW‘s Alan Sparhawk and RED HOUSE PAINTERS‘ Mark Kozelek. Both amazing artists with REAL male singing voices! It’s hard to find a male who can sing, let alone sing well, but these guys are tops! Amazing and emotional and melodic…

Winding our way down into the dungeon-ish pit of LIT in the East Village, Nick and I parked ourselves on a cozy bench seat about 2 feet from the “stage” (a small platform stage). I didn’t know what to expect, as Retribution Gospel Choir have never released a recording, but I figured it would be great. It was.

Washing through walls of sound reverberating throughout the dungeon, Alan Sparhawk’s voice swam through every song like a purpose. I wish I knew all of the songs well enough to include the set list, but two songs stood out: HATCHET and another one about “those damn kids.” Both reached crescendos and harmonies that are a trademark of Alan’s, so this was so inspiring live! Mark Kozelek was not part of this show, for some reason, but that did not diminish the quality by any means. Alan held his own! I also loved one of the songs about “I could have been a sailor;” a very dark song about resentment, loss, and If Only’s…

ALAN SPARHAWK of LOW and RGC @ LIT

Oh, I know the one song is called Hatchet because it is on the LIMITED EDITION self-burned discs Alan sold after the show! YAY! I got #461 of 500! YAY!

Now the nicest part of the night was after the show, I was able to talk to Alan as he sold his discs, thanking him for his art! But later, as he was cleaning up in front of our bench, he asked Nick and me if we had seen his bag, found it, but stood talking with us for several minutes! Nothing life-changing or profound, but it was really invigorating to actually talk to someone who sings to me nearly every day.

Love that.

Nick and I then sauntered over to NOWHERE bar and hung out for quite a while before he retired to the subway to take himself home. I went on to meet JohnC and Phil and Roy at G & Barracuda for a meaningless, lingering night of silliness and flirtations.

Next concert is METRIC! I cannot WAIT! I hope I have a date by then; that would be fun! So far, Nick, Cyprus, Johnny, and I are going, but I have an extra ticket for my yet-to-be-determined-date!

See,… I continue to think positively!

AND… I’m thinking ahead!

Our friend, Matt, will arrive from San Francisco the day of METRIC. I can’t wait to see him! It’s strange how comforting some people can be just by being alive. Matt and Myke, my pals from California, are very much like that.

It’s good to have that in one’s life.