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Sang Today.

I sang today for the first time in a long, long while, and it made me cry.

I'm not very good, but I can carry a passable tune. More importantly, it's a part of me that I was always proud of, that I cared about, that I knew intimately. Any talent I have comes from my Mother, who sang beautifully in our home all the years my brothers and sisters were growing up.

And when I sang today, I thought: why have you forgotten this room in your heart? Why did you abandon a place you loved?

banal whaterperk dream

Dream Monday December 2, 2019

I had a dream that I was supposed to meet you and Dad at a waterpark somewhere in Ohio. I went there, looking for you two, and finally found you, but you kept leaving and I lost you. The park was a horror; people were getting in fights and killing each other. Also, the water people were getting stuck in water park machines and were getting crushed and dismembered. Corpses floated all over the place, and the employees used the bodies to scare people and tried to terrorize me with one. I kept trying to call Dad, but it never connected and I learned that you had left. I walked to a C-store at the edge of the park and bought a huge case of water. Instead of shopping carts, they had donkeys. And the donkey simultaneously tried to cuddle and to kick me in the face. It was getting dark and I was lost and I started to panic, then made a decision to get a hotel room and leave the next day in full light.

I promise I wasn't eating from there.

One day some time ago, my toilet became clogged for mysterious reasons. It wouldn’t flush properly but didn’t overflow. Nothing was going down there anymore. Luckily, I have a backup toilet, but this toilet is my favorite, so I had to get it fixed. I called the maintenance man and when he arrived, explained the problem and went to run some errands.

When I returned the maintenance man was gone and my favorite toilet was fixed. He had left the work order on the counter, which was pinned down by a gigantic spoon. On the order he had written, in huge handwriting that had obviously been mutated with amazement, terror, and disgust:


Oh no.

As soon as I saw the spoon, I remembered. A few days before, I had dumped a large storage container of objectionable pumpkin seeds, thinking stupidly, this is a good idea, they will decompose faster. I had forgotten there was a big ‘ol soup spoon I was using for a scoop buried in the seeds. The toilet swallowed seeds and spoon, and choked on the spoon.

Oh no.

So now I imagined this poor maintenance man’s surprise and horror, finding a spoon in my toilet. This man thinking, why did this thing happen? Why does he need a spoon in there, so close to a toilet, and then, IN THE TOILET? Is he eating . . . IS HE EATING IN THERE, FROM THERE? What is he eating from there? Oh my God. THERE WAS A SPOON IN THE TOILET!!!!

Oh no, I promise, I promise!, I was not eating from there.

I hope he didn’t tell anyone, like I just did.

Quick Napdream: Furnace Dog and My Unstarted Final Project

took a nap today and had a dream that I was taking a creative writing class and the semester was close to over and my final project was due. I hadn’t done shit. I went to a bar where my teacher was bartender to talk to him about it, but he was inaccessible. There was a dog in the bar which was playing with a stick. I accidentally tripped over the stick and the dog subsequently stalked and attacked me. While I was trying to talk to my teacher, it stood straight against the bar and barked and snarled, biting me. When it snarled, its torso became hot like a furnace and burned my leg. Its teeth ripped and shredded my hands and arms, and I asked bartender teacher, (who had turned into Hugh Jackman as Wolverine), for a knife. I had to cut the dog into pieces until only its head remained on the floor. It continued to snarl, and each time my entire body burned as if I had fallen into a deep fryer. This dream was like a village on a world map of dreams, so many things going on. Fun!

Not My Long Dream

Not My Long Dream

He really had to poop, and it was hard sloshwalking through the two feet of water that had pooled in the cruise ship’s foredeck ballroom. So far, all his tries to relieve himself in the men’s toilets had gone like this:

He pushes open the door, feeling like his butt is going to explode, and the restroom is crammed with high school kids dressed for prom. They are standing along the walls, and multiple pairs of dress shoes are shuffling within the stalls. The bathroom reeks of cologne. There is no toilet available to him. At regular intervals, a senior emerges from one of the stalls, holding up a tuxedo while smiling lasciviously at his reflection in the mirror. He says to his fellow students: “I’m going to get so much pussy tonight!”

The women’s toilets were locked.
As he splashed his way toward the atrium, hoping for relief, he wondered why he was alone on this cruise. He vaguely remembered boarding the ship with friends and family, but they were nowhere in sight.
The flooded deck was crowded with lovers, who floated in the shallow water, locked in embrace as they made out. One large woman drifting on her back against the stairs held a small man on her belly like a bear cub. She winked at him over her lover’s head, but he didn’t feel sexy right now and kept walking to an elevator.
The elevator opened automatically and it was dry. The lift attendant smiled at him politely.
“On which floor is the closest toilet?” he asked the attendant, stepping inside.
The man jumped out of the elevator into the water, turning around and reaching to push a button on a panel. “This will take you to the Public Restroom on shore.”
The doors shut and the walls and floor became transparent. A rotor blade popped out of the elevator’s roof and unfolded, spinning the car away from the ship. A helicopter tail grew from the rear and the craft flew towards a low, concrete building on the shore of the bay in which the ship was anchored. A DING! sounded from the operations panel and a tray with an empanada slid out of a hole. It looked good, and he was hungry, but he ate a meat pie from the buffet earlier, which he suspected someone touched after using the toilet and not washing their hands. Thus, his dilemma. He did a poopy dance as he watched the ship retreat, finally fully remembering his companions on the cruise. They were in the cigar bar, waiting for him. His sense of urgency increased.
The trip in the helivator was fast, and it landed on an oil-stained square of concrete at the top of a filthy stairwell that led down to the restrooms. The helivator doors opened and a gust of air pushed at his back, shoving him out. He tripped on a lump of gravel and fell down the stairs to the bottom, smashing face first into an olive tree, which sliced open his cheek.
“Dude, what the fuck are you even doing? That’s not how you take the stairs. You better hurry up, cause this is the last shuttle back to the ship before it leaves harbor.”
Grabbing the tree trunk, he pulled himself to his feet, worried that he’d shat himself.
A man in his late twenties sat in the bow of a small rowboat, grinning at him. The boat was hitched to a tiny dock situated across the way from the restrooms. A few teenagers sat in the boat facing him, laughing.
“Seriously,” the young man said. He pointed to the cruise ship which loomed in the distance beyond a cluster of trees that appeared a cross between mangroves and royal palms. “We gotta go.”
“Okay! Please, I just have to use the bathroom.” He ran into the restroom and ran out, feeling relieved but disappointed that he didn’t remember what happened there.
The rowboat in the small inlet had lost its oars and now had a tiny outboard motor, which was chugging along pushing the boat away from the dock.
“Wait!” he yelled, jumping into the water to grasp a steel bar welded behind the rearmost bench in the boat. The man and the teenagers looked at him silently. He pulled himself to the left, kicking his legs away from the propeller. He tried to haul himself onboard, but wasn’t strong. The blade of the propeller bit into his shin and he screamed.
“Please help me.”
One of the teenagers said, “You should be stronger. Try pulling harder.” All three passengers turned away from him to look ahead to the ship.
He grunted and was finally able to pull himself onto the stern. He rested for a moment with his face mashed down on the boat’s floor, then slid his legs inside. His right shin was cut deeply, but instead of blood, a thick white substance like caulk filled the wound. He settled on the back bench; the other passengers ignored him.
The boat shuddered and lifted from the water to fly into the massive canopy of strange trees. It drifted at an angle higher and closer to the cruise ship through branches the size of redwood trunks and flat leaves as large as basketball courts. The branches and leaves extended all the way to the ship, arching over and casting shadows on its vast foredeck.
The small craft landed on an enormous leaf several hundred yards away from the ship. Hanging from branches above the leaf were what looked like acrobat swings, a line of them stringing from branches in a succession down and down to the cruise liner.
The laughing captain of the rowboat-turned-aircraft and his teenage passengers got out quickly and immediately leapt to the hand bars, swinging themselves with great accuracy and power lower and lower towards the ship.
Swing. Release. Drop. Grip. Swing. Release.
He stepped out of the boat onto the spongy leaf and approached one of the hanging swings. A great roaring horn blasted from the cruise liner, signaling its imminent departure. He watched as the now tiny figures of the man and teenagers dropped from the last swings onto the deck of the ship. A large crowd surrounded them, but they were too far away and small to see if any of those faces were of his friends and family.
He glanced up at the hand swing.
“All this for a shit,” he said. “A shit I don’t remember.”
He jumped and grabbed the bar, swinging his legs back and forth to gather momentum. Terrified, he focused on the next swing below, throwing himself forward as hard as possible, letting go.
Falling, his chin clanged against the lower bar and he bit through his tongue. Blood filled his mouth as his head slipped off the swing and he fell, hands clutching at nothing, sinking, sinking, sinking through the branches and leaves.
He landed on concrete instead of water. But the concrete was soft, merciful, hugging his side and wounded leg like the gentlest foam. He rested there for several moments, wanting to sleep.
The horn roared again, and he stood, looking around. No water. No ship. He was in the middle of a parking lot that seemed to stretch miles in every direction, empty except for himself and a bus. He was behind the bus, shrouded in its exhaust. Coughing, he walked around and went up the steps.
The bus driver kept his eyes forward. A few extremely elderly women sat at the front of the bus, bundled in coats designed for the Arctic Circle. Their eyes looked him up and down, then ignored him.
The back of the bus was scattered with what looked like corpses, but they were mannequins.
Mannequins of people almost ready to die.
He sat in one of the back seats, next to the plastic re-creation of a young man on the verge of suffocating. Its eyes were a calm blue amid a face distorted by a desperation to breathe.
“Where is this bus going?” he asked the driver.
“One way to Evansville, Indiana. No stops.”
“Okay,” he said.

Dream Over

Dream -- Apocalypse Boardwalk

Dream – Apocalypse Boardwalk

The surf crashed beyond the boardwalk. Several members of my family and I sat at a picnic table situated on the wooden walk amidst streams of people on vacation, on some foreign, metropolitan coast. A man we knew and didn’t know occupied the tabletop, his arms were stretched to the sky and legs sprawled on the bench. Passersby began to notice him, and he started to tremble. Tourist children scrambled away from their parents to gawk at the man, and their parents screamed and yanked them away.
His skin wrinkled and suppurated; it split down his arms and legs symmetrically, puddling down on the table. A skeleton of rust-colored chitin was revealed, and it vibrated so, it seemed to be the overlapping bug bones of a nested thousand, which shredded and splashed the remaining skin into the crowd into our faces.
I was horrified, disgusted, and somehow grieving for this mysterious creature, and urged my family to run. A great and echoing BOOM sounded from miles away within the ocean and the land shook, throwing people to the ground. A towering wall of water began to close in on the boardwalk, and my point of view doubled into what I saw with my own eyes and a perspective from high in the sky. People scrambled around me and from above looked like mad specks hopelessly running from inevitable doom.
We ran inland toward a stone building that was open on the street side. Huge train tracks ended at the wall facing the ocean, upon which rested two abandoned railcars so enormous, they seemed designed for giants.
Again my perspective changed, except this time I became two people. One of me was still running with my family for the safety of the building, whose POV blanked out. The other me was wedged in the giant linking pins between the two railcars, stuck in the chain holding the two together, my leg caught somehow. The chain was loose, but I knew if the car behind me was pushed, I’d be crushed in half by the joining metal.
I looked back over my shoulder, making a squealing sound. The wave was growing closer, yet moving absurdly slow. Debris and people saturated the water, legs and arms writhing about like thousands of cilia.
I tried to yank my leg out, but it wouldn’t budge. I screamed out to a boy fleeing the wave, about to enter the building. “Help! Please help me!”
The kid stopped for a second with his hand on stone. “That sucks!” he said and entered the protection of the building.
I screamed as sprays of water soaked my back just before the foothills of the powerful wave pushed the railcar behind me and the compressed chains sheared me in half.
“Oh no,” I said, as my bottom half fell into gravel. I passed out.
And woke within the other me.
I had just followed my family into the building and turned to watch as the wave and its successors crashed inland. Despite one wall being open, the water passed like the angel of death over blood painted lintels. But the thunder of water was creating a gruesome painting on the edge of the wall facing the ocean as hundreds of bodies were smashed against it, a many-layered charnel, and while we were spared the water, the inside of the building was continually spattered with gore.
We retreated deeper inside to the farthest corner from the open side, where we found another picnic table. We sat down, and members of my family began talking, but their voices were mute to me. I tried to interject, but they only stopped for a few moments, then their lips moved again.
Frustrated, I stood up and saw an adult-sized tricycle in the shadows. I got on and started cycling. It moved forward a bit, then lifted into the air. It rose up on an invisible track as I pedaled, to the ceiling, then in large circles and down back again, repeat.
I rode the tricycle in its loop over and over as the ocean purged its endless depths into the city, depositing a wall of death along the open side of the building. I rode the tricycle as my family talked in silence. No words could I hear.

Dream Over


Dream 2018

I walked alone somewhere strange and cold on what seemed an infinite pier stretching over a gray ocean. I knew I was on a trip away from home, but didn’t know where. Although I was alone, it didn’t bother me. I was comfortable.


From behind me came a gaggle of voices, laughing and singing, in an Irish accent. They moved ahead of me, a small group of men and one woman. From the similarities of their features, I could see they were siblings.

The sister turned her head to stare at me, grinned. She was tall and strikingly beautiful. Her focused energy made me uncomfortable.

“Which way are you going?” she asked. “Why are you walking by yourself?”

I pointed down the pier. “I don’t know, but there’s only one direction, anyway.”

She fixed her chilling eyes on my face and swung her head left. The wooden path before us split in two, doubled with the movement of her head. The pier now forked in two directions, the original knifing away into the dismal distance, and a new way paved in concrete which descended in hundreds of steps. The level of the ocean dropped uncannily with the steps. Once my eyes froze on this new path, I was afraid to look again at the first pier, afraid I’d be crushed by water.

“Why don’t you walk with us?” the woman asked. I started to say something, but she grabbed the sleeve of my jacket and pulled me close to her. It was a cold day, and she radiated a warmth which was calming. So I followed her down the steps, with her brothers behind us. They spoke Irish now; I had no idea what they were saying, but each sentence was like a burning wick into a bomb of laughter.

At the bottom of the steps, the path broadened into a vast plaza, at the center of which was an airplane surrounded by a small group of people. Emerald Gaelic characters covered the side of the aircraft. The woman’s brothers began to cheer and run, as did their sister.

“Where are we going?”

They ignored me and raced to the aircraft, and I followed. As we got closer to the people there, the woman stopped abruptly and cursed. A tall man in a rumpled suit stood by the staircase. He smiled at her like a ghoul. It was Donald Trump.

Trump reached for her and the green lettering fell from the plane to the tarmac, revealing gold letters: TRUMPAIR. He grasped her elbow while she screamed.

“I am the pilot of this plane,” Trump said. “The best pilot. We’re all going on an amazing trip!”

The woman’s own brothers surrounded her and dragged her up the stairs, while she fought and bit them.

Like a coward, I turned to run, but Trump’s men grabbed me, herding me onto the plane. I struggled to get free, facing Trump as he ascended the stairs, the hollow white skin around his eyes like the prophecy of skeleton death as he smiled and smiled and smiled.

The interior of the plane was much smaller than the exterior suggested, one row of seats behind the cockpit, and one seat high in the rear, accessed by a small stairway. The men shoved me up the stairs to the lone, high seat and strapped me in. The harness was tight and pressed me down, and as I fought against it, a window opened in the aisle floor between the seats below me, revealing the tarmac.

The Irish brothers piled into the seats on the left of the plane and were quiet, staring serenely at the cockpit. Their sister was squished into the window seat at the right by Trump’s men. Her face was pushed against the glass with a man’s elbow jammed into the back of her head. She made keening sounds that scared the fuck out of me.

In the cockpit, Trump settled into the pilot’s chair and an advisor, whose face scrolled through so many different features to make me dizzy, sat in the copilot’s chair.

Trump pursed his lips and squinted at the controls. He reached for a dial.

“You don’t know how to fly, Sir,” said his advisor.

“I am the world’s greatest pilot,” Trump exclaimed and his hand got closer to the dial.

The advisor grabbed Trump’s hands and pushed them to manipulate all the controls in a blur, then the plane rose from the tarmac like a helicopter. Once we were airborne, with the runway not far below, Trump laughed and grabbed his advisor’s head in one hand, then shoved him down onto the floor of the cockpit. He then grasped the yoke with both hands and yanked it back and forth like he was captain of a Tonka Truck.

The Irish woman freed her face from the window and shrieked at him.

Trump’s face got red and the plane dipped fast toward the runway. I could see a man down on the tarmac through the floor window. He was a black man in a work outfit. The plane fell and fell, and I turned my face away in horror as the bottom of the plane hit the tarmac and crushed the man; his remains gored the glass.

Captain Trump’s advisor climbed back into his chair as the plane scraped against the ground. He guided Trump’s hands again on the controls until the plane again ascended and Trump again pushed him away and took charge and the craft plummeted. This cycle occurred over and over, smashing and squishing countless people into the ground under the aisle floor window.

I imagined the trail of crushed people behind us and got sick. We never, ever took off. Just a series of leaps and falls that slaughtered the unwary.

It finally ended when I looked up from the viscera-crusted floor window to see the brothers were standing in the cockpit around Trump, and their sister had her fingers tight in his hair. He was squealing in pain, and his squeals seemed to lower the plane gracefully to the runway to a soft landing. She let go of his hair and the exit door opened and stairs lowered to the ground. My harness vanished.

Trump and his men washed out of the plane like vermin on a tide of lye. The woman and her brothers exited the plane, and I followed.

Trump was surrounded on both sides by his entourage. He looked pleased, proud, vindicated.

I peered over my shoulder and saw that endless trail of death on the runway and shuddered.

One of his men pointed at me, pointed at the Irish woman and her brothers.

While Trump looked at nowhere, a satisfied smile on his face, the man said, “It isn’t his fault. He never claimed to KNOW how to fly. That’s preposterous! Surely it’s your responsibility, and he has nothing to do with it.”

They surrounded Trump in a lighted coil that SQUEEZED and soon pressed out all illumination, and drifted away.

Dream Over