Dream Themes

Cars one night, something else the next. And the dreams continue. Last night’s dream theme was definitely exes. In the first dream, my high school sweetheart came to visit me here in Sackville. Odd for him to show up. In the dream we were teenagers again and wild and impulsive (well, I was wild and impulsive at least, you know him, he was always trying to reign me in). It was actually good to see him, to talk about foolish things, to make-out in public like the teenagers we were and not care what people thought of us. It was a butterflies in the stomach type of dream, like the first time I saw him in the spring, like that first fall we were together. Oh to be young and in love! Without all the crazy hormonal teenage angst mood swings and drama. But to hold that one moment in 1983 when we were perfect and stretch it to eternity, that’s something, that’s what this dream felt like.

In the next dream I found myself at the Long Branch GO Station, waiting for the train to Union Station, where I would catch the VIA Ocean train to New Brunswick. I had just missed the last GO Train and had to wait for an hour or so for the next one. Then Kevin showed up. This dream was not as playful, not as freeing. No butterflies. Which in its own way is kind of odd because all the best butterfly dreams centre around Kevin usually (or Jon Bon! lol). The feeling of this dream was . . . dread is probably the best word. I dreaded seeing him. I had hoped to get away before he got there. He wanted me to meet a girl, his new girlfriend. She seemed pleasant enough, nice actually, down-to-earth, nurturing, the kind of woman who would make a good wife and mother. And he seemed so happy. They looked good together. I was happy for him of course, but also sad. I could tell they were going to last, that we were really over. And this realization hurt me some. I woke up a little bit sad, took awhile to shake it off.

I also dreamed about the boy who took me to my junior prom, the boy I worked with at the pet store, the boy I worked with in Moncton, and numerous other cuties that I haven’t thought about in years. Obviously, the spring weather has driven me a little boy crazy. Maybe I need to go out and find a real one. Yeah, that thought knots my stomach up pretty damn quick. Maybe another day then.

Mood: wired
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: traffic, birds, wind, kids playing, all the sounds of spring
Hair: loosely knotted

Where Is the Moon?

Like seriously, is the moon new or full or waning or doing something else crazy? Again? So soon? Because the dreams are killing me . . .

I’m way back Cains River, a little bit off the main road on what I guess must be a logging road. Not sure why I’m there alone but I need to get out of there. It’s awhile ago. I’m a teenager. I can tell by the jean jacket I’m wearing, it’s all written up on the inside with signatures and song lyrics and poetry. It’s a gorgeous morning, warm, breezy, and no mosquitoes (which is total fantasy if you’ve ever been back Cains River in the morning . . . or anytime for that matter). I’m thinking about walking back to Blackville but it’s really far so I’m laying in the bushes reflecting on my choices when a red Ford ’70’s half-ton truck pulls in behind me. A man gets out, mid-twenties, about 6’1″, slim, short spiky dirty blonde hair, greasy, a mouth full of braces or rotten teeth, wearing a white Rush muscle shirt, some sort of tattoo on his bicep, cigarette in his mouth, dirty workgloves on his hands. He’s dumping garbage off the tailgate. I jump up and scare him a bit, but I want a ride back to civilization, I’m desperate. So I say Hi, nice day, what are you doing, etc. I’m confused about how he got behind me on this logging road. Want to know where he came from. Is there another main road on the other end? Am I close to Rogersville? Dupres Lake? Blackville? Where am I exactly? And he’s evasive. Twitchy. The more questions I ask, the twitchier he gets. Then I remember someone telling me about people disappearing back Cains River, about families living back there in the woods, nobody knew where, kind of cultish communes, and it occurs to me that he’s one of them. I shut up. Thank him for his help. Start backing away toward the main road, determined to walk to Blackville. The CB radio in his truck crackles with static and someone calls to him, says something I can’t hear. I speed up. When I get to the road and out of his line of sight I start running, just as I hear his truck start up, pull out and come after me. I dive for the treeline and . . .

I’m at a costume party at an old country farmhouse. It’s like a scene out of Anna Karenina. My dress is heavy, so many petticoats. Everyone’s dressed to the period and the group assembled are all writers and literary types. Marilyn and Jan host, though this is not their house. The farmhouse has high ceilings and antique mahogany tables filled with trays of fresh fruit, cheeses, breads, vegetables, goblets of wine. I can smell pork and salmon cooking somewhere. It’s the height of summer and the countryside is burning down. The stench of smoke invades everything, my clothes, the curtains, my hair. I can look out any window and see flames, black smoke in the distance. It’s a lazy day. People drift from room to room barely talking, nibbling on things. A very quiet gathering, soft music (Mozart?) wafting in from somewhere, everyone lost in their own thoughts. I could sleep I’m so lazy from the heat, the wine, the heavy dress. Marilyn enters the room, sees me and comes over. Gives me a welcoming hug, tells me she’s so glad I could come, she’s found the perfect thing for me and has been waiting to give it to me. She takes me out back to a guest house (cottage). It’s full of books – on shelves, stacked on tables, piled on the floor. Old hard covered treasures. Shakespeare. Keats. Blake. Chekhov. Kafka. Dickens. Marilyn mutters and searches for the book she wants me to have while I thumb through all the titles in amazement. “Aha!” she says and hands me a sheaf of yellowing papers. Writing from another time. Longhand text. A story maybe or a section of a longer work. “Never published,” she whispers. I skim. Notice the author’s name. Henry David Thoreau. I gape. Someone calls Marilyn just then and she excuses herself. I’m stunned. I follow her to the doorway and watch her cross the backyard to the main house. The smoke has thickened. I can hear the fire snap. Sparks start to fall like rain on the back lawn. People run out of the house yelling, warning. I look up and the rafters of the cottage are all ablaze. Holy Shit! Without thinking I run back into the room and start gathering books, trying to save them. I can hear the house collapsing around me. People screaming for me to come out . . .

I’m sitting at the bar in Avenue at the Four Seasons, facing the door when Jon Bon walks in, scans the room, sees me, smiles and comes over. We hug and kiss cheeks in greeting. Old friends, me and Jon. Wasn’t it just last summer he had me stay over at his house for a month or so? Wasn’t it just months ago we were driving around with Richie and Heather? So good to see him again. He’s wearing a tan brown coloured leather jacket, white shirt with the top buttons undone, gold chain around his neck, faded jeans like latex and worn brown boots. He guides me by the elbow to a table in the private VIP room. Very nice decor. Simple, yet elegant. Away from prying eyes. We order a bottle of wine and appetizers. I ask about the tour, how his kids are making out in school, how everyone else in the band is doing. I’m genuinely interested. I care about him, he’s a dear old friend. We talk about my writing, creativity in general, hopes and dreams, what’s going well in our lives and what’s going not so well. We’re very comfortable together, can talk about anything, everything. Eventually I ask about his wife and he goes quiet for a second, brow furrows. Then he smiles and blurts it all out. The reason he asked me to meet him tonight is because his marriage is over. They tried but they can’t work out their differences. It’s for the best really, he hasn’t been in love with his wife for quite a few years now. I’m shocked. They seemed like the perfect couple, the fairytale romance. He continues, saying he’s tired of being the rock star. He can’t handle another day of being under constant public scrutiny. He wants out. He wants to run away, to hide, to just disappear. He’s all worked up about it. Very emotional. Glossy eyed. And it breaks my heart to see him like this. He wants to come back to New Brunswick with me, take a break, get lost in the small town. I say sure, anything he wants, we’ll work through it, I’ll help. He’s welcome to stay as long as he wants. I can probably even set him up in my uncle’s camp on the water, so he can be alone, think things out. I pat his hand. There, there. He coils his fingers in mine and squeezes my hand, looks into my eyes, “No, you don’t understand. I don’t want to be alone. I want to be with you. I’m in love with you.” I laugh nervously. But he’s serious. I can see it in his eyes. Intense blue. Oh God . . .

There’s a new girl living on the Barnettville Road. She looks like Jennifer Jason Leigh, circa Single White Female, with a bleached blonde pixie cut. She’s way out of hand, wild and unruly. So of course she lives at Marty’s. Lee has a crush on her. All the boys on the road are screwing her or trying to. She drives a four door white Crown Victoria with red leather interior. Parties all the time. They say she’ll do anything with anyone for a little bit of weed or a bottle of beer. She likes to tease, flirt, with the boys, with girls, old, young, she doesn’t discriminate. I warn Lee to stay away from her, but of course he doesn’t listen. She lures him onto the road with a wink and a giggle. Then she and the boys she’s partying with laugh as they chase him with the car and spin rocks at him. At one point I look out the living room picture window and see she’s somehow managed to drive onto our front deck. I can’t figure out how. It’s not logical, all the railings are intact. She laughs, blows kisses and drives away before I can figure it out. Lee comes home badly beaten, all cut up, bleeding, bruised. Me and Mom take the car (the black LTD with tan interior that Dad had when I was a kid) and go looking for them, we go looking for a fight, ready to retaliate . . .

I pick up Herschel in Blackville and he’s in bad shape, mumbling all kinds of crazy stuff. He says him and Holly (Kim’s girl I think) were bitten by the devil’s spiders and now their souls belong to him. They have to do the devil’s work. Herschel’s terrified, frantic. He needs to get to town, needs to stop her before she does something terrible. He says Holly is leaving on a train to Toronto to ruin all the people there. He’s chain-smoking, trembling, sweating profusely. I think he’s gotten into some bad drugs. Think I should take him to the hospital. He keeps saying he doesn’t want to do bad things. He cries, big fat tears falling from his bloodshot eyes. I notice how thin he is, wonder what he’s into. He says nothing. Just a little weed, nothing stronger. He thinks the only way to end it is to kill himself, but first he’s got to stop Holly. He climbs into the back seat to lay down while I race to town. I need to get him to the hospital. He’s doubled over with cramps in the back seat, moaning with pain, saying he doesn’t want to over and over. All of a sudden he goes quiet and alarmed I turn to look and see if he’s okay. He’s sitting up, quite still and calm, the pupils of his eyes burning bright red, his lips curled in a snarl . . .

And then I woke up. Exhausted. A little bit disoriented and afraid. Wondering where all the Dodges have gone. The clock said I had been asleep less than an hour. It took much longer to write all the dreams down than to have them. There haven’t been many nights without dreams in my lifetime. Any dreamless nights that did occur only happened after much liquor and/or drugs and/or many days in succession without any sleep at all. My mother dreams like this too, so I know I’m not the only one, but still . . . sometimes I wish I could just turn it off and sleep for real.

Mood: out of hand
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: On the Run, Sam Roberts
Hair: recently laundered and too f’ing thick to handle

More Stuff

This morning I sat in my kitchen and wrote two pages long-hand. Notes on a play that I’ve been swirling in my brain for awhile now. Going to the library this afternoon for some research amongst other things. I want to read “The Polished Hoe” before taking Austin Clarke’s workshop during Frye Fest. I really can’t afford to go total immersion into Frye this year, but I wouldn’t miss this workshop for anything. Luckily Stacy is coming that weekend for the big Annual Flea Market at the arena here, so I may get to do some Frye activities afterall.

*****

Started reading Michael Winter’s “This All Happened” last night. It’s rather interestingly constructed. I’m not sure why he doesn’t use proper contractions for words like doesnt, wouldnt, etc. No apostrophes. Curious. The novel occurs over the course of one year and has one snippet for every day, though it’s not really like a diary or journal. It’s a bit more relaxed than that. Last night I read January. Enjoyable so far.

*****

I remembered to take the garbage out! Because you know, soon the boys will be gone and I’ll have to fend for myself, so I really can’t be forgetting the garbage for months on end.

*****

Friday evening there is an Art Auction Fiesta at Owen’s Gallery as a fundraiser to send some students to Mexico to work with Habitat for Humanity. I should go. NOT that I can afford to be buying art just now, but . . . I wonder if they’ll take Mastercard? Just kidding. I should make more of an effort to go to these things though, if for no other reason than to check out venues for next year’s WFNB AGM that I must plan.

*****

I’m marinating a steak for dinner tonight. Last night I totally pigged out on nachos with chipotle chicken, green onions, black olives, yellow peppers, green peppers, pickled jalepeno peppers, old cheddar, hot salsa and peppercorn ranch for dipping. So frigging yummy with a glass of South African Cabernet Shiraz! But tonight there will definitely be more salad and less starchy carbs because I still felt like crap when I woke up this morning from the excess of last night.

*****
I really need to do some work. Really. For serious.

Mood: a little stressed
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: The Travel Song, Pilate
Hair: tightly wound

Morning Pages

There’s no mistaking it now, winter (such as it was) is done, spring has sprung in a big way. I absolutely love, love, love having all the windows open! But even if the skies weren’t clear blue as far as the eye can see, even it was raining and dull and dark, I’d know the season changed because I’ve got that feeling in my gut again. That feeling of excitement and anticipation, like all is possible in the world and anything can happen. I WANT TO DO SOMETHING!

It’s a feeling that reminds me of being a kid, like the day before the first day back to school after summer holiday, or the last day of school before summer holiday, or Christmas Eve. Like being a teenager and the uncontrollable inconsolable butterflies when the boy you’ve had a crush on for months smiles at you or brushes against you behind the stacks in the library. Like falling in love, the first year, when you’re discovering everything about the person and experiencing everything with them for the first time. This is how I feel today. This is how I felt yesterday. This is how I’ll feel for the next few weeks until the season settles into my skin.

I want to run, sit in the sun, swing from the trees, close my eyes and listen to the birds, be absorbed into nature, just breathe. I want to create something beautiful, say something profound, write something brilliant. This is a good kind of energy, better if I can harnass it, direct it into productivity.

Last week I had lunch with a friend and writer in Miramichi (if you can call 4+ hours, lunch) and again I talked about my inability to write anything creative without being consumed by guilt. Again I mentioned that I purchased a notebook and was going to seek a change of venue in hopes that something would “happen.” Just venting helps. Just hearing someone else say they also have the demon on their shoulder telling them not to write, that it’s not important, helps. She told me about a great book she’d read, though the title eludes me now, it doesn’t matter. She’s mentioned this book before. One day I’ll read it but I don’t need to yet because I’ve already got a message from it to chew on and digest.

The author talks about something called Morning Pages, where basically you get up and write three pages everyday. You can write anything that comes into your head. Dump all the crap that fills your brain, all the things you’re trying to keep straight, all the things you have to do and the things you would like to do, and all the nasty things the demon on your shoulder says to make you feel like a shit for wanting to write stories or poetry. You spill all this crap onto three pages every morning in a sort of cleansing ritual, freeing yourself from it, gaining perspective and clarity. Later you might even find nuggets for stories or poems when you look back on the exercise after a few months.

I realised that sometimes this blog has been my morning pages, my dumping ground for the crap. But I’ve been blogging less, and blogging less about the crap of day-to-day, AND most importantly feeling super guilty for taking time to blog at all when I’ve got so much other stuff on the go. And I think it’s because of this that I’ve been unable to write anything new. Before, when I first moved, when I was blogging at least once everyday and usually more, I wasn’t writing much creatively, but there were ideas, there were some things percolating and a few paragraphs every now and then floating to the surface. I’ve been completely dry for months and going a little berserker from it. So maybe I’ll dump more crap here. Maybe I’ll dump it long-hand into a notebook. It doesn’t matter how I do it, the important thing is that new stories will begin and end.

Thank the Goddess for spring and the positive energy of new life! Now I can make something happen.

Mood: excitable
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Pretty the World, Matt Nathanson
Hair: fading to strawberry blonde

Back On the Ball

The thing about going away for weeks on end is the disorientation when you return. It takes a few days to get back into routine. And I seem like I get so very tired when I’m away, I could sleep non-stop for days, just lay around and veg the rest of the time when I’m not sleeping. But of course I’ve too much to do, no time for lounging. I’ve got to get back on the ball, and quickly. If I knew what zaps the life out of me, I’d change some things on future trips, but I’m totally in the dark, not a clue. All I know is that I can’t stop yawning.

This time it’s quite possible I caught a bug from Paulina, some sort of thing going around the school making them listless (mono?) because all week I couldn’t keep my eyes open past midnight even, which is not the norm. One night I went to bed early and slept late, stayed in bed for 16 hours! How crazy is that?! Even for me, that’s excessive, sleeping in that late usually means I haven’t gone to bed until after dawn, so yeah I’m wondering if I’ve got a bug. Which brings me back to the Medicare issue again (keeps rearing its head), yes, I need to get a replacement card. Somehow this must filter to the top of my list.

I’d write more, tell you what happened while I was away, and more . . . but I’m all fogged in. Maybe if I go outside, walk around a bit in this fabulous day, maybe then I’ll snap out of it.

Mood: tuckered
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: One Headlight, The Wallflowers
Hair: headbanded circa 1950’s

In Dreams

Make it stop! Enough already! I’m exhausted, not sleeping well, too many dreams. Crazy things —

. . . Stacy dressed like Patty from Grease, preppy, poodleskirt girl, at a dance (school? legion? i can’t tell the difference), calls out to me then some guy named Danny, (a mathmatician!) who is probably the most unattractive man I’ve ever seen, wanting us to meet and mingle and hopefully get married and have what I can only imagine would be the homeliest babies of all time, He’s just your type! Blech! Adios!

. . . is this prison? Or school? All the lining up to be ushered somewhere, places I never actually arrive at, just the line, barely moving along, people bullying, pushing, threatening, fighting, stealing, stuff to hide from the wardens? teachers? This is boring. Tedious. I growl when someone notices me and considers approaching. Deep in my throat. Like a child. Like an animal. I won’t be bullied. Don’t mess with me, I’m pissed and half crazy. The line parts and I glide to the front. An abstract painting, all reds and blacks, hangs on a white brick wall. Is this all there is?

. . . another dance. No, this is a club. Drinks. Dancing. Not a dance club, though. There’s a band, jazz, and couples grooving. The music takes me and I sway against strangers, eyes closed, feeling the sax. A man at the mic starts to sing and tears leak, streak navy mascara, salt my lips. It hurts to be here. Too beautiful. Too much.

. . . cement steps outside an old store. Blackville. The store that used to be out that lane by the Irving, before the ballpark, Hazel’s? Maybe. Sitting on the cement steps eating candy, flavoured crystals you pick up with a candy stick you lick, orange and grape. We watch cars. The steps are hard and cold. I’m a child wearing shorts. Tiny little legs. I wonder how it can be that even now my knees hurt.

. . . steps still, but now the church and I’m wearing a short skirt, sucking on a cigarette. Hanging out. Looking toward Dungarvon in the sunset. Somebody’s dead. Drowned. And we don’t understand how. Why? What happened? We talk about the wake and funeral. Maybe we’ll go. I understand this is a memory, this really happened. Why am I here? Why revisit? I look for clues. Cars passing. People honking. Waving. I sip Coke. I NEVER sip Coke now. Some of these people on this step are dead now, I realise. Linda. Karen. Were they really there? I don’t think so. In the graveyard I see Clyde and he grins.

. . . ferris wheel takes my stomach as we round the top and drop to the ground backwards. It’s too high. Too creaky. I don’t like the look of the carnie running the ride. Where is this? It’s night. Nothing to see beyond the carnival. I’m holding someone’s hand, a little bit too tight. I’m afraid to look and see who this is. The last time I rode a ferris wheel was at the Blackville Fair. I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be trapped on this ride with him. The night is too dark and the rides too bright. Is that water over there? Focus on the hand I’m holding. Fair. Long fingers. Light hairs curling into denim jacket. Can’t be him. Not dark enough. Take a deep breath, look over, look up, find his face. And it’s okay. I’m safe here.

And when all this happens and you wake up and look at the clock to see that you’ve been asleep about 15 or 20 minutes, you know you’re in for a wild night. Am I the only one so moon-effected? Surely it can’t be.

Mood: the original sleepyhead
Drinking: COFFEE!! But I need a pure caffeine injection . . . or cocktails
Listening To: Deny, Default
Hair: blah!

Over-Extended

I’m addicted to Leonard Cohen radio on Pandora.com. Just added my favourites from there to the blog sidebar.

*****

I admitted to the Writers’ Group tonight that I am not writing, that I am not even thinking about my writing, I’m not letting something gel in my brain, there are no seeds, I have lost my way. That was a funny business that. I intended the comment to be more of a joke, a quick quip off something someone else had said . . . but as soon as I said it I was overcome with emotion, close to tears at first, quickly turned to a flash of anger. Was I more angry at showing so much emotion in public or the fact that I feel so out of control most of the time? Probably equal blame, enough to go around lord knows.

A profitable meeting nonetheless. Received new shoes from friend who had two pairs. Lovely. They will be my new house shoes as they are super comfortable and make me feel light and quick. I’m wearing them now. I may never take them off. Merci beaucoup!

*****

Brokeback Mountain is playing tomorrow night at the Vogue as the Film Society movie. Can I go? Can I not? Heath’s character is a mumbler I know and Alastair tells me the sound in that theatre is not the greatest . . . still, the big screen versus dvd, no comparision. Can I take the time (and money) so close to another 10 days on the road? I guess it’ll depend on how much I feel I accomplish between now and then. I’ve got to have the March 28th issue of bnm locked up before I leave. And a bunch more stuff. Plus the usual packing, setting the house in order, etc.

*****

Stacy sent me the pics from the Jon Bon concert today. Very nice! Still haven’t gotten mine developed. Yes, that’s how poor I am.

Mood: cooked, burnt, fried, baked, toast . . . stick a fork in me, I’m done
Drinking: California Merlot
Listening To: Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice), Poison
Hair: straggly, rough