"After all," lament the studios, "We only present what the public demands."
The public demands redundancy in reviews of what worked before. The public suffers from anteamnesia, which William Burroughs described and the movie Memento explored as the perpetual-virgin premise you can hear the same joke over and over and it will be the same every time.
"What can we do?" whine the network programmers; "Our audience will ever have it thus."
They may be right by now.
When you exercise fewer and fewer options, you recognize diminishing alternatives. You expect and are comforted by tradition, a pattern, the same joke told over and over in the same manner. You don't have to think, you don't have to fret nor worry, you are in a safe haven.
Science Fiction. A machine takes over, or aliens invade. Since Flash Gordon in thirties serials, this has been a theme in "imaginative" storytelling.
There's another way. It removes the blinders, melts the walls, opens up vistas. It doesn't run on rails and isn't confined to tracks. It bubbles up like steam and mist and wafts from the primordial kitchen of your very consciousness. It may be what generates your very sense of being. From dreams, you only need tack on a synthetic narrative and then stick out your hand, "Hello, I'm Jill, he's Bill..."
In your dreams, sweetie. The only creative province remaining.
The Night of the Day
We are on foot in Watsonville, and I call that office. I say, I will be late, and the chunky boss affects woe.
"Oh, no, today is the day Newton needs to go to Palo Alto!"
Okay, okay, so we trudge to work. I have my family with me, but they are in the background. Through some alteration, I'm not on time and thought I wouldn't be missed.
Work is different. In the actual times, I was mostly alone in a small room. Now, it's very crowded and congested and there is a diner in the front of the facility, which I don't at all recognize, in common with most of my dreams. I mean, I am in settings which I know by name but are translated considerably through dreamscape.
It's because of the deli up front, with crowds sitting around, that's why there is more traffic than I ever experienced. The setting for it is like a kid might improvise out of household materials for a fort, it is cramped and nested like a burrow and I just walk around and through.
I am interviewing Newton, whose name, as I find out when I finally have to ask (like in real time, I never remember names, and at work I never intended to - sort of a means of disabusing them of the notion they are all alone in the world - I would have calls, `You remember I called you last week?') is not Newton but is some stopped three-parter like Oliver Dexter Twiggings. I carry his folder and can find no place to work on it; all the flat space is occupied, mostly by nonessential scraps of other minor jobs.
I am not accomplishing much, but Twiggings doesn't seem to mind. He's telling me the conditions under which he will go to the VA Hospital. Yeah, yeah, I'm thinking, and where the dickens is the -
I see old rides puffing and wheezing up a side road outside, and remember I see them often nights and weekends. They're the vehicles of old troops going to the hospital.
I see one I recognize as my own hound, but he has no name. He looks exactly like Max, except he is very thin and he's dragging his hindquarters and they seem malformed and they are covered with black ink or oil, and I think, oh, no, he's drunk some ink.
I gather him up. He is very light. I hurry through the shop and out, yelling for someone to bring water, anything. They ignore me. I see Latin ladies at a table in a sparse area, unconcerned, incurious, nobody has to help so nobody does.
He is better, and I have managed a ride from somewhere, I'm driving and reassuring, and he tells me, tells me about past wounds, what they did to him before, and he shows me a monstrous gash from the back of his neck down his left side. He is profiled in the seat beside me, and he shows like you would unzip a jacket to reveal a new sweater.
The Day Before
Scoob and I go to the beach on this Thursday instead of our regular Wednesday because he ran off when I took him out into the hillside that morning and was gone a long time. It was moderately interesting at the doggie beach. A ridgeback, which is one of the types he usually can play his bulldogging with, is waiting for him as he comes down the steps, but for some reason I never understand, Scoob passes. It's a matter of loping about and sniffing and trying to begin a game. Here is Scoob trying to teach a Mastiff type (only pink, like a pig) how to play. The lady is not quite his size and she does the side-to-side darting but then loses interest and trots off after something else.
Scoob plays with pups a lot, and he finds the cute little retriever mix. It frightens the owners often if they don't know how big and little hounds accommodate one another, but experienced parents aren't nervous. It's funny when the parents try to order canine games like it was children they were directing.
I remain close to the stairs because one week ago Scoob left on his own accord and crossed the street to Lighthouse Field where the dogs run. Frightening.
I go for Marini's taffy to send to a friend, and I'm early by an hour. I think again and again Niki J's birthday is approaching, and it's the worst time for me, because I feel I can never do it justice.
Back home, it's housecleaning, but light duty day. I vacuum the Jeep.
The rest of the time, Scoob snoozes, or goes out on the deck with me. I do some reading. Online is not interesting; it seems to be a slack season everywhere.
Scoob is always boisterous whenever one of us comes home. He jumps and he can hurt with his enthusiasm. Niki J and I play our regular game of Spite and Malice out on the deck. When it's dark, we go to see the light Casey placed for his new sign at the bottom of our drive.
The Giants thumped the Angels 16 - 4 to go up 3-2 in the Series.
25 Oct 2002
Cast of Characters
Dreamer - me
Niki J - my lovely spouse
Scoobie - our loving pup, 114 pounds of lovable Rottie/Pit Bull
Casey - Son
Em - Wife to Casey
Will - Son
Jill - Wife to Will