Thursday, December 02, 2004


I just awoke from this dream. I was with college friends, two girls I knew. We were at this performance of Hamlet, by Laotians or some southeast Asian troupe. Didn't understand a word, nor recognize the scenes; most in the audience were following and engaged.

Then it was just me and this one girl, wandering in a public park, with connections to Rome. We were trying to figure out from maps where the ceramic tent might be. In real life, this was a kind, sweet girl, pretty too, that I once said something mean to -- thought it made sense at the time, but today I see myself just being a jerk.

I woke up thinking of times I'd been a disappointment to others, and later to myself, when I finally came to see my behavior more as they did. Sometimes there's a way to apologize directly. In this case, the dream was a gift, a time to just hang out with this girl and meditate on my mean streak.

When I was really young, I didn't like TV for adults (many kids don't), but when I did catch a soap opera while channel surfing, I'd always wonder why these people were so stupid. "Just tell the truth and unravel the knot!" was my sense of it. Impatience. I got it later that people in soaps are deliberately like that -- we have a god's eye view and feel superior. But there's a god's eye view on my life too, and it's called hindsight.

OK, pretty generic ruminations here -- I think most will relate. And the maddening part is, I know I'm screwing up in various ways today, that I'll look back on with regret. I'm still creating pain for myself. So while I'm in the mood to apologize to the cast of my past, I might as well issue a big apology to my present and future co-stars: yes, I'm mean sometimes, no question. I'm even this way on purpose, knowing it'll cost me, but wanting to give a strong performance.

Fuller writes a lot about the Doppler Effect. The varying rates at which the news catches up to us -- makes each private universe different. We each sort it differently, get the punchlines in a different order. I think of Kafka and The Harrow (a unique criminal sentence for each). I think of Venice and the Bridge of Sighs (wishing things had been different).

Well, this really is a middle-of-the-night confession -- still time for more dreams (ah, I see an allusion to Hamlet here, and the pottery barn reminds me of "you break it, you buy it").