The Dating Game: I Wake Up

Friday, September 29th, 2006 | Dreams, The Dating Game | No Comments

The dream began at a garden party. Richard was excited about his new book coming out, the garden was beautiful, shaded and lush, a nice breeze. On the drive home, I pulled over and a woman tried to get in and steal my wallet. I wrestled with her wordlessly, pushing her out and locking the doors, one at a time. I recognized her, but couldn’t remember if we knew each other… wasn’t she a performer of some sort? Alone in the car, I realized suddenly, again, that Manny hadn’t died, that his death had been staged. I scrambled to find my Palm Pilot to call Frank, the executor of Manny’s estate, and ask again if I could see him. Evidently I’d been trying unsuccessfully to see him for years. At this point I suppose I started to wake, and a taste of how dementia is going to be settled on me. I was very confused about whether or not Manny had actually died, not able to understand why he wouldn’t want to see me, why this elaborate hoax had been perpetrated. Then I remembered kissing his stone cold hard as stone body.

I’ve been crying the last half hour, unable to close my eyes tight enough to seal them from the darkness, which scares me. I’m alone, Manny won’t come back to take care of me, or protect me from the darkness. Outside there are robbers trying to get into the house, monsters under the bed. I’ll get things done, I’ll learn to be happy by myself, I’ll go to openings, I’ll take care of myself. Why don’t I go on a vacation–by myself?

I don’t want to. I don’t want to not have soft furry flesh pressed against mine when I wake up like this, a soft reassuring voice to let me know that I’m not alone, and alive. I won’t get used to this. I won’t I won’t I won’t.

It’s beautiful here now, so quiet at this time of morning. The heady scent of the last of the summer’s brugmansia florescence is wafting into my bedroom.

Jesus Break

Wednesday, April 9th, 2003 | Dreams, Family, Food | No Comments

Okay, we haven’t had dessert yet, but I had to sneak down to my studio and chat a bit. As inevitably happens, the conversation at dinner turned to the supernatural (Bob’s aunt astral-travels, and his brother was visited by.. well, they’re not sure if it was the Virgin of Guadalupe or Loudes. “Well, were there kids with her or was she surrounded by flames?” I asked. Blank expressions). Bob’s mom recently had a dream in which Jesus appeared to her–white light and everything. I asked her if he had any message, and she responded, “It was so REAL. I couldn’t get away from him, I kept trying to wake up!” So much for Our Savior of San Diego.

Nighmare, Noir and Elin

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003 | Dreams, Film, Friends | No Comments

Last night I had a really scary dream. Steve told me and Bob about a really great old house that was for sale, cheap and very grand. It was in horrible shape–the roof leaked, the floors were falling apart, no insulation, etc… but it had lovely bones, an old victorian mansion with magnificent detailing, so we bought it, thinking we could fix it. Well, after a while the house terrified me–I was convinced it was haunted. Then the ceiling started caving in. I told everybody to get out (there were all these interesting people living there already), and we escaped just as the entire house caved in on itself and there we were, in the rain, not knowing what to do or where to go.

Perhaps it’s too easy to read, this dream, and hence my anxiety.

Elin’s visiting, my friend from Vinalhaven. Her visits are always very intense, with lots of activity, mostly centered around food and expensive objects. The other night we saw a wonderful film at the Castro, Clouzot’s Quai des Orfevres, (1947). (There’s a small genre of noir films that rarely get screened, including the unique noir musical, Lang’s You and Me, which borrow from both the gangster films of the 30’s and the screwball comedies.) At the center was beautiful chanteuse Jenny Lamour, who teases men to distraction and to develop her career, but is a one-man woman, married to cute pudgy bald Maurice (totally my type). At one point she says “He’s my flame–he may not burn very brightly, but he lights the way…” Her photographer friend, Dora, is infatuated with her, and we become infatuated with the drop-dead beautiful Dora, but in the end, the inspector says to her, “We’re alike—when it comes to women, we’ll never have a chance…” elevating her to some unknown category of unattainable beautiful lesbians. I won’t tell you about the plot, because you should see it. Just delightful.

A Bum Knee, Solaris, and Manny 18 Years Ago

Tuesday, December 17th, 2002 | Dreams, Family, Film, Gay, Travel | No Comments

I fell down my stairs, again, on Sunday, a few hours after banging into my “health chair” while grappling for the light in my studio downstairs. It didn’t bug me until tonight, my knee, after doing a little Christmas shopping, well, actually buying myself the new Criterion release of Contempt while shopping for my loved ones, and then after climbing my hill and the flight of stairs to my flat and, whammo, instant inflammation. I made a long entry last night in my blog about Manny–I spent an hour or so on it–but then inadvertently deleted it. So I’ll try to recap, although the throbbing in my knee and the half bottle of wine I drank at BC’s will surely temper the sentiment of last night into something perhaps less sappy and hopefully less lengthy.

So I went to see Solaris with Bob last night, a fairly decent stylish and moody remake of the Tarkovsky film, directed by Steven Soderbergh. George Clooney plays a psychologist, “Chris,” who is called to investigate the strange goings-on in the space station orbiting the planet Solaris. Upon his arrival, he discovers that two of the inhabitants of the station have killed themselves, and after a night of restless sleep filled with unsettling dreams of his recently deceased wife, who had also killed herself, he wakes to find her, his wife, actually there with him.

Last night was the anniversary of the night that I met Manny, 18 years earlier, while working at Marcello’s Pizza on Castro, when he picked me up (saying he was 40), despite my protestation that he should be picking on someone his own age (I had just turned 19). The movie made me think of a dream that I had of Manny in 1993, about a year and a half after his death, while renting a freezing cold apartment in Florence with Bob from the Marchsesa Frescobaldi. In my dream, while driving down Market Street, the sun setting, the city bathed in that late summer golden haze, I noticed a man on the side of the road who looked like Manny, seated in a wheelchair with a blanket over his lap, soaking up the last of the rays of sunlight. As I got closer I realized it WAS him, slammed on the brakes and ran to him, ranting hysterically, unbelievable. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing there, why he was alive, but I was so happy to see him again and to hold him. He held me for the longest time without saying anything, and then said, “Ya know, Christian (he always called me that, but it’s not my name), I’m really happy here, very cumftable (he grew up in the Bronx), and I’m going to be okay. And you’re going to be okay, too…” I got back in the car, drove away, and woke up, feeling that sadness that’s like a boulder on your diaphragm. Something was over.

For months after his death, I had thought that I had seen him here and there, and even once leapt from my car and chased a guy down, thinking it was Manny. I had so deeply and intensely loved him, a love bound to his physicality, the smell of his breath and the taste of his skin, that I couldn’t convince my senses that they were to be deprived of his molecules. Waking from my dream, I understood that he was completely gone, and more importantly, that I was letting go of him, too.


Thursday, May 30th, 2002 | Dreams | No Comments

I was at Chris’ mom’s house, downstairs, peeing into a stainless steel toilet shaped like one of those concrete bunker-type toilets that you find at Sonoma County beaches. I thought, “God, what a mess for Pat (Chris’ mom) to have to clean up,” and turned to see Stephanie, Chris’ Dad, standing there. I remarked to her about how firm and perky her breasts were. She giggled, and suddenly I was in a forest. Sophia Loren sat on a log nearby in a man’s white shirt, buttoned loosely and revealing her décolletage. I was busy sawing off the limbs of a tree that had earlier been cut down. I paused to notice that my hands were covered in saw dust, clinging to the sap on my palms, and then rubbed them together nervously, looking at Sophia, who giggled and blushed with me…

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