Dreamed I was writing equations here—complicated equations, algebraic, inspired by Lacan, with no hope of resolution. Equations that it was embarrassing to think I ever believed in. Dreamed my bicycle was stolen (an opportunity for a new one), dreamed of a cafeteria, of gluten-free noodles, of Marguerite behind the cash. Dreamed of wandering through an underground carnival—violent—dragging someone with me who didn’t want to be there. A sudden death—neither of us, but a third party who I had locked in a freezer, somehow nebulously enough that it was uncertain whether I bore any responsibility for his death. 

There are different ways of being kind. Kindness is sometimes hard to assess. It may be misrecognized, miscategorized, misreported. Often what is mistaken for kindness is anything but. Who was it for when you told me about your regret? About how hard you felt it? Who was it for when you told me about how much of you still wanted me? Not kind, but a kind of performance, for the ego, something to satisfy your own sense of guilt. Nice, not kind. You don’t want to be “bad.” You weren’t. But you put a string in. Held it. Made it a little harder for the one who didn’t want it to end. 

Guilt

alien1

The other night I dream a name most of you don’t know. It would be irresponsible to reproduce it. We’re in the aerie of an old, twisting castle built of elegant wood panelling, iron rails, and limestone. There are many of us: a tribe. We crouch over slate shingles and jump from one roof to the next. Balconies and corridors are blocked off, and in the passages beyond hiss spider-people making slow progress. It’s understood they are our enemies.

The name turns to me and exposes his back. It’s criss-crossed with deep cuts healed over with dried blood. “Scratch your tattoo into it,” he says, and I balk.

“Excuse me?”

He’s upset. “Scratch your tattoo into it,” he says again, pressing. I have a vague idea he wants me to draw him a cartoon. The spider-men attack, and we’re seperated. All of humanity is refugee, and I, winding my own meandering path through the action (once I fire a missile, but there is no report; someone tells me I’m not to pass back into a section of the castle already lost, I go anyway), come across miserable groups huddled up in patches, spread out on old rags and laying stock-still, as if waiting for death; the fighting goes on all about them, shaking the walls.

From time to time I come across the name again, and he makes no mention of the tattoo. He only seems disappointed. This section of the dream ends. Continue reading →