Half Asleep Brain Processes

I think I’m awake but not, because I’m thinking things like I’m late for my aunt’s funeral and that I should learn to play piano. I need someone to roll down the window or a Christmas tree, something like that.

I’m bendable or half inflated, a combination of velvet and sticks. I can’t remember. I’m dropping stuff and spilling ice, hitting the call button on the broken PA, and then I’m writing out restaurant recs, and Marcus Aurelius comes to mind, a hose or at least parts of one.

I want to remind myself of the thing I need to remember. One of those new water bottles that everybody has. That’s what I need and how much that actually make sense. I’m processing what makes fashion. If it’s insanity, what then?

Roadkill in “The Grapes of Wrath”

Bleakness and death permeate John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, even in the seemingly minor descriptions of going down that barren road. As the truck came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it. His front wheel struck the edge of the edge of the shell, flipped the turtle like a tiddlywink, spun it like a coin, and rolled it off the highway. (15)

The rabbit hesitated, faltered and then turned and bolted towards the lesser lights of the Dodge. There was a soft jolt as he went under the wheels “We sure squashed him,” said Casy. (185)

A rattlesnake crawled across the road and Tom hit it and broke it and left it squirming. (230)

Plus Side of Prison for Trump

You eat regular, an’ get clean clothes, and there’s a place to take a bath. It’s pretty nice some ways. Though it makes it hard not havin’ none of that social media.

One guy was back for breakin’ parole because it made him lonesome out there in the open, havin’ to think what thing to post next. An’ in the mornin’, he didn’t know what time to get up. Jus’ lay there lookin’ at his phone.*

*Adapted from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath

Something is Not Happening

We want to feel something is happening so badly that we never know when it really is.

Questions On Our Existence

Do I want to know when and where I will die? Hell no! But…a ‘yes’ means that there’s more to what I think I know. And so…yes?

When you order “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Chungking Express”, Amazon recommends a spanking video. (Should I put it on my list?)

I’ve got one for whoever is in charge of this mess: Are humans a successful step in evolution? Yes or no. No waffling. (Uh…no.)

Social Media is Social Distancing

There is nothing in it, no wisdom, no treasure, even crumbs to extol.
It is directionless, emptiness, there is nothing to gain.
Nobody cares how well you scroll.
It is despair, an absence and death.
Nobody cares how well you scroll.
There is only vanishing, like you were never here.

Stupid Never Stops

The problem with stupid is its relentlessness. It just goes on and on. And on.

Smart is its own worst enemy, thinking itself to exhaustion, especially how to explain to stupid, which never works.

Stupid hates smart for being smart. It will not stop for anything, even survival, to be heard. There’s hope you say? Based on what? Stupid has always won.

Tarkovsky’s “Nostalgia” Half Asleep

Why are Andrei Tarkovsky’s films even a thing? They’re a meandering mess with endlessly long shot after long shot, slow tracks in and slow tracks sideways, sophomoric monologues about coping with existence dribbling on. Pretentious artsy crap. But I’m obsessed.

I was over tired when I went to see the recently restored version of Nostalgia. As much as I was enraptured by the opening shot, I was already falling asleep. It seemed a volatile thing because that’s where Tarkovsky lives, on that line between consciousness.

On the verge of madness? Was that it? Or clarity? A distant voice called out. A following tracking shot across a drained pond. I was almost scared. Or maybe I was and couldn’t admit that. I was understanding something, or forgetting what I thought I knew.

Listening and Not

I woke the moment you leaned. You listened. That’s what you said. You knew I was lost and found something in that. You had been where I had. Mine was yours. And then it was gone.

You didn’t understand that my state of rest is the argumentative. That brings me peace, not being right or wrong, but that you only have to argue a little bit harder to be heard.

A Baby to Expunge

As much as I love this scene, it doesn’t work for my novel, The Vanishing Pill.

Punter’s film had finally uploaded and was ready to view. It opened with Punter handing over a kilo of cocaine to the Head of School, Lilly Castor – played by the Head of the Fine Arts Department – as a bribe to not expel him. The meeting concluded with Lisa accepting the cocaine and then doing a gang handshake with Punter. The class exploded in laughter. Davis, dumbfounded, watched the following where the boys, assumedly all high on cocaine, ran around an apartment like maniacs; he abruptly stopped the film. “What the hell is this?”

“New York New Wave,” Punter proudly declared. The class laughed at that.

“This film is garbage, Punter.”

“It’s a question of taste, isn’t it?”

Davis went to Lilly’s office immediately after the class. “I just watched Punter’s film.”

She had disconcertingly wide eyes and a tight fat mouth. “Our meeting isn’t until tomorrow.”

“Lilly, I just saw his film where you play the head of school.”

She turned her rolling chair half toward him. “He certainly put a lot of time into that. He’s such a dedicated to film-making.”

“Lilly…” Davis made a series of gestures, unable to say what he wanted to say. “The opening scene is of you accepting a kilo of cocaine and then doing a gang handshake.”

“He told me that it was going to be a morality tale,” Lilly explained.

“It only gets worse from there,” Davis replied. “They pile the cocaine on a table and run insanely around the apartment. They students were stunned.”

“You didn’t preview the film before showing it to the class?”

“The opening shot was of you taking a kilo of cocaine from one of our students.”

She stood up quickly. “I don’t like how you’re speaking to me, Davis.”

“How I’m speaking to you?” Davis made a half back step into the hallway and then back into the office. “Lilly, do you understand that right now every one of those kids is telling the story of that film to everyone else in the school?”

Her cheeks and chest flushed a heavy red. “Davis, you need to leave my office. Our meeting is tomorrow.”