When is something real? Trying to scream…

Hush little baby don’t say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It’s just the beast under your bed
In your closet in your head


The other night, I woke up and stretched my arm out to the empty side of the bed and felt an arm there. I froze and tried to think. I didn’t know what to do. So I screamed. Tried to scream. The scream wouldn’t come out.  I tried and tried to scream until I woke myself up not because of the scream but because of…adrenaline, I suppose. Terror.

In Junior High PE class we used to practice screaming as part of our self defense training. I was great at it. So great I should have been in a horror film at it. An example to other screamers great at it.

When I’m  asleep I am never able to scream when I’m in danger, and apparently I scream in my sleep fairly often. So if you have been one of my bed partners in the past, or hope to be in the future, you have my sincere apologies.

Why do I scream, or try to scream? Nightmares. Sometimes very frequent, almost nightly. Mostly I wake up screaming every month or so.  Sometimes I can remember them, but mostly I have little or no recollection of what I was dreaming, just the sense of residual terror…or  perhaps a vague sense of pursuit, violence or evil.  In the dreams I remember, I am not usually the direct target– the horrible things are happening to someone else.

There’s often a sense of complicity to the horror that remains when I awaken, even if I can’t quite remember what happened. I save myself at the cost of another. Running away more quickly than someone else. Hiding. Observing. Guilty of and by inaction.

They’re just dreams, right?

It’s fascinating how a body responds, though, to something that doesn’t even exist.  Exactly as it does for real danger. The body has no clue what is real, it just does what the brain tells it to do.  Or is it real if my brain and body agree that it is?

How do I know what is real myself if my brain thinks there is someone in bed with me who shouldn’t be? Or if my brain lets me watch a small child be flayed alive while I am asleep?

I guess that’s the point. My brain doesn’t know and so I don’t know, not really. Is “real” only a construct of belief? Does believing something make it real? Or more real?

When does real become real?

And why do we call something “just a dream” when the mind and body both think it’s real?

I think I’ll just play “Enter Sandman” again and stop thinking about it…


Going fallow

I have a head for business and a body for sin. Unfortunately, the sin appears to be gluttony.

–Jenny Colgan


Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour.

–Victor Hugo


The other night, as I was binge watching “the Shahs of Sunset,” I decided something: my brain is more disengaged than I would like it to be. I  haven’t been reading  anything (much), I have no projects going that I’m longing to complete, I haven’t been writing.  My brain has been-to borrow a farming term-fallow.

Is that good or bad?

Spending more time watching the messed up lives of a bunch of wealthy Los Angeles Iranians is not something I aspire to, although I do love Asa’s caftan collection and the over the top gold jewelry they all wear. I don’t like to “should” myself, but I really should find something better to do with my time than this. At the very least, make something while I’m watching?

The lack of a creative outlet for my imagination and hands is dangerous for me. Mentally and physically dangerous. Left to my own devices without the ability to imagine things and implement them in some way,  I’m the living embodiment of “satan finds work for idle hands…” and not even in ways that are interesting. I mean, if I’m going to be self destructive it should at least be interesting.

The sad truth of all of my bad habits is that they are very dull. No one wants to hear about gluttony or sloth. They are the least sexy of the Seven Deadly Sins. Perhaps I should try wrath, vainglory or greed?   I already have a tinge of lust, pride and sorrow.

I’m certainly not giving up lust or melancholy. I’m a November girl and Scorpio has got to  scorp!

Avarice/greed  is not my thing at all.

Do you suppose I should try to work toward vainglory? I do have a very high opinion of myself, but it’s offset by an equally low opinion of myself. I suspect I could get to vainglory eventually, but I might need some therapy to boost my ego a bit. Or is it my id that’s deficient?

Wrath? Occasionally. I can be irritable if I think people are stupid, but to get up a good smoldering ire takes a long time for me. It’s generally something people have earned. I could probably achieve wrath, but I’m not sure it’s a lifestyle I could truly embrace.

Maybe I should work on the sins I already have before trying to get new ones.

Wait, what?

I’m not supposed to increase the number of sins in my life? I’m supposed to decrease them?? Who says? Everybody? Well, that’s silly.  What do you mean, I went on a tangent?

Apparently, I was saying something about my brain going fallow.

At least lack of mental discipline is not one of the Seven Deadly Sins….but I will try to do a better job of not letting my brain and body turn into marshmallow fluff from now on.







My ideal Elvis set list 

The other day I was listening to an old interview of Elvis on the Howard Stern Show, and now everythin’ that ends in ing sounds like Elvis. You know how it is. You’re listnin’ along, smilin’ at all the great songs..and without even noticin’ that it’s happenin’ all the g’s have fallen off your gerunds. 

It’s enbarassin’ really. 

I’m goin’ to see Elvis with the person who first introduced me to the music of the One True Elvis, and when we were discussin’ where to have dinner before the show, KelBel asked me what songs I wanted to hear. And that is a really hard question. There is such a long list. 

So I was thinkin’ about the ideal set list. There are songs he has to play, so we know that Alison and some detectives will be there. He’s got to play some of his more recent stuff so he doesn’t get bored. 

Here’s what I think:
Start with Pump it Up. It will drive the crowd wild, and he won’t have to do a lick of work the rest of the night 
Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes for me. This is the one I would be most disappointed not to hear, even though it breaks my heart a little bit to hear it at all. 

Lipstick Vogue for what’s his name

Sulphur to Sugar Cane

Something from North, like Someone Took the Words Away or Let Me Tell You About Her

My Science Fiction Twin


I Want You

You’d need some Peace, Love and Understanding or Shipbuilding

Am I Blue

Beyond Belief

Stella Hurt

Mystery Dance


And then I just just sort of surrender. There are just too many songs. He can’t play them all.  I’ll be there with some of my favorite guys in the world, and it will be great no matter what. 

But, still. There better be red shoes.