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19:58 - Monday, Oct. 31, 2005
observations in three movements
Riding home - the way that space suddenly looks vertically unbalanced (skewed. tipsy. lopsided. etc.) with all the architecture: houses, people, trees, buildings, even grass crowded onto the surface of the earth and absolutely nothing in the sky - is suddenly as odd and dizzying as a living room with all its furniture piled up against one wall or a cave with thick and numerous stalagmites protruding from a vertical rock slab.
At some point in my dream I understood Russian communism, but not Chinese communism. The ceiling of my South Pacific classroom looks like a pipe factory. The ceiling of the bookstore looks like a 19th century bordello. The ceiling of the bookstore looks like someone tried to construct a 21st century secular cathedral and failed, and subsequently was forced to hang CU insignia everywhere. At another point in my dream, my sleeping bag was another driver's slow car, unable to get around town at any appreciable speed. At another point in my dream, a shadowy car was trailing my bike down my shadowy block at night, faster and faster, and I pedaled breathlessly and cut, bouncing, across my lawn as the shadowy car pulled into the parking lot, scattering raccoons, and I dropped my bike in front of the mailbox and started running up the stairs but when I turned around to check on the shadowy car on the shadowy street, a burst of air and terror shot up and around the staircase and felled me and shook my face against the banister until... until.
There's a young guy with a ponytail and a disappearing and reappearing skateboard who is wandering around the flower, plant, tree, and bench circles in a manner that has no order or apparent destination. He will walk purposefully towards a bench and then veer away and stop, consulting a yellow piece of paper. Sometimes the yellow piece of paper is in his pocket and sometimes it is in his hand. Out of my sight, over by the fence, there must be an abode for his backpack and skateboard, because when he emerges again from there he has the opposite of what he had when he disappeared back there. He has sunglasses, so I can't see where he's looking, but he swings his head around so much that it's not hard to at least estimate.
He makes his random rounds at least ten times before I deliberately catch his eye - I am not bold enough to actually ask him what his deal is - just bold enough to invite and imply that he should tell me - and he stops, avoids my stare, looks around with trepidation, and walks hurriedly over to a distant shady bench. He sits down, pulls out a cigarette and his cell phone, and smokes furiously while staring at the open blank face of his phone and glancing furtively around. The second he finishes his cigarette, he gets up and strides away at an impossible clip, and he has not yet returned.


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