Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A PILLOW NOT YOUR OWN

This is one of those mornings. When I already have two, three blogs written out in longhand in a journal lying around in my pocket-sized apartment somewhere, 'important' postings on 'important' topics, but I have forgotten the journal, which means that the blogs remain dormant, undecipherable to anyone but those select few who can painstakingly translate the hieroglyphics that pass for this left-hander's handwriting, those 'select few' being me and me alone, so what you have before you is what passes for a blog entry: random, rambling sentences typed out merely for the pleasure of hearing my fingers tapping keys.

This means that the posting can go anywhichway I please. I could talk about the fact that the Cambodian summer is winding to an end, which doesn't mean much really, because it isn't truly 'summer' at all here, only the rainy season, and, truth be told, I expect it to last a little while longer. Or I could talk about the odd programming habits of 'Star World', a TV station beamed out of god-knows-where, but whose radius encompasses all of Southeast Asia, I suspect, which is odd because all of the shows on offer for lonely, homesick expats, by and large, amount to such scintillating fare as Becker and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and was it odd, slightly eerie to see John Ritter on my screen again, a year or so after his death? I think it was.

Or I could go deeper, or try to. I could talk about the dream I had last night, where a couple of Cambodians robbed me. They pointed a gun at my face, and asked for money, from me and my compadres, and I gave them my wallet, and even though I knew it was a dream, the way you know that all dreams are dreams when you are having them, it did not lesson the fear, or the shock, or the suspense in seeing if he would, in fact, implant a bullet into my skull. He didn't, and I think my dream then segued into something involving Kermit the Frog and Condoleeza Rice, but that's another dream, for another day.

(Is that my definition of going 'deeper' you ask -- allusions to amphibious muppets and Secretaries of State? I guess it is.)

I suppose you could say that this particular post is flailing and failing, going against every single rule that I painstakingly try to implant in my students' heads: Brainstorm your work; plan your work; revise your work. I've done none of those things here, but I suppose that's the glory of blogging -- no editor to oversee our trials and errors, and no magazine deciding what is and isn't suitable for public consumption.

And who knows? Maybe my crack about Kermit the Frog will make you remember something about your childhood, something you've long forgotten. The night you were sitting on the couch in your rec room watching The Muppet Show, marvelling at the hosting prowess of John Travolta, while above you, in the kitchen, your parents argued about the weekend plans, something about a grandmother, something about a waste of time, their voices rising and rising until you decided that the volume of the TV, too, needed to rise and rise, forcing you to get up and stand up and walk over to hike up the sound, louder, then louder still, until your mother yelled at you to turn it down, for God's sakes, your brother is sleeping, and you said a silent thank-you to the Muppets for taking your parents out of their angered state, if only for a second or two.

Or maybe my offhand remark about my dream from last night will force you, unwillingly, to remember your own dream from last night, the one that dissolved like cotton candy the moment after awakening, but still lurks, craven but shy, at the corners of your waking mind. You will be walking down the street later today, and a memory from that dream will suddenly appear, complete and pristine, at the front of your mind, as clear as the flatscreen TV you have been thinking about buying for two, three months. You will remember that dream for only a moment or two later today, and only its shape, not its content, and then it will pass, as dreams do. You will return to the world of bank accounts and traffic lights. Ten, eleven years hence, the dream will return, at midnight, on a pillow not your own, and you will welcome it back with such warmth and energy that its very absence all of these years will seem like an aberration, a void, that has finally been filled. Then sleep will come, and rob you once more of that dream, and you will awaken in the morning fulfilled but askew, trying to remember what it was you were thinking about before you drifted off to sleep. But bagels are in order, followed by juice, apple and orange, and so you must leave sleep behind, and once more the dream will drift away, sullen and neglected.

This is one of those mornings.

3 comments:

Christa said...

Scott, I liked the way your post just flowed with your thoughts as they came to you. No planning allows for openness and whimsy. Planning is not always necessary, unless you are in my class! In which case you better have your speech ready or you will lose 20 points for being late. As usual, well done.

Ariel1980 said...

I remember free-thought writing exercises where I allowed the impulses to flow freely---but even in your spontaneity, the posting has structure, and each of your suggestions indeed prompted me to my own recollections, even of the Muppet Show, in german no less.

Muktuk said...

Even in your early morning rambles you're more eloquent and cognisant than 99.9% of the population.