06 January 2011

"Happy Cannibal Crab - Will Die"

I've taken to keeping a notebook and pen next to my bed - especially in these days of bizarre sleeping schedules, my dreams have become more exaggerated [or, at least, I remember more of them]. (It should be noted that, were it not for the confines of the "normal" living hours imposed by "normal" society, I suspect I would naturally sleep from 5 or 6AM through to 1 or 2PM, with my most productive hours being the 11PM-1AM time slot. Unfortunately, just being awake, alert, and inspired to work doesn't do much when the rest of the world insists on quiet and sleep. Buzzkills.)

It's always a bit of a laugh to wake the next morning and find scrawled, cryptic messages in a foreign hand next to your bed - rather like waking up in an archeological excavation and attempting to decipher ancient ruins without the aid of my own Rosetta Stone. Fortunately, if I squint my eyes, tilt the head sideways, and imagine the hand gestures that would've been made in the dark, half-asleep, I can generally pull out enough words to spark the memory of the dream, which tangles back through the dusty cobwebs of the night's brain. 

The words I picked out this morning became my blog post, which sounds like either a bizarre Japanese horror film or the latest Indie band. I was enjoying the summer sun and salt air of Hood Canal, lounging on the bulkhead and fully feeling the cold stones beneath my legs and hearing the surf roll in. The neighbors were on their porch, and they laughed when they saw their new pet come wandering up from the beach. This was no ordinary crab, this crab was massive - about the size of two large dinner plates or a flattened chihuahua. He wasn't scary, though - he was a happy crab (contradiction in terms, notwithstanding), almost leaping and bouncing around like a small child high on concentrated sugar as he raced his way up to the bottom of the stairs to the neighbor's porch. There, they tossed him a few dining options - first a fillet of fish, which he raced to, grabbed up in his massive pinchers, nibbled at, then spat out with a distinctive "pbthh". He didn't even dignify the morning pancakes and sausage with a glance, instead jumping up and down and flailing his pinchers in the universal whine of a spoiled child.

The neighbors, shrugging their shoulders at me with a laugh (as if to say, "This is all he'll touch!"), threw him down a half-empty shell of a crab eaten the night before. The mammoth crab leaped in glee (with an audible and only half anthropomorphic shout of "wahoo!"), raced over, and began scooping the meat out of the shell and shovelling it down his gullet as fast as his arms could shovel (a technique familar to many anthropologists as the "Prather Popcorn Maneuver"). Fearing his beloved treat could be taken from him by all these watchful eyes (or suspicious that the laughter coming from the porch was directed at him), he scowled, held the prized meat closer to his breast, and scuttled back down to the crashing waves to enjoy his meal in peace.

Watching all this occur, I knew in that full certainty that you can have in dreams (without being told directly) that the neighbors were feeding the crab in order to fatten him up for the pot. Even in my dream, I could feel the irony of begging for a forbidden/cannibalistic treat, only to receive it at the cost that you, one day, will in turn be fed to someone else. I decided it was a rather macabre version of an Aesop Fable, only to remember that most Aesop Fables were pretty dang macabre in themselves - they needed no help from me. 

To finish the dream, as I sat on my dreamstate bulkhead considering the bizarre "lesson" my mind had just invented for me, I suddenly found my mouth and cheeks full (in a chipmunk fashion) with greasy, slimy, uncooked chunks of fish fillet, straight off the bone, and still salty from the sound. I would dry heave a huge pile of this fetid stink out of my mouth, only to have more and more appear. By the time I was finally just spitting out plain old spit, I had woken up.

If I was to continue with my philosophical bent, could I see this as a warning? A suggestion that I take in more of the world's fool's gold than I realize? Was this a pat on the back that I refused the option for personal gain at the expense of others? Or, should I choose to view it in more practical terms: namely, my mind was telling me that I was about to wake up, and that I really should've brushed my teeth before going to bed. 


03 January 2011

New Year, New Post

Last post: March 10, 2009.


Well, I can't say it wasn't my fault - life does have a way of becoming similar, day in and day out, when you're working the same job, but that doesn't mean that I didn't see funny people on the underground, or participate in kooky stunts at work, or occasionally get outside to see the weather continue to do its thing in such an awe-inspiring fashion if we'd bother to take more than three seconds to consider what we're looking at. Still, the fact remains that I let almost 10 months go by without a post, all the while mentally complaining that friends and family never updated theirs, or gearing up for Nanowrimo when I didn't have the dedication to sit down and write a blog post every week or so. So, one of my resolutions for the New Year is to make this blog a happening place to check in - to remember small moments in life, to take my camera out more often, to keep anyone out there listening more in tune with the rhythm and melodies of my life as it happens. (You know, alongside finding a new job, potentially a new flat, new friends, and a few new directions to find and pursue)

The difficulty, of course, is the ultimate sitting down and writing down. I have trouble finally drifting off at night because my mind starts busily talking on a non-stop natter just as soon as I set my head down on the pillow. I could have been brain-deadedly watching a movie or cleaning the flat, letting my mind clear into a state of zen-like nothingness as the evening winds down, but once the alarm is set and the light turned off, my brain turns into a bounding child, dumping his clothes all over the floor I'd just nicely cleaned up, turning on the music and the TV, asking me questions then, before I can answer them, moving on to talking about a friend from school I've never met, then clattering all the pots and pans to the floor while asking where that one can of chocolate frosting went to - you know, that one - no, not that one! The one that hardens when it hits the cold ice cream, I think we had a it a few years back; Susie really likes that stuff, but Jordan's allergic - kind of like George, only he's allergic to beestings. I don't remember ever being stung by a bee, so I don't know whether I'm allergic or not; I remember Scott getting stung by wasps one year at Camp Casey - maybe the same Fourth of July when it raining so hard that they kept ducking out at any break in the weather to light off fireworks - unless that the was summer when we finally had to go to a hotel, because it started thundering and lighting...ing - what is the past tense for a thunder and lightning for a verb?

You begin to wish up a way of inventing earplugs for the mind - let it go on formatting and refrag-ing itself, sorting things into their own little places, but let the rest of the mind -the older, exhausted mother who's been nagging at me all day to take my coat, check that the phone is charged, carry that basket correctly- get the sleep it needs. However, as soon as I finally drop off, I suspect this child-like brain must keep going, as I've always been a heavy dreamer. I can generally catch hold of the last dream I had before waking if I'm quick enough - it leisurely floats around my head like a butterfly made of dust, disintegrating slowly as it shimmers through the dust it leaves behind. Try to grab it too violently and it crumbles in your hand - sneak up on it, however, and net it and you might just be able to sneak a peak into those last few images before you returned to the dullness of reality. On nights where I haven't slept well, or nights where the dreams link from one to the next, I can follow the dreams backwards, as though pulling the winding film cartridge from out of my ear. I tend to shift back and forth from being in the dream (first person) and then standing back and directing the action, crafting the story as it happens and only stepping back into the flowing river of the story when so inclined (or when a new one fades into the old)

I rarely have nightmares - and even those are generally only in times of my life where I feel like I'm not in control, and are generally situations that reflect this state of mind: no monsters or creepy crawlies, just a car that drives too fast or only backwards, or the inability to wake myself up. The more common "bad" dream for me is when my mind decides to create a really sad story - and I'm almost never "in" these stories, just watching from the vantage point of the first balcony or the director's chair. I fill myself with the pathos and emotional manipulation and have, on many occasions, woken up sobbing from the beauty of the storyline which, in the light of day, always sounds like something Anne Shirley would've written, or one of those terrible Romance Novelists who frame the covers with a woman in a dress blown in the wind looking out over the sea or a large field of wheat, attempting to convey the impression that she carries the weight of true sorrow in her bosom, whilst instead she just looks like the eternal complainer/martyr that you always get stuck talking to, and spend the whole conversation trying to find a way out of. "Yes, the crops burnt down and ol' Rusty was taken up to heaven, but... [a "sad" smile with a single tear in the corner of her eye as she fumbles with her handkerchief] I'll get by... somehow..." "Yeah, really sorry to hear that," you half-heartedly mutter while glancing to her right. "Oh, look, the crab dip is getting kind of low... I should go refill that...."