Thursday, September 22, 2016


I slept till 8 this morning, which is bizarrely late for me, but I was fighting with a dream that I could not shake. It was one of those dreams that the dreamer believes is true, and in this case I was being confronted by Mary, who runs the town transfer station, about throwing piles of garbage into the road in front of my house instead of bagging it up and bringing it to the dump. I knew I was guilty, I knew I had done it, I couldn't explain why, and now I was a public pariah, and in my dream I was horrified at myself and deeply, deeply ashamed. Even now I am still so entrapped in that scenario that I can almost remember emptying all my trash onto the pavement.

Now, in the forgiving sunlight, I could let myself assume that all that shame and garbage were symbols for some interior distress. Or I could assume that the garbage imagery is related to all the stuff I'm shedding as I get ready to leave this house. Or I could assume that my dream was some version of my anger and helplessness as I read about the continuing violence against black Americans; the poisoning of young Muslim men; truckloads of food for starving Syrians being deliberately destroyed in airstrikes; the insouciant inanity of that gargoyle who thinks he wants to be president.

I sit here in my placid kitchen, and I think about the young woman's body, found a few hundred yards from her house in Fairfield, Maine, and her husband, arrested yesterday for her murder . . . a husband who earlier in the week had been giving television interviews about how much he missed her: "O please come home, honey!"

I feel sick.

1 comment:

David (n of 49) said...

"The insouciant inanity of that gargoyle":

'The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode," and you imagine that it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: "Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?"'

- from The Code of the Woosters, P.G. Woodhouse, as quoted in the Times Literary Supplement, Feb. 12, 2016