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2:13 am - Thurs 9/2/04
Dreams, Pocket Journals, and \"Lucky Pennies\"
Tues 8/31/04 (10:44 a.m.)

Dreams, Pocket Journals, and "Lucky Pennies"

Had a dream awhile back that I haven't gotten around to writing down yet:

I was in my apartment, only it didn't look at all like my real apartment, except for having some pictures and things on the walls (It was larger, and much more spartan, than my real place).

The front door was like a bathroom stall door, with open space at the top and bottom, and the first part of the dream I remember is that these three guys were at the door, all younger than me, but about the same size (I remember one of them was blonde). I don't remember what we said to each other, exactly, but they must have been threatening to break in, because I was talking like a tough guy-- "You just try it, and see what happens..."–while holding one foot against the door, and reaching around for my little souvenir baseball bat (I actually do have a little souvenir baseball bat, by the way. It belonged to Marie, the G.M. at the store before John A; she gave it to me when she was cleaning out her office. But anyway...).

I couldn't find the billyclub-sized baseball bat, but the three guys apparently bought my tough-guy act, because they eventually left without trying to break in. Then a short time later, another young guy came up, reaching over the top of the door to hand me a Louisville Slugger, as if to say "It looks like you could use this...".

I took the bat, but then decided a full-sized bat wouldn't really work in close-quarters, so I started looking around again for my little souvenir bat. But when I turned away from the door, everything in my apartment was gone. The walls were bare, and my bookshelves were empty (Oh, the apartment was all white, by the way. And very clean, which meant I was definitely dreaming).

I distinctly remember having the same feeling I had when my last bike got stolen–I couldn't quite process what I was seeing. I think I actually turned away, then turned back again, expecting to see that everything was actually fine, right where it was supposed to be.

But everything was still gone.

Then I noticed an entire wall of my apartment was missing, and when I walked over to it, I saw that my apartment emptied out into this big warehouse space. There were no people in the "warehouse", just a bunch of pallets of open boxes, boxes of what looked to be people's possessions (I remember seeing old records in one box).

I didn't see my things, and as I walked out of my apartment to take a closer look, feeling very tentative and afraid, I woke up.

I'm no licensed dream-interpreter, but the big feelings I get from that dream are of anxiety and inadequacy. I'm trying to hold off the bad guys at the door, with nothing but false bravado (And a souvenir baseball bat I can't actually find), and while I apparently succeed in scaring away the bad guys, right under my nose, someone's stolen everything I have.

I kind of miss the days when my nightmares were all about Frankenstein and the Wolf Man...

____________________

(The following snippets are from my "pocket journal".)

Some time back at the bookstore, I went into the bathroom, and there was a penny in the urinal.

A little bit later that day, I went to the bathroom again...and the penny was gone.

There's a little plastic strainer-thingie inside the bowl, with very tiny little holes, so I know it didn't go down the pipes. All I can think is that someone was about to take a piss, and said "Oooh...a penny!".

To my way of thinking, even if it's "head's up", a penny in the urinal is not a "lucky penny".

It's just not.

Now if it were a quarter, on the other hand...

____________________

Bookstore "Celebrity Sightings" in the past couple months:

1. Gordon Clapp ("Greg Medavoy" on NYPD Blue)

2. Eva Mendes* (Training Day, Chasing Papi)

3. Kristin Kreuk ("Lana Lang" on Smallville)

4. Eric Close (Without A Trace. I don't watch the show enough to know his character name.)

5. Reuben Studdard* (American Idol)

("*" indicates interaction with the celebrity in question.)

____________________

"In my sex fantasies, no one ever loves me for my mind."–Nora Ephron

____________________

When I worked up in music recently, I was helping a women who then asked "Are you also a cash register?".

I was tempted to say "Nope. Just a human being". But I refrained.

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You know you've lost a step or two when your first thought, when thinking about "three-ways", is "They sound like a lot of work".

Hard for me to actually imagine participating in a three-way with another guy. I've never had a male friend I felt close enough to to say "Hey, let's express our sublimated homosexual desires in a safe way by getting naked together, but putting a woman between us. Whattaya say?"

____________________

I've played both "Dracula" and "Frankenstein's Monster" on stage: "Dracula" is the monster I sort of wish I were, while "Frankenstein's Monster" is who I'm afraid I am (I think I've said that before, but for whatever reason, I was just thinking about it again recently).

____________________

There are a number of men in their late 30s to early 40s who work at the store (Richard G., in his late 40s, is the oldest person at the store). But in the entire time I've been at Borders, there have been, that I can think of, only four women over the age of 30.

I wonder how come the bookstore attracts middle-aged, loser-ish men, but not middle-aged, loser-ish women?

I have more than a casual interest in this question–It's always struck me that the bookstore would be a great place for me to meet someone, almost as good as meeting someone in an acting situation (I'd know they were into books and reading, and if we hit if off, they would know that I didn't have any money, so they'd have to be okay with never going anywhere or doing anything).

But the women here at Borders seem to "max out" around the late 20s, and I've got nothing a girl that age could possibly want (Hard to imagine any of the girls at the store looking at me and thinking "Middle-aged, overweight, balding, poor...Woo-hoo! I've hit the jackpot!!").

And I think I'll drop this unhappy topic before I begin one of my famous "downward spirals"...

Weds 9/1/04 (8:54 p.m.)

Tooth #14

Yesterday, while I was at work, I told Tim G. that I was seeing my root canal today as "a new experience".

And now, almost eight hours after the fact, I'd like to say this–I'd really like my next "new experience" to be something a little more enjoyable.

In spite of the root canal's rep as "the most unpleasant of all dental procedures", I really wasn't that worried about it going in. I don't know why, exactly. I guess I thought the unpleasantness would all be "after the fact" and I could probably deal (What did I say before? "I'm in some kind of discomfort pretty much every day, so what's a little more"?).

And turns out, I was half-right–There's been a little discomfort, and I don't think I'm ready to tuck into a 16 oz. T-bone just yet, but I haven't felt any need to break into the industrial-strength Ibuprofen I was prescribed (We'll save that "for special occasions"). Basically, I don't feel all that much worse than I did before going in (Actually, I wasn't having any pain right before going in; I'd been having little "flareups" over the past couple weeks, but had gone "into remission" the day or two before). So "recovery" hasn't been that big a deal.

The procedure itself, on the other hand...

I got there at 11:00, after a very frustrating drive, but the fun didn't really begin till 11:30.

And by "fun", I actually mean something more akin to "utter misery".

It wasn't the pain so much, though there was a surprising amount of pain involved, considering that I was supposed to be anesthetized.

Early on, the dentist said to raise my hand if something he did hurt. But I quickly decided on a different set of signals; First, I would jerk my entire body so hard that I would almost fall out of the chair. Then as the procedure went on and on (Nobody told me what I was in for, in that regard), and I continued to be surprised by periodic little electric jolts of pain, I started thinking I'd just punch the dentist in the mouth each time he hurt me. A little "tit-for-tat", as it were.

But what was actually worse than the pain was the intense discomfort (And I thought I was such an expert in "physical discomfort"...). Because the pain would happen in these quick little bursts, and I could almost deal with that, but a pretty high level of physical unpleasantness went on and on, for the entire two hour procedure.

A big problem is that I have a very quick "gag reflex" (Reason #5 why I'd make a lousy gay guy). I actually was gagging so hard at one point that I thought I might throw up.

Then because I was gagging, my eyes started watering, and my nose clogged up, which made breathing–Not a strong suit of mine at the best of times, oddly enough–very challenging. I couldn't breathe through my nose at that point, and with fingers, dental implements, blood, saliva, bits of tooth #14, etc and so on, clogging my throat, I couldn't breathe through my mouth either (The technician wasn't really keeping up with the suction). Basically, I had moments where I felt very much like I was drowning (And even when I stopped gagging and my sinuses became unclogged, the dentist kept resting his arm right on my nose, effectively pinching it off).

We had to stop a couple times, to take X-rays, which enhanced my feeling of hopelessness, since I couldn't remember the last time I felt so physically uncomfortable, and I had no sense of how long it was going to go on (And my jaw was aching at that point from being propped open for so long).

A miserable experience, and I have to be honest–It might make me sound like a pussy, but I went through some changes during those two hours, I really did. It was really quite a bit worse than I had imagined, and I felt like a little embarrassed over being such a big pussy.

I was supposed to get half a cleaning done, but that just wasn't gonna happen. I couldn't even bring myself to make an appointment for it afterwards (I know, it's a cleaning. But I'm gonna need a little time to forget how very unhappy I was today).

 

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