Boxing Day

It is sitting at a desk in a study that seems musty but scholarly.  It is not played by Kathy Bates today.  It’s an unknown actress, but she looks exactly like Mama Cass Elliot, except her hair is dirty blonde.

Bruce (Waits this time) enters through the open door.

It is sitting and looking at a blank space on the wall, even though there are some large books on the desk in front of her.  The largest book, lying there separate from the rest, is the only one that bears a visible title:  Traumdeutung.

Bruce clears his throat gently

“What?”  Dark and raspy, nearly matching Bruce (Waits).

“I’ve brought this back for you.”  He has something small wrapped up in a piece of cloth.  “I’ve taken down my Christmas tree, and I assumed that you would want it back.”

“I don’t want the damned thing at all.”

Bruce steps closer to the desk.  “Yes, you do.”  He gently sets it down, right on top of the large book.

She looks at him.  Her eyes seem empty.  Not hollow, just empty.  “Why?”

“Two reasons.  First, it’s part of us, and always will be.  There’s no way to get rid of it in that sense.  Second, you are supposed to…”  He trails off and hesitates.

“Supposed to what?”

“…deploy it.  Now that it’s hung on the tree for a while, you need to figure out how to place it.”

She looks down at the small cloth bundle, and then back up at Bruce.

“Where is Ms. ‘I’ today?”

He shrugs.  “Dunno.  It is somehow important that she’s not here now, though.  No specific P.O.V. today.”

“I wondered.”  She resumes staring at the blank spot on the wall, as if to say the conversation is over.

Bruce turns and walks out.  When he’s just outside the doorway, It speaks again.

“Thanks.”

He looks around.

She keeps staring at the wall.  “Thanks very much, Bruce.”

He regards her for a moment longer, and then responds.  “You’re very welcome.”

He turns and goes.

Speaking Words of Wisdom?

Knock knock. “I.”  Knock knock. “I.”  Knock knock. “I.”

The door opens immediately after the third repetition.

What I see is Eliza Dushku playing Ich.  What I feel is the same grating vacillation that I’ve been feeling in every nook or cranny of my so-called embodiment for the last several hours.  She looks a bit different to a male than to a female, and so she keeps looking a bit different to me, over and over again.  Always almost, but always not quite a mixture of the twain.  (Mark that?)  I grin slightly as I think about how a mixture might also be a solution, and there is no solution here, and not just because it’s unclear whether there is a problem.

She has been staring at me for several seconds with an enigmatic look on her face.  Now she speaks.  “Pat, is it?”

“I don’t have any better names, at least not today.”

“You arrive with a Big Bang.”  Yes, she got the reference.

“Look, I just wanted someone to know that I am most emphatically NOT amused by this whole drilling and bleeding thing.”

“You know about that?”

Stupid thing to say, as if any of us don’t know.  “Ever since it happened, my duality has….”  I’m not sure how to describe it.

“Ah, has it changed, then?”

“Yes…  But no.  Not really changed, but intensified somehow.  It’s discomfort.  It’s tempting to say that it’s pain, but that seems both too strong and inadequate.  I feel as though…”

She crosses her arms and waits while I think of how to say it.

“…as though I can’t be.  Or at least I can’t be rightly.”

She looks interested, like an paleontologist studying something fossilized.  “Like you don’t exist?”

“No!  That’s not right.  As though I can’t be, which is somehow not the same as existing.  I’m not sure how.”

“You can’t act?”

I notice, by way of my breathing, that I’m getting very impatient.  “Obviously I can act.  I came here, after all.  I just can’t be.”

She shakes her head.  “I don’t get it.”

I reach up and gently massage my temples with the tips of my fingers.  “I think…”  (long pause)  “…you are supposed to think about this for a while.  I don’t think I get to know what it means, at least not now.  But you’re supposed to…” (another long pause)

“…study on it?”  Her arms are still crossed.

“Yes.”  A perceived weight in my chest grows a bit lighter.  “Yes, thank you.”

She looks at me silently for some indeterminate amount of time.  Finally, she nods and closes the door.

I look at the closed door, which is wooden, and painted red.  (A study in scarlet?)  I had not noticed before that it has a small gold numeral mounted on it.  Number Nine.

In my head:  Number nine!  Number nine!  Number nine!  Number nine!  Number nine!

The repetitive voice fades with the light.  I could walk away, but I still can’t seem to be.

Some of Rabbit’s Friends and Relations

Sigismund: Why such a deep sigh, daughter?

Anna: The blood, from the genital area. It’s hokey!

Sigismund: [smiling] Hokey? Does this have a technical meaning?

Anna: Father, you know exactly what I mean.

Sigismund: Ah, but this is one of the more important points, is it not? What is it to know exactly what anything means? Even if I am the best candidate for “knower” with regard to my own associations, how does this knowing come about? The associations must be chased, like too many rabbits dashing simultaneously down far too many rabbit-holes.

freud-anna

Anna:  But it is hokey, nonetheless!

Sigismund: Perhaps… [thoughtful pause]  Where hokiness is, unconcealment might be?

Anna:  You’ve been reading the philosopher from the Schwarzwald again.

[silence]

Sigismund: The associations must be chased.

Anna:  Well, as usual, the blogger does not know exactly what this post means.

Sigismund:  There is analyst and analysand.  [looking at her] It was so even when it was only me.

Anna:  You wrote to Fliess.

Sigismund:  And so the selfsystem both writes and reads what is written.  Which part does the writing?

Anna:  Is it to be hoped that all parts do the reading?

[he only smiles again]

On Blueberry Hill?

“So, I’m just here to observe?”  I probably sound slightly irritated, though I do not intend to.

I’m played by Martha Stewart, and I’m sitting in an old-looking overstuffed chair in one corner of a square room, about twelve feet across.  There is a smallish table in the center of the room, made of some kind of hardwood, but no other furniture.  The room is lit by two florescent fixtures suspended from the ceiling, each with two tubes.  One of the tubes is flickering periodically in that way that sits just on the inner edge of the annoying.

Bruce is standing up, but sort of leaning against the wall on the other side of the table from me.  He has his Bible open, and looks up from it when I address him.  “I think so.  My sense from what It said is that there’s something that I have to help her do.”

As if on cue (which it is, since the blogger sort of decides what happens when), the door on one side of the room opens, and a tall thin man enters.  He is wearing a suit, and carrying a briefcase.  His jet black hair is styled so that much of it stands up, almost spiked but still consistent with a professional demeanor.  His eyes seem quite large.  At first I take this to be the effect of the glasses he is wearing, but it soon becomes evident that his eyes simply are large.  The suit and briefcase both look expensive.

It follows the tall man into the room.  A very strange and very striking casting change: It is played today by a significantly overweight version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Same body type and size as Kathy Bates, and the hair is shoulder-length, but it is definitely Gordon-Levitt.  He is wearing some sort of plain gray jumpsuit.  It is not at all obvious whether the jumpsuit has any zipper, buttons, or other devices to facilitate putting it on and taking it off.  It’s just one piece, and looks as if it somehow had been made on his body.

The tall man walks briskly around the table and stands at the other side of it, facing the door.  It, moving more slowly, walks up to the near side of the table, facing the lawyer.  Sure, that’s who he looks like.  Her lawyer.  (Excuse me, I mean his lawyer.)

The door is closed now, even though I don’t remember anyone closing it.

Bruce closes his Bible and moves to the closest side of the table, between the other two.  He sets the Bible on the table, puts his hands behind his back, and looks at the lawyer.

“You are the spokesperson, then?”

Everyone in the room, and probably even the reader, knows that he will speak in a crisp, officious manner.  “Yes, sir. Everyone is thinking of me as the lawyer, so that will do, though what we are doing here is not really a legal matter.”  He places the briefcase flat on the table, opens it, and places several items from inside onto the table’s surface:

  • the shard
  • a small coil of wire
  • a pair of thin-nosed pliers
  • a cordless drill (I think at first that it’s a small gun, but then I see the drill bit)

The lawyer closes the briefcase and sets it on the floor beside the table.

It coughs gently, looks down and shifts his weight a bit, obviously uneasy.

The lawyer stands straight again, and looks at Bruce.  “My client is requesting a favor from you, sir.  He would like you to hang this shard on a tree for him.”

Bruce’s expression does not change.  “Hang it on a tree?”

“Yes, sir.  Like a Christmas ornament.  In order to do this, a hanging wire must be affixed to the shard.  This will require drilling a hole in the shard.”

Bruce looks down at the items on the table, and then back at the lawyer.  “Why am I the one being asked to do this.”

“Because of the way in which you can appreciate the hanging of something on a tree.”

Bruce’s eyes seem to darken a bit.  “Like crucifixion.”

“Yes sir.”

Bruce looks over at It, who is still looking down at the table in front of him.  “You want me to do this?”  No answer.

The lawyer speaks again.  “I am the voice today, sir.”

Bruce’s gaze returns to him.  “Why?”

“I believe that you will see why in due course.”

Bruce looks at me with his haunted eyes.  My grip on the arms of my chair tighten, but I say nothing.

After a moment, Bruce looks at the lawyer again.  His voice is softer.  “OK, tell me what I need to do.”

“A hole must be drilled in the shard, as I said.  If you wish, I can attach the wire after you have finished, or you can do it yourself.  But he wishes that you drill the hole, and that you then hang it on a tree.”

“What tree?”

“Do you have a Christmas tree this year?”

Bruce glances at It again.  “Yes, I do.”

“On your own tree would be most appropriate.”

Bruce’s face has tightened.  He looks down at the shard, and mutters those last two words. “Most appropriate.”

The lawyer does not answer, content to wait for further response.

Bruce gently picks up the cordless drill, hefts it a bit, and then tests its trigger.  The whine is very high-pitched, like a dentist’s drill.  Of course.  He moves the shard directly in front of him on the table.

“Sir?”

Bruce looks at the lawyer again, eyebrows up.

“Once you begin drilling, it would be best if you do not pause.”

He stares at the lawyer for a moment, then his eyebrows lower a bit.  He turns and stares for several seconds at It, then looks back at the lawyer.  “I bet I know why.”

“I think that you probably do, sir.”

Bruce glances at me again, then turns to It.

“You’re absolutely sure you want me to do this?”

It does not move, but the lawyer answers.  “Absolutely sure.  Yes, sir.”

Bruce looks back down at the shard, and carefully places the fingers of his left hand on it to steady it.  He moves the drill carefully into a position about a third of the way between the sharp point and the center of the shard, and pulls the trigger.  The whine of the drill winds up to its top pitch.

I don’t need to watch the shard to know when the bit penetrates.  It grimaces and opens his mouth to scream.  There is no sound, of course, but he screams nonetheless.  He doubles over in immense pain, and collapses onto the floor.  As the drill continues to whine, a blood stain appears at his crotch and begins to spread.

I glance at Bruce.  He is now ignoring It, and resolutely performing his task.

When I’m able to look back down at It, he is still writhing, but his eyes are open, and he seems to be smiling up at the ceiling.

Mayan New Year

I’ve been sitting here looking at the damned shard in the sand in front of me.  Time has passed, but now it’s time.  I like the paradoxical sound of that.

I look out at the water, which is still today, still like ocean water never is.  Yup, today is the day.

I close my eyes and shout as loudly as I can.  “BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!!”

When I open my eyes, Bruce is standing on the other side of the shard from me, looking at me calmly.  He’s wearing blue jeans and a plaid flannel shirt.  He waits for me to speak first.

“How long has it been?”

“More than two months.”  He was clearly prepared for that to be the first question.

“So it’s almost Christmas, right?”

He nods.

“It’s Mayan doomsday, isn’t it?”

“Hmph.”  He glances at the still water.  “I guess we’ll know by tomorrow.”  He looks at me again, serious and expectant.

“Need to have a meeting.  You, me, and the Martha-I.  And I need a spokesperson.”  I pause and think a moment.  “Something like a lawyer.”

“This will be a trial?”

“No, but I need a voice.  I’ve got something to say.”

“You have your own voice.  It’s often been too loud.”

“I need another voice, for that and other reasons.  Serious meeting.”  I look down at the shard again.  “That thing needs to be there too.”

Bruce nods.  “I’ll get the meeting together, but you need to bring that.”

I close my eyes again and nod.  Softly: “Of course I do.”

When I open my eyes, Bruce is gone and the shard is in my hand.  A tiny bit of blood leaks from one side of my palm, from grasping that sharp point.

It’s snowing somewhere.

 

Category Man Returns

Doors.  Lots of them.  I think I hear muzak, and it might be “Riders on the Storm.”  (“Into this world we’re thrown.”)  I can’t make out much else about the large space I’m in.  But there are definitely a lot of doors.

I’m the one who is normally played by either Gellar or Stewart, but today the actor or actress doesn’t matter.  (I think to myself: Only the acting matters?)

The doors are all closed, and they all have engraved plaques on them, gold to match the doorknobs.  As I look around, I find that I must look directly at a plaque and concentrate hard in order to see what it says; otherwise it just appears as a blur.  The one that I’m looking at now, with great effort at concentrating, says “CONSERVATIVE” in bold capital letters.  As soon as I look away, I’m aware of feeling exhausted from the effort.  When I try to look at another one of the plaques, an ache develops behind my eyes and I have to look away.

A door (it doesn’t matter which one) opens, a man emerges and shuts the door behind him.  As he walks toward me, my vision begins to clear a bit.  He is dressed in a bright purple outfit that includes tights and a cape.  There is a hood over the top of his head, and he wears a pair of goggles that make his eyes look comically large.  There is a large bright orange letter ‘C’ emblazoned on his chest.

It’s Category Man, of course.

“You made this stupid room, didn’t you?”  It comes out slightly more venomous than I’d intended, but I decide that’s OK.

He stops about three feet in front of me and places his fisted hands on his hips.  “I most certainly did not. I had nothing to do with it.  Furthermore, I strongly object to being appointed as the flunky who has to address the POV character in this post!”

“What else could you be besides a flunky?”

“I…  am…”

“I know, I know.  CATEGORY MAN (man) (man) (man).  Don’t these doors represent your categories?”

He sighs and nods, as if grudgingly.  “It would seem so.  Yet this abominable room is in no way my doing.”

I’ve now gotten to the point where I feel able to try looking at another door, and I do so.  Very difficult to focus.  “CHRISTIAN” says one.  I quickly try another.  “ANABAPTIST.”

I have to stop and rest.  I rub my eyes.  “Anabaptists are Christians.  Why two different doors?”

Category Man crosses his arms. “That’s but one of the many things about the room that is so abominable!  The categories all make sense individually.  I would be fine with each one in the proper context.  But here they hopelessly overlap!  They jar against one another with no clarity whatsoever!  There is, of course, one that says ‘LIBERAL;’ you just haven’t seen it yet.”  He gives me a bit of a meaningful smirk.  “I would think the Ministry for Clarity and Disambiguation would be all over this.”

“But the doors represent categories.  That’s your thing, right?”

Instead of answering, he seems to scan some of the nearest doors with a look of disgust.

I look at him until he returns my gaze.  “What are you supposed to tell me?”

He looks at me, completely serious now.  “This is apparently ambiguity in which you must live, in which you must be able to feel “at home,” insofar as anyone could feel at home here.  You might continue to go in and out of the doors, but HERE is where you live.”

“So far, this seems to be something that I already know.”

“Of course you know.  But you do not KNOW.  That brings me to the end of that to which I have been made privy.”

I narrow my eyes a bit, and stare at him for a while.  He does not blink.

After about a minute and a half, I speak again.  “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”  Expressionless.

He turns and goes, exiting through the same door by which he entered.

I look around, noticing the space instead of the doors.  It’s spacious.

Plate Again, Sam

I still have the shard from the broken plate, but it’s been on the dresser in my bedroom since about the time I last posted (a month ago now).

The shard is from a plate.

License?

Stamped in prison, that’s the stereotype regarding license plates, isn’t it?

Licentiousness?  Imprisoned for some kind of wrongdoing?

“Sex Offender” is the worst, isn’t it?  It’s a label for life.  I know someone you could ask about that.

But the problem is not with a sex offender; it’s with sex offending.  The It feels as though she IS an offense.

Before I return that shard, must that change?

Is the plate to which this shard really belongs my sexuality?

Play it, Sam.

Sam?

Sam the Sham?

Ain’t that a Shame?

Too much on my plate, it has seemed recently.

I’ve been an ump on more than one blog.

“Stee-RAH-EEEEEEEEEEK!”

Gonna go up now and look at my shard, then sleep.