Wednesday 23 March 2011

An Unbearable Lightness:
of Dreaming and Defecation

I first heard about the idea just prior to when I began studying with Del Close. It was Charna Halpern who'd impart this information to her audience as a way to introduce the performers' next piece - a Del Close creation - called 'The Dream'.

The idea (always claimed to've been Freud's) was that each of our dream's source material consisted primarily of the prior day's experiences and that the dream process was our unconscious' way of filing away our conscious experience into its appropriate place. Archiving.

Since that time I have occasionally asked myself about a particular piece of info remembered from a fresh dream: "What happened yesterday to trigger that little bit of weirdness?" And what seems like more often than not, I have been able to make the connection.

Last night's bit a weirdness - weirdness which is always, let's face it, quite normal under the circumstances - was shaped by the adjacent day's introductory information and events: reading the travel-itinerary of one who'd recently completed the sale of her home; using my debit card to retrieve cash from a machine; deciding not to use the restroom at the library, but to wait 'til I got home; having eaten enough to have full bowels while I was asleep.

Now, one might be tempted at this point to make a connection between eating & experiencing and defecating & depositing. Or maybe between acquiring and unloading. Archiving.

The result of this fresh info played out in a sequence of related dreams last night: One, in which I found myself in the yard outside my childhood home. As far as I can quantify, the figure related to the sale of the aforementioned (and her subsequent) home was there, along with a couple of other people. The present owner of the home in my dream was lurking somewhere in the vicinity. We did not know her (as far as I can recollect). I was in a squatting position, pooping as discreetly as possible, asking myself (or someone else who happened to be there) what on earth we were doing here, and/or why I couldn't have gone to my own home and/or anywhere else to take a shit.

Upon completing this act, I noticed that the matron of the house had come into the yard, and though not thrilled at the sight of me, provided several washcloths in lieu of toilet paper (a connection to yesterday that I still can't place).

Another sequence involved my being at an airport and noticing that my connection had been canceled. I spoke to a woman (Scandinavian/Germanic?) at a counter, who had somehow gotten my debit card into her hands. The only information she offered (though I don't recall asking for any) was that my "credit card" was no good, and that I had to get another one. I watched seemingly calmly as she broke it in half and gave it (back?) to me, all of this prior to my realization that it was not a credit card at all.

Now my waking day has begun. As I lay in bed moments ago, there was a bit of lingering anger about the whole flight/debit card fiasco. Travel and money. We should all have such problems.

I have since emptied my bowels. Twice. Once before and once after coffee. A pet thought again occurred to me in the bathroom: I would gladly give up eating, if I could be done with hunger (and, obviously, the need to eat, digest, and dispose in the first place). Everyone I have ever asked this question has said, "No. I like eating too much; 'the process' of which you speak is no burden to me."

Jesus! To want the hunger! What, are we fucking vampires? I mean, were that gone, who'd know the difference? And without the need to eat, the world's problems would diminish immensely. Or so the thought.

Of all the people in the world who might understand how I feel, Trish is one. She sometimes talked about how she would give up her physical state of being and upload her consciousness given the choice. The first time we talked about this was when she was teaching herself Flash 4 and designing our nascent, now archived and anything-but flashy, web-page.

I couldn't relate to all of her trans-humanist fantasies, but she could mine. The last time I visited her at Illinois Masonic (the chosen place of Del Close's death), I didn't know that it would be the last. She lay there, weak and in pain, though she hid the level of pain with the joy of having me visit; a selfless act if there ever was one; unless, of course, she was using the joy of my visit to suppress her physical pain (this latest occurrence of mine, not the least bit selfless on my part). Game, set, match: Trish.

She was hooked to several IVs (something with which I am familiar), had tubes running through her nasal cavity (something with which I am 'almost familiar'), and had a catheter surgically inserted so that she would remain immobile (something I can't imagine). Already a cancer survivor, she had just been diagnosed again, here, years later.

I don't wish that I had known, then, that it was to be the last time I'd see her; but I do wish that I'd gone back to Chicago when I heard that she had gone. I was at the place of the real estate transaction mentioned further up the page when I got the news. It seems that while several kilometers on a bicycle wasn't too much to travel in order to visit her on her prospective deathbed, another trip in a plane or car was too much at the time to go back, yet again, to be with her dead. Archived.

So while I considered, at that moment, my having flown several thousand miles for this entire trip, and the few hundred from one city to the next, and the couple of hundred to that relatively remote location where I learned of her departure - I considered too fleetingly the people who were back in Chicago to pay, as it were, last respects. And the thought did gnaw at my conscience.

Never mind. Trish lives on, in a sense, as she might have it. Almost.

Her Monument Tarot is still on-line. I'd only found out after its publication that one of the cards had been dedicated to me. Why Justice? I don't suppose I'll ever be able to ask her. Perhaps one day I'll dream up an answer.