Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Night before last I dreamt (a) that Hillary Clinton managed to hijack the American political process and set herself up as a "presidential candidate" of the despotic ilk, i.e., she was a shoo-in to win. I was part of a large group of people who were rounded up and detained for expressing pro-Obama views.

The argument was that our blogs/media connections/etcetera were tainting the political process and making it impossible for "average Americans" to make decisions on their own. So, for the preservation of American democracy, we were being temporarily removed from the discussion.

I was first detained by South Wales Police who were pretty laid-back about the whole thing and somewhat empathetic of my situation, themselves being stuck acting out directions from MI5, who were stuck acting out strongly worded "requests" from U.S. authorities. I had my own cell.

"How long do you reckon I'll be here?" I asked my guard.

"Dunno," he said. "The 42 days doesn't apply to you, mate. It's June now; your election's in, what, November? Just get comfortable with it."

After a while I was transferred to Oak Grove, which had been converted into a detention centre. While being unloaded from a truck I managed to escape, outrunning the poorly trained National Guard soldiers who had been rushed into duty to deal with the Obamists. I made it down into Nine Mile Creek and lost their dogs by wading from 106th Street down to where the creek meets the Minnesota River. In those woods where I grew up, I knew I'd be alright. I built a shelter, found a large patch of wild spring onions and an old fishing pole (b), and lived there for several weeks. After a while, though, I got so sick with loneliness that I started thinking about turning myself in. Then I woke up.

Last night, I dreamt that the child bride wanted to leave me for Carlos Tévez, but, not sure of his feelings for her, was unwilling to sever ties with me. She wanted to get rid of me without getting rid of me. She didn't want me anymore but also didn't want to be totally on her own if the Tévez thing didn't work out, so held on just that little bit. I was a back-up plan to a back-up plan.

I was confined from being an actual part of our relationship -- not allowed to speak to her in public, required to leave the house when she got sick of me, etc. And I took it.

I felt sick with myself because I couldn't let go. I knew I was being pushed to the fringe. I hated it. But I couldn't stand to think about being alone. I accepted the alienation from my own life and held onto it because it was who/what I am. If I didn't have that what was there? I woke up when Fflur strangely sent me a text at 2 a.m.

The connection in those two dreams is pretty easy to spot. Loneliness: hating it, struggling with it, wondering how and if I can come to terms with it.

Writing this book is a far lonelier business than I remember it being. It is hour after hour of sitting in my study. By myself. Silent. Alone. And when I run out of creative energy, I don't really have the capacity/energy to chat about anything. Writing -- especially in a language that is not as innate to my thoughts as English -- leaves me dumb. There is a different mental process for words that come through my fingers than words that come through my lips. My brain locks in trying to switch gears and I'm not really good for much beyond watching soccer. But the feeling of loneliness lingers.

Today a man came to the door who was doing market research and asked if he could interview me.

"How long will that take?" I asked.

"About 20 minutes," he said.

"Awesome," I thought to myself.

And I made him a cup of tea.


(a) Or is it dreamed? I hate to confess this to you, but I don't know the difference. I know that there apparently is a difference and one's failure to identify it makes you one of those your/you're retards, but, uhm... I don't know what it is.

(b) People who know me know that this is probably the most implausible part of the dream. I cannot fish.


Chris Cope said...

Of course, if I weren't locking myself away to write, I would be blogging about the tragedy of abandoning a potential writing career for cups of tea...

Unknown said...

Besides fishing, which I will surely attest to your lack of ability, wouldn't it be unwise to hang out so close to city hall?

Chris Cope said...

No, dude. I waded down to where Nine Mile meets the Minnesota, which is a fair bit upstream from the city hall. Closer to where France Avenue bends to Overlook. From there west and south it's pretty much woods for miles and miles. On reflection, I could have also eaten deer, muskrat and all sorts of stuff that lives down there. The St. John's rugby team trains by chasing deer and they say that if you stay after one long enough it'll eventually wear out. I reckon I'd have better luck chasing down a deer than catching a fish.