second memento.

So this is what we realize about England on the train ride south into the Channel:

that the heart of the country is not in the bustle of metropolitan London, or even in the grey stone edifices of centuries past, but in the rolling countrysides from London to the sea.

This land is different from America. Farther north, the slant of the sun is different. Golden. It is that light you feel most, but perhaps will remember least: that particular gold dusting upon everything the eye can touch.

Then, of course, one remembers also the look of the land - not the wide open spaces of the Great Plains, but the rolling wooded hills fading into the distance - the cloudstreaked sky, pale; the trees, old as the land; the tree-divided farms; the little rivers, ponds; the shaggy horses and the large, woolen sheep.

The geese, the fresh-cut hay, the farmhouses in red and white. The farmer in the field. The colors, the deep green, the olive green - forests and fields. The white sheep grazing. The dark horses. The grey geese. And above all, the light, the light, the light.

Remember. The emotion this land conveys. The sense of time standing still. No change. The peace & longing. The color. The ages. The bone deep ache of a gold-dusted land like memory.

This is a land that could bind a man to it so that wheresoever he might wander, it is still this that he will always, indelibly recall.

(something I wrote on the train south from london to paris, passing through the english countryside. it's disjointed and rambling because it was written by hand and by touch alone on a pad of paper while i stared out the window, dazed on 3 hours of sleep, at this incredible land like something out of memory, all hazy with morning fog and pale gold sunlight. since this is raw and unedited, i don't think it paints much of a picture for the reader. however, it splashes the memory right back into mind for me, and since that was the whole point of it -- to capture the moment, to capture the landscape streaking by in a way that a camcorder never, ever would -- i guess it's done its job.

i found the page i'd lost, and added the last line on. so there, complete!)

a whole slew of weird dreams.

Here's a whole SLEW of dreams for you freudian analysts. I'm pretty sure they're all triggered in some way by Final Fantasy X, which I've been playing like a MADMAN.

It's weird. All my dreams lately have had this heaviness, no matter how ridiculous the subject matter. They've all felt somehow IMPORTANT to me, even though I can't say why -- and kinda dire too, ominous somehow.



First -- the sea/air/apocalypse dream.

So I dream I was on board this ship. Like this huge, creaking, beautiful galleon, brilliant, gold and white and accents of all colors with vaguely celtic-influenced designs, like on Final Fantasy games.

The wind filled the sails and we were off. I was belowdecks, but it was gorgeous, like the belly of a really huge, fancy plane, with these portholes you could look through. And though we started in the broad daylight, it was twilight and then night almost immediately.

Then we dove.

I mean, DOVE. Like a submarine. Our bow angled down, and down we went, not like stones but like a javelin thrown into the sea, spearing right into it. I held my breath on instinct. It wasn't necessary. I watched the light of the moon fade from ghostly blue-green to nothing, and then all that lit things up were the ghostly blue-greens of bioluminescence all around us. We were going so fast, faster than bullet trains, but somehow I saw everything. These giant squid in the distance with their ten spiraling arms. Schools of fish arcing about, silent and afire with their own luminosity. Huge fantastic creatures you never even expect to see in a dream.

Just like that it was over. We surfaced -- more than surfaced -- and we were flying. It was some sort of magic ship. We zoomed up and up, through the clouds, the earth dropping away beneath us - it was day again, daybreak, the sun off the ocean like sun off shattered glass. Over the clouds, above the atmosphere. We still didn't need air to breathe.

But then the world below exploded into flame. Firestorms were raging across the surface of the earth, spiderwebbing across it, and then sweeping across it. Everything blue and green and white and gold turned black and red. It was the end of the world, and we had been chosen, I guess, to survive, and to see and remember the wonders of the world in what time was left. And since the world is 70% ocean, that's all we had time to see.

At least, that's what I made of it.


Second dream. A little bit lighter, at least superficially. I dunno though. It still "felt" heavy.

I was an intergalactic trucker. Don't laugh, now. I drove (piloted?) this long, sleek, space-bullet-train of a supertruck. Everyone did. We were like silver snakes winging through space. We kinda competed too. Who could get there fastest. Who could drag the most cargo. I guess in the future being a trucker's kinda glamourous, almost - there wasn't any feel of ourselves being "poor white trash"; there wasn't any shame in the vocation. We were kinda the flyboys of the future.

So it turns out big celebrities trucked too occasionally for fun. Word came that Nicole Kidman (yeah, Nicole. Kidman.) was on the same route I was on. So me and my partner (we flew in shifts) were like, hell yeah, let's go see her! We ramped up the throttle and cycled up the engines and went roaring past all these other sleek silver space-trucks.

But when we caught up to her coordinates she was THRONGED by other fans. They were clustered all around her and we couldn't get a glimpse. So we decided to cut ahead to the next pit stop and see her there.

It turned out pit stops were like fancy airplane terminals, all frosted glass and dark subdued carpeting, curving glass walls and moving sidewalks. And VIP chambers. And not being VIP, we couldn't get in to see Nicole. We saw her entourage from afar, moving behind the screen to the VIP chillout room. And that was it.

So we were disappointed, but we had to make time so we left.

Then like... a million miles out, my partner was flying, and I was in the back, which looked amazingly like a Boeing 747's cabin. And I just suddenly decided, and without doubt, that I HAD to go back. I HAD to see her. Just then my friend put the truck on cruising autopilot or something and came back to get a drink, and I was like, man, we have to go back. We HAVE to. It's a once in a lifetime chance.

So we turned right around and flew back the way we came, and I woke up.


This one's hands-down the most bizarre one.

I dreamt I spent the day with one of my online friends, except she wasn't QUITE my online friend. I think maybe she was online friend + Lulu, but that's just because I have this feeling she was mixed with this char from FFX.

Anyway, I can't remember what we talked about and whatnot, but there was a certain, er, chemistry to it, I guess. I don't know. I don't remember this part well -- I only guess at the chemistry because of what happened later on, and my reaction to it.

So then I went home.

And lo and behold, there I was married to like... this SAGGING HAG of 40-plus years. And suddenly it was night, and we were in bed in that side-by-side, untouching way of longmarried people who've kinda fallen out of love, and it was dark. My wife was really, really angry over my seeing this friend of mine. And she was accusing me of all sorts of infidelities (and this is why I thought there mighta been something--) and I kinda felt too guilty to say much?

And then! She fucking fell asleep. No kidding. I mean, she was yelling at me, and JUST as I was going to respond, she fell asleep on me. I was really pissed off. And man, sleeping, she was... ugh! So saggy.

You know the way people get, when it's not like their skin is wrinkled, but their whole face seems kinda loose and ill-fitted? That's how she was. The corners of her mouth were downturned, her brow was lined, she generally looked like she was in a perpetual grouch. And while some women are gorgeous even when they scowl, this was NOT the case. As utterly shallow as this sounds, I felt kinda horrified and disgusted to be there.

Then she rolled over on me and snuggled up against me. And UGH. I was lying there stiff as a board (and not like THAT, you sickos...), arms tight against my sides, thinking... what do I do? What do I do? Can I just push her away? She's my WIFE. I can't bear for her to be this close to me, though.

And then I woke up.


Last dream. This one I just had. The weird thing is I woke up and went to be the bathroom twice, and it continued. Usually my dreams don't do that.

Anyway, I dreamt I was back at my parents' house in San Diego. I was driving my dad's 4Runner (he had a 4Runner back then), and the brakes failed completely. Even the handbrake didn't do shit. To stop, I had to maneuver it up a hill, and then it'd start going backwards if I wasn't careful. It also behaved really, really unpredictably.

Cut scene. I was in an auditorium or a theater, waiting for the show to start. My friends from high school were there. Their friends were there. Everyone was there, and some online friends too. Everyone, that is, except for the one that I was waiting for.

Cut scene. Back to my parents' house, but now it was night, and dark and gloomy. I was still waiting for this one. I had another car, too. It was this little green Civic. My mom had a car and they gave her one for free, so I was driving the Civic around for now, until the 4Runner's brakes got fixed. Except the Civic was parked deep in the garage, which had suddenly grown to accommodate 4 cars double-parked. So I couldn't get the Civic out.

My dad had been talking to me at some point (before or after? I can't remmeber) about getting new brake pads, and whether I wanted big fat racing pads. I was like, no, I just need cheap ones that'll work.

Anyway, the house was empty now, and dark the way it gets at twilight with no lights on, or in the middle of a huge storm when the electricity goes out. The person I was waiting for (who was it? Unsure.) didn't come, but someone else did.

Suddenly it was like geurilla wars - I was scrounging around the garage for something to defend myself with, because somehow I was sure I was going to get into a massive fight. And I was testing the edges of gardening tools, shovels and shears and scissors and even broken PVC piping, and then I went out to face my enemy.

She was just laughing at me, though, and was like - are you still waiting? They've decided not to meet here, you know. We're meeting at the theater now. And I was furious, because the 4runner wasn't running, and the Civic was stuck in the garage, so I was essentially stuck at home.

And then I woke up.