I was busy dreaming for most of the day. It just felt good, ya know? That escape. Dreaming isn’t like anything else, man. It’s, like, something that is more real than everything, but at the same time so fake. Think about it: What the fuck happens in our minds--the same minds that process whole-scale system automatically--to make us just end up in a foggy, almost-always-recognizable setting where we see people but no one ever walks into the room. And sometimes they just disappear and you can’t pinpoint when.
If you think about it though, maybe that’s even more like our reality than we perceive our reality to be. Somebody says “how long have you two been separated?” and you say you haven’t seen her in three years. What’s more real: The fact that you haven’t had her close enough to your eye-line to see her in three years or how you are dealing with it?
Hear me out on this one. Two people could both have been separated from their spouses for exactly three years, same day, same minute, same second. One is still heartbroken, filled with regret, has trouble holding a thought without it being interrupted by the cloud of gloom that is as sure to surface as the sun is to set. Meanwhile, the other person spent only the first month hampered by a diffuse sense of regret. By the second month, they began to feel gleam of freedom, sometimes so strong that their regret firmly disappears. The next time their regret returns, it is in short stories, no longer a cloud poisoning your atmosphere, this time more focused, a vignette where an unrecognizable version of themselves is the antagonist. After a year, they’re firmly over the separation, their former spouse placed in their past surrounded by their positive qualities, and when they are recalled at random, they just smile, having already reinforced the definitive affirmation that they wish them well.
So, look at those two people. Similarity: they both haven’t seen their spouse in three years. Difference: One is still so close to them, while the other is in another lifetime. Just like a dream, people come and then they go without you ever knowing exactly when they showed up and when they left.
Anyway, I gotta get some air. From an energy standpoint, it’s not good to stay in your house all day. Gotta see some people, even if they’re only at a distance, and breathe in and out in a different place, drinking different air than what I’ve been spitting out all day, to keep my vibrations on their feet.
Life’s just a big fuckin’ box of repetition and every day you’re pretty much sure what it’ll throw at you (with some obvious exclusions of course). But I’m talking about an average, run-in-the-mill day, schedule booked until 6, maybe fuckin’ later if people try to take up the same space at the same time with their cars. Things change when you change a routine, alter, customize the template. The more changes, the more work it takes to perfect the new routine, the more work it takes to perfect the routine, the more likely it is for you to just be like fuck this, and when you keep getting the fuck its, you just end up falling asleep all day in your discomfort. Think back on the most chaotic period of your life and you’ll realize that even then there was a routine, a pattern of existence, actions and reactions, an abrasive melody, but a melody all the same, hopefully one you don’t have to try to sing along to again.
I took 12 hits from my bong in the garage... That sounds like a crazy amount but it doesn’t seem like that while I do it... And now I’m just sitting in my fucking car looking at my phone. Like a fucking dumbass, I’m just scrolling through Facebook out of habit, like I’m a fucking 12 year old snot-bag at a family party, not looking for anything or open to reading anything, just getting drugged by the blue light because I guess that’s become a reactionary impulse now. I realize I’m an idiot, pick a song to listen to and I start pulling out of my driveway. I slam on the brakes because I guess I thought I might have forgotten something. I didn’t, so I let go of the brake and started to leave.
I live in a relatively affluent neighborhood in a definitively affluent town in an absurdly diverse 10 mile radius of North Jersey. The houses are spaced out and everyone has a decent-sized backyard and almost everybody’s grass is really green all summer because that matters to all of them. They don’t even fucking look at me. I don’t think it’s anything personal; they don’t even look at each other. I guess that’s what happens when your lawn is big enough that even the few people straggling by that see you picking the weeds out of the cracks in your walkway are far enough away that eye contact is hard to come by and if you get caught just staring at them, waiting for them to look up at you, you’ll look like a guy in his mid-40’s with a boner peeking into The Little Gym.
I’ve got about four minutes of side-street cruising before I get to the main road that divides the town, but there are plenty of assholes on both sides of it, so it doesn’t make a difference to me. It really is beautiful where I live. I mean, my house is kind of a mess inside right now, but when you drive down the block, there’s an aesthetic charm to it. It’s the end of winter and it just snowed a foot and a little a couple of days ago, so the streets are all painted black. The trees have a little snow still on them--wait, no, they don’t--and there’s still a few spots of stacked snow from the plows. The sun is on its way down and it felt about 45 outside and the sun feels like it’s nibbling on my earlobe through the window.
Fuck. God damn it. Where am I? I can’t believe this shit still happens when I’m stoned. Every once in a while I’ll be driving and I’ll just be stricken, nay, overtaken, by absolute confusion as to where my physical body is at that specific moment in time. Sometimes, like, I have no fuckin’ clue, not an inkling of comfort in the realm of proximity, as to where I am. Usually I see something that I hadn’t noticed before and I guess my mind probably places it among some other things that are somehow similar to it and then my mind’s gotta be like, shit man, that’s not where you are, get a fuckin’ grip and then I go into panic mode, like an instinctual reflex, quickly reassessing my surroundings and regaining an understanding of my surroundings.
But this time... I mean, I don't even know how to share this information without you just thinking I’m a fucking psycho, but all anyone ever does is share their evaluation of reality, so I will tell you mine. I’m sitting in my fucking driveway again. I didn’t stay there the whole time. I wish you could see my face right now cuz if you could, you’d see that this isn’t just another moment of stupidity by a fading stoner. I have no reason not to admit that I just got so stoned that I sat in my car, had an elaborate daydream of driving through my neighborhood and then snapped back into it with the car still in park. I’ve admitted to acts of mindless stupidity that this one would pale in comparison to, normally presenting them by my own choosing as humorous tales of weed gone wrong.
No, I know for a fact I pulled out of this driveway. I have fuckin’ proof. My car is playing this song off a Modest Mouse B-side album and it’s two minutes in. Right before I backed out of my driveway, right after I caught myself compulsively and aimlessly scrolling through social media, I put on this song by this guy Howie Payne and it’s like a two and a half minute song. I picked that song and backed out like four and a half minutes ago.
I remember recognizing the sun feeling good coming through my window just as I turned off of Lithcalf, which happened just as the song has this culminating moment of sorts with backup vocals coming in, layering it perfectly and he says something about dangling thread. And I remember I was passing Kathy Kuntlenger’s house when he says “you keep time close by,” which is near the end of the song, maybe with 35 seconds left. And I remember making a right on Ridgestalk and noticing this lady’s house that always looked messy from the outside and who I developed a kind of sympathy for by I guess just making up a story in my head about how she lost her husband and her sons don’t talk to her too much and she didn’t keep up with her front yard because she figured it didn’t fuckin’ matter anymore.
But I’m not sure if the song had changed by then. I don’t remember any sound at all. I don’t remember anything after that. How many minutes do we actually remember though? Nearly all of them are discarded completely and even though we take little snapshots to put in yesterday’s collage, those are just single, random frames to a recording that never turns off. A recording that stores more than you think, editing, zooming, filling in the empty space when needed. Kind of like a dream. Exactly like a dream. A reality created by a seemingly randomized grouping of settings, transient characters, void of a clear beginning or a clear end. No greetings or goodbyes, just lingering influence, rotating company in a revolving backdrop of locations, most familiar and commonly revisited and others absurdly routine, oftentimes seen in passing, fitting into a pattern to keep away the discomfort of those stagnant vibrations that come from sitting in your house too long.
Life’s kind of like that too. I walk out of the car and back inside and go back to being busy dreaming.