Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I am at a poetry event held in a combination city park and Juliana and Bill and Charles’ living room. The feeling sensation of the social space is that of an isolated figure in a cafe in a novel by Jean Rhys. A moment of confusion during the third act (music): the self-service bar behind the stage has become connected to the sound system. The bar consists of two garden hoses hanging over a table, operated with spray nozzles. (generic party movie, alternately, science fiction) One tube dispenses beer, the other vodka and water. The singer is screaming with a lot of care and effort into the microphone, and we can see and also hear the overall gist (radio) of this performance, but at a greatly diminished rate. Two poets are arguing loudly at the bar. We listen. The problem is that the bar-tubes have run empty. I offer my glass of water in a really imperious, judgemental way.

Afterwards, in a collective movement down the hill, everyone goes for a run around the lake but Suzanne and I are trying instead to get an appointment to have our hair cut at the same time. She is on the phone with the hair person and I am trying to take a photo of the halo around a streetlamp. I depress the button and there’s a click but it doesn’t actually take pictures, I keep seeing the viewscreen. Meanwhile, we are reviled and shamed by the hair person for trying to do something so crass as make a simultaneous appointment, and we return to my apartment. It is very bare; mostly there is a twin bed with a thin blanket, the color of GRUEL. (The Little Princess) There is a pile of discarded party clothes in one corner of the room, and my two cats are using this as a nest. They are having a kind of fit, meowing and pouncing and clawing at the green and yellow.. uh .. taffeta. The fabric is very dirty.

We go to play with the cats. My oldest cat has the face of a very old dog, he looks like a sick lhasa apso with big dark eyes rimmed by goo. I think my cat needs to go to the groomers. Then I realize a lot of his hair has fallen and is even still falling out. He has the kind of long fine skinny hair-fringe that a very bald man has when only a few strands of hair remain. And then I see how red his skin is, and greasy, and covered in scabs, and that my cat is very sick. He rolls onto his back and with every movement another fold of skin unfolds, each more hairless and uncomfortable than the next. I am rubbing his tummy and apologizing and crying and he is crying too, with the eyes and tears of a human man but a dog’s mouth, and I am trying to smooth his skin and am vigorously rubbing where it hurts and I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry. More hair falls out. This scene passes and I am standing in front of the sink holding my hands in front of myself, preparing to wash them. I am trying to keep them away from the rest of my body. They are covered in dirt and hair and dried blood and flakes of skin. My cat (dog, man, part) is whimpering on the floor. Suzanne is standing somewhere behind me but I am too ashamed for anyone to see this and I wake up.

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