Bats in the belfry

I had this really scary dream last night:

I dreamed I was at this nightclub where I knew no one and the dancefloor was really crowded. As it turned out, then, everyone else there was a vampire but me, and they knew it, and they sort of wanted my blood.
They backed me against the wall and as I frantically attempted to shove them back, they began biting off the tips of my fingers and it was all a bloody mess. Then this big black bald guy called dibs on my throat; everyone gave in but me. I just protested with bleeding hands that there was no f*cking way some big black bald guy was going to bite my neck off, so I pretty much had to let this really gorgeous brunette vampire chick do it in his place. But it hurt like hell and I woke up all sweaty, and screaming at about three a.m.

I got up and... here´s the dorky bit... I actually went to the bathroom to check my neck up in the mirror...

Later the next day I went to a drugstore and found some really cool Batman band-aids, no relation to the nightmare, and bought them anyhow.


No direction home (And a Stormtrooper will show him the way...)

"The occupational hazard of making a spectacle of yourself, over the long haul, is that at some point you buy a ticket too."
Thomas McGuane, Panama, 1978.

- - - - - - - -

Dear L-X-X,
What can I say?
It´s been close to two years since we last saw each other.
You grew up, got married. I never did.
Sometimes I wonder what you´d think if you could see me now.

I´m pressing the small of my back against the cold hard plastic of the subway car seat, slouching, almost purring like a big black bald cat, seeing my reflection on the porthole-like small windows as I count down the subway stations toward home. I wish it could go on forever.
I go for the time and it´s near ten p.m. on a chilly Sunday night. I see myself in the glass and I look pale with dark spots running deep beneath my eyes. My throat is sore, hence the purring.
I´m wearing a black sweatshirt zipped halfway up my torso with the hood pulled back, over a white ten year old t-shirt, sole memento of a two-day trip to Dallas, TX near ten years ago. My legs are bent on a 45-degree angle with the black sneakers at their end (now somewhat either muddy or dusty, depending on your POV) resting leaning on the seat opposite to me, sideways. I take a glimpse at the tattoo on the inside of my right calf, caress it but gently, then let it go.
The purring then becomes coughing from a bad cold, then reverts back to purring, and finally settles on humming a familiar song: I start whispering Rescue by Echo & the Bunnymen to no one then lose myself in thinking.

I look at the clock on my cell phone once over, pinch the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger and bite my lower lip just slightly.

If I could stop things and start them anew I would have done it way before it came to this, because I can´t really see the point now.

I wake up in bed with a dry mouth and a headache the size of Mount Kilimanjaro on a Friday night, near eleven p.m., and the last thing I can remember for a split second or two is there sometime between the late hours of the night before and wee, wee hours of that same Friday´s morning: I start going over the events racing over through my half-clouded mind and I´m yelling at someone from inside the bathroom stall at this fancy nightclub, telling either him or her that I don´t really see the point in having to lock the door as I pee since this is one of those places where boys and girls share the same bathroom. “I mean avant-garde for avant-garde,” I´m saying, “You guys´re actually only doing this to save money on having to clean up one bathroom instead of two.”

I do make it to the office on time, though, only to find out I can´t really hold down not even water. Not even freaking tangerine Gatorade, for chrissakes. My head starts spinning at what seems like 186,282 mps and I begin throwing up like there´s no tomorrow, skip lunch then hop on a cab home there about 3 p.m.

I take off my shoes, then pants, then shirt, and crumble down over the bedspread with the walls around me still spinning madly. Desperation peaks as I realize, whatever I´ve been doing for these last two or three weeks, almost non-stop, this time I´ve really screwed up and I´m all alone and completely accountable for everything. I think of making it to the phone by the bed but not only I don´t have the strength to pick it up, I also have nobody to call.
Despite my being scared witless, though, I still manage to keep up an iota of the usual panache and start half-singing, half-moaning, If I said I'd lost my way / Would you sympathize? / Could you sympathize? / I'm jumbled up / Maybe I'm losing my touch / But you know I didn't have it anyway, but just barely.

I sleep soundly for the remainder of that Friday afternoon then wake up late that night to find myself dehydrated and sore all over.

Last Wednesday, well it was a local holiday see, and I kid you not: I was walking down the street near my place as the sun set down, haunting the neighborhood by myself as usual, maybe seeking company but more likely looking for trouble, and this old lady comes up to me and says I seem such a nice kid, and that she´d been playing cards at a friend´s then lost track of the time, and now it´s so dark for an old lady to be walking home by herself, couldn´t I walk her home?
“Yeah sure” I say. But the best part really is once we start talking and turns out she´d lived in my hometown ages ago, knew my grandfather, and what do you know, I can still throw around the family name a bit, even if like this, even after all this time.
Then she gets home and she asks me whether I work, she actually wants to give me money but it gets really awkward and I refuse it by saying, “Jesus Christ, Whoa!, ma´am.” She tells me what good kid I am anyhow and we say goodbye.

Of course she never sees me afterward, at my place much later, after dark, with the Haagen-Dazs and the Stolichnaya in my hands.

The night before, Tuesday, it was the end of the semester at the MBA course and I was taking the test with this girl. She asked me whether I´d studied or what, or even remembered to bring along my HP-12C financial calculator.
“Do I even own one of those?”, I asked her with a cocky half-smile, very nonchalant and all.

“Why do you say those things,” she asked. “Why do you insist on behaving like that, as if you didn´t care for anything in the world?

“Because I´m so cool it never really gets as bad as it looks, honey” I say, more self-confident than god, just like some comicbook superhero from ages ago.

So I´m riding the subway on a Sunday night, okay?, counting the stops until I reach home and all that, and I´m thinking of all the days before.
I start thinking of the day before, Saturday morning, I was at the park and it really made all the difference to me:

They´ve had this Star Wars expo thing up and running for the last three or four months, with like props they used for the movies and stuff, and I´d been skipping it for as long as I can remember: Not for a specific reason though, at least not really other than simply not caring enough.

So I´m passing by the Star Wars pavilion and this guy dressed up as a Stormtrooper comes up to me and starts doing this really annoying silent mime act with his blaster gun, it´s like he´s saying “c´mon man, I can´t believe you´re passing us by”.
I say nothing, shrug, actually do pass him by then whisper to myself “Asshole in a costume”.

...And then it hits me.

Get it?
Did I really say that? Asshole in a costume?
And really meant it?

I mean how much can you change over time?
What do you do when you realize how far you´ve gone, and not necessarily in the brighter direction?
Does turning back and attending the show even count?

So I´m riding the subway late at night and my reflection seems like that of a pale ghost against the window: If I could stop things and start them anew I would have done it way before it came to this, but I really can´t see the point now.

But hey, what can I say?
It´s been close to two years since we last saw each other.
You grew up, got married. I never did.

Sometimes I wonder what you´d think if you could see me now.


In-between two Fridays

We can't tell our left from right
But we know we love extremes
Getting to grips with the ups and downs
Because there's nothing in between

--from, The Back of Love, Echo & the Bunnymen, 1982.

My father rings in at about 5:30am to say my grandmother´s passed away.
I turn off the phone, turn on the lights, sit on the bed, rub my eyes and... realize he never really mentioned which grandmother was that, and instead of crying I start first giggling then laughing, thinking of how cool this scene would look in a movie.

The day after the burial my father and I get in this little skirmish while fighting over his late mother´s happy pills, but mom barges in as sees us calling dibs on the medicine cabinet, goes crazy, gives us hell and chases me around the house until she´s able to pry the stuff out of my hands.

I wake up on Sunday after a 14-hour sleep, straight on, with the distinct feeling that I´ve just had my wings clipped: I´d been running on a natural high for the past couple of weeks, see, and my mood´s just reverted back to baseline levels.

Manic episodes never really lasted this long before, I´ve just realized half in wonder and half in terror. But I so wanna do it again because it sure beats the alternative, living like this, with both feet firm to the ground and the days lasting for so long, it just kills me every time...

Monday et Tuesday
Wading through the molasses of the mundane... holding to that ticket to see Echo & the Bunnymen for dear life...

sending out text messages saying stuff like enjoy your 30s master kenobi because some of us are still trying to save the world is sort of my way of coping with having to come to this rock festival all by myself but once t.s.o.l. climbs onstage i´m leaping like there was no tomorrow and having the time of my life then i realize i´ve actually started the mosh pit myself and before they start singing flowers by the door i´ve met this real cute girl also by herself also in jeans and a white tee and we start dancing together but when i ask her if she´s also staying to see echo & the bunnymen she says no i´m only here for t.s.o.l. and leaves then my heart broken because i´ve really fallen for her see but the next gig is gene loves jezebel which is fairly funny very-1980s and the lead singer´s antics makes everyone have a good time then a million years later echo & the bunnymen start playing despite my legs already feeling like jell-o from all the jumping and dancing but they´re playing hard and cool mainlining their bassline straight into my veins and shooting me up to heaven up until half past one in the morning then i hop on a taxi and go home...

....Aaaand of course somebody just had to film it and upload it to YouTube:

Lips Like Sugar:


Killing Moon:

The Cutter:

Seven Seas:

Bring on the Dancing Horses:

Despite having slept for only two hours I wake up and make it to the office anyway with blisters the size of elephants on the soles of my feet from all the dancing the night before, and hoping to hell that the dark circles beneath my eyes don´t look as ominous as I think, because I´m kicking off the staffing plan and it means I´ve got to interview the candidates for the team.
“Are you sure you´ve never done this before?” asks the head-honcho from JAX who came over to oversee the interviews, then books in an early flight and leaves us to our own devices. “Let me tell you man, it was beautiful.”
Makes me pretty proud of myself, also a little conceited.

Thursday ends during recess at the MBA when this girl and I get to purloin the notebook from a classmate of ours once we find out his computer´s crammed with .Mp3. We sit in the back of the class singing along to the Velvet Underground´s Take a Walk on the Wild Side but the fact that she´s married takes the fun out of everything.

____ comes to the rescue at the nick of time and messages me an invitation for drinks while I´m attending this god-awful presentation about recycling the trash at the office and trying my best not to picture the speaker naked.

I get to the restaurant a little late but ___´s already arrived and got us a table. There´s champagne on ice but I´m starting with vodka just because. “Champagne gives me gas,” I tell him over the fancy pasta with melon and tomatoes. He smiles and tells me to shut up and just drink it.

“By the way, just you wait until you see the waitress,” he says. “Bet you´re falling for her.”

Which I do,

the week

ends all
too quick