Monday, October 21, 2013

Anchors Anywhere But Away

Fat Man: How often are you afflicted with these dreams?

Thin Man: I am guilty of it most nights.

Fat Man: Who is being terrible to you?

Thin Man: Me.

Fat Man: That happens. As a boy often wonders whom he will turn out to be, and, “Not this,” he utters under a spell of growing up, or being grown up. The wind’s will? I think not.

Thin Man: Maybe the dust’s?

Fat Man: Or a copy of a copy of a copy of what the mind’s tarnished image will forsake. Or thoughts like stucco. Or retrieval at its finest worst.

Thin Man: I don’t want to be a party pooper. I don’t want to relate. I’m just a stereotype of a simulacrum of who I’ll never be. Craft. Craft. Craft. And then? And then I drop the whole charade and step off the train without any of my belongings.

Fat Man: Dream, dream, dream. Dream, dream, dream.

Thin Man: All I have to do.

Fat Man: You have to. That’s it, right? You must. There is no help for it.

Thin Man: A sip of your life for a ewer of mine; that must be it.

Fat Man: In constancy’s bliss you get lost, you shape and mold. You habituate yourself to doing what daily needs to get done. The mind prefers routine. The imagination even seeks the same. But perhaps it is dreaming’s spell that magistrates order, spoons nouns into verbs, and follows the past with tense seekers.

Thin Man: Or pitches tents in the fallow places of Oneirica.

Fat Man: Or that. Or not this. Or anything, perhaps, except expecting this.

Thin Man: Believe me you, it is internal checks without any outside balances. Effort dooms motivation’s factoring. I could tell you more about that frustration belying this whole mess, but it doesn’t matter in the moment’s momentary stride. I take because…well, because I take it.

Fat Man: You are everything that you are not. Accept exceptions to being exceptional. Note the ordinary drift of your prehensile dreaming. You are what you covet most, you know?

Thin Man: I do? Well, in the dreams I’m secure in what’s gone, or missing, or left ahead to find later.

Fat Man: That appears to be concomitant with this chatter.

Thin Man: Cool it. No. Wait. Cheese it.

Fat Man: So, this so-called “Man From Laramie” is paid off to be insolent all the while. I get it. Pray later; it’s all a wash. You get a choice to concentrate on things you’d like to concern yourself with.

Thin Man: It doesn’t feel like a choice to me anymore. I am not opting to have these dreams, too. So, there’s that. And, if you’d plan courses for inactions, I fall asleep not of my own freewill. Incantations be damned. I’m awful, but not sorry.

Fat Man: Clearly I am misreading the situation. You’re talking monster movies, not monsters.

Thin Man: Clearly.

Fat Man: So you do your worst dreaming in sunnier pastures, hot-to-trot times in squalid quarters, and all with the legerity of a mouse on the lam from the broom of a day job. That’s right. That’s wrong. That’s a picture of spoiled insolence gone fatty and obtuse.

Thin Man: Clearly.

Fat Man: Do you ever say to yourself, perhaps on a breezy evening filled with laundry and complaints, ‘I’ve forgotten how to spell names.’

Thin Man: In your dreams.

Fat Man: Mine? Yes. But we’re discussing things in a general pattern-less way, so…

Thin Man: I wasn’t built to last. And I come to life automatically, like a fire sprinkler. So, we were generally discussing our generality in the midst of all this tourism and terror, and other easily recognizable hullabaloo. So.

Fat Man: Yes. So. Well, well, well. It’ll be, perhaps, just the difference a day makes, before none and after all.

Thin Man: Sure. But tonal apostrophes and all, it’s still no soap. Tap. Tap. And then thwack, it’s all done. Lid’s nailed shut. Time’s nothing without money to spend it in. Barely hurrying. And then you say, “You’re going to be the life of me,” to a hassle-free, obeisance-bound duty. You curl up on the floor and drool on the bathroom tiles. Then you say, “Ahem,” to it all.

Fat Man: Listen to somebody else. Think it under. Race me to the beginning. The deluded narcoleptic shadows creep. Motions stop.

Thin Man: It’s all time gone by. That’s all any of it is-- just more stupid time gone by.

Fat Man: But wait. Something comes running into the October light. A stranded thing. A cranky maladjusted thing with no wheels. Something nobody hates or loves. Just wait until dark. Don’t let it get you down. It’ll be coming around for you, some day.

Thin Man: Hell if it won’t. My guts are being loaned out to coronary experts. Chisel and wail. That’s about all I do. In the reoccurrence of morning’s last light, a foster-child whimper goes unheard in the fall’s chill. I wake up to people on ladders screaming at each other in Chinese. I am reconciled to my way of life.

Fat Man: And the dreams still go on, correct?            

Thin Man: Right.

Fat Man: Changes?

Thin Man: The duration lasts and lasts. The repetition keeps me comfortable and a tad on edge. There was the latest, too, in which I found my arms wrapped around a beautiful girl in an iron diving suit. It was raining. I lost myself saying to her, “You dance like they wrote the music for you. Don’t worry. You’re not wearing a wedding dress. I won’t run you over with my tractor.”

Fat Man: And then?

Thin Man: Always, always an “and then.” That’s just it.

Fat Man: In a sense, but not out of one.

Thin Man: So I plopped down at the bar and stared at the martini glasses hanging upside down over the liquor bottles. I thought, ‘A place where the sun can’t ever find me.’ The light was bad, and the piano music was almost as bad as the light. In the rear of the place folks sat yapping over it, sickening the others at their table with brags and bad jokes. Nobody was paying me any attention, and this made me quite happy as I sat there stewing over consolation prizes of emptiness while running my finger slowly over the rim of my pint glass. I thought, ‘No noise is good noise.’

Fat Man: And upon waking?

Thin Man: It was, just then, you know? It just was. It was all in keeping with the sludge of existence-- mine, or whoever’s. If there’s still some need to keep score, to keep a record of any of this. 

Fat Man: We are just voices clinging to the walls, empty space revolving in a vacuum, and the picayune needs of our lassitude’s appetite are whetted with choice nibbles of luxury and washed down with the cool elixir of entitlement. Yearning is the loneliest profession.   

Thin Man: I’m only an amateur in such things. I dream better than most-- probably. There’s no real way to ever know.

Fat Man: Affording it, then, is the essence of the struggle. The typical frequency is lost in the chrome’s glare. You wake. You sleep. You forget the difference.

Thin Man: Or split it. Or just spilt.

Fat Man: But where? Where’s left to go?

Thin Man: I’m not so tough of a customer anymore. I sojourn with a dull, soft patter under bowers of rust, ensconced under those droopy canopies of moral significance and scruples of strain. The gesso of me is wearing thin. Don’t look. Look at me. Don’t. It’s all a gag.

Fat Man: What the heart so mistakes for remembrance. And these shattered lives that we lead. The dreams that afflict and bathe the wounds they’ve inflicted. There is no “hear” here, or there, or wherever that last dream leads.

Thin Man: So.

Fat Man: So.

Thin Man: One last thing, finally. Or one more. Let me tell you a story about my dreams to make yours easier. That’s about all this’ll come to. I am smoking presidential cigarettes in the lobby of a Muppet-themed hotel. Miss Piggy is offering her services at a sliding-scale price. Kermit’s on the lanai without his thoughts. Fozzie Bear is reading Shakespeare to the pigeons. Oscar’s on a couch with his arm around some girl-- a martini in one hand, and a Richard The Third doll in the other. Animal is passed out on the lobby’s hardwood floor. I say this out loud, directed at nobody, “I’m just passing the time. Letting time pass.” Big Bird’s flown the coop.

Fat Man: How do you come to know these things?

Thin Man: Internal inflation of my more dishonest parts and pieces.

Fat Man: Not rounded, but squared with sleep, aren’t we all?   

Thin Man: Multiply my nightmares by themselves and all you’ll get’s a plugged nickel in return to use at a vending machine of the collective unconscious. You know what I think? I don’t. Tell me.

Fat Man: Sure. Just give me a year to disperse my thoughts. I will run into you at some intersection, someday, perhaps when all the signals are flashing “WALK” and nobody’s walking.

Thin Man: Get a load of this guy.

Fat Man: Go!