It's like a fairy-tale.

I was looking through my spam folder. Right at the top were three emails. The first offered me the ability to:

Scratch your feet with your penis.
which is funny to me because, with a little bending and not too much straining, it's something I can do now. I'm fairly certain most guys could, too.

Try it. I'll wait.

The second email gave me (I can't believe you just did that! Groovy!) the chance to

Get a penis from the cover of the magazine.
Which is funny because the moment I read that, the picture that flashed through my head was that of a Time Magazine cover from a few years back, a photograph of Newt Gingrich taken with such detail and so untouched by photoshoppers and the like that Gingrich's face looked like the pockmarked surface of some distant moon but oily enough to fry a crapton of bacon in without him feeling a thing.

And when that didn't work, apparently, the spammers got desperate and said I would soon

Get a visit from the big dick fairy.
Which, gathering from the content of said email (couldn't resist) is sort of an odd phrase to attempt to sell heterosexual men male enhancement pills with. Fairy is not a word I generally think of when I'm thinking of huge dicks. Usually.

The moral of the fairy tale, apparently, is: when the big dick fairy wanders through your bedroom window and offers you the ability to scratch your feet with some unexpected part of your anatomy, let her do it, because at least then you'll be one step closer to being Newt Gingrich. My brain frightens me.

I'd post it in a dreamlog if it weren't for me being frighteningly awake.

Some of Suzi's Nightmares

I awoke in a fever
The bedclothes were all soaked in sweat
She said "You've been having a nightmare
And it's not over yet"
—Roger Waters, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

It is an axiom, among those who know about such things, that very creative people suffer through more nightmares than the rest of us. My best friend and platonic life partner, Suzi, must be some kind of living proof of that; she's had some doozies, four of which I present below.

Sometime before her third birthday, Suzi had the first bad dream she can remember. Starring in this nightmare was a scary skeleton—he had a normal skull, skeletal legs and arms, but, in place of a spine, ribs and a pelvis, he had a fluorescent tube. The skeleton came into the little girl's room in jerky, fast-motion, and he grabbed her foot. He began to fit a shoe onto her foot as she watched helplessly.

The shoe was a white Mary Jane, she remembers this very clearly.

The zombie dreams came later, when she was in high school and college.

In one of them, Suzi wandered through a shopping mall. There was some sort of outbreak going on and some of the people were infected and turning into zombies. It was not clear to her if everyone knew that it was happening.

Ahead of her, a woman held a baby. The baby looked at Suzi over the woman's shoulder. An unearthly malice filled the infant's dead, clouded eyes, and it opened its mouth, displaying a set of tiny, peg-like teeth. Before Suzi could react, the ghastly tyke bit into the woman's throat.

A torturous series of false awakenings came one night, a few years after college. She awoke in her room, sometimes in her bed, sometimes in other places, as though she had fallen asleep sitting at the desk or on the floor.

In one of the episodes, she knew that she wanted out; she needed to get to someone, to call out for help. The gap between her bed and her night table seemed a huge gulf. Her arm moved slowly, her limbs like lead.

She picked up her phone, but there was no dial tone. Instead, there was a low chuckling on the line.

She awoke with a start, thinking that the torture had finally ended. She looked down at her feet. A toe tag, like they put on cadavers at the morgue, hung from her big toe.

Recently, the wizards who are in charge of the advertising for Burger King have decided that a creepy, plastic-masked cartoon king would be a good mascot for their hamburgers and fries. A lot of people really wonder what these people were smoking.

Again, Suzi had a false awakening in her bedroom. This time the Burger King was standing at the foot of her bed. In his hand was a short dowel, tipped with a needle.

With deliberate, robotic movements, he began to try to stab Suzi in the foot with this poker. She scrambled to get her feet out of his way. Realizing his failure, he began to make his way toward the head of her bed. She awoke before it could get any uglier.

I suppose creativity is a sort of mixed blessing. On one hand, I envy the ability to free associate the way my dear friend can do. On the other hand, I don't envy the terrors that creep into her room by night.

DreamQuest 2007

There is a song that is following me around. It all began when the song came on the radio just after I left New Hampshire three weeks ago. It came on the radio twice between Connecticut and Virginia. It came on again on my way to North Carolina.

Which wouldn't be all that odd except I don't have the radio on very often during my travels, preferring to rely on the CD player and select my own tunes while avoiding having to mess with the radio dial.

Today I heard it again, and under the circumstances it was particularly odd. I'd just gotten out of my car after listening to a Dire Straits CD in order to enter the local branch of Chili's Grill and Bar (also known as my church). I walked in to find the same Dire Straits song playing in my car at the time, "The Bug," playing inside this branch office of my church. Then I sat down to order a beer, the bartender introduced herself as Melissa and then looked curiously at me as I froze and said nothing.

Because this song came on again.

Coming up close
everything sounds like welcome home
Come home
and oh, by the way
don't you know that I could make
a dream that's barely half-awake come true

I wanted to say -
but anything I could have said
I felt somehow that you already knew

--'Til Tuesday, "Coming Up Close"
(the song that is stalking me)

And then I ordered a beer. And then some food. And then I just sat there, looking lost and somehow enchanted as I sorted through a few things.

I've been haunted by a series of nightmares that began two nights after I landed in North Carolina, staying here trying to earn a little money before moving on to Florida, waiting for my options to become clarified. All these nightmares seem to be screaming at me, "You are stalling! Go back home! Stop sitting still!"

At the moment it just doesn't make sense to continue on to Orlando, Florida, even though my efforts at picking up some temporary work here have yet to bring any results other than the usual rounds of, "Due to the high volume of job applicants and the limited number of assignments..." And my other option is to hook up with a regular full time job here in human services, working again with at risk teens, where I could pick up work just by twitching my elbow, but then I'd either have to commit to remaining here or ditch on a job shortly after taking it. Neither of which appeals much to me. When I consider doing this, the nightmares increase their intensity. My angel and my spirit guides do not want me to stay in North Carolina. They are being very clear about that. I went against their advice in leaving Florida in 1995 and the incoming messages are a clusterfuck of, "Now you go back home, there are no other options."

Of course, I am quite mad to listen to angels and voices that talk to me in my sleep and in visions that spring up even in my waking hours. I doubt not that I am mad.

I was nearly driven mad the first time I started receiving "instructions" to "go where there is no snow" and ended up in Orlando. At that time, ten years ago, I was being hit over the head with signs and arrows pointing the way. By the time I was finally brought to Orlando, by a woman whose opening remarks to me were, "Let's get one thing straight, I will never, ever sleep with you," it was because she managed to fall backwards into love with me and was willing to do anything possible to bring me to the city she called home.

Her name was Christine Lisl.

She loved her middle name, and it helps me differentiate between her and the other Christines who have appeared on my landscape over the years. She had also managed to become completely absorbed in the feelings she had for me that she was unable to explain.

"I have to bring you to Orlando. I don't know why, but I've never had a feeling like this before in my life. I just know this is what I am supposed to do. And anyone other than you might think I was crazy because of this."

"Because you want to be with me?"

"Well, I do, but I also know that will never happen. So why do I have this feeling? I must bring you to Orlando. I must do everything I can to make sure you come here and live here."

"We spent a day together and a night together, and it all started with you calling me a womanizer and a creep. Why is it that you love me?"

"I don't know. Sometimes I think it is because you are a walking, talking X-File and that's my favorite show. Maybe you're just a science experiment for me."

She did everything in her power to bring me to Orlando. She arranged for me to get a moving truck for only two hundred dollars. She found me an apartment and handled all the paperwork and the deposit. She bought me groceries and other things she felt I would need to start my life in Orlando. She got up at four o'clock in the morning on a day she had to be at work at eight o'clock in order to help me move several pieces of heavy furniture up the stairs and into my apartment. She filled a notebook with contact names and numbers for various things I might need. Then she fell asleep on my bed for a couple hours, got up, kissed me and prepared to go back to her own apartment to get ready for work.

But not before she ended our relationship.

"I hope you understand, but I can never, ever see you again."

"You mean like when you said you would never, ever sleep with me?"

"No, this time I mean it. I did what I was supposed to do. I brought you to Orlando and I did everything I could to help you. And now I have to go, because I know you will only break my heart. Keith, you are not and never will be a one woman man, and I can't deal with that. I'm too much in love with you to accept that."

"Buy you a drink in a couple of weeks?"


A couple years later I got a Christmas card from her. It was after I called her in 1999 telling her that things had taken a bad turn for me. She said she would do anything she could to help me, as long as it did not involve seeing me again.

The sign-off on that Christmas card said, "We can't ever see each other again, but if you ever need anything, don't hesitate to call."

It never really made much sense to me, except in the broader sense. Why would she do all that she did... unless that was the definition of the one way she could express her love for me. I was wrong when I told her she didn't understand the meaning of love.

And for that I'll always be sorry. She was far more important than I gave her credit for in the years that followed.

Maybe now is when I'm supposed to call her again, even though it isn't her number any longer.

There was a farmhouse that had long since been deserted
we stopped and carved our hearts into the wooden surface
we thought just for an instant we could see the future
we thought for once we knew what really was important

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