Short answer: when it is too close for comfort, it wakes you and prevents you from getting the rest of your badly needed sleep.
Went to bed tired a few hours ago, quickly fell into a deep sleep, had this dream, that actually woke me, after less than an hour blissfully unconscious. It is two, maybe three, hours later, I haven’t been able to get back to sleep. The dream:
I was in a restaurant, it was late at night. It was a huge place, virtually empty. I ordered a vegetarian steak sandwich. In real life, I haven’t knowingly eaten meat (apologies to the occasional sea creature) in at least seven years (except once, maybe five years back, when politeness obliged me to eat a small amount of chicken in a curry my host had prepared for me — the one pot dinner he made for his family and me that night– there was no avoiding the finely chopped chicken).
The waiter brought the large open-faced sandwich on a platter and left without making eye contact or saying a word. In fact, I never even saw the waiter’s face. I studied the very realistic looking steak, which seemed to be uncooked. It was cool to the touch. The other face of the sandwich was definitely sliced turkey and something that looked like ham. I waited for the waiter, who was nowhere to be seen, so that I could exchange this for what I had ordered.
I eventually wound up carrying the plate around the empty restaurant, unable to get the attention of anyone who worked there. The place was deserted. I scanned a menu looking for what I had actually ordered. There was no vegetarian steak sandwich on the menu. I found another menu, completely different from the first, and began searching it. I saw yet another completely different menu on a nearby counter and began to lose hope.
As I waited with a dish I would not eat, it became clear that I was in the kind of restaurant where you fucking take what they serve you, eat it, pay and shut the fuck up. You also leave a nice tip, if you know what’s good for you.
Waking from that all too realistic dream, in a chilled room, with about 28% of the bed available to me, and unable to get comfortable, the new line of stitches down the side of my nose, covered with a jerry-rigged dressing over a corrosive antibiotic salve (learned how like battery acid it is the hard way, painfully blinded and desperately groping in the shower) starting one millimeter from my left tear duct, on the side of my face usually against the pillow, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was still in a booth at that accursed restaurant. Rattling the keys here has made me no more optimistic about falling asleep if I manage to secure a bit of the bed when I crawl back in it.
I am wearing fleece pants, socks, slippers, a fleece lined shirt, a hat and a fleece jacket with the hood pulled up. It’s not a matter of being cold at the moment. Though, at the same time, I’m not exactly toasty. Even the Baron was happy to nap under a three or four layer cape today, even wearing Sekhnet’s fake fur vest as a Liberace-style cape for a while. It’s chilly in here, yo. Although, admittedly, it did give the dying cat a bit more pep today, when he was not sleeping on his perch above the radiator or doing his Liberace imitation huddled under a warm pile of capes.
It was too hot for days, sauna-like, and the cat looked wilted, was very sluggish. Now it’s too cold, since the temperature outside dipped into proper winter range just as Sekhnet climbed up on a step ladder and propped a large screen in a window she opened, a window that is behind bars, bars that have a variety of things hanging from them.
Theoretically, I could open that gate, climb up on a ladder and take the large screen out of the upper window, close the window, hang everything back on it, and the room would eventually warm up. But I’d have to turn on the lights, take down everything hanging from the bars, wake Sekhnet in the process, ignore the surgeon’s advice by lifting, and toting, exerting, forcing blood to my face.
Jesus, what am I talking about? I’m still asleep, still in that dream, holding a plate of meat served by a faceless waiter to a vegetarian customer who is left with one choice, eat what’s been served or shut the fuck up about being hungry.
It reminds me of the dilemma of the would-be satirist, living in the Age of Trump and fucking Roger Stone. All roads lead back to these larger than life cocksuckers, no conversation can long avoid at least a mention of our current giant, angry, attention craving two year-old president.
I see fucking Roger Stone’s face, as he promised a reporter recently that if anyone tries to remove Trump from office, for any reason, there will be blood in the streets. Trump’s people have guns, he assures us, as is their God-given right under the Second Amendment, and they will not hesitate to use those guns, if it comes to it. And we all know what the other side is like, fucking animals, and they all have guns too. Stone warns of a blood bath, not that he’s advocating it, mind you, he’s just saying’, just putting it out there.
I watch the psychopathic Stone, as much as any single individual, responsible, along with his former partner Paul Manafort, for the current lobbyist-led negative campaigning black and white wedge issue kick ’em hard in the balls and destroy your opponents nightmare American politics we have today. A political predator, and a psychopath.
I see that fucking smirking, supremely confident face and realize, with a smile that is painful to smile, particularly at this ungodly hour when my eyes are almost crossing with exhaustion, the sun creeping up behind me, that someone just like him owns the fucking restaurant where I am forced to wander endlessly with a plate of cold meat I did not order.
I was prepared to say to the Orthodox Jewish nephrologist the other day, after the third or fourth time he demonstrated he is something of a distracted, imperious putz: Doctor, Ha Shem (God) does not make a person a mensch, it is left up to each of us to be a mensch or not. But as I was holding a plate of human entrails, and a fork, as I sat in his office the other day, with a napkin across my lap, I thought: ah, fuck it, I just won’t leave him the full 20% tip.