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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Some dreams and real life


I am supposed to go to Oberlin next week, to give a paper on music, invited by Sebastiaan Faber. I don't have a plane ticket and haven't written anything. (Classical anxiety dream.) It is plausible enough to be real, but implausible enough to be a dream, so I lie in bed trying to figure it out, too lazy to wake myself up to check my email. In the morning, I dismiss it as a dream. 


I am in a thrift store, with some books and clothes I want to buy, and a small sewing machine. They say I have to use cash if it is over $45 dollars, so I give up the sewing machine, with some relief, since I don't know how to use it anyway. We have a hard time using the card in their machine, which is old. The person waiting with me, I feel, should probably just go away by herself, since she doesn't need to watch me try to pay. Ironically, the sewing machine is the only thing in the dream with concrete identity. The other stuff is just a pile of junk.  


A real life incident. In the morning, yesterday, they email us from apartment complex reminding us that they will replace all of our hot water heaters. A description of the process they will follow, etc... starting with buildings G and H. I think they won't get to me, and in fact, calculating the number of apartments times the number of buildings, I know they won't finish in one day. This is like a 40 hour job at least, even with two crews, one to remove old heaters and another to install new ones. Around 5:30 we get another email.  The plumbing company only got to a few units, not having brought enough "supplies," and will reschedule for another day, and will even have to re-enter the units they were already in to "modify" their work. 


Another real life thing: I am reading a Calvin Tomkins book from my office called The Bride and Bachelor. I'm wondering if he is the guy who wrote the racist poem about Chinese food. I have to look it up; no that is Calvin Trillin (they both write for New Yorker, have the same first name, and two syllable last names. The first chapter of the book is about Duchamp, and goes into his chess playing a bit. The second chapter is on Cage, and goes into his study of mushrooms. Duchamp is a top amateur chess player, and John Cage is the top amateur mycologist. I am wondering if the other figures studied in the book will have interesting side passions? Something reminds me of Weldon Kees, and I look him up, and find out he was jazz pianist and abstract painter! I try to remember who told me first about Kees, a poet who apparently jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.   

Someone on twitter, who I follow because we were once closer friends than we are now, asks a question about a Mallarm√© quote he cannot find, something quoted by Blanchot. I find the quote for him with about 10 minute google exploration. The only true bomb is a book! My former friend has drifted away, I gave him some poems for a magazine [he had asked me] and heard nothing back, then I congratulated him for publishing a poem in the New Yorker (no answer). Then I didn't try again to keep in touch.      

There is nothing significant in any of this, but it is the texture of my everyday mental life.  

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