April 24, 2002

Still ill. It's these goddamn spring allergies. They're making my eyes puff up like I've been abusing the chronic! Oh, this is most foul. And last night I was curled up on the sofa, drowsy as hell from my cough medicine, when someone from my college alumni organization called me. It was just some kid, probably on work study, so I decided to be polite. I waited patiently through her spiel and answered all of her questions, apologizing for all the phlegm I was hacking up while she talked. I even felt bad when I told her I couldn't really donate anything right now. I was too sick and tired to be mean to anyone.

Even now, I need to go out, and getting ready seems like a task requiring Herculean strength.

I had a dream I was hanging around some abandoned L.A. projects with a teenage Darby Crash and his hoodie friends. We got the shit beat out of us by a bunch of troublemaking jarheads, and when we decided to leave, we noticed that a couple of the jarheads had set to wreaking havoc on one of our cars. We sucked it up and took another car. Teenage dipshits that we were, we thought it would be fun to drive backwards on the freeway. This was loads of fun until we bumped into a huge milk truck and the driver forced us off the freeway at gunpoint, threatening to break all our teeth and making us hand over every last dollar we had so he wouldn't report us. No one seemed to have any money, but I gave the guy ten bucks.

That was the first part. Second part had a friend and I walking through Brighton Beach and Coney Island (where I spent my formative years, home- and school-wise). Brighton Beach Ave. was still a low-rent dump. Aliza and I went to a bodega (an Indian-owned one; here they just call 'em "candy stores") and bought sodas. I had been talking in a fake British accent. Then a real Brit overheard and joined in our conversation, asking questions about obscure '80s English musicians, trying to make me look foolish. To his surprise and chagrin, I'd heard of all of them. My accent was bloody awful, though.

We all got on a school bus together. The driver had a public-address system and was singing Belle & Sebastian songs over a backing track. I hovered out the half-open window and marveled at how much Coney Island had changed -- it looked like Las Vegas, with white palaces and chandeliers, hotels and catering halls. Very glitzy. I exited the bus a stop before my usual one, and walked into an empty field not unlike the vacant lot in the Bronx's Co-op City (which used to be an historical theme park called Freedomland... supposedly if you walk out far enough you can still see decaying remnants of the old park).

That's all I remember, other than that the dream began practically the same way, in a field of weeds leading up to those projects. The dream began not with Darby but with a late '60s Laura Nyro "video" shoot -- a tiny camera crew and a black-clad Andy Warhol. During the shoot, Warhol contorted himself into a pretzel shape on the floor of a small corridor, while Nyro was filmed walking up staircases wearing a white summer dress. They all left the scene, surrounded by disinterested construction workers and young, filthy children... enter Darby and friends. Black and white turns to color.