May 15, 2002

Only in dreams.

Here's how it starts: a poetry class that doubles as a Taco Bell (hey, don't ask me). I friendly up to the star student, a slightly overweight Hispanic girl, and we talk about the out-of-print poetry book the professor gave her.

We end up in a bar near Central Park. We notice that the walls are lined with shelves of old beauty products -- not vintage stuff, just '80s toiletries still in their original boxes. The waiter sees my new friend looking at one box, and chats her up about it.

Then the bottle spills out on the floor, and the waiter falls under a spell that makes him mean, manipulative, and controlling (a total Gargamel). He gets everyone in the bar to perform weird rituals for his amusement, and soon everyone's as brainwashed as he is. Except my friend and I -- we're trying to remain headstrong.

We don't kill the waiter or anything cool like that... at one point, the spell wears off and we're all able to go outside again. The sun is setting over New York City.

I follow an older gay male through Central Park to the other side -- he's whining to himself that it's back to his humdrum temp job, back to his job as night receptionist at the Tibetan Society for Drug Addicts and Criminals. I introduce myself and he lets me inside his workplace, a sooty, steely building that looks more like a prison than any sort of "society."

The basement of the Society is a movie-theater lobby, kinda like the sadsack movie theater at the bottom of the Times Square Virgin Megastore. No one's there but us and the concession guy, who's very excited that Charles Nelson Reilly paid a visit earlier that day.

I don't remember much else, except:

-In the bar there was a way-'70s framed poster of David Johansen, looking hot hot hot.

-Gargamel coerced us into eating individual blades of grass, which we thought were poisonous or drugged or whatever. Nothing happened.