I still sometimes dream of the city. This does not disturb me as much as it once did, for they're never nightmarish. There's a curious sense of bittersweetness. After all, I spent a decade of my life there.
Sometimes it's just snapshots of a life; walks and small details. Other times, I might be going somewhere specifically. Perhaps a coffeeshop or bookstore. Somewhere for dinner or a gin joint for a shot and beer. Every so often, the dreams border upon backflashes of me sitting on certain corners of Sixteenth Street, monkey watching, which has always been one of my favorite pastimes.
Curiously, although sometimes the dreams may feature a few of them, none of them in many years have had to do with my time amongst the vampires. From a dime store, psych 101 standpoint, I wonder if it's like the fact I no longer dream of North Carolina or the badlands of eastern Colorado; those things ceased to exist for me long ago. After I left them them behind with no reason to go back. Done and over. The fetters have been cut, therefore, they do not even appear within the walls of my skull save for wakened remembrances.
It is awful to admit, but I sometimes think of that period amongst the vampire caste as a few years I got a little lost in. After all, I only did it to shut a friend of mine up. Certainly, I had some adventures and got some stories out of it, and, when I did walk away, there was this fucking girl who just had to come with me, thus, achieving the initial goal my friend had for me in that scene. However, as much as I can groove on some Ministry, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxie and the Banshees, and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, that social caste wasn't me, and it never could be.
My awful feeling comes from past friends I left back there. Ones who tried to understand why I not only stopped going to the juke joints, but was suddenly so eager to leave the neon-laced dreamland altogether for the pointy lands. I remember something the gypsy said Jibrel once said about me, and gets me to realize that some of those cats, loved them as I did, never really fucking met me, and perhaps that was my fault.
Mei fei tsu...
I know I've spoken of how I view my dreams in that dichotomy between skepticism and mysticism. To take away the magic of last night's dream, I pretty well know why I had it; my father's blues band is playing Swallow Hill tomorrow night and I'm hopping down below to see him realize his dream of being the jaded bluesman. I am filled with excitement of seeing my father rock it out somewhere other than his parlor or a porch and fear and loathing at having to go to crowed-smelly-flat-noisy-land in order to do it.
So it goes...
On Friday evenings during summer, once I've finished at the community garden plot after obligations and come home to do whichever chore, I like to go for a walk around town. Sort of a treat. A neighbor of mine recently harassed me about saying I'd mow on day I have obligations, citing I have three days off.
Of course, my thought was what sort of a fucking idiot does work on a free day? That's madness! Slow death. Those are days for the adventures of bushwhacking up some gulch because of the apocrypha of some old cabin or to find where the supposed demons dwell and a dragon's lair. Days for slumming the resort towns whilst dealing with mundanities of laundry and going to the souk-I actually do find adventure in getting groceries, and stop laughing-or just because fuck it and why not? because that's what life should be about. Even and especially when you live where others come to vacation. Anyone who would say different is either daft or trying to sell you something. Perhaps both.
Whilst I somewhat hypocritically growl about the tourists who'll walk down the middle of the streets of town like it's muthafuckingDisenyland, I find it grand that I can stroll down the middle of Rue Main at six-thirty or seven in the evening without a worry in the world. People are out grilling, and neighbors are holding court on their porches. Cocktail hour entails you better have one, or not be rude should you be invited to sit at one of those porches. Even if it is crap beer.
I take in the swallows and the river. The shifting of light as the sun dips below the ridge, the old houses and nearby mine ruins. Clouds and trees. The scent of flowers and wide-awake trees. Musics of the mountain breeze and humming birds.
Have I ever told you how much I fucking love this place?
A lifetime ago, I took comfort in the sight of the monoliths of downtown. One building was my Lighthouse of Alexandra. These days, I like the tall things I take comfort in to be made of rock. One peak is my Kilimanjaro. There was magic for me once down within the borders of the greater metroplex, just as there's magic for me now here in Kashmir. It might be pretentious to speculate that perhaps that magic follows me wherever I go, but somehow, I just really don't care.
Just some silly wildflower meadow about eight miles from my house. Nothing spectacular. Never did find that dragon's lair...