This morning I dreamed that I had to unclog a drain. I pried the top off of a side-loading washing machine and used a plastic snake on the drain, which was around the diameter of my spread hand and covered with a flat white cap. Eventually I pulled out a clean, dry, thick lock of hair, tied together with a ribbon, about five inches long, which was the same color as mine. Then I discovered that the white cap was actually black, and it had been covered by a piece of bread and peanut butter, pressed PB-side-down on the top of the cap to further clog the drain.
Once I had scraped and wiped this, I started scooping a bunch of junk out of the machine - it was white and curded, like cottage cheese, or melted Styrofoam. No smell. I noticed that the junk was yellower and more hardened toward the northeast corner of the machine, and realized I had to break up and remove that part first. I began to worry that the junk was actually part of the machine's workings (an insulator?), and that I was doing the wrong thing by removing it. Once that uncertainty had truly penetrated, I woke up.
I've long wanted to write a blog post about all the good writing news of the past two months, but this dream was so specific - the textures, the emotions - that I had to get it down somewhere. I do not know what it means. I did watch The Stuff yesterday, so that's probably where the white junk comes from. (Don't give me Freud, please.)
It feels weird not to do resolutions this year, but I don't know what I would resolve to do. Clean more, maybe. Stop complaining about the stuff I always complain about. Keep to my book schedule, so as to write all the things I mean to write by the end of the year. But I'll only fail myself if I fail those intentions, and I do enough of that, thanks.
The days are all the same, and I thought I knew what that was like, since life in southern California moves like that, and I've worked at home for long periods before. But this kind of sameness has a hellish edge that reminds me of one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, where the petty criminal thinks he's gone to heaven because he always wins at the casino table and bangs as many pretty women as he wants, but in fact it's hell, because there's no challenge, he always wins, there's no danger or risk, and life without risk is...not heaven.
I'm not saying that contentment and peace are bad. Just that I always had the option to get in my car and go somewhere if the sameness of my lovely life started to make me itch. I'd look for a workshop to take, sign up, and have something to look forward to, particularly if it was somewhere I could drive and I'd never been there before. (For other people, this practice is known as "vacation," but I never learned how to take vacations in my family of origin, so my version is workshops.) Minor adventures. I can't imagine how difficult this has been for people who thirst after major adventures, as giving up my minor ones is challenging enough.
The days are all the same. When I lived in danger, I thought that sounded great. It is, for a while. Until it isn't anymore.
I'm listening to two audiobooks right now: We Were Witches by Ariel Gore and The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Both long overdue. The way each deals with witches and women directly contradicts the other, which is fun, because I know which side I'm on.
Maybe I'll finally write that blog post with all the good news next week, or the week after. The days are all the same, so writing another blog post can pass for a big change in my routine. In the meantime, I'm running out of documentaries on cults to watch, especially since so many of them are padded and contain less information than the corresponding Wikipedia pages. But I'm getting so much cross-stitching done. I partially designed this piece and I'm disproportionately proud of it.