March 15, 2014
I had the oddest dream last night when I went to a show, and Howard Devoto was playing and after he sang his one song, "The Light Pours Out Of Me", there was only one person in the audience besides me, and every time he clapped, it made a shallow echo sound. He clapped very slowly keeping a steady rhythm. I woke up in Meguro still hearing that sound. Slowly I realized it was my wife gently snoring in a soft rhythm, one could barely hear her, but somehow I picked up the sound and it became a major part of my dream.
The second thought that came to my mind was Howard Devoto. Why, of all places and time, was I thinking of him in such a freezing cold morning here. I had to piss, and even that, was a little bit difficult, due to the cold. As I mentioned every room in a Japanese house is chilly. Some are colder than others, but nevertheless all are cold. So standing up, going to the hallway, which is the coldest by the way, and going to the toilet, a degree less than the hallway. Even going to the toilet brings up feelings of oddness. In Japan, the toilet is kept separate from the bathroom, so it is usually in a small room that only one person can fit in. On top of that all the toilets in Japan are mechanically controlled with kanji describing each purpose. One is a soft flush, the other a full flush, one shoots water up the butt for cleaning purposes, the other is…. A softer version of the water spray and the other is a bidet. Some have a heater blowing up your butt, but this one doesn’t but I really could use a heater there. The toilet seat itself is heated so that is a blessing.
I went back to my futon and looked at the ceiling. The image of Devoto stayed in my head, and I started to hum “The Light Pours Out of Me.” The wife was still asleep so I got up and put on my black jeans on, and went upstairs to make myself a cup of coffee. I opened up my laptop to determine where I left off with respect to my ongoing ‘memoir’ that I have been working off and on for the last ten years. It’s kind of amazing moment when you realize that the work you have been working on, sucks.
The first thought is that the Howard Devoto dream was trying to tell me something. The one man clapping slowly, maybe that was not towards Devoto, but me. Maybe that guy was taunting me, because now thinking of it, he was staring at me when he applauded slowly, not at Howard on the stage. I realized I found myself in a bad mood this morning because of that figure in my dream. I needed something uplifting like a Sly Stone song, but that strangely made me think of Devoto again, because he recorded a Sly song with his second band Magazine. Owing to the cold, the coffee was getting cold after each sip. I was slowly going down a spiral staircase, with a painful scratch on my back. I needed to pull myself up out of this misery, because it will spoil my entire day. And a day wasted is not a proper day my young man (and woman).
I decided to forget about the memoir at this moment, and concentrate on getting myself ready to go out and locate the DVD “Dillinger” starring Lawrence Tierney. When I was at a DVD rental I saw the package, and I thought to myself this will be perfect for me to study Japanese while watching one of my favorite films with my fave actor in it. It dawned on me at that moment I’m attracted to figures that carry a certain amount of depression. All my role models have at its best, a tinge of despair, or worst, total head-on depression. It got worse when I couldn’t find the Dillinger film at the store, but on the other hand, they did have “J’irai crater sur vis tombes, a film based on the Boris Vian novel, and directed by Michel Gast. The movie stars Christian Marquand, playing a light-skinned African-American who goes after a whole town, due to the lynching death of his brother. Vian hated the film, in fact it was the last thing he saw, due that he died during the screening. Marquand is an interesting actor who had a long career in films. Nevertheless I rented the film, which made it even weirder to me, because the film is made in France, with French being spoken, about Americans, and the subtitles are in Japanese. Being an American watching, this was a very disoriented experience. But then again, just trying to figure out something common-like with a Japanese toilet is equally disorientating as well.
By late afternoon I was determined to go back to my futon bed, and just look at the ceiling till sleep took over me. Not a perfect day by any means, but alas, I now have some creative thoughts regarding the ceiling in my room. Life goes on!