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Dream Trace
On Musing Under Overthought in Novel:1/6/22
“Trace” was the original frontiersman’s term for trail, the path that precedes us and is not yet worn with our tired parody of permanence. Trace and way and path are lesser, better things than a trail, track, road or highway.
It rains upon the snow, across which humming birds zoom past the high slot windows of this pump room. I have life left to write another novel I feel, after two weeks of feeling too ill to channel the dream spill…
It is not the novel I have planned for here and now, but one that demands to be written, here and now...crowding out the crowd of 17 others grumbling, sulking, weeping, muted and forlorn behind this damaged mind’s door.
My mind is not clear. There is a lingering scar in my brain—the ears ring constantly like a rushing current of ocean singing.
Yesterday the strength to write Sorcerer! Was injected by two fellow souls...writers, one a proof reader and one an editor and publisher, by small text:
“Knowing you and knowing you took longer than average to read has helped me keep going [with homeschooling a frustrated child reader] countless times… Thank you so much. I admire and appreciate you for being a man who was never interested in drugs or depended on alcohol. Your mind and spirit are uncommonly undamaged.”
-Lynn
“I read Rainbow Bridge last night cover to cover. One of my new favorites. Got [oldest boy] reading Haft and [youngest boy] reading Buzz Bunny. They don’t hardly even ask to bring their video games over here anymore.”
-T Rex
All I ever wanted to do as a writer was to help a child or youth or an adult who has not sold out to Overthought to escape meaningfully for some while through story. A novel is essentially a dream that is shared between reader and writer. Towards this end I wrote some hundred nonfiction books learning to weave words. I was drugged once by friends who claimed to be giving me an Exedrin pill for a headache, and was mind damaged from it—spent ten years in an abysmal well crawling out of some evil entitie’s dream into the material hell of Baltimore where all of my mind had to be employed and forged and tempered in hate-filled crime space and deluded civic space.
The savage Bantus of Harm City, the evil PIGs in blue and the scavenging merchants of food actually rescued me from that polluted hell of dream. For I dream savage dreams, my every dream an attack upon my tiny soul by the black mind of the Dreamer. [1]
Only when I am sick and wanting to die do I have any reprieve from the nightmare attack. I shared a room with a man who could not sleep—who had to pass out to get rest and when he sobered up in his sleep the constant attack from evil from the Outer Dark, of the dark gods from beyond could be heard…
I’d hear him wake with a moan and then stumble back and forth by me until dawn. He apologized under the sun and I said it was okay that I did not sleep well. He noted that I had many nightmares. I asked him, “Was I winning or losing?” he said, “Some of both.”
The Dreamer attacked and murdered me legions of times as a child, killing my little identity every night.
Then, at age 13, powerful, psychopathic and violent, the strongest youth my weight in town, the fasted runner my age, this seeped into the Dreamspace and I raged a killer, an Achilles rampaging against man and beast and nature in one landmark dream. I waxed powerful in that Dreamspace until I became married and then the Dreamer came hunting me with His very landscape.
My lessons of a life of violence in Real Meat Space brought me as a killer into the redarkened Dreamspace. Ever since, my dreams, in my prime and now into my worn dotage, feature subversive, seductive, betraying, naysaying and vilifying threats against which youthful violence turns against me, me killing the wrong person as the foe steps aside and my spear plunges into innocence...
I sneer at Dream and turn my back on The Dreamer, that leviathan evil that seeks to prime me for its sunken feast.
No dream of His is permitted in the front of my mind.
The Trickster can stay baying at the gates of Hell.
I do not even recall His song…
Forget is strong in this fading one.
I write in a trance.
In this trance the dream comes through.
I do not fight the beast spawned by The Dreamer as the sluices of my writing mind open for it to rush down the gorge of my barren canyon of life misspent.
As the sword of story I wield, I kill the character that represents myself, the part of me that has learned to turn away from dream death on the shadowed stage of The Dreamer...this little soul, the hated target of The Dreamer chooses to re-kill itself in mock trial by action… turning snarling away from Dream’s Drear Door to embrace Oblivion my friend.
I am now ready, to write Sorcerer!, a novel thrice discarded, thinking it a spear in The Eye of Overthought, in hopes that something in it will exercise the mind of a person who looks away from the gathering dream of deceit being woven rampantly above us in the name of reality.
The rain greys the world outside that has not known the sun’s kiss for a week, drenching the snow that makes the frozen ground far and away brighter than the sodden sky.
Humming birds yet streak across the snow.
A dear friend’s voice yells from among the fleet of dripping vehicles of dilapidation outside this door, “Yo, Cracker! Goin’ to the store in fifteen minutes. I saw the girl that stocks the cheese at Fred Myers eyeing you—put on a clean shirt! I’m hookin’ you up!”
We have time yet, before The Beast feasts, to affirm its timeless jealousy of our little bit of time tread.
Thank you, all five of you muses.
Notes
-1. So many people have tried to convince me that I could only be free of mind, could only be creative if I took certain drugs, even that I am rejecting The Cosmos by not going psychodelic, that I am fascinated. I am fortunate that a few folks will read my work of fancy, fiction and weird vision, even though on paper, my lack of drug use would seem to bar me from the heights of literary creation. I am no Hemingway, but I have written more strange books than Phillip K. Dick, Hunter S. Thompson and Graham Hancock—and a good dozen of my novels are stranger than anything they wrote.
Thank you all for giving me a pass for not chasing the Dragon—that fiend awaits for me every time I close my eyes. Indeed, my 25-odd years with less than 2 hours a sleep a day and staying up for up to 5 days without drug help or even coffee, which enabled my entire ancient research and combat endeavor with the extra time gained from not sleeping, was the means by which I robbed the Dragon, that Dreaming Fiend of the Abyss from drinking of my soul while I cast his snarls into the world to illuminate its dank corners. Fool I may be, stealing from Ouroboros, knowing that he will eat me in the end.
Why rush to meet him on chemical wings?
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