The Hell Cafe
dreamed 2009/10/21 by Wayan
Wake 5 AM, pulse pounding; I sweat and shiver simultaneously; hands and feet tingle. The experiment failed! I took a beta blocker last night--a drug blocking epinephrine (adrenaline). My doctor wanted to see if it'd stop these predawn attacks. Nope! Just a bit less heart-racing. So whatever my night sweats are, epinephrine doesn't cause them--it's just one symptom. Multiple systems are going wild. Why?
After lunch: therapy with Shelley. Explore an old nightmare figure calling himself the Ghostmaster, who's returned in new nightmares like Praise the Dancing Goons. His agenda: he wants me to fight for respect. And if I don't obey he says he'll beat me up. Is he causing these attacks? It's true I don't seek respect. My social style's more like my dad--ingratiating, comic. But even if I hide my pride, it still won't let me risk rejection or act like a fool--I stick to my zones of competence. Safe and boring! Shelley suggests I dream about this proud side. And challenge it--date, flirt, play! Feed my anima Silky--she doesn't mind being seen as a fool.
Evening: finish Liz Tuccillo's comic novel How To Be Single, on New York women hungry for half-decent guys. I find men so unattractive it's a revelation for me. Suspect I'm blind to women who like me--I just don't expect it. Next, start Jonathan Lethem's You Don't Love Me Yet. The LA art/music scene has more glitz and pretentiousness than San Francisco's. But love's the same: still hell.
I'm holding an illustrated tome
whose guts are gnarled--I try a poem,
turn the page to find the end is lost.
Oh. The book spills onto the wall!
Horizontal pages half a yard wide
The painting shows The Hell Cafe. You read
First the Pit yawns. Ruby licks
of flame illume;
Then a tonguelike chute drops bound
Then the kitchens. Hell-chefs carve
off the tasty bits of live
sinners into stew.
Then the cliff-cafe. Panoramic view!
Down the shimmer-red Abyss.
The hottest place in town is this.
Then closer-ups of diners' haunted eyes,
as they slowly realize
they dine on the diners in line before.
Then the fore-terraces of Hell Cafe
where most diners haven't yet
tasted who their appetizers are.
Then endless files of trendish souls
dressed to filed teeth. Wait for a turn
in the new Scene To Be Seen.
Then all pales to haze--dim stone
staircases rise, til upper right
blues with hints of unfire light.
Impressive enough, even reversed.
But my ass-backward Western view
If you have the guts to buck
For nothing keeps a hungry soul
from leaving but inclination!
Daylight's a far dim beacon,
but glimmers blue, in sight.
Buddha had it almost right! No demon
guards keep the damned in line
save hunger to belong--not dine.
And the sin of pride, that bugaboo
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