Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snooze Buttons

Army dream again. Used to have these a lot, but age and custodial labor replaced that anxiety with cleaning dreams, some of the nastiest imagery I've ever coughed up.

Cleaning dreams deal with loss, frustration, anger, exile. As these feelings fade, so too the shit-covered bathrooms and vomit-caked carpets. You'd think I'd be having performance anxiety dreams now, but I don't feel anxious about the stage. Excited, anticipatory, a little nervous, yes, but once at the mike I feel fine. Given how my brain works, something must haunt me. So back to the barracks we go.

Overall, I had a pretty boring Army stint. My off-duty hours were creatively filled, especially once Kamakaze Radio got going; but in uniform I went through the required paces. Everybody did. Even the MPs. They were dicks, but they could've been much worse. The perils of peacetime.

Many of my Army dreams are about enduring boot camp again and again, loss of power, regimentation, stress. I bring my present mind along for these trips, which makes for some compromising scenes, but nothing that causes screams in the night. This time around I was assisted by my son, for whom, thank god, the military is not a goal. Yet here he enlisted, so I joined to protect him. I soon realized that whatever I did, no matter how intense my desire, I could not protect him, that he was on his own. I was powerless in a deeper way.

This fall, my son will enter high school, and not the one we wanted, either. At the moment, I'm projecting on him every horror story from my teen past, convinced that he'll face the same fractured music. This also has to do with him reaching adulthood, and all the wonderful gifts that come with that, especially these days. Me living part time in NYC is a part of letting him go, I think. Not that I'm abandoning him, but he desires more space and doesn't need the old man's dread blocking his path.

He and I are in transition. It's an unsettled time, but there are positive symbols as well. One recurring dream has me embracing those I once despised or looked down upon, spreading love, humility and forgiveness. I realize that this is about The Project. Though I walk in the valley of tortured comic souls, I do not share their fears and hatreds. I seek a wider path where connections are made, awareness sharpened, poison drained, minds broadened.

As O'Donoghue said, comedy is the icing, ideas and truth the cake. Welcome to the Laugh Bakery.