disappointment as a theme

I’m standing in the backyard when something catches my eye– what is that– a squirrel?– in the tree… no, it’s bigger… it’s still for awhile and then it moves again– it’s an orangutan! standing there in the tree– hiding, lost.

and I recall that recently there have been other strange visitors, exotics in my yard, and I wonder if there’s been an escape from the zoo– and I decide to go investigate.

I start out walking around the lake the house backs up on, but then I hit a stretch where there is no path and the shore is too steep, so I start to wade. almost immediately people begin to descend on me in anger and righteous agitation– apparently this is the one day of the year when everyone has agreed to leave the lake alone to give the small creatures like frogs peace for spawning. I didn’t know! I’m on a conscientious mission myself! and I tell them about the orangutan. someone mentions the circus pitched on the lake shore a ways down, and that seems to be the obvious solution– there follows a whole segment with boats–

I’m put in a little tub with insufficient room for all the people who intend to ride together– and then we get separated from one another in the course of ferry and locks– I’m walking at one point through the dry reservoir of the locks after my little tub gets beached on the concrete– walking toward a tower and observation or passenger platform and only reach it just as the water begins to fill.

I’m standing on Western Ave. looking at the shop windows just as the blinds on the print collective begin to lower from within– I realize I’ve missed the glimpse of the inside and go up to the door and catch the eye of a guy inside– I ask how I can get involved– apparently I’ve just missed a big induction, and there won’t be another one for awhile. I’m feeling this enormous craving to get in there and work on those presses, and I’m swamped with disappointment.

I’m in my parents’ house– sort of. I’m in that space, but it’s free of the shadows and clouds. my parents are away from home, and I’m cooking a delightful meal with and for a friend, laying out the dining room table with best china, lingering together long over the gorgeous meal, sun coming in the windows, smoking cigarettes where we sit. I’ve acquired some asparagus for planting in the garden– it seems we’re (or at least I am?) leaving the house, and this is to be a parting gift. I take the bunch of aparagus out to the old vegetable plot, but there’s still snow on the ground– so I set it down gently in the garage to wait for a thaw and go back inside. my parents come home while the table is still covered with dirty dishes– my mother looks at the scene with disgust, like there is something shameful in the spectacle of me and my friend. I cannot believe how small she is. she’s angry that I’ve used her dishes, angry that we’ve been smoking in the house, and more than anything revolted by the thought that I have a girlfriend. she’s blind to the degree of my happiness–I feel like it should color everything, trump everything, dwarf every other consideration– for her as well as for me– I feel like it should be obvious and saturating, and I cannot believe how immune to it she is– how actively she clings to her prejudices and narrow, claustrophobic house regulations. and I tell her I am happy, and I laugh, though there is a note of disappointment in it for her. I am not ashamed or sorry– only sorry that she is so lost to every good feeling.

who is my mother in this dream? she is nearly entirely emblematic.

4 Replies to “disappointment as a theme”

  1. Your mother is you… or what you’re afraid of becoming. You’re telling yourself to keep being who you are… even if you have to get wet to see the monkey.

    (now there’s a sentence you don’t see everyday)

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