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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alphabet Hallucination

This morning around dawn I seemed stuck in a dream.  Or I was coming out of a dream and stuck between sleep and being awake.  Or I was awake and stuck in an early morning alphabet-filled hallucination. 

I always sleep through the night. I never have insomnia and I never have to use the bathroom in the wee hours.  Once I turn out the lights I’m asleep within minutes and don’t wake up until morning.  

One night the Los Angeles swat time surrounded my building.  Helicopters swirled above the building. They were loud. They didn’t wake me.  It wasn’t until the helicopter floodlights lit up my bedroom like a sunburst that I finally woke up.  My body thought it was dawn.  That’s how sound I sleep.

Once I wake up I’m full of cosmic energy ready to jump our of bed and dance to Pharrell’s “Happy” (which is quite the enjoyable sight to see). 

But this morning I couldn’t get myself from the sleep state into the awake state.  I was in limbo, the purgatory of sleep, and there was only one thing on my mind.

I couldn’t figure out how to spell the word “leisurely.”  The alphabet was bouncing around in my brain like millions of pingpong balls.  My frustration was bordering on hysterical.  I kept wanting a dictionary but no dictionary was within reach.  The one I keep beside my bed was nowhere to be found.   

Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind was hurting. 

Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind couldn’t remember. 

Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind cried out for help from the Spelling Bee Gods.  

The alphabet teased me relentlessly, bullying me with its letters, taunting me, laughing at me, humiliating me, shaming me… 


I was scared I might never be able to spell correctly. It was like I was drowning in a sea of alphabet soup and there was no lifeguard to save me, no life jacket, and when I reached out the letters pulled away forcing me down down down to the bottom of the broth.

I held my breath. I gathered what little strength I had…

Leasurelee… leezureley… liesurely… no, no hell no!

Leasurelee… leezureley… L-E-I-S-U-R-E-L-Y… yeah! 

I swam to the light and emerged from my alphabet hallucination… 

And I sang Clap along if you know what happiness is to you… because I’m happy…. so friggin’ happy… 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Inked Wrist Destination

My eyes wander always looking north and south and east and west aware of everything and everyone around me. Sometimes I see things no human eyes should ever see, and sometimes I see things that get me all revved up. 

Not too long ago I was eye-wandering at a film conference and noticed a woman’s wrist. It was a slender wrist that was very lady-like.  It was a wrist you could imagine being in a generic wrist watch commercial.  

Then I saw something that got me all revved up.  Adorning her wrist were a few bangles and underneath the bangles I glimpsed a colorful wrist tattoo.  

As her wrist moved so did my eyes doing my best to look between the jingling bangles and identify what the tattoo could be.  I turned my head in all sorts of directions for a better look.  And there it was… a map of some sort.  Possibly a treasure map? There were different colored lines going in different directions. I needed to see more.

Just as she was about to walk away I eye-wandered north and within seconds we were eye to eye. Smiles. Hello. 

She asked me something about the seminar we just attended, initiating proper film conference conversation, but I was too tattoo-focused to answer her accordingly. 

Then it dawned on me. It was a subway map. Was it from my beloved Boston? Was she a fellow Bostonian and possibly from the same suburban landscape as myself? 

I immediately inquired. She seemed pleased, and somewhat relieved, for the change of subject.  Grinning like a cheshire cat she announced it was a tattoo of the Chicago subway map.  I immediately asked “Are you from Chicago?”  She was, and proud of it.  She said if she ever moved back she could always find her way around the city.  


Because I live in Los Angeles in Los Feliz should I tattoo my wrist with the 181 Bus Route?  The bus stop is in front of my apartment and it goes northeast and west.   Whenever I need to take a bus (usually once a year) I waste time online checking to see if the 181 stops at my desired destination. If it were tattooed on my wrist I could save that precious search time and use my time more wisely… to get in another game or two of Candy Crush. 


If the Chicago girl moves to another subway city wouldn’t she, out of habit, keep looking at her wrist for directions and wind up lost in places she didn’t want to be, or where she shouldn’t be?  

Because I’m thinking of someday moving out of this apartment and into another neighborhood I’m going to forego the 181 Bus Route tattoo. 

I’ve decided to tattoo the cab company phone number on my wrist instead.  It’s an 800 number.