couscous custard clatter

Another Sleep of Treason

Rudy can’t fail, but he also can’t answer for the dream he dropped into my head.

After complications, and scenes upon scenes, it unravels. I make my way in to a motel room. Now, mind you, this is a round — or is chock full of recurrences — an ouroboros of sorts. I can’t tell the tail end from the head in this rem maelstrom.

I’m in a small plywood anteroom there’s a faded pink carpet worn bare. Someone next to me is holding a silver serving bowl of couscous custard clatter furtively looking about, not wanting to be seen.

Sticky spots and stains pockmark the plywood. Lots of slatted windows. Who has jalousie windows anymore? Why is childhood Florida popping in my occipital lobe at 2am?

In a second the anteroom is transformed. We’re in front of a squat olive-brown building out by some deserted fairground. The room has landed in the middle of a rocky unpaved traffic circle.

The person next to me disappears and I’m left holding the couscous custard clatter — not platter(!) I intuit this is a clatter; it’s the most germane thing in this pestilent life, this clatter.

I’m on a swivel chair and the anteroom is now composed of hundreds of wooden branches — there are large gaps between the branches, and the room is completely open behind me. No fourth wall. I turn and I’m facing a parking lot. I notice there are people inside the parked cars staring at me. Oh!

I turn toward the building and through the branches I see people on picnic benches staring too. They spot my couscous custard clatter. Oh no!

The next moment I’m in a brown 1983 diesel Cadillac Seville (specific enough?) backing out of the traffic circle, but there is some difficulty: cars too close, other cars not allowing me to back up — where the fuck is my couscous custard clatter? Shit. No!

I’m reeling when an AT thru hiker appears and waves me down for a resupply ride in to town. I tell her I know she is a prior thru hiker she has the look of an experienced AT trekker. She is reluctant to admit that she is a former thru hiker, that she’s done this before, and finished the trail.

I know, I’ve done it before, I say, multiple times. She seems thankful and gives me a card to follow her online hiking journal, and says, get started early and you’ll be back here before I move on — or something to that effect. And she adds something about the Trail Days Festival this year, and how much the trail has changed in Pennsylvania.

Visual dissonance. Repeat.

It all seems to begin again without my couscous custard clatter. The dream merges into two other recurring dreams from the pandemic year:

1. about being out on snow skiing slopes, then driving through hilly Swiss country to get to Barcelona for a mixed grill featuring salivary glands… and…

2. the grassy knoll / icy knoll dream set near a baseball state championship featuring a Cuban professional team v. a central Florida little league team…

Neither of those dreams feature a couscous custard clatter. It’s done with a jolt at 4:30 am. The friggin’ ubangi bangi car drives by earlier than usual.

Where is that damnation couscous custard clatter?!

“Trincapollas! sighed Alba, raising her glass, but all men are homo-sexy, I wish to Christ I’d been born a lesbian.”

—Samuel Beckett / Dream of Fair to Middling Women

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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