a man possessed
I’m starting off my week in the ER. Laying here with a concussion, a broken wrist, bruised ribs and a fractured fibula or tibia (I was whimpering too loudly to hear the doctor clearly). How I ended up here is very strange. It all started with a dream. But not any dream.
It started in the depths of my R.E.M. cycle, I could just tell. In the place where you usually forget the dreams the next day, the Mariana Trench of night. I was laying there and I felt this pressure on top of me. From head to toe like a person laying on top of me … but not sexual. I wasn’t sure if it was the girl from my previous dream but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t … or at least I hoped not. You see, the previous dream I was sitting in a Starbucks listening to James Brown singing “I Got Ants in My Pants (and I Want to Dance)” over the sound system and I notice that my orange mochachino has me so jacked up that my head is twitching and my shoulders are gyrating wildly when I see a girl across the room… completely hidden behind the counter except for her head. Her twitching head! She is totally grooving to the song like I am, rocking violently in time back and forth to James. She walks toward me and my heart begins to twitch inside my chest. She turns the corner and I suddenly realize that she has cerebral palsy or something and that “I Got Ants in My Pants (and I Want to Dance)” has nothing to do with the twitching. So anyway, that’s why I hoped the pressure on top of me wasn’t the girl from the previous dream.
The sensation of the dream is so real that I wake up in the middle of the night and I swear I can still feel whatever it is still sinking into me. After a few minutes the feeling starts to disappear … all except this weird pressure over my left eye. Sort of a like a headache but not quite. It doesn’t go away and I continue with my day.
That is until I feel something rummaging around in my memories. I was suddenly remembering things one after another, so quickly that it felt like each memory was a manila folder and a pair of hands was running over the top of each looking for a particular file. I can’t even describe it other than to say it was dull ache in my head. Then whatever was sorting through my head found what it was looking for.
It was years and years ago. My friends and I were at a club in Cleveland but unbeknownst to us Nine Inch Nails (from Cleveland and hometown favorites) were playing a huge show the same night down the street so the place was completely deserted. We were alone in this giant place with nothing to do and nobody to do it with. So we got drunk. Very drunk. To make a long story short, they had this great jukebox. We found a German version of “Heroes” on it and spent the next few hours listening to Bowie and goose-stepping around the club. (before you get all judgmental, I defy you to listen to it and not goose-step) Obviously not one of my proudest moments … but one that I was being forced to replay again and again … and I swear something was laughing in my head.
Then suddenly I grabbed my car keys and started off towards Yum Yum. For those without Yum Yums near them, they are like a Dunkin Donuts. All I wanted in the whole world was a white hot chocolate. As soon as I entered I was assailed by the frothy come-hither scent of white hot chocolate!
I, I Wunsch, den Sie schwimmen konnten
Wie die Delphine wie Delphine kann schwimmen
Obwohl nichts, nichts uns zusammen hält
Wir können sie, für überhaupt und überhaupt schlagen
OH- können wir Helder, gerade für einen Tag sein
I stood and drank it right at the counter. Hot hot ouch hot. Everyone in the place was staring at me like I was crazy. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that every now and then, swept away with the beauty of the German “Heroes” I was thrusting out my right arm in a Nazi salute. Things were getting a little out of hand.
Thankfully I soon found myself back in my car and headed towards a local residential pool supplies and equipment store. I’m telling you this in retrospect, at the time I had no idea where I was headed … I was just glad to be out of the Yum Yum before donut crowd turned ugly.
By now you can see that I was just a hapless passenger along for the ride. I picked out a diving board, purchased the necessary installation tools and loaded it all into my car.
I, I kann sich erinnern
Bereitstehen der Wand
Und die Gewehren geschossen über unseren Köpfen
Und wir küßten, als wenn nichts fallen könnte
Und die Schande war auf der anderen Seite
OH- können wir sie für immer und überhaupt schlagen
Dann könnten wir Helder gerade für einen Tag sein
As some of you might know from previous stories I’m not a fan of either water or heights. A diving board made no sense at all. I remembering sitting there wondering, as I started unpacking and erecting it in my backyard, what the fuck I was doing. What was going on? Hour after hour passed as I sweated and bled putting this high dive together, the entire time wondering if at the end of this unholy construction the plan was really to have me dive off it. Was this force that had taken hold of me some benevolent spirit compelling me to come to come to terms with my own fears? Perhaps there was no specter convincing me to do this and it was instead my own doing all along. If so … why the Bowie soundtrack?
Eventually it was complete.
I immediately stripped down to my ‘Mr. Potatohead picks his nose’ underpants (get it? There are like 6 noses and he’s picking which one he wants… very sexy boxers right?) and began my climb up the diving board steps.
Wir können Helder sein, wir können Helder sein
Wir können Helder, gerade für einen Tag sein
I gripped the handrails. 10 feet up. I walked forward and, with unpracticed perfect form, bounced twice on the end of the board and launched myself into the air.
Wir können Helder sein,
Wir sind nichts und nichts hilft uns
A forward 2 ½ somersault with a twist, a quick tuck and then into ideal pike position. The feeling of being in flight … the wind against my body.
dann sterben wir und wir bleiben nie
wir können gerade für einen Tag gespeichert warden
Peaceful … until it dawns on me that my backyard doesn’t have a pool.