Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Symbolic Housewarming

I had a terrible dream that I'd held a housewarming. Two types of people showed up. Some of them were stoic, relaxed, worldly men and women in their late '20s and early '30s: social workers, philosopher-waitresses. The others were very rambunctious, hyperactive, early '20s gay men with a tendency to primadonna-ness.

The dream skipped over the happy part of the evening and started instead at 7am, twelve hours after the party had started. A subsection of the primadonnas were out of control and were doing crystal meth. They were refusing to leave. One of them had spread layers of chocolate on my bedroom carpet. The other primadonnas had taken on a babysitting role for their out-of-control peers, but they were too distracted to keep them from being destructive.

I was terrified of the trouble I was causing my neighbours.

Meanwhile, the stoic, worldly crowd was in my kitchen, sitting around and eating the last of the food and acting totally unconcerned. I shared my anxieties -- I was tired and a subset of primadonnas were trashing my house -- and they looked at me as though I were overreacting, or as though I should have expected it. One of them -- my Guardian Angel -- recommended I tell everybody to leave.

"OKAY!" I shouted, "Everybody has to leave in...fifteen minutes!"

The primadonnas looked at me disdainfully.

"I mean, FIVE minutes!" They started picking up their stuff, turning off their music, snorting the last of their drugs, saying their goodbyes, gradually making for the door. Some of them seemed to like me and some of them of them obviously didn't. One came to say that he'd spent the whole night lying on my lawn hallucinating at the stars, and he spoke as though I were to be thanked for this, even though I didn't even know who he was.

The police arrived. There'd been an emergency at the psychiatric ward, and they were bringing distraut patients to be looked after by one of my stoic, worldly, social worker guests. One of the police officers explained to me that a particular patient was bleeding from his ears, because he had tumours in them...a new nurse had pulled them and tried to cut them out, which had caused a hemmorage. The nurse had been fired and the patient was stumbling into my house, ears bleeding.

My Guardian Angel -- calm acceptance, cool-headedness -- revealed that we needed to go to Guelph. I drove there on a rubber bicycle with a fake steering wheel, with her sitting behind me. It was a beautiful, clear, brisk spring morning.

In Guelph, I went to see Old Friend, who was living in a condominium. When I entered her apartment building I realized that I was being followed by many of the guests from my housewarming, who were following me in a sort of celebratory train. Some of them seemed to be celebrating for me, while others didn't even know who I was and were just celebrating because they wanted something to celebrate. A few of them were there to slyly tell unflattering stories about my conduct the previous evening. Meanwhile my makeup was cracking and running off as I shuffled from hallway to hallway. I'd broken both of my heels on that rubber bicycle.

Finally, in Old Friend's apartment, exhausted and feeling sick. My Guardian Angel and some of the other social workers stood in the hallway, chatting calmly. Old Friend brought me cold pizza for breakfast. I STILL had to get back on that bicycle and go home.

Old Friend, momentarily angry, pointed out that I was eating my pizza upside down and all the toppings were falling on her floor.

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