Preface: I thought I was neutral on Björk until I met her at a literary party one night a couple years ago. I was with Gengoroh Tagame and we were invited to the home of a famous publisher whose name is escaping me now. Big penthouse in Chelsea. When Bjork came into the room, it stopped mattering that Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt were there vaping in the corner of the kitchen with, I wanna say, April Bloomfield (I know, I dunno why either). Tagame asked if I could introduce him to her so I did, but I was awkward and effusive. Grateful fans of what you do, etc. Tagame introduced himself as a cartoonist and I thought “what the fuck. You always tell people at minimum you are a gay erotic artist and usually that you make porn.” I thought that might’ve been a lost connection for them. Oh well.
So anyway, my friend Michael sent me a video of a public school music class singing “Joga” from Homogenic earlier “today.” I think Björk actually sounds like a simultaneous recording of a room of children.
Go listen to the whole thing now. It’s really sweet. I wonder where all these kids are now eleven years later; if the music teacher still has a ponytail.
This morning I woke up from a surreal dream (my dreams are usually quite mundane as I’m convinced my sleep is pretty shallow). I was on a beautiful train that looked more like a fancy airport lounge for first class passengers. Long minimalist couches and a night-scape like the town in Spirited Away. The view out the window was a clear summer sky full of stars; beautiful. I took my seat, a portion of a long sectional couch chair. Two women approach, both visibly pregnant. I smile as they take their seats and think “good thing there’s so few of us we can all fit.” A disabled woman walks up to me and says she is sitting next to me, and then proceeds to lies down prone on the balance of the sofa and plops her feet on my lap. I am not put off. I take this as a sign of intimacy.
The train leaves its port and we’re headed to London. I notice immediately the train is running off track, off the rail line entirely, and catapulting toward a river from an extremely high altitude. It looks like an N train on the Manhattan Bridge except a thousand feet higher, and we’re now careening over into the East River. We’re alarmed. We is now a whole different group of people. Queen Latifah for some reason, and my friend Mel. When we face the water I am surprisingly calm, and start taking meditative breaths to prepare for impact. We watch the water get closer and hold hands, bracing for impact. I know we might drown and I’m mentally prepared. When we make contact with the water, though, I start swimming straight out of the train and into open air. We’re floating in the expanse like the penultimate scenes of Titanic except I’m not freezing and all of us can swim to shore.
I find a walkway under the surface of the rail bridge that leads to a door. I walk through it into something like a Penn Station strip mall. I am now fully naked basking in fluorescent light. I ask for rescue and the gift shop owner says “yes, help is on the way.” The rescue team has brought with them the equipment for a child’s birthday party. A blow up mattress to jump on, a bunch of silly clothes, and stickers to indicate my vital signs. They say the packed the wrong triage kit. This one was meant for kids but it’ll have to do.
I see Tausif there for some reason. He’s come to stalk one of the rescuers, who is Jino’s new boyfriend. Tausif is jealous. “So you’re the new guy eh?” he says. Tausif and Jino do not know each other to my knowledge in real life. I’m intrigued by the gossip. Now I’m a child excited by the stickers and waiting for the blow up mattress to be ready for me to jump on. And then all of the people in my dream are children. We’re child versions of ourselves—physically still adults but mentally juveniled—excited by the triage kit. I wake up wondering if the dream is about free-falling, drowning, friendship or childhood.
Throughout life until about ten years ago I’d have two recurring dreams. Always the same two: flying or drowning. They never happen in the same dream and they don’t end the way you think. When I fly, I start exhilarated and wake up in a sweat, scared that I’ve lost control of my altitude, too high, not sure how to come down safely. In the drowning dream, my sister is at the bottom of a river trying to tell me something but I am about to run out of air, and can’t convince her to come up with me. I snap awake not when I run out of breath but right when am about to break the surface of the water and take that gasp of air. My eyes pop open.
I had a confusing text exchange with a friend before going to bed. I immersed myself in computer play until 1am, correcting a bunch of audio files. I went to bed bleary and kept waking up thinking I’d left batteries out in the rain. Maybe that was another dream. When I woke up I was singing these lines from “Joga” in my head:
They puzzle me
Then the riddle gets solved
And you push me up to this
State of emergency
How beautiful to be
State of emergency
Is where I want to be
Wow, Anne. Quoting late 90’s Björk. You’re so imaginative. *eye roll*
I know. It’s all kind of corny, but I’ll show you. I’ll show you what I’m able to create inside emotional triage designed for children, for my childish heart, and you will eventually join us.