Latest trend — song lyrics in my dreams

As my wife can attest, my dream state is full of nightmares — she shakes me awake when I’m thrashing around in my REM moments.  I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in decades, my subconscious world full of being chased, being lost, falling, trapped, monsters, demons, demonic insects, abandoned interstellar outposts, etc.

Sleep deprivation that has consumed over half my life has driven me to find temporary relief in products like fermented grapes, sour mash, cough medicine and overexerting exercise that pushes my body into deep, dreamfree sleep (or at least with dreaming I do not recall).

Lately, though, my dream world has shifted due, I assume, to the fact that I’ve been hearing popular music more frequently than I ever heard before.

This morning, for instance, as I woke up, two songs’ lyrics were competing for attention in my thoughts: The Carpenters’ “[They Long to Be] Close To You” and the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post”:

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of golden starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
(Girls in town)
Follow you
(Follow you)
All around
(All around)
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
(Girls in town)
Follow you
(Follow you)
All around
(All around)
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

(Why? Close to you)
(Why? Close to you)
(Haa, close to you)
(Why? Close to you)

Songwriters
BACHARACH, BURT / DAVID, HAL

Songwriters: ALLMAN, GREGG L.
I’ve been run down
I’ve been lied to
I don’t know why,
I let that mean woman make me a fool
She took all my money
Wrecks my new car
Now she’s with one of my good time buddies
They’re drinkin’ in some cross town barSometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel
Like I’ve been tied
To the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’My friends tell me
That I’ve been such a fool
And I have to stand down and take it babe,
All for lovin’ you
I drown myself in sorrow
As I look at what you’ve done
Nothin’ seems to change
Bad times stay the same
And I can’t run

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel
Like I’ve been tied
To the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’

(Break)

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel
Like I’ve been tied
To the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’

“Where am I going?” I ask myself, the online character who mirrors what I have called the real self who sees the largescale construction projects as he travels around the world — big farms, skyscrapers, freeway systems — and wonders why he’s content to be an anonymous fly-on-the-wall of life rather than a bigger-than-life architect, business mogul, artist, or athlete.

My wife and I had seven hours of time together on the road traveling from the St. Louis Airport back to our house, time to talk, time to drift in and out of daydreams, time to nap.

My wife says I don’t give her the attention I used to, reminding me of a conversation early in our marriage when we discussed I was her only true love whereas I had several lovers before we were married, spending the last year comparing the women in my life against my [future] wife and, despite some women having advantages my wife did not share in the big waters of the dating pool, I chose her anyway.

She still trusts me not to seek sexual relationships outside our marriage.

Yet marriage is not just about sex.  It’s also about the friendship we started 12 years before we married, being penpals for years before we had our first official date our freshman year in college.

Last night, as I jogged on the main road of the Hayes Nature Preserve, I had a strong memory of the PT sessions with fellow members of our Georgia Tech Navy ROTC unit, running on the sidewalks of downtown Atlanta, hearing prostitutes yell special offers at us physically-fit young men staying in shape to become officers and gentlemen, recalling the letters written to me by female acquaintances from high school who wanted my college mailing address so they could stay in touch with me, one of them going on to become a news anchor for a Memphis television station and marrying a prominent member of Memphis society.

That was nearly two-thirds of my life ago.

Those memories compete for my attention, which is more often diverted by flights of fantasy rooted and buried in my dreams, which all take up space and time in my thoughts away from my wife.

Life coaches use one question to motivate their students: “If you had all the courage and time in the universe, what’s the first [or what’s the most important] thing you would do?”

Most of my life, I’ve been a loner, keeping my thoughts to myself, living out my life in my daydreams rather than in physical manifestations of my thought patterns, which I have accepted are too weird and fantastic to share with others.  Besides, after all, they’re my thoughts, my dreams, not someone else’s, so I need not write them down in a vain attempt to explain who I am.

I don’t play computer games.  I’ve essentially stopped reading fiction.  I watch movies less often than I used to.

I am on that slow descent toward death, my youth clearly behind me, my [sub]culture giving me the freedom to pursue esoteric thought patterns instead of trying to survive a sustenance-level existence.

Today is one of those days I wish I was dead and didn’t have to live with my thoughts another moment.

I’m tired of meeting people’s expectations of me — my wife’s expectation of me paying attention to her, included.

I live in a cabin in the woods.  How do I get back to my childhood dream of a hermetic life and tell people I’m scared of them and their thought patterns that clash with mine?

A few years ago I was at the happiest moment in my life, sleeping as late as I wanted to, waking up and taking a shower, drinking a cup of Earl Gray Tea eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, taking quiet walks in the woods, writing in my paper journals, seeing as few people as possible, snacking at lunch, eating dinner with my wife, sitting down at the computer in the living room while my wife watched whatever TV show helped her calm down from her workday, brushing my teeth, pecking my wife’s lips and wishing her “sweet dreams” as I climbed into bed, holding her hand for a few minutes and then rolling over to sleep.

Why was I happiest then?  Because I know I am a chameleon personality who blends in with the people I meet in order to reduce conflict so I can think my thoughts without having to carry on superfluous conversations about subjects of interest to others that take me away from my thinking — if I am around people long enough, I feel obligated to discover more about them so I can write stories that include them and hide me from myself so that I don’t accidentally start talking about the wild fantasies of my imagination that nearly blind me all day and night.

Last night, I stood on the edge of a four-lane road, waiting for a break in the traffic so I could jog across the highway to the nature preserve.  One part of me, a tiny thought, proposed the idea that stepping out in front of a speeding truck would end it all and I wouldn’t have to deal with people anymore but a bright image of maimed me recovering in a hospital ICU room ended that fantasy.

Sadly, there’s no escape from being me, not even in my [day]dreams.

My wife is home today, working on her papercrafting hobby, watching “Inglourious Basterds” on TV.

I have a nearly morbid stage fright that I try to hide with my comic antics.

I told my wife during our road trip yesterday that when I am at a party or dance club, I am happiest sitting down and “chair dancing,” a 51-year old bouncing baby boy bobbing his head to the music, drifting in my thoughts, not having to look a dance partner in the eye, not having to worry about being a good lead, when I am in the mood to listen to pop music.

I can look people in the eyes all day, holding my breath until I am blue in the face because I am scared.

I married my wife because I knew she would not challenge me to become a public personality.  She wanted dance lessons for our 25th wedding anniversary two years ago.  I agreed.  It led to a weekly activity that is the only thing she looks forward to in her life right now — our dance lessons.  I have a light in me that tends to shine when I look other people in the eye, which attracts attention for reasons I haven’t been able to fathom, maybe because I am so nice to people as a chameleon personality who reflects people’s best view of themselves back to them.  Our dance lessons have led to me attracting the attention of some very good dance instructors who have expressed directly to my wife that they want to make me their dance partners in upcoming public showcases/competitions.  My wife is very unhappy that other women are asking for my attention and I didn’t tell them quickly and definitively “No!” when I know my wife has been feeling ignored lately.

Thus, I am where I am right now, fearful of every person who exists, including my wife, wanting to hide from public view in my previous happy place — the cabin in the woods.

What am I to do, where am I to go, when even my dreams are no happy escape?

I see our planet from the view of a distant galaxy, which has always put my personal life and my fantastic fantasy-filled thoughts in true perspective, willing to keep them to myself, helping others fulfill and make into reality their wildest dreams — the most perfect highway system, the quickest-built/most-safe skyscraper, the most environmental-friendly/productive farm, the best public showcase/competition dance that ever existed.

Yesterday, I told my wife that if I could, I would find a better dance partner for my dance instructors if it would make her happy.  She said she just wanted more attention from me.

Do I still have it in me to fall in love with her again, which builds a desire in me to give her my full chameleon personality attention, as it does with other people I meet, all of which takes my attention off myself and the internal bazaar of weird bizarre thoughts that I have had with me from my first memories onward?

I don’t know.

The clash of my public persona given to me by my [sub]culture against my internal thought set is greater than the sum of these words.

Reality is meaningless to me because I don’t see the world in black-and-white or rainbow colours — the entire set of waveform structures interrupts any connection between our sets of states of energy we call the shared sociopolitical environment that a primate species like us claims is more real than string theory.

I am shivering right now because there’s so much more I want to write about but choose not to.

I can doze on the sofa in front of the TV with my wife, instead.

As a nihilist sometimes, any one activity should be no more or less worthwhile to me than another.

Does it matter if what I really want and have never written about, never hinted in my writing even once, that would require a lot more work than this lazy life in the cabin in the woods, is simply tucked away and forgotten in a few fading synaptic connections?

If you think on galactic scales yet you exist as a small set of states of energy on a single planet…well, best let my thoughts drift unwritten once again.

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