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1. My dreams sometimes feel more honest than my usual thoughts. My thoughts always feel freighted with rationalizations, judgements and calculations.

2. 1 time I took a nihonzin karate friend to the ER to help him with English and when they brought out the x-rays I told him it didn’t look too bad, but I didn’t know what I was talking about, and they admitted him and operated on him later that night, inserting steel pins in both bones of his wrist and some screws and he couldn’t do karate for 6 months.

3. Once (also karate) I kicked a teen in the hand and dislocated one of his fingers. The finger double-backed on itself.

4. Once (in karate) I looked down when another guy stepped on my foot and my big toenail was pointing straight up. The sensei cut it off with scissors and snipped a raw fresh piece of aloe vera and laid it across the open flesh. That was a live sensation!

5. On the edge of the Marrakech marketplace, a kid asked for the bottle of cola or orange soda I was drinking and I thought he wanted a drink, but he poured it on the dirt and walked off with the bottle.

6. Sometimes people (like Rick or Jennifer L.) I try to engage in conversation in my dreams tell me they’re too busy to talk.

7. I met a classmate I knew in high school in Costco, who told me he was a local politician now. Shortly thereafter I heard he was dead, and I wondered if I had always acted arrogant towards him.

8. Once I dreamed I was an actor in a large animal costume sick of my showbiz routine in Japan and I was in a phone booth semi-drunk trying to call somebody in America but I couldn;t get thru.

9. Once I dreamed I was in some small town in someplace like Texas or Oklahoma crossing the street at midnight and they had coin deposit slots in the push button crosswalks (you had to pay to cross the street with a coin operated crosswalk) and I looked out in the dark trying to figure out if there were any cops around.

10. One of my former students works in the same bldg and has a kid of her own. Every time she passes me by on the stairs or in the hall she looks as young as ever but I feel reminded of time passing. She’s like some Ghost of Christmas Past.

11. I always felt sorry for my roommates who wanted to be musicians. Did they ever have a chance? Seems doubtful.

12. I went to an l.a. weekly party for l.a. writers feeling irritable and when writers I didn;t know looked at me expectantly, I frowned and turned away and didn;t meet them. Then I left (only stopping talk to Michelle Serros, becuz she’s cute).

13. In the 1980s when I did security at demonstrations and other political actions I met some older former Black Panthers doing security too and I got strange sensations of chasms and Grand Canyons of history and vast distances of human experience when I was saying hello and shaking their hands.

14. I saw Chris Hani, leader of the South African communist party speak in Los Angeles before he was assassinated, and hundreds of thousands turned out for his funeral. He led the So. Cal. communists in a militant African dance in a ballroom in a downtown hotel that they did pretty stiffly.

15. On the Nez Perce reservation in Idaho I looked out on the White Bird Battlefield where Chief Joseph’s band defeated the U.S. troops and wondered if any of it was the same for them those many years ago, and if the chill in the wind that I felt was at all the same, or could anything, anything at all be the same?

16. Once I took my sisters on a tour of the International District in Seattle and showed them the cannery union office where union leaders Gene Viernes and Silme Domingo were assassinated by agents of the Phillipine dictator Marcos in the early 80s. Sometimes you walk around past certain locations knowing these things it makes you feel lonely in a crazy way, or crazy in a lonely way.

17. I believe most people, especially young people, have reserves of secret intelligence beyond my understanding. I believe adults waste this intelligence making and spending money and dealing with the lame self-centered terrors they suffer.

18. America has better food now from coast to coast than when I was a little kid and we spent so much time on the road. There were only burger joints and greasy diners, but now there’s Mexicans and Mexican food coast to coast. Maybe I’ll never get over my functional illiteracy when it comes to cooking.

19. I was driving around Eastern Washington once and the great open grassy spaces and crummy little no account towns were giving me huge feelings of some sort of vast American loneliness and I felt too frightened to learn from it. The area was mostly just vast wheat fields across rolling plains but something about the highways and the towns scared the hell out of me.

20. When I was a kid, I thought adults must be wise beyond knowing because of their years of experience, but after enough of their abuse when I was growing up, I realized that many were just total idiots from the terror they surrendered to. That American loneliness.

21. I don’t believe in psychics and telling fortunes, but I believe just by chance and by natural intelligence, people often sometimes just know exactly what somebody else is thinking.

22. Any sincere personal story moves me. Probably lots of insincere ones too.

23. I’m grateful that I refused to go to war and refused to kill anyone. I used to think that wasn’t important, but the wars and killing never ends.

24. I have the sensation in some of my dreams that I am bored being myself and being like myself, like always, especially in my dreams.

25. I remember the voice of a clerk in a store, a stranger, who quietly said my name years ago to get my attention. Somehow she knew my name.

May 2010
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