Friday, May 17, 2013

lost in a Chinese night


Yesterday, I had an actual reverie. An official daydream, approved and stamped by a shadowy bureaucracy in charge of dubious precincts of time.

I keep thinking about that reverie. I think it lasted for only a few moments, yet those moments were stretched into a different form or quality of duration. Those few moments seemed to last an incredibly long while.

I was afoot and moving at night through a town or village somewhere in China. This night was dynamic and clangorous with bodies, faces, trumpets, dogs, chimes, flags, leashed monkeys, and neon signs buzzing unknowable ideograms.

But the faces! Everywhere faces. Peculiar, probing, insinuating, alarming faces.

The streets (some paved) were coming and going at odd angles and refuted any possibility of destination. The houses and other buildings were close to the streets and were all built in the old Chinese manner, with curving, sweeping roof lines. Trees overhung their perfumed branches. Traditional lanterns glowed here and there, like the pale heads of forlorn ghosts.

The sense of utter and bedazzled alienation took my daydreaming breath away.

Those faces! People swerving up to me, close to my nose, wide-eyed, gesticulating, staring with the expression of vaguely threatening hieroglyphs. Faces that were, in contrast to my own, completely at home in this world.

There was no point to this reverie. It was simply a divergent moment stretched out into forbidden space. If Freud was still alive, perhaps I'd drop in on him, to ask about this dark tumbling into a town or village of my subconscious hysteria. To discover the reason why I tumbled there. To know what form of psychological ruin this episode was a symptom and presentiment.



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