Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles

This is Sons and Daughters. Think John Doe and Exene Cervenka, growing up in Glasgow, Scotland.

A sample: "Johnny Cash"


At 2:23 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Speaking of, can anybody spare me a few million so I can buy Johnny's old house?

At 2:31 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Here's what too much Johnny Cash did to my head:

I find myself on George Bush Boulevard in College Station, which runs along the backside of A&M and the front side of the Bush Presidential Library.

It’s night. I pass the huge Student Recreation Center that was completed when I lived there. To my left I see the A&M campus, but it’s huge, and full of lights. The view is more like that of LA from the Hollywood Hills. And the road is an elevated freeway now. To my right, instead of trees or small houses, I see an almost endless line of warehouses, testing facilities, and labs. (Today I realized that I’d juxtaposed UT’s Pickle Research Campus into the dream—Pickle looks very much like the area with all the warehouses I’ve just described.)

But then I’m suddenly not in a car anymore. I’m floating 20 feet off the ground, my arms extended like wings, going down service streets between warehouses and testing facilities. And over and over, I’m singing the old Johnny Cash song “I Still Miss Someone” to myself, audibly, but still quiet, and in a dirge-like tone and tempo. And like that a dream I'd had a week before where I couldn’t remember the first line of “Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting,” for some reason I kept forgeting the first line of this song.

And this just wasn’t a “My-baby’s-gone-and-I’m-sad” song, this was a slit-your-wrists moan of pure despair.

The main thing I noticed was how sharp the picture was in this dream. Everything was hyper-real, looking sort of like things do when you get your eyes dialated at the eye doctor. I floated dangerously close to a rusty steel I-beam, then just as easily passed it by.

I now made a left turn and began to float towards an abandoned, old-fashioned greenhouse. It was rather large, with broken glass panes, rather like the one in “House of Dark Shadows.”

As I got closer and closer to it, it seems a pair of tall doors opened for me, so I wouldn’t crash into the bulding. Inside the greenhouse was filled with hazy white light, almost as if the scene was being filmed through a gauze-covered lens. There were plants all over the place, naturally, but they were all dead and leafless. I especially recall seeing a bunch of cotton plants, pretty much stripped clean.

And then I floated through the greenhouse and found myself outdoor in the daytime. I floated to the ground and found myself in an old Victorian cemetery, filled with crumbling, moss-covered stones that were nevertheless carved into fascinating designs. I went over to the first tombstone that caught my fancy and tried to read it. I perceived there were other people walking around on the other side of the cemetery. Was I part of their group?

I then walked into a small house that had been turned into a rare book store. There were small bookcases here and there, capable of holding just a few books at a time, but that was also a good way of spotlighting special copies.

As I was sauntering around with my hands behind my back, I saw a slacker chick sitting in an upholstered armchair across from two young slacker dudes who looked for some reason like celebrities. I paid this no more mind and went back to my browsing.

But a little while later the slacker chick sneaked up beside me and said she needed a favor. She needed to go over to the East Side of town and escape from some people. She wasn’t trying to get away from the dudes, who did, in fact turn out to be celebrities. She was affiliated with the bookstore somehow, and the management allowed her to sleep in a tiny room in back, but she needed to get away.

The next thing I know we’re in a car. Going through the East Side of what I supposed is Austin (though nothing else was supposed to be Austin, or Bryan/College Station after the beginning sequence, for that matter). I have to assume the chick was driving.

The buildings on the East Side were all built up on hills 15 or 20 feet above the level of the street. Every one of them had been interesting architecturally at one time, but now, almost all of them were too far gone to even renovate. How they still held together I don’t know.

There was a two-story frame hotel to the left, an old red brick Romanesque house to the right. The only building that looked like it might survive a heavy storm was a Victorian house, covered in gingerbread and painted canary yellow with white trim. It housed a huge Mexican “pharmacia.”

She made a right turn into a parking lot. To the left was a side entrance to a high-rise hotel. Three doormen, wearing hotel uniform shirts and shorts, were all standing in identical, ridiculous poses, with one leg up like a flamingo’s, and holding long police flashlights with both hands, in an overly stylized manner. We couldn’t help but laugh at them.

She pulled the car forward, towards the entrance ramp of a parking garage. She got out of the car and got into the back seat. We were joined by two tall men, who looked like semi-successful hoods from the 1970s, with tight, flare-leg pants, ugly short-sleeved shirts, droopy moustaches, and blow-dried hair.

I wasn’t sure where or how the chick knew these guys, but whatever was happening seemed like it had been planned. One guy got into the back with her, and the other got into the front with me and started up the car, shifting it into reverse.


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