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↑ Vantage pt for Jay Levine at tippity top of crow's nest before he jumped.

Das Boot: the first and perhaps most profound of the Dreamscape categories in that it describes not only the day-to-day adventures of a Caribbean escape, but also a moment that was much of a fulcrum or a rubicon for everyone involved, both a gathering and a dispersal. They were all twenty-four or twenty-five years old, an age where everything in the past seems like prologue and the next turned page is where the story really begins. There was a lot of debate about what comes next: plans hatched, destinies reconsidered. And soon after: Sebastian heading for Brazil, Christoph to Argentina, Helene to New Zealand, our pal Jayson and Natalie both to New York City. And the more we studied these pages, the stronger the urge became to apply allegory and deeper significance to everything that was written. And although 'reality' strongly resists such neat and tidy structuring, nonetheless here it is.

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Das Boot i (22/33)

December 20, 1990

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Watches the sun rise through layers of blue sky + leaden, oyster belly clouds. Rimmed w/molten orange, the brightening of the day, then… fwoop! Light. Huge! Much larger than I had anticipated. It took its time but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Sipped hot tea.

And ROCKIN’ good news! (W.A.H.) My towel is not lost. My cold sore (through much periodic anointing throughout a noisy night) does not seem worse. My feet, on the other hand, feel swollen + raw. 

The zip + click as sails are raised. The boat heels noticeably. Rumbling engines are cut. Silence. Hiss of water past our keel. Sailing.

Dream: waiting for Adam at school, train station. He’s arrived, hackysack with M+J. I say hi to J… then to M. I feel tremendously self conscious and  self aware. I leave them and travel with some random girl (who? I never knew who…?) to her house. I meet an older lady who I assume is her mother, but find out later is not. Later I feel relieved that I did not address her as such. We (myself and the girl) sit at a smaller, separate table (kid’s table) while the older woman and a man sit at the larger table by the window. This seems appropriate + correct. We talk about… what? Something about her garage being alarmed to detect burglars and potentially threatening characters from entering not only her car, but the shrubs growing around her car (in the garage?)

I am in a large auditorium / arena / space with seats in rows toward a stage, and balconies stretched perpendicular to the stage above us on either side. I have just been nominated to receive a prize (something… I wasn’t paying attention). At first I assume it’s a joke… almost a prank, but the way the concept is pursued, I realize the prize must be valuable and that I can (and perhaps want) to win it. The MC asks the audience for a shouted vote. A few half-hearted “Five and a half”s ring out. (5 ½ being my number / name.) The MC says he is going to give the contestants a few minutes to present ourselves. A contest of appearances! I hope, perhaps, my honest and endearing countenance may charm some votes. I attempt to make a show of primping my hair. This gets scattered laughs. The MC says we now have a chance to say something to the audience. The first contestant: “Dearly beloved… we are here… we are gathered here today to celebrate…” Wow! Some sort of public speaking major! Not only pulling off an ad libbed sermon, but speaking casually + coherently and utilizing the church setting as well! (We are in a church, I realize. Perhaps the chapel at Colby). MC (Mr So-and-so’s son from Wheeler… science teacher… squat, gray hair) asks for volunteers to go next. I recognize the importance of speaking quickly before I lose my nerve or begin to formulate what will later no doubt become a self-conscious speech. Thinking quickly, I know I can get some power from admitting the difficulty of saying anything pertinent after predecessor’s masterpiece. During all this thinking, I am preparing to become the focus of 1000-eyed attention. I realize that my shirt is buttoned hopelessly askew. Not only wrong button holes but reversed and inside out. It is a blue, plaid shirt which I have never worn or owned but which I decide looks somewhat attractive in a rustic, country, sort of way. I try to tuck it into my pants: khaki slacks similar in shape + feel to the original-issue Peachwood pants from Santa Cruz. The zipper is not only open + gapping, but stuck! Meanwhile, I have been signalling to speak but I am blocked by a partition of the church and Tom Viscenti (ah!) can’t see me. Other people draw his attention to my waving hand, but he has already chosen someone else. I feel at least the hope that I can resolve my clothing issues in the interim. 

2nd contestant: slightly older lady w/tremendous physical handicap. Wheelchair (?). A shaking page indicates she has prepared something. She’ll certainly get the sympathy vote, I think. She begins, haltingly, to read… then bursts into song!! A gospel! What am I to do against such awesome forces of public presence? 

Throughout the entirety of this incident I am plagued by a nagging concern for my backpack and garment bag which I left by the train station in the mob of milling students. Sure they are well-fed and content, but wouldn’t they appreciate further wealth?

Christoph wakes me: 5:30am. “Don’t miss the sunrise,” he says.


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